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Synopsis

You've been told a million times how selective and random the college process is, how the personal essay is your one chance to speak directly to admissions officers and sway them in your favor. You have to be entertaining, persuasive, and passionate, while effectively conveying your personality, character, and ideals. And you only have five hundred words to accomplish this.

50 Successful Harvard Application Essays showcases the kinds of conventional and creative approaches that helped their authors get into the nation's most prestigious college. From coping with family tragedy to seeing Vietnamese soup as a metaphor for one's identity, the variety of topics covered in these essays will help you think about how to write about yourself creatively and effectively.

Each essay is followed by a brief discussion written by a Harvard Crimson staff writer who analyzes its main strengths and weaknesses. Through this analysis and our Fifteen Steps to Success, you'll learn:

-How to pick a topic
-How to structure your essay
-How to keep the reader entertained
-How to avoid common pitfalls

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