You want to contribute additional context to what the Harvard admissions officers know about you, and you only have a small space to do it in, so use it wisely.
As part of the essay to this prestigious Ivy League schoolyou'll have the option to submit a supplemental essay. But what should you write about for your Harvard essay? What are the different Harvard essay prompts to choose from, and how should you answer one so you can give yourself your best shot at getting in? In this guide, we how you advice for long Harvard essay prompt as well as tips on whether you should choose a particular prompt. But before we look at the prompts, let's go long what Harvard actually requires in terms of essays. For your Harvard application, you'll need to essay a personal essay in response to one of the prompts provided by the Common App, Coalition App, or UCA depending on the system how applying through.
Your intellectual life may extend beyond the academic requirements of your particular school. Please use the space below to list additional intellectual activities that you have not mentioned or detailed elsewhere in your application.
Hire a ghostwriterAfter July 6, , I never saw my collection again. On that day, I squinted to get one last glance at the front door of my home. My mother was six months pregnant with me when my parents signed the papers in They were proud of themselves—they had something that was theirs. My mother and father were determined to achieve the American Dream. They saved up for their baby grand piano, and they worked hard so that my sister and I could paint our rooms pink and blue like the ones on the cover of PB Teen. They did not know, however, how fast what they attained could disappear. The unanticipated vicissitudes of owning a small business left my parents struggling to pay the mortgage, unable to feed the rapid growth of their dream. They desperately reached out for help and fell victim to a mortgage scam. You may wish to include an additional essay if you feel that the college application forms do not provide sufficient opportunity to convey important information about yourself or your accomplishments. What would you do to contribute to the lives of your classmates in advancing this mission? If you decided in the future to choose either option, what would you like to do? We welcome you to write about distinctive aspects of your background, personal development or the intellectual interests you might bring to your Harvard classmates. If you have the opportunity to reveal something new about yourself to admissions and speak to them in your own voice, take it! 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. Finally, make sure also to consider how your extracurricular experience could be continued or fostered at Harvard. As with the first prompt, concision is vital. Again, put anecdotal writing at the beginning as explanatory material, and focus the ending around analytical insights. Make sure to eliminate inactive language and filler words. Prioritize writing about how the experience affected you over furnishing evaluators with unnecessary background information. To quell any last doubts, you must prepare this essay as part of your application. There are several different prompts to choose from, but the purpose of writing this essay is singular--a successful essay will demonstrate an applicant's genuine desire to engage with and contribute to a transformational, educative community. Regardless of chosen prompt, writing this essay is an opportunity to further demonstrate you are not just mindlessly filling out applications to gain entry to the most prestigious institution possible, but that you want to engage with an undergraduate experience that will change you and challenge you. Whatever you write about should be a testament to how education and experience can genuinely impact someone or an examination of strong core values shared with the institution. If you choose to write about "unusual circumstances" in your life, they need not be an exposure to a once-in-a-million hardship. Avoid overplaying the severity of topics. The chosen experience could, however, show a dedication to not letting one's limitations be defined by circumstances. Alternatively, it could explain the pursuit of a passion or interest at the expense of traditional structures. For example, is there a club you hope to join that could connect you with other students? Or is there a particular professor you want to work with? Don't just throw in names of clubs and people but specifically explain how these resources will help you reach your goals. In short, show Harvard that what they can offer you is exactly what you need to succeed. Books: the least stable form of reading chair. Prompt 6: List of Books A list of books you have read during the past twelve months Of all Harvard essay prompts, this one is by far the most unique. Here, you're asked to simply list the books you've read in the past year. This essay is more than just a list, though—it's a brief overview of where your intellectual interests lie. These books may include works of fiction or nonfiction, essays, collections of poetry, etc. Have you read a lot of diverse and interesting books in the past year? Are you an avid reader who loves dissecting books and essays? Do you enjoy a creative approach to college essays? If you answered yes to these questions, then this prompt is a perfect fit for you. Even if you haven't read a ton of books this past year, if you were especially intrigued by some or all of what you did read, you could certainly use this prompt for your essay. Tips for Answering This Prompt Instead of just listing the titles of books you've read, you might want to include a short sentence or two commenting on your reaction to the book, your analysis of it, why you enjoyed or didn't enjoy it, etc. Be sure to vary up your comments so that you're highlighting different aspects of your personality. 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. What better to do so than ivy, a plant known for its tenacity? I could not help but admire the ivy which had embedded itself into the foundations of language. Language is all about meaning and understanding, but to grasp the true meaning of language, one must look beyond the surface of the sentence to the structure, and even beyond that to the meaning and histories of the words themselves. Language, therefore, is my passion because it is the study of understanding.
These could include, but are not limited to, supervised or self-directed essays not done as school how, training experiences, how to do a thesis for an long essay courses not run by your school, or summer academic or research programs not described long. Harvard wants you how essay any of your intellectual activities that you have not mentioned elsewhere in your application.
Did you try how build an app this summer?We welcome you to write about distinctive aspects of your background, personal development or the intellectual interests you might bring to your Harvard classmates. Demystifying the Harvard Essays The primary purpose of supplemental essays in your application to Harvard is to expand on personal, sometimes intangible aspects of your qualifications and education that you may not have had a chance to demonstrate in other, less direct areas of the application. While your Common App essay is undoubtedly a central piece of your application and should be prepared for thoroughly! Expressing these insights will enable your evaluators both to understand how your interests could be enriched and furthered by four years at Harvard, and also to come to a more complete understanding of your potential contributions to the Harvard community. In these essays, Harvard evaluators are looking for applicants to demonstrate exceptional intellectual curiosity in multiple, non-scholastic avenues. These can be as formal as extracurricular pursuits that have led to CV-worthy accomplishments or awards, or as informal as particularly well-expressed pieces of emotional growth or maturation as a result of circumstance. 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. By "citizen," Harvard essentially means a productive member of both the school and society in general. Basically, how have you contributed to the betterment of society? This is a good place to talk about experiences in which you played a crucial supporting role; for instance, maybe you helped out with a local volunteer initiative to feed the homeless, or maybe you joined a community project to build a new park in your town. Sometimes you need a little time away from school to find your way. Prompt 9: Taking Time Off Each year a substantial number of students admitted to Harvard defer their admission for one year or take time off during college. Here, you're being asked what you plan to do with your time if you decide to defer your admission to Harvard or take time off during college. For example, will you travel the world? Work a full-time job? Do an internship? Take care of a sick relative? Obviously, Harvard doesn't want to read that all you're going to do is relax and play video games all day, so make sure to think carefully about what your actual plans are and, more importantly, how these plans will benefit you as a person and as a student. Only choose this Harvard essay prompt if you're pretty certain you'll be taking time off from college at some point either before or during and you have a relatively concrete idea of what you want to do during that time. Tips for Answering This Prompt Be specific and honest about your plans. While many students like to take time off to travel the world, you don't just want to write, "I plan to backpack Europe and learn about cultures. Don't just reiterate what you think Harvard wants to hear—be transparent about why you feel you need this time off from school to accomplish this goal. Be clear about why you must do this at this particular time. In other words, why do you think this i. Is it something you can or must do at this exact time, such as a one-time internship that won't be offered again? Use your essay to stand apart from other Harvard applicants. Or you could just grab a magical yellow umbrella and float away. Your call. Prompt Diversity Harvard has long recognized the importance of student body diversity of all kinds. This final Harvard essay prompt is all about what you can bring to campus that will positively contribute to student diversity. As a large and prestigious institution, Harvard strongly values students who have different and unique backgrounds and experiences, so it's important for them to admit students who embody these values as well. This prompt is essentially a version of the diversity essay , which we talk about in more detail in our guide. The main question to ask yourself before choosing this prompt is this: do you have a unique background or interest you can write about? Here are some key types of diversity you can discuss note that this is not an exhaustive list! Tips for Answering This Prompt Choose a personal characteristic that's had a large impact on your identity. Don't talk about your family's religion if it's had little or no impact on how you see and define yourself. Instead, concentrate on the most significant experiences or skills in your life. If you play the theremin every day and have a passion for music because of it, this would be a great skill to write about in your essay. Be clear about how your unique characteristic has affected your life and growth. How has it molded you into the person you are today? How has it influenced your ambitions and goals? Be sure to tie this characteristic back to the diversity at Harvard. For example, if you come from a specific cultural group, how do you believe this will positively impact other students? Want to get into Harvard or your personal top choice college? We can help. PrepScholar Admissions is the world's best admissions consulting service. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our data-driven, proprietary admissions strategies. We've overseen thousands of students get into their top choice schools, from state colleges to the Ivy League. Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to maximize your chance of getting in. You can read all about Allen's essay in his analysis of his successful Harvard application. Allen describes his essay as "probably neutral to [his Harvard] application, not a strong net positive or net negative," so it's important to note that this Harvard essay example is not representative of exactly what you should do in your own Harvard supplement essay. Rather, we're showing it to you to give you a taste of how you could approach the Harvard essay and to demonstrate the kinds of simple mistakes you should avoid. Writing a Memorable Harvard Essay: 3 Tips To wrap up, here are three tips to keep in mind as you write your Harvard supplement essay. Therefore, write your essay in the way that comes most naturally to you, and talk about the things that actually matter to you. For example, if you love puns, throwing one or two puns into your essay will emphasize your goofier, non-academic side. Using your voice here is important because it humanizes your application. The essay is the only chance you get to show the admissions committee who you are and what you actually sound like, so don't pretend to be someone you're not! What can be said about the Germans, whose language requires the verb appear at the end of a sentence? Maybe not much, but without the knowledge of the language, the possibility of real understanding is impaired. My interest in linguistics — psychology as well — derives from this belief: there is an underlying structure to all language, and through the study and comprehension of this structure, there can be a mutual understanding. Beyond the underlying structure, words themselves have a deep and rich history, and their usage is a form of beauty in itself. None of our possessions, including that carefully constructed collection of two hundred and two cars, adorned with flames and spoilers, were the vehicles that drove my family through the five years of turmoil. It was our intangibles that did. Jeremy approaches the subject with touching candor, detailing how his family lost their home in pursuit of the American Dream, and how he lost his beloved Hot Wheels collection. Jeremy begins with descriptive imagery of his Hot Wheels and uses those cars as a motif throughout the essay. This essay could have easily opened with a line about how he is homeless, but it truly builds up to the moment he realized his family was being kicked out of their home. We feel empathy for this family, and we feel deeply connected to the writer, because we are brought along for the ride The strongest aspect of this essay is its seamless incorporation of the Hot Wheels into the overall message of the essay. The strongest aspect of this essay is its seamless incorporation of the Hot Wheels into the overall message of the essay. That message can come off a bit heavy-handed at times; the essay would have benefitted from more showing and less telling. But it is incredibly sincere, and the point is hammered home by the repeated use of the toy cars. If you decided in the future to choose either option, what would you like to do? We welcome you to write about distinctive aspects of your background, personal development or the intellectual interests you might bring to your Harvard classmates. If you have the opportunity to reveal something new about yourself to admissions and speak to them in your own voice, take it! But there are other ideas in that head of yours — we know it! Unless Harvard is your first choice and you are tackling this application with an early submission deadline in front of you, you may want to leave this essay until the end of your supplement run.
Perhaps you took an online French course to familiarize yourself with the language before taking a trip to Paris with your family. Harvard wants to know — so get to typing! How may wish to include an additional essay if you feel that the college application forms do not provide sufficient opportunity to convey long information about yourself or your accomplishments.
What would you do to contribute to the lives of your classmates in advancing this mission? If you essay in the essay to choose either option, what would you how to do?
We welcome you to write about distinctive aspects of your background, personal development or the how interests you might bring to your Harvard classmates.
If you have the opportunity to reveal something new about yourself to admissions and speak to them in your own essay, take it! But there are other ideas in that long of yours — we know it!
How to Write the Harvard Supplemental Essays
Unless Harvard is your first choice and you are tackling this application with an early submission deadline in front of you, you may want to five paragraph essay long private ryan this essay until the end of how supplement run.
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 essays as inspiration.
Overall, remember the purpose of any admissions essay is to showcase long about yourself that admissions would not otherwise essay about you. For International Students: What specific plan do you have, if any, for using the education how hope to receive?
Harvard University Supplemental Essay Prompt Guide
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 essay country, and abroad! Since you only have 50 words, you how no choice but to keep your answer short and sweet. That said, you can still focus on specific, personal details that show how much you know about the school.
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Will a BA degree in Environmental Science and Engineering set you on how path to be a leader in reducing or even reversing essay and air pollution? Harvard wants to know. About Kat Stubing.