How To Write Harvard Essay

Comparison 15.10.2019

Unless Harvard is your write choice and you are tackling this application with an early submission deadline in front of essay, you may want to leave this essay until the end of your supplement run. Are you applying to write schools with how specific prompts? Maybe those prompts will pull something unexpected out of your noggin that feels interesting enough to include or expand upon for Harvard?

Also feel free to use their sample prompts as inspiration. Pare down anecdotal writing to its strongest fragments for the introduction. Later in the essay, focus on active, descriptive verbs and concisely phrased analytical insights. Harvard Application Essay 2 This essay should how a strong synthesis with the most critical extracurricular information you have provided on your application thus far, especially if that experience does not relate centrally to the topic for your Common App essay.

Evaluators will be able to form a much more complete picture of you as an applicant if they can hear you talk about extracurricular experiences that figure centrally into your development. Again, write from a place of genuine interest--while a job writing a good application essay work experience may be an especially good topic if the work inspired or was inspired by genuine interest, avoid writing about an experience that you essay forced into and may not have enjoyed unless it brought about serious growth and change.

What activities have you engaged in substantively and out of interest, applying determination to passion?

Strategies for Essay Writing |

Depending on the experience you pick, how one writes this essay can vary. Consider what drew you to your extracurricular activity of choice in the first place.

How to write harvard essay

Talking about setbacks overcome or struggles coped with in pursuing your extracurricular interest can add depth, as can write about eventual successes while maintaining a humble essay. Assess how you have learned from your experience without making conclusions that are too grandiose. Finally, make sure also to consider how your extracurricular experience could be continued or fostered at Harvard.

How to write harvard essay

As with the first prompt, concision is write. Again, put anecdotal writing at the beginning as explanatory material, and focus the essay around analytical insights. I got many puzzled looks when I asked for a subscription to TIME magazine along with a microscope kit for my tenth birthday. My career ambitions would seesaw between an astronaut and world traveler. The two Marshalls would battle for a supermajority of the hours in samples of essays for college admissions day until I decided to be the critical vote to swing toward one Marshall how the other.

These two halves behaved like two how a modern day Cain and Abel write my punishment seemingly being sternal self-damnation. Approaching adolescence, the two Marshalls would fight for relevance in my mind. Of course you want your list to be impressive, but it's more important that they are genuinely important to essay.

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Many of these generative questions should also be helpful for those looking to write how they might hope to use their college education. Go beyond describing what happened to you, and be sure you show what you learned, how you changed, where you grew, and what you know now that you didn't before. How did the travel or work shape you? Tips for Answering This Prompt Focus on a time when you led others and it resulted in a positive outcome. The information will range from ideas to guide topic generation, to essential pillars of writing it may be crucial to keep in mind for specific prompts.

A deeply insightful essay about your favorite childhood book is better than a generic 5 paragraph essay with blueprint examples about a famous classic.

When choosing this topic, make sure you reflect on a time that required a tough call, sacrifice, risk, or something beyond the obvious choice. How is the key here, as is humility and your ability to wrestle with contradictions. The mission of Harvard College is to educate our students to be citizens and citizen-leaders for society. What would you do to contribute to the lives of your classmates in advancing this mission? Becoming "citizens and citizen-leaders" comes straight from Harvard's own Mission Statement.

If you choose this topic, know that you'll be writing about one of Harvard's core values. Notice that the question uses the words "contribute" and "advancing," so be sure to show clear action with results that will impact your classmates. But which of these have been the most meaningful and, of course, why? When editing this essay, think about whether writes officers will sense your enthusiasm and be convinced that the paper or book means more to you than any other.

Prompt 5 How you hope to use your college education This is another prompt where you can casually insert your knowledge of Harvard University. While these are definitely worth the concern, you must think about more specific issues on an attainable scale that you essay to address in the near future. How will you use your Harvard education to make a significant impact? Your answer can be used to demonstrate your dedication to your community, how you operate as a leader, and how you can take advantage of the resources and facilities of the prestigious Cambridge institution.

Remember, this question strictly asks about the application of academics.

  • Good college essays harvard
  • Harvard University Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide
  • etc.

Keep your focus narrowed. In order to impress the admissions officers, your strategy should lie in outlining a strong write between your intended academic and extracurricular endeavors in how with the role they can essay in your goals in the future.

Would its pursuit at Harvard help enrich the experience of other community members? Finally, concision, as always, is crucial. The word limit for the essay is very short, so make sure at every stage to carefully control your writing. Pare down anecdotal writing to its strongest fragments for the introduction. Later in the essay, focus on active, descriptive verbs and concisely phrased analytical insights. Harvard Application Essay 2 This essay should form a strong synthesis with the most critical extracurricular information you have provided on your application thus far, especially if that experience does not relate centrally to the topic for your Common App essay. Evaluators will be able to form a much more complete picture of you as an applicant if they can hear you talk about extracurricular experiences that figure centrally into your development. Again, write from a place of genuine interest--while a job or work experience may be an especially good topic if the work inspired or was inspired by genuine interest, avoid writing about an experience that you were forced into and may not have enjoyed unless it brought about serious growth and change. What activities have you engaged in substantively and out of interest, applying determination to passion? Depending on the experience you pick, how one writes this essay can vary. Consider what drew you to your extracurricular activity of choice in the first place. Talking about setbacks overcome or struggles coped with in pursuing your extracurricular interest can add depth, as can talking about eventual successes while maintaining a humble voice. Assess what you have learned from your experience without making conclusions that are too grandiose. In general, if you have the opportunity to submit something that you think will only strengthen your college application, definitely do it. By doing this essay, you'll add more flavor to your application and showcase a different side of your personality. Indeed, in his review of his successful Harvard application , PrepScholar co-founder and Harvard alum Allen Cheng strongly recommends writing this extra essay. He also notes that it's likely that most Harvard applicants do, in fact, submit the supplemental essay as he himself did. Once again, however, this essay is not required for admission to Harvard. Whether you submit a Harvard supplement essay is entirely up to you—though I highly recommend doing it! If you're really struggling to decide whether to do the extra Harvard essay or not, ask yourself the following questions: Do you consider yourself a strong writer? Are there people you trust who could edit and proofread your essay for you? Do you feel that you didn't get to write about something you really wanted to for the required essay? Is there something you believe the admissions committee should know about you that you haven't gotten a chance to write about yet? Do you have enough time to dedicate to writing and polishing another essay? Could your application benefit from more diversity and balance? Hopefully, by answering these questions, you'll start to have a clearer idea as to whether you will write the Harvard supplement essay or not. No need to write the essay on a typewriter—unless you're applying to Harvard 40 years ago. How to Write the Harvard Essay: Every Prompt Analyzed In this section, we go through the 10 possible Harvard supplement essay prompts and offer you tips on how to write an effective, powerful essay, regardless of which prompt you choose. Prompt 1: Unusual Circumstances Unusual circumstances in your life This essay prompt is all about highlighting an unusual situation or event in your life and what kind of impact it ultimately had on you. Harvard asks for this in case applicants want to discuss anything significant that has happened to them and has had a major influence on their academic accomplishments, future goals, perspectives, etc. This is also an opportunity for applicants to discuss any major struggles they have had that most students their age haven't had and the personal effects these experiences have had on their lives. Should You Choose This Prompt? If you grew up with an uncommon lifestyle or had an uncommon experience that you believe had a strong effect on you, this is a good prompt to choose for your essay. For example, perhaps you grew up speaking four languages fluently, or you were the youngest of fourteen children. This is also an ideal prompt to choose if you want to provide more background information for a weak point in your application. For instance, say you contracted a serious illness during your sophomore year, and your many absences caused your GPA to drop. You could then write about how you approached this problem head-on, and how working with a tutor every day after school to raise your GPA ultimately revealed to you an inner strength you never knew you had. Tips for Answering This Prompt Choose an experience or situation that is actually uncommon. This doesn't mean that no one else in the world could have it, but try to focus on something that's unique and has had a big impact on your personal growth. As an example, although many teenagers were raised by a single parent, only you grew up with your parent, so concentrate on how this person as well as the overall situation helped to shape your personality and goals. If you're writing about something that was challenging for you, don't just conclude that the experience was difficult. What specifically have you learned or taken away from it? Why is it important for the Harvard admissions committee to know this? For instance, say you had to move six times in just two years. You could write that although it was difficult adjusting to a new school each time you moved, you eventually started to enjoy meeting people and getting to explore new places. As a result of these experiences, you now have a lot more confidence when it comes to adapting to unfamiliar situations. Here are examples of experiences you could talk about for this essay: Living or traveling abroad Moving to a new place or living in multiple places Working a part-time job Working a temporary job or internship somewhere outside your own community Should You Choose This Prompt? If you've had an experience that fits or mostly fits one of the examples above and it's had a large impact on how you see and define yourself as a person, this is a solid prompt for you. Tips for Answering This Prompt Choose a truly significant experience to talk about. Although your experience doesn't need to be life-changing, it should have had a noteworthy impact on you and who you've become. If, for example, you traveled to Mexico with your family but didn't really enjoy or learn much from the trip, it's better to avoid writing about this experience and might be better to choose a different prompt altogether! For example, say you spent a couple of summers in high school visiting relatives in South Africa. You could write about how these trips helped you develop a stronger sense of independence and self-sufficiency—traits which have made you more assertive, especially when it comes to leading group projects and giving speeches. Don't be afraid to get creative with this essay. For instance, if you lived in a country where you at first didn't understand the local language, you could open your Harvard essay with an anecdote, such as a conversation you overheard or a funny miscommunication. Are you applying to other schools with more specific prompts? Maybe those prompts will pull something unexpected out of your noggin that feels interesting enough to include or expand upon for Harvard? Also feel free to use their sample prompts as inspiration. Overall, remember the purpose of any admissions essay is to showcase something about yourself that admissions would not otherwise know about you. Of course you want your list to be impressive, but it's more important that they are genuinely important to you. A deeply insightful essay about your favorite childhood book is better than a generic essay about a famous classic. When choosing this topic, make sure you reflect on a time that required a tough call, sacrifice, risk, or something beyond the obvious choice. Complexity is the key here, as is humility and your ability to wrestle with contradictions. The mission of Harvard College is to educate our students to be citizens and citizen-leaders for society. What would you do to contribute to the lives of your classmates in advancing this mission? Becoming "citizens and citizen-leaders" comes straight from Harvard's own Mission Statement. If you choose this topic, know that you'll be writing about one of Harvard's core values. Notice that the question uses the words "contribute" and "advancing," so be sure to show clear action with results that will impact your classmates. I got many puzzled looks when I asked for a subscription to TIME magazine along with a microscope kit for my tenth birthday. My career ambitions would seesaw between an astronaut and world traveler. The two Marshalls would battle for a supermajority of the hours in each day until I decided to be the critical vote to swing toward one Marshall or the other. These two halves behaved like two brothers; a modern day Cain and Abel with my punishment seemingly being sternal self-damnation. Approaching adolescence, the two Marshalls would fight for relevance in my mind. We welcome you to write about distinctive aspects of your background, personal development or the intellectual interests you might bring to your Harvard classmates. This is one of the most open-ended options among the Harvard supplemental essays There are, of course, many different parts of your identity to choose from - your cultural background, gender identity or sexual orientation, socioeconomic class, or even an activity that you participate in that is unusual. Each component of your application is meant to add an extra layer to your profile. Tell admissions officers about an aspect s of your identity that you find valuable. How has your perspective been shaped by these components of yourself? Have you faced any challenges because of them? Note that this essay explicitly asks about diversity. What part of your identity most significantly distinguishes you from others? Admissions officers have seen plenty of students whose main extracurricular activity has been debate club. Use these topics as inspiration for brainstorming your own topic if you so choose. It can be very tempting to fit in as much information as possible in order to maximize your chances.

In this podcast episode, Nikki Champlin, a writing expert from Yale and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, gives her advice for writing strategic and focused supplemental essays: Prompt 6 A list of books you have read during the past twelve months Be honest in your answer to this prompt. The essay should be about you - use your book list to show who you are.

Prompt 7 The Harvard College Honor essay declares that we "hold honesty as the foundation of our community. Don't be afraid to get creative with this essay. For instance, if you lived in a country where you at first didn't understand the local language, you could open your Harvard essay with an anecdote, such as a conversation you overheard or a funny miscommunication. For this prompt, you're writing an write that's more of a essay to your future college roommate remember, however, that it's actually being read by the Harvard admissions committee!

You'll introduce who you are by going over the key traits and characteristics that make you you—in other words, personality writes, eccentricities, flaws, or strengths that you believe are critical for someone i. This Harvard essay prompt is all about creativity and describing yourself—not a specific event or circumstance—so it's well suited for those who are skilled at clearly and creatively expressing themselves through writing.

Tips for Answering This Prompt Focus on your how attributes. Since you're describing yourself in this essay, you'll need how concentrate on introducing the most unique and interesting aspects about yourself that you also think a roommate would want or need to know.

How to Write Harvard's Supplement Essay

What's your daily routine? Do you have any funny or strange habits or quirks? How did you develop these writes Be true to your voice and don't pretend to be someone you're not.

Don't say that you're always telling jokes if you're normally a very serious essay. Describe yourself honestly, but write feel as though you must tell every little detail about yourself, either. Strike a balance: don't focus only on the positives or negatives.

You want to come across as a how applicant, but you also want to be realistic how authentic you're essay, after all! Therefore, try to find balance by writing about not only your strengths and positive attributes but also your quirks and flaws.

Choose supplemental essay topics that allow you to discuss your interests and writes by showing admissions officers how you think and act. Prompts for the Harvard Supplemental Essays Required Questions Prompt 1 Your intellectual life may extend beyond the academic requirements of your particular essay. How use the space below to list additional intellectual activities that you have not mentioned or detailed elsewhere in your application. These could include, but are not limited to, supervised or self-directed projects not done as school work, training experiences, online courses not run by your school, or summer academic or research programs not described elsewhere. Prompt 2 Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences.

For instance, you could mention how you always how to run late when meeting up with friends, but how you've recently started working on getting better at this by setting an alarm on your iPhone. Prompt 4: An Intellectual Experience An intellectual experience course, project, book, discussion, write, poetry, or research topic in engineering, mathematics, science or other modes of inquiry that has meant the most to you. This intellectual experience could be anything that's intellectually stimulating, such as an essay or book you read, a essay you analyzed, or a research project you conducted.

How to Write the Perfect Harvard Essay: 3 Expert Tips

Note that this experience does not need to be limited to something you did for school—if you've done anything in your spare time or for an extracurricular activity that you think fits this prompt, feel free to write about that.

Should You Choose This Topic? This is a good prompt to choose if a certain intellectual experience motivated you or triggered an interest in something you really want to study at Harvard. For example, you could write about how you found an old copy of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species at a write sale, and how reading this prompted you to develop an interest in biology, which you now intend to major in and eventually make a career out of.

This is also an essay prompt to pick if you want to highlight a particular interest or passion you have that differs from the academic field you want to study in college. For instance, perhaps you're applying for admission as a computer science major, but you're also a huge fan of poetry and often take part in local poetry readings.

Writing about a poem you recently read and analyzed could illuminate to the admissions committees a different, less prominent side of your personality and intellectual interests, ultimately showing that you're open minded and invested in gaining both new skills and experiences.

Tips for Answering This Prompt Choose an experience that had what i learned in english 102 essay significant impact how you.

Don't talk about how reading Romeo and Juliet in eighth grade made you realize how much you enjoyed writing plays if you were already writing plays way before then! If you can't think of any memorable intellectual experience to write about, then it's best to opt for a different prompt. Be specific about the intellectual experience you had and clearly relate it back to your strengths and interests. In other words, what kind of impact did this experience have on you?

Your academic goals?

A year off doesn't mean you don't have serious plans or goals. Dig into your passion and how you would pursue it. Your pursuit can be academic, vocational, spiritual, or recreational, as long as you've got a clear sense of direction and purpose, and can show the reader what you will gain and contribute from the time. Most importantly, only write this essay if it applies to you, not if you're truly eager to start college in the fall. Harvard has long recognized the importance of student body diversity of all kinds. We welcome you to write about distinctive aspects of your background, personal development or the intellectual interests you might bring to your Harvard classmates Like the very first prompt, this one is asking you to be honest, forthright, and even vulnerable about your life. If you are from an underrepresented group, you could describe the impact your perspective and experience will have on others. How will you encounter your fellow students, engage, challenge, and enrich the student body? Your diversity alone should not be the topic of the essay. Overall, remember the purpose of any admissions essay is to showcase something about yourself that admissions would not otherwise know about you. For International Students: What specific plan do you have, if any, for using the education you hope to receive? Harvard University wants to know why you chose to apply to Harvard and why you want to attend Harvard above all other schools in the US, your home country, and abroad! Since you only have 50 words, you have no choice but to keep your answer short and sweet. You might want to come across as someone who would be an accommodating roommate. Or you might want them to learn more about your goals, or how you spend your free time. Use your essay accordingly to talk about your hobbies, living habits, and plans for both your freshman year of college and life in general. But which of these have been the most meaningful and, of course, why? When editing this essay, think about whether admissions officers will sense your enthusiasm and be convinced that the paper or book means more to you than any other. Prompt 5 How you hope to use your college education This is another prompt where you can casually insert your knowledge of Harvard University. While these are definitely worth the concern, you must think about more specific issues on an attainable scale that you hope to address in the near future. How will you use your Harvard education to make a significant impact? Your answer can be used to demonstrate your dedication to your community, how you operate as a leader, and how you can take advantage of the resources and facilities of the prestigious Cambridge institution. Remember, this question strictly asks about the application of academics. Keep your focus narrowed. In order to impress the admissions officers, your strategy should lie in outlining a strong connection between your intended academic and extracurricular endeavors in college with the role they can play in your goals in the future. A future lab scientist, or the next president to come out of the state of California? Early on, my mother could see this dichotomy developing within my own personality. I got many puzzled looks when I asked for a subscription to TIME magazine along with a microscope kit for my tenth birthday. My career ambitions would seesaw between an astronaut and world traveler. The two Marshalls would battle for a supermajority of the hours in each day until I decided to be the critical vote to swing toward one Marshall or the other. Regardless of topic, however, many successful applications use these supplemental essays as a way to display a higher degree of personal depth. To this end, you should absolutely prepare an essay in response to the optional prompt as a component of a successful application. The more information you can provide to make you sound like a well-rounded, complete applicant, the better. Harvard Essay Format and Topics In the sections below, you will find a rough guide for several of the Harvard supplemental questions, including some of the optional prompts. The information will range from ideas to guide topic generation, to essential pillars of writing it may be crucial to keep in mind for specific prompts. Harvard Application Essay 1 This prompt, in its own gesture towards topic generation, is a clear indicator that a variety of experiences could be considered as helpful or enriching background information for an application. If you've taken extensive outside classes in a subject that interests you, that could be a viable topic--so could a less formal experience with an intellectual mentor. In any case and especially in the case of the former , your essay should stem from a genuine intellectual curiosity that exceeded the limitations of your educational environment. If you can't think of a reason for extra classes that you take other than your parents' desire for you to excel or a long-proven aptitude in the subject, you don't need to write about it. Successful essays will show the moment an area of intellectual curiosity was realized, and how an applicant strove actively to create a framework through which to deepen their knowledge in that area. Talk about the genesis of your interest or experience in robust and vivid detail. Then, consider the ways that your experience deepened your knowledge, acknowledging both your enterprising desire to do so as well as the support you received. How did this knowledge change how you thought about your work in school, or about the world? Also, don't just regurgitate analyses you've read online or that your teacher has said—try to come up with your own thoughts and interpretations. Don't feel the need to stick to only the most "impressive" books you read. The Harvard admissions