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我們必須錄取TA!讓招生官驚嘆的哈佛大學2021十篇最佳錄取文書

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常春藤盟校青睞的優秀文書都寫了什么?


常春藤盟校每年會收到超過30萬份申請,只有約不到2萬名學生有望被青睞。而近年來,越來越多的申請者人數導致了更嚴格的錄取準則和更低的錄取率,以常春藤為例,2021年錄取季,哈佛大學從57,435名學生中總共錄取了1,968人,最終錄取率下降至3.4%(去年為5%),康奈爾大學錄取率今年下降至8.54%(去年為10.6%)。在申請者學習成績“內卷”,標化、課外活動背景水平相當的情況下,優秀的文書可以成為大學申請中凸顯個人特質和亮點的重要的一枚利器。

常春藤盟校青睞的優秀文書都寫了什么?哈佛大學每年都會邀請新生分享自己的申請文書,并評選出十篇最佳文書刊登在《The Harvard Crimson》上面。《The Harvard Crimson》作為哈佛大學校報,是哈佛大學于1873年創建的校官方媒體宣傳機構,2021年《The Harvard Crimson》公布了哈佛錄取學生的十篇最佳文書,其中也包括一些中國學生的文書作品。刊登的這些文書代表了美國大學招生官眼中的優秀文書水平,對想申請哈佛大學或者是其他名校的學生具有極高的參考價值,今天跟大家分享來自2021年哈佛大學的最佳申請文書,讓我們來看看進入哈佛大學的學霸們都在文書里寫了哪些內容吧。


▲圖片來自The Harvard Crimson官網

2021哈佛大學最佳文書賞析



01

S改變了我的人生

Successful Harvard Essay by Abigail Mack


文書主題內容圍繞如何處理個人或家庭突如其來的悲劇,這本是一個“悲傷的故事”,而作者以引人入勝和發人深省的方式講述了S”如何改變了她的人生,分享了一段深刻的個人旅程。


文書部分內容展示:

I hate the letter “S”. Of the 164,777 words with “S”, I only grapple with one. To condemn an entire letter because of its use 0.0006% of the time sounds statistically absurd, but that one case changed 100% of my life. I used to have two parents, but now I have one, and the “S” in “parents” isn’t going anywhere.

“S” follows me. I can’t get through a day without being reminded that while my friends went out to dinner with their parents, I ate with my parent. As I write this essay, there is a blue line under the word “parent” telling me to check my grammar; even Grammarly assumes that I should have parents, but cancer doesn’t listen to edit suggestions. I won’t claim that my situation is as unique as 1 in 164,777, but it is still an exception to the rule - an outlier. The world isn’t meant for this special case.

The world wouldn’t abandon “S” because of me, so I tried to abandon “S”. I could get away from “S” if I stayed busy; you can’t have dinner with your “parent” (thanks again, Grammarly) if you’re too busy to have family dinner. Any spare time that I had, I filled. I became known as the “busy kid”- the one that everyone always asks, “How do you have time?” Morning meetings, classes, after school meetings, volleyball practice, dance class, rehearsal in Boston, homework, sleep, repeat. Though my specific schedule has changed over time, the busyness has not. I couldn’t fill the loss that “S” left in my life, but I could at least make sure I didn’t have to think about it. There were so many things in my life that I couldn’t control, so I controlled what I could- my schedule. I never succumbed to the stress of potentially over-committing. I thrived. It became a challenge to juggle it all, but I’d soon find a rhythm. But rhythm wasn’t what I wanted. Rhythm may not have an “S”, but “S” sure liked to come by when I was idle. So, I added another ball, and another, and another. Soon I noticed that the same “color” balls kept falling into my hands- theater, academics, politics. I began to want to come into contact with these more and more, so I further narrowed the scope of my color wheel and increased the shades of my primary colors.


文書點評:

Abigail’s essay navigates one of the most delicate sorts of topics in college applications: dealing with personal or family tragedy. Perhaps the most common pitfall is to take a tragic event and effuse it with too much pathos and sense of loss that the narrative fails to reveal much about the author’s own personality other than the loss itself. In short, a “sob story.” However, Abigail’s essay adeptly skirts this by utilizing wit and a framing device using the letter “S” to share a profoundly personal journey in a manner that is engaging and thought-provoking.

Rather than focus purely on the loss of one of her parents to cancer, Abigail reflects on her life and the adjustments she has had to make. It is particularly poignant how she expresses the sense that her life with only one remaining parent seems somehow anomalous, that the constant reminders of the completeness in the familial structures of others haunts her.

What also makes this essay all the more intriguing is how we get a glimpse into her internal life as she learns to cope with the loss. There’s an honesty here as she reveals to the reader her attempts at filling this void in her life by constantly keeping busy. It’s further satisfying to see these attempts at committing to various activities evolve into what she terms a “double S,” or “passion,” as she discovers things that she has become passionate about. Perhaps this essay could have been strengthened further by giving the reader a sense of what those passions might be, as we’re left to speculate based on the activities she had mentioned.

Lastly, we see a sense of realism and maturity in Abigail's closing reflection. It’s easy to end an essay like this with a sense of narrative perfection, but she wisely concedes that “life is more convoluted.” This poignant revelation gives us a window into her continuing struggles, but we are nonetheless left impressed by her growth and candor in this essay.



02

在北京13號地鐵上的經歷

Successful Harvard Essay by Alex


這篇文書是作者以外國人的視角寫下的在北京13號線上的經歷,主題是關于“外國人”身份認同的話題。文中以一種有趣的方式表現出了自己的學習能力,不僅運用了中文展示了他的語言能力,并且在論述中展示了極高的人文素養、閱讀積累和寫作技巧。


文書部分內容展示:

I entered the surprisingly cool car. Since when is Beijing Line 13 air-conditioned? I’ll take it. At four o’clock in the afternoon only about twenty people were in the subway car. “At least it’s not crowded,” one might have thought. Wrong. The pressure of their eyes on me filled the car and smothered me. “看看!她是外國人!”(Look, look! She’s a foreigner!) An old man very loudly whispered to a child curled up in his lap. “Foreigner,” he called me. I hate that word, “foreigner.” It only explains my exterior. If only they could look inside.…

They would know that I actually speak Chinese—not just speak, but love. They would know that this love was born from my first love of Latin—the language that fostered my admiration of all languages. Latin lives in the words we speak around the world today. And translating this ancient language is like watching a play and performing in it at the same time. Each word is an adventure, and on the journey through Virgil’s Aeneid I found that I am more like Aeneas than any living, dead, or fictional hero I know. We share the intrinsic value of loyalty to friends, family, and society. We stand true to our own word, and we uphold others to theirs. Like Aeneas’s trek to find a new settlement for his collapsed Troy, with similar perseverance I, too, wander the seas for my own place in the world. Language has helped me do that.

文書點評:

Nikolas uses an unexpected approach in this essay, sharing a story of someone else’s struggle, as he highlights change within himself. The emotions and connection that he felt for Kiersten, his older brother’s girlfriend, are quite powerful, as is his recognition of his own attempt to navigate his way through the experience. Nikolas is candid, writing about how he could solve problems intellectually, but struggled to cope emotionally during Kiersten’s diagnosis and treatment. Ultimately, he finds his way and gains a deeper perspective on life, and thus shares a story of overcoming and of complex intellectual and emotional growth.

Nikolas’ use of imagery is terrific. We first see it in the essay when he describes one of his first impressions of Kiersten, with her blonde hair flowing in the wind by the Jersey Shore and how that contrasted with the dark hair of his family. That description then flows as we read the next paragraph, where he talks about the impact of her cancer. “Tears and hair fell alike after each of her 20 rounds of chemotherapy as we feared the worst.” Instead of explicitly sharing everyone’s heartbreak, