50 Successful Harvard Application Essays, 5th Edition: What Worked for Them Can Help You Get into the College of Your Choice
Fifty all-new essays that got their authors into Harvard - with updated statistics, analysis, and complete student profiles - showing what worked, what didn’t, and how you can do it, too.

With talented applicants coming from top high schools as well as the pressure to succeed from family and friends, it’s no wonder that writing college application essays is one of the most stressful tasks high schoolers face. To help, this completely new edition of 50 Successful Harvard Application Essays, edited by the staff of the Harvard Crimson, gives readers the most inspiring approaches, both conventional and creative, that won over admissions officers at Harvard University, the nation’s top-ranked college.

From chronicling personal achievements to detailing unique talents, the topics covered in these essays open applicants up to new techniques to put their best foot forward. It teaches students how to:

- Get started
- Stand out
- Structure the best possible essay
- Avoid common pitfalls

Each essay in this collection is from a Harvard student who made the cut, is accompanied by a student profile that includes SAT scores and grades, and is followed by a detailed analysis by the staff of the Harvard Crimson that shows readers how they can approach their own stories and ultimately write their own high-caliber essay.

50 Successful Harvard Application Essays’ all-new examples and straightforward advice make it the first stop for college applicants who are looking to craft essays that get them accepted to the school of their dreams.

"1136412417"
50 Successful Harvard Application Essays, 5th Edition: What Worked for Them Can Help You Get into the College of Your Choice
Fifty all-new essays that got their authors into Harvard - with updated statistics, analysis, and complete student profiles - showing what worked, what didn’t, and how you can do it, too.

With talented applicants coming from top high schools as well as the pressure to succeed from family and friends, it’s no wonder that writing college application essays is one of the most stressful tasks high schoolers face. To help, this completely new edition of 50 Successful Harvard Application Essays, edited by the staff of the Harvard Crimson, gives readers the most inspiring approaches, both conventional and creative, that won over admissions officers at Harvard University, the nation’s top-ranked college.

From chronicling personal achievements to detailing unique talents, the topics covered in these essays open applicants up to new techniques to put their best foot forward. It teaches students how to:

- Get started
- Stand out
- Structure the best possible essay
- Avoid common pitfalls

Each essay in this collection is from a Harvard student who made the cut, is accompanied by a student profile that includes SAT scores and grades, and is followed by a detailed analysis by the staff of the Harvard Crimson that shows readers how they can approach their own stories and ultimately write their own high-caliber essay.

50 Successful Harvard Application Essays’ all-new examples and straightforward advice make it the first stop for college applicants who are looking to craft essays that get them accepted to the school of their dreams.

20.0 In Stock
50 Successful Harvard Application Essays, 5th Edition: What Worked for Them Can Help You Get into the College of Your Choice

50 Successful Harvard Application Essays, 5th Edition: What Worked for Them Can Help You Get into the College of Your Choice

by Harvard Crimson Staff
50 Successful Harvard Application Essays, 5th Edition: What Worked for Them Can Help You Get into the College of Your Choice

50 Successful Harvard Application Essays, 5th Edition: What Worked for Them Can Help You Get into the College of Your Choice

by Harvard Crimson Staff

Paperback

$20.00 
  • SHIP THIS ITEM
    Qualifies for Free Shipping
  • PICK UP IN STORE
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


Overview

Fifty all-new essays that got their authors into Harvard - with updated statistics, analysis, and complete student profiles - showing what worked, what didn’t, and how you can do it, too.

With talented applicants coming from top high schools as well as the pressure to succeed from family and friends, it’s no wonder that writing college application essays is one of the most stressful tasks high schoolers face. To help, this completely new edition of 50 Successful Harvard Application Essays, edited by the staff of the Harvard Crimson, gives readers the most inspiring approaches, both conventional and creative, that won over admissions officers at Harvard University, the nation’s top-ranked college.

From chronicling personal achievements to detailing unique talents, the topics covered in these essays open applicants up to new techniques to put their best foot forward. It teaches students how to:

- Get started
- Stand out
- Structure the best possible essay
- Avoid common pitfalls

Each essay in this collection is from a Harvard student who made the cut, is accompanied by a student profile that includes SAT scores and grades, and is followed by a detailed analysis by the staff of the Harvard Crimson that shows readers how they can approach their own stories and ultimately write their own high-caliber essay.

50 Successful Harvard Application Essays’ all-new examples and straightforward advice make it the first stop for college applicants who are looking to craft essays that get them accepted to the school of their dreams.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250127556
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/09/2017
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 617,174
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

THE HARVARD CRIMSON has been the daily newspaper of Harvard University since 1873. Published from Cambridge, MA, The Crimson is the nation’s oldest continually-operating daily college newspaper.

Read an Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION: THE ADMISSIONS ESSAY
Writing a college admissions essay is an admittedly daunting task. Most likely, you have been repeatedly told that these five hundred painstakingly crafted words must complete the intimidating mission of distinguishing yourself from the legions of other college applicants, in order to leave your own personalized mark on the admissions officers. You’ve probably been reminded that your essay should strike a balance between being compelling and insightful, but not too contrived. You’ve likely heard varying accounts of how important the admissions essay actually is: from those who swear by their writing and predict that this little essay steered them clear of the rejection pile; to others who humbly say they were probably accepted in spite of their essay. With all the academic and extracurricular work that consumes what spare time you have outside of the application process, it’s almost certain that college essays aren’t what you’d like to be worrying about on your weekends.
At the same time, the admissions essay can be a boon to your application if approached carefully. Each year, college admissions rates plunge as the number of applicants grows, and the size of résumés and activities lists expands. For applicants to competitive universities and Ivy League schools, having a top grade point average (GPA) along with sporting and musical prowess may not guarantee admission. The personal statement, however, is a blank slate that allows you to share and emphasize the qualities that make you stand out. It permits you to make a creative, distinctive, and even emotional appeal directly to the admissions officers. In a process dominated by test scores and statistics, the admissions essay provides a much-needed human touch. But where do you even start to find ideas for the essay, let alone write?
That’s what we’re here to help you do: navigate the confusing advice and vague guidance that pervades the current essay-writing process. We’ve provided you ten tips for writing a standout admissions essay, and we’ve included fifty real essays written by students who were ultimately accepted to Harvard College—with the expectation that these will give you a clearer sense of what works and what doesn’t. As fellow students who have been through the college application process, we understand the questions and concerns that essay-writers often face, and in this book, we seek to provide straightforward and realistic advice that will help steer you toward success.
In the end, however, there is no single formula to writing a successful admissions essay—just as there is no single recipe for being a successful college applicant. In many cases, you’re given free rein to write what ever you wish. You’re the only one who can identify your greatest strengths and most debilitating weaknesses, and only you can weave that insight into a personal statement. Only you are able to articulate how different people and different experiences have molded you into the person you are today. The immense control that you have over your statement’s content and style is what makes the college admissions essay so challenging to write—and incredibly revealing.
The Harvard Crimson has compiled some tried-and-true guidelines that will be helpful for writing almost any college admissions essay. Here are ten tips for you to keep in mind as you embark on the writing process:
 
1. Start thinking about the essay early. We understand that it isn’t always feasible to start writing months in advance. Nevertheless, as you barrel through your senior fall, keep an eye out for potential essay topics. Read through some essays that have worked in the past to get an idea of what an admissions essay ought to look like. Consider what you’re passionate about and why. Think back through your years and identify experiences, people, places, or lessons that have shaped your character and personality. Finding an essay topic is arguably the most challenging part of the whole process, so give yourself plenty of time to think of something that you really care about. Don’t be afraid to scrap ideas, even late in the process, if you come across something better—you’ll find that if your topic is heartfelt, the writing will come naturally.
 
2. Think strategically. The admissions essay is your opportunity to set yourself apart, to elaborate on who you are beyond your grades, test scores, and extracurricular activities. Spend the necessary time to reflect on yourself and your experiences, and get to know your strengths and weaknesses. This will help guide you in searching for a good essay topic. When writing, don’t rehash what’s already evident in your résumé or application, and don’t take on too much—you only have five hundred words. It’s often better to delve deeply into a single experience, showing that you are an observant individual capable of honest self-reflection, than to provide a superficial exposition of interesting aspects of your life. Talk about your hobbies, play up your unusual talents or areas of expertise, or describe something formative from your past. The possibilities are endless—be creative and find something that will supplement the rest of your application well.
 
3. Realize that the topic isn’t everything. Sure, some ideas—such as winning the state soccer championship—have probably been written about many, many times before you came along, and you should try to avoid those topics unless you can add something unique to the tale. Remember that your topic doesn’t have to be grandiose or sweeping—sometimes, seemingly mundane experiences, such as that summer job you once had, can be the launching point into a colorful and telling insight. Not everyone has exotic experiences or prodigious talents to showcase, but certainly every applicant has a unique and interesting background to illuminate. Creativity, thoughtful analysis, and skilled writing can make even the most routine happenings exciting. Take the time to think about your topic from various angles and figure out the best way to couch the material; showing that you can explain the “how” and the “why” of your topic is often more important than simply stating the “what.”
 
4. Answer the question. If you’re given a specific essay prompt, make sure your essay addresses those questions. Don’t take an essay and stretch it to fit five completely different prompts; if your essay wasn’t intended to answer a specific question, it becomes awkward and unconvincing. If different schools ask you why you’d like to attend their college, do your research and think through your responses carefully. Simply drafting a universal response and filling in the blanks will not demonstrate to admissions officers that you have the ability to think critically and to understand nuance. Finally, try to show that you’ve put some genuine thought into the essay and the question at hand. As with any good essay, use evidence, supporting facts, and examples to prove your point.
 
5. Be careful with gimmicks. Some people have successfully written poems or drawn comics for their personal statements, but they are few and far between. If you’re confident that your creative efforts will turn out well, go for it. Just remember that, especially with this personal statement, execution is everything. A piece that is inauthentic most likely will not be distinctive in the way that you had hoped.
 
6. Know your thesis. As we suggested before, take the time to think through your essay topic and make sure that you know what points you’re trying to make. What is the purpose of your essay? Why will an admissions officer want to read and remember your essay? What message do you want people to take away from your essay? You’ll need to think through these questions in order to make sure that your message is on point and successfully delivered to the admissions officer. Knowing these answers ahead of time will also make your writing genuine, clear, and compelling. Avoid making clichéd statements and broad generalizations—everyone says they’ve learned from their mistakes and triumphed over adversity. Be tactful, try to write insightfully and critically, and, most of all, make sure that your message is clear.
 
7. Be yourself. The college admissions essay is a personal statement. Each person has his or her own writing style and tone, and essays should reflect that fluidity. It’s all right to include some humor and wit, but make sure it comes naturally and isn’t excessive or fabricated. While it’s a good idea to have a couple of knowledgeable individuals read over your essay and give suggestions for improvement, make sure that the end product is truly satisfactory for you. Don’t let too many people provide input, and don’t let even those people you trust manhandle the content and style of your essay. This is your chance to speak directly to admissions officers and to highlight what’s most distinctive about you, and you shouldn’t let that opportunity be diluted by the voices of others.
 
8. Be honest. Once you settle on an essay topic, don’t fall into the trap of exaggerating your experiences or the lessons you’ve learned. Instead, think critically about your topic, even if it seems mundane to you, and try to understand and articulate why that experience was valuable for you—not why it might be interesting to the admissions officer who’s reading your essay. Also, don’t use words you don’t know or wouldn’t ordinarily use—that’s what the SAT is supposed to test. There’s nothing quite as distracting in an essay as misused words. Don’t use a longer word if a shorter word captures the sentiment just as well. The admissions officers want to see that you’re a clean and capable writer, and they want to get a sense of who you are and why you’re distinctive. You can successfully achieve those ends without embellishing your writing or your experiences.
 
9. Revise and proofread. Write clearly and concisely, but make sure that your essay is engaging and colorful. Don’t overwhelm your readers with extraneous details, and make sure to stay on point. Do not make careless grammatical or spelling errors, and do not rely on your computer’s spellcheck application. Admissions officers have thousands of personal statements to read in a relatively short amount of time, so make sure your introduction is gripping. Is this an essay that you would find interesting and would want to read in your spare time? If not, keep thinking and revising. It’s also a good idea to have somebody else read your essay for clarity and correctness. Let your essay sit for a few days and come back to it—you’ll likely notice a lot of opportunities for editing that slipped past you the first time around. The college admissions essay is one part of your application that you have total control over, so make the most of this opportunity and keep working until you’re satisfied.
 
10. Relax. Approach essays one at a time and don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Remember: The essay is only one part of your college application. Be a thoughtful and systematic writer, and when the time comes, don’t be afraid to put down the pen (or walk away from the keyboard). You’ve done the best that you can. Give yourself a pat on the back and take a break—after all, there’s more to senior year than just getting into college.
 
And now, on to the fun part. The Harvard Crimson has gathered together fifty successful Harvard admissions essays and organized them into four categories:
 
• The Survivor: Overcoming Challenges and Adversity
• One Among Many: Presenting a Unique Applicant
• Storyteller: Experiences that Illuminate Character
• Through Their Eyes: Finding Yourself in Others
 
Following each essay is a brief commentary written by a member of The Crimson’s staff. We hope that these examples and analysis pieces will guide and inform you as you think about your own experiences and craft your admissions essays.
Happy reading, and best of luck!
 
Excerpted from 50 Successful Harvard Application Essays: Third Edition by Harvard Crimson.
Copyright  2010 by Harvard Crimson.
Published in 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xi

I Passion

Michael Bervell 3

Jang Lee 7

Joe Kerwin 11

Brianna Oppong-Antwi 15

Elizabeth Sun 19

Rachel Myoung Moon 23

Lauren Sierra 27

II Intellectual Curiosity

Dylan Parker 33

Sheridan Marsh 37

Athena Braun 41

Brian Yu 45

Ronni Cuccia 49

Beth Young 53

Henry Shah 57

Deepika Kurup 61

Yehong Zhu 65

III Identity

Allison Chang 71

Catherine Zhang 75

Yuki Zbytovsky 79

Michael Liu 83

Sophia Higgins 87

Leah Marsh 91

Matias Ferandel 95

Jennifer Li 99

Andrew Moton 103

Andie Turner 107

Erik Fliegauf 111

Sara Friedman 115

IV Overcoming Obstacles

Maureen Tang 121

Angela Hui 125

Cahleb Derry 129

Nikolas Paladino 133

Allison Rabe 137

Liam Corrigan 141

Esme Trahair 145

Eliza Alton 149

V Experiences Abroad

Alexandra Todorova 155

Nuriya Saifulina 159

Nicolas Yan 163

Thomas Chatzieleftheriou 167

Ryan Voon 171

Jiafeng Chen 175

Truong Nam Nguyen Huy 179

Kristina Madjoska 183

Canghao Chen 187

VI Cultural Identity

Razi Hecker 193

Tiana Menon 197

Harriet Tieh 201

Tynan Jackson 205

Raylin Xu 209

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews