Essay Instructions: Dear Sir,
I want you to write three different essays that TOGETHER have the length of 7 pages (about 2000 words).
All three essays are part of my college application packet and they differ in content and style. I have made best effort to provide sufficient information so that you can write an essay that meets my expectations. I have also noted down the length of each essay in words in brackets behind the title of the essay.
I. Main Essay (about 1000 words)
Information on content and style:
- Avoid hyperbole designed for dramatic effect.
- Avoid essays that read like a thesaurus, since they will be perceived as SAT-like vocabulary.
- Write in a style that reflects the personality of a high school senior (=a serious, ambitious teenager).
- Point out my passion, zeal, ardor and love for my favorite subject (law)!! It must become clear that I love studying international economic law and have a great initiative and energy for it.
- Also mention my most important awards that (partially) deal with law: German Pupils? Academy (admission), Academic Merit Foundation of the German People (recommendation for admission), National Latin Language Competition (2nd prize out of several thousands), National Honour of Youngest Student Studying Law.
- Please pay most attention to the impact which I have made with my knowledge of international economic law: In Romania (the country my parents come from and where I lived the first six years of my life) I, together with three local lawyers, have won several trials in favor of pensioners who have been dispossessed from their houses/land etc. by the communistic regime of Ceaucescu: We have won over 20,000 $ damages for our clients!! This is an important element of my enthusiasm for law; I love the subject and really appreciate the possibility to change things without violence by using my knowledge. (This may sound somewhat idealistic, but I want you to clearly state that, although this may seem too idealistic, it is my true believe and that I don?t care about cynics who don?t believe in changing things through law. I?m not (yet) filled with cynicism.
- Please also include a few quotations/books/publications etc. from famous lawyers, judges, politicians, professors (if possible, from a [former] Harvard professor) etc. that support my point of view and make the essay seem intellectual and passionate (Since I have already studied law more than 2 years!).
- While the legal action should be the core of the essay, please concentrate within this frame on legal actions for damages (also include in detail the typical work a lawyer has to do to prepare a trial, including research, preparing arguments, writing documents etc.!!!)
- Also take into consideration the following ?stylistic rules? I have taken from a book on the college application and that I found to be especially important for my essay.
1.) Eliminate as many descriptive adjectives and adverbs-most students rely too much on these crutches. Notice how great writers rely on sharp description rather than on adjectival lists.
2.) Avoid being too cliched.
3.) Focus mainly on the hard work of preparing trials for damages and include my (idealistic) view in just a few sentences. Don?t tackle the huge philosophical topic of idealism versus realism!
4.) Don?t use the weak connector ?and? often.
5.) Be very specific about the work on the trials (Simply use your experiences or imagination; it doesn?t matter whether the details of the work that you describe apply exactly to me as well). Give the reader that You-are-there-feeling, be vivid. (Apart from outlining my passion for international economic law, the conveying of this You-are-there-feeling is most important for me. !!!!)
6.) Elaborate on how hard it was to prepare and work for the trial and how our team (3 lawyers, I and two assistants) was willing to give up a few times because everything seemed hopeless, the judges seemed to be old communists and the Romanian court system worked extremely slowly!!
II. Supplemental Essay (800 words)
The supplementary essay should focus exclusively on something personal (while in the Main Essay my academic passion of law is the main topic).
Please consider the following points for the supplemental essay:
1.) The title should be quite direct, for example: ?Why would you want me to attend Harvard College?, ?What would I add to Harvard?s Campus??, ?What makes me appealing in personal terms for Harvard? or something similar.
2.) This essay has the function of describing my unusual personal appeal for Harvard. It should be clearly, expressively and emotional. What is most important is that you point out why I am really special and distinguished from the ?pack?. I was born in Germany and lived the first six years of my life in Romania (where I go every year for about two months, helping with the recovery of this land that had been under Communistic rule (Ceaucescu) for decades.
3.) You should point out and elaborate on the unique perspective I can bring to campus as an international student who has ?experienced? Communism and its ravages in Romania as well as Capitalism in Germany. I have experienced two totally different cultures, peoples and traditions. Again, what is also extremely important, describe in detail what I would add to campus with this perspective and how I am unique with it (Again, you can use your imagination where necessary, for example to describe differences between Romania and Germany, the peoples, cultures etc.!!!). It is only important to point out that they are clearly different and that, by knowing them both, I have a unique perspective.
4.) Please connect my ?international background? with my interest and promise in international affairs in law or politics ( for these individuals are aggressively recruited by Ivy League schools.)
5.) I should be profiled as an ?international student who can bring a unique perspective and set of experiences to campus, has an interest in international affairs and who represents a great ?match? to Harvard?.
6.) I would also like you to make a few direct references to why Harvard and I would be a great match, perhaps by mentioning a bit of Harvard?s history, Harvard?s liberal political opinion, the diversity of campus, the very low number of students from East Europe/Romania etc. Simply find something about Harvard College that would make me a match to this school.
III. Essay about my ?Most Meaningful Activity? (275 words)
- Again, what is most important: PROVIDE DETAILS, be vivid, give the reader the ?You-are-there?-feeling !!! (You can use your imagination to provide enough details.)
- Point out my passion, enthusiasm, energy and initiative for the activity! Do this NOT by saying ?I love X activity? but rather by letting my passion, ardor etc. shine through the essay by depicting my initiative and achievements in detail.
- Concentrate on details, passion and the impact I have made on others with my activity (The activity should be perceived as meaningful both for myself and for others.)
- Employ one or two light moments of self-deprecating humor that let admission people see a bit of an impish personality.
- This is not the time to be general- give (or invent) examples that show how much I love this activity and how meaningful it is for me.
- The description should also show my intellectual firepower/academic strength in connection with a deep and sincere love of learning.
- Research and provide quotations from well known books, lawyers, politicians, professors etc. that make my essay seem intellectual.
- My most meaningful activity was the so-called ?German Pupils? Academy?. In this four week-academy 90 of the brightest and most talented students from Germany and many European countries are chosen to work in a team of about 8 students each and to write an in-depth research paper (about 30-40 pages) about their topic.
Our team wrote its paper about the ?Theoretical legitimisation and practical manifestation of guaranteed human rights in the Federal Republic of Germany from 1949-1999?.
These were four weeks of mind-crushing law studies at the City of Rostock.
- In the framework of the German Pupils? Academy, I would like you to write on the following topics:
1.) Pushing myself to (and beyond) the limits of what I thought my brain could accommodate.
2.) Conflicts in our team
3.) At the end of the essay write the following or something similar: ?I emerged from the German Pupils? Academy a different person, one who humbly realizes there is still much to learn not only about law studies but also about life? This should be the quintessence of the essay.
4.) Stimulating atmosphere of studying with brilliant, insightful students= ?That?s what I expect Harvard to deliver: an excellent education and stimulating atmosphere that will allow me to indulge my two academic passions, law and maths.?
5.) Again, what is decisive, is that you provide (if necessary, through imagination) details of how hard work was, how exhausted I was (I had to work until 2:00 a.m. for weeks), but also how I motivated others and was motivated by others to contemplate my personal Everest.
6.) I should be profiled as an student who seeks out his possibilities and limits and who would flourish on a stimulating campus like Harvard.
Thank you for writing these essays.
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