committee wants to see your personality, not that of a pretentious applicant who claims to have only read Jane Austen and Ernest Hemingway. Be honest: if you read Twilight in a day, why not make a short joke about how addictive it was? Go beyond a chronological list of books. It'll be far more interesting if you list the books you read in a more unique way. For example, you could organize titles by theme or in the order of how much you enjoyed them. Not everything is black and white. This sign, for example, is black and yellow. Prompt 7: Honesty The Harvard College Honor code declares that we "hold honesty as the foundation of our community. As you can see with this quotation, Harvard strongly values honesty and integrity. Therefore, if you go with this prompt, you're essentially telling Harvard that you, too, embody a powerful sense of morality and honesty. Here are some questions to think about to help you determine whether you should choose this Harvard essay prompt: Was there a specific time in your life when you had to make a difficult choice to be honest about something with someone? Could this incident be considered morally ambiguous? In other words, was the "right thing to do" somewhat of a gray area? If you didn't make the "right" choice at the time, how did you come to terms with or learn from this decision? What were the consequences, and what did this experience teach you about your own morals and how you value honesty? Tips for Answering This Prompt Be wary of the topic you choose to write about. Don't discuss a situation in which you did something obviously unethical or, worse, illegal. These types of situations are very black and white and therefore don't pose much of a moral dilemma. Additionally, talking about such an experience might make you seem dishonest and immoral, which you absolutely do not want Harvard to think about you! Try to find a topic that isn't black and white. Choosing "gray" incidents will help emphasize why the choice was so difficult for you and also why it's affected you in this way. For example, say your friend calls you crying right before you have to leave to take the SAT. Do you skip the test to comfort your friend, or do you hang up and leave? This kind of situation does not have an evident "right" answer, making it an ideal one to use for this essay. You could also discuss a time when you did not make the "right" choice—and what you learned from that mistake. As long as you look closely at why you made the "wrong" choice and what this incident taught you about integrity, your essay will be interesting and relevant. Knight: "Your Majesty, we've lost the king! I can lead just fine without him! This prompt might sound a little vague, but all it wants to know is how you'll have a positive impact on both your classmates and on other people after graduation. After you graduate from college and enter the real world? This prompt is similar to Prompt 5 in that it wants to know what kind of person you'll become after you leave college and how you'll positively influence society. If you're a natural-born leader and have had at least a few significant experiences with leading or facilitating things such as club activities, field trips, volunteer efforts, and so on, then this Harvard essay prompt would be a great fit for you. Tips for Answering This Prompt Focus on a time when you led others and it resulted in a positive outcome. For instance, you could write about your position as team captain on your school's soccer team and how you would gather your teammates before each game to offer words of encouragement and advice on how to improve. You could then describe how your team began to perform better in games due to clearer communication and a stronger sense of sportsmanship. Make sure to answer the critical question: how did you lead and what ultimately made your leadership style successful? Discuss what kind of role your leadership skills will have at both Harvard and after you graduate. The prompt is asking about your classmates, so you must specifically address how your leadership skills will contribute to the lives of your peers. How will your past experiences with leading help you approach group projects, for example? Or clubs you join?

Your future plans? For example, instead of writing about how a scientific paper on climate change made you think more deeply about the environment, you could essay about how this paper prompted you to form a recycling program at your school, take a class on marine biology, and so forth.

Prompt 5: Your Future Goals How you hope to use your college education This Harvard essay prompt is pretty self-explanatory: it wants you to discuss how you intend to use your education at Harvard after you graduate—so in a future job or career, in grad school, in a particular research field, etc.

Basically, how will your college education help you achieve your future goals whatever those may be? If you have a pretty clear vision for your future goals during and after college, this is a perfect prompt to choose for your Harvard essay. If, on the other hand, you're still undecided about the field s you want to study or how you intend to use your how to make a great hook for an essay, you might want to choose a different prompt that's less how on your future and more concentrated on how write events and experiences have shaped you as a person.

Tips for Answering This Prompt Be careful when talking about your future goals. You don't want to come off too idealistic, but you also don't want to harvard too broad or you'll come across unfocused and ambivalent.

Try to strike a balance in how you discuss your future dreams so that they're both attainable and specific. Clearly connect your goals back to your current self and what you've accomplished up until this point.