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

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3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  162 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
This collection gives 50 great examples of effective and diverse ways to express individuality in that most dreaded of all tasks for high school seniors--writing the college application essay. Each was used by a Harvard student on his or her application and is followed with analysis by the staff of the Harvard Crimson, who help give perspective on what works well, what is ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 2nd 1999 by St. Martin's Griffin
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(showing 1-30)
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Ivan
Aug 12, 2011 Ivan rated it liked it
An applicant to Harvard should, of course, know better, than to read an essay book. However this wasn't the reason why I bought it an read it - my true wish was to catch a glimpse, albeit a distorted and then focused one, of the applicant pool. We are presented here, not quite with a guidance book, but with a small sociological study, upon which we can reflect about societal acceptance trends and behavior of those, applying for the most known among the Big Six.
Read it not for advice given, but m
...more
Paris Wu
Apr 08, 2012 Paris Wu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The reason I like the book is because it has not only the good essays, but also the comments from the admission office. There are a lot of essays in the book talks about the Asian immigrants, even I am not an Asian immigrant, I am an international student, and I believe this book can definitely help me with college essay writing. The colleges know the applicants from their essays,and all the essays have different writing styles to represent themselves. I remember when my mom picked up this book, ...more
Austin Moyle
Jun 25, 2012 Austin Moyle rated it liked it
Interesting seeing into the minds of admissions officers more so than the applicants. Basically the kids that have the best shot have the same quirks as everyone else but can reveal their idiosyncrasies eloquently through a story without getting caught up in their own accomplishments.
Simon
Apr 03, 2009 Simon rated it it was amazing
Borrowed this book for my little sister who is applying to college.

A surprisingly good read.
Sohini Banerjee
May 03, 2013 Sohini Banerjee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Aspiring students, People in the mood for reading something light and enjoyable
I am a member of a library and this is a book I picked up casually. The title sounded interesting and though at present I have no plans of studying in any college in the United States, leave alone Harvard, I thought it would be a good idea to read the essays by those few who got selected into the worlds’ most reputed institute.

“50 Successful Harvard Application Essays” – the book is divided into 5 parts/sections, each section containing essays speaking of five types of experiences. That alone sh
...more
Liz
Sep 07, 2015 Liz rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-for-school
Considering that this was a required read during my senior year in high school why did I rank something like this so low?

PRIVILEGE

Apart from three or four of these essays, which were quite unique and interesting to read (I remember one about a shower, a monologue in a theater, and a young man who liked magic). These essays were written by students who are wealthy enough to travel extensively in high school. They were cliche, even if they were written well.

Students shouldn't read a book like thi
...more
Sara
Nov 12, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it
This informational book,"50 Successful Harvard Application Essays" (180 pages) written by the staff of the Harvard Crimson, is an excellent tool that helps guide seniors struggling with writing the dreaded college essay. As colleges become more and more selective with each passing year, the personal essay/statement is becoming more and more important to differentiate students. Because the topics for these essays are often very vague, many students often have no idea where to begin. This book ...more
Catalina
Aug 21, 2013 Catalina rated it really liked it
If you need inspiration to write a creative and persuasive essay (or even a cover letter) this book is a great motivator. I particularly enjoyed the immediate gratification of the critique given after each entry. It is fascinating to learn what components of the writings were viewed as positives in many cases.

Having two children already safely accepted to college and two currently in the application process, I've found that they are receiving mixed messages from AP exams, Lit/Lang classes, and
...more
Ivan
Aug 12, 2011 Ivan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An applicant to Harvard should, of course, know better, than to read an essay book. However this wasn't the reason why I bought it an read it - my true wish was to catch a glimpse, albeit a distorted and then focused one, of the applicant pool. We are presented here, not quite with a guidance book, but with a small sociological study, upon which we can reflect about societal acceptance trends and behavior of those, applying for the most known among the Big Six.
Read it not for advice given, but m
...more
Thao Do
Jan 15, 2011 Thao Do rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had read this book before applying to US colleges. Very useful and provoke thinking. I pretend to be an admission office while reading it. That means I read many essays continuously in a day and then tried to remember them the next day, then choose 10 best out of 50. The best thing I like about the book is not its essays but the comments from the Crimson staff which pointed out how good and how bad a PS could be. After reading this book, I want to write my personal statement again, and ...more
Mohammad Nassr
Jan 26, 2014 Mohammad Nassr rated it really liked it
The book was truly incredible it gives you a really beautiful insight of how it is in Harvard! you get to dive into the minds of the great students that actually succeeded in impressing the Harvard admission board.
what i liked mostly about the book is that which each essay i got the feeling that i am reading a short beautiful story, and the analysis at the end of every essay helps in understanding stuff that can easily go unnoticed.
I strongly recommend this book.
Shannon
This is a good reference. I am trying to perfect my application essays. I have one but I will be applying to more schools and I want a really strong essay! This is my 2nd ref. book and my choice one. Read this one if you need help for college applications.
Susan Lee
Aug 29, 2007 Susan Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a fun read. Sometimes my reaction is, "I had no idea that's all it took to get into Harvard", other times it is , "Wow, now how in the world did he think of THAT?"

I think the comments are just as much fun to read as the essays themselves.
Maria Dudley
Feb 08, 2013 Maria Dudley rated it it was amazing
Really helpful if you have a child who will be applying to college soon (even if they aren't interested in Harvard) or filling out other sorts of applications. I loved reading these personal essays! Interesting and good writing even if this doesn't apply to you....
Megan
AMAZING. Their writing is fantastic and the reviews are very informational for students trying to write their college essays.
JB Park
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Jan 25, 2011
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