Best Approaches To Harvard Essay Prompt Writing

A few facts about Harvard University

harvard essay prompt

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Harvard University is a private institution founded in 1636. It is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has a current enrollment of about 6700 undergraduate students. Harvard is the number 2 ranked school out of the top U.S schools. The acceptance rate for Harvard applicants was 5.7% for the last enrollment period. Harvard’s library system has the oldest book collection in the U.S. and is the largest private collection in the word. There have been eight U.S. presidents who were Harvard graduates including Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy.

How to respond to a Harvard essay prompt

Harvard University uses the Common Application. They also have their own supplemental essay which is optional. Basically the Harvard supplemental essay can be on anything you want and no word restrictions are given. The following is a Harvard essay prompt that will be used as an example: “People who have influenced me.”

Tips for responding to a Harvard University essay prompt that can be helpful include:

  • Try to avoid writing an essay that looks like the essay everybody wrote. A generic essay won’t be remembered. Use an original approach or a idea that stands out as different.
  • Make sure that you address the question being asked. In short essays it is often better to provide the answer immediately. The rest of the essay can elaborate on the answer you gave.
  • Use anecdotes. Admissions officials will be reading hundreds of application essays. To make your essay stand out and be remembered, a short personal story can catch and hold the interest of the reader. Personal stories stick in people’s minds longer than a collection of facts.
  • Have an end lesson. Bring your essay to a close with some kind of final goal or lesson. It does not have to be deep or profound. Make a personal observation that shows who you are as a person.
  • Edit. Do some serious editing on your essay. Make sure your idea is clearly conveyed in concise language. Double and triple check for mistakes in grammar, spelling and punctuation. Careless mistakes will not improve your chances for getting into Harvard.
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An example of a Harvard University personal statement responding to the Harvard essay prompt is shown here:

The person whose influence shook me to the deepest level is a person whose influence is nearly impossible to describe. Larry, the best friend I’ve ever had, changed me, and I changed him.

We immediately clicked when Larry came to my school in the seventh grade. I never had anyone my age to identify with totally before Larry. He reaffirmed my thoughts and my inspirations and made me feel confident in who I was. We both were obsessed by music, the same sense of humor, the same worries and the same thoughts. That was enough.

Larry and I became inseparable. Our parents automatically assumed we would have a sleepover on weekends. On weekdays we would sit on his couch watching a movie, and talk about working together in a band. Larry wanted to be a guitarist, and I wanted to be a singer and song writer. We even tried writing a few songs together.

As friends, we were best friends, but in an argument, we wanted to fight each other to the death. Still, our fights were rare and the intensity of the connection was a good thing. I was pretty shy about girls, and when I did talk about them with guys, I would usually just say a girl was “hot.” With Larry, I could really talk about girls and who they were.

Then we went to separate high schools. Though we stay in touch it isn’t a regular thing. I thought Larry and I would be friends forever, and maybe we will be. But the way things look right now, I doubt we will ever reconnect.

Just because we’re not friends anymore, it doesn’t slight the times we had when we were friends. I think that finding someone who you truly connect with and feel that you were destined to meet, I think meeting someone like that is one of the most profound experiences you can have.

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