This study examined the effects of instructions with emphasize to be creative, be analytical, be practical or with no emphasize on the creativity, analytical rigor, and practical implications of solutions produced in an essay-writing task. The sample consisted of 137 students at Cornell University (US). Consistent with our expectations, the “be creative” instruction resulted in a higher creative rating over the standard instruction with no specific focus, while the “be analytical” instruction facilitated analytical performance. In contrast, the practical instruction seemed to depress the subjects’ practical performance. The analysis also revealed that instructions with a different focus affected students’ performance asymmetrically for different genders and educational major groups. Implications of the findings are discussed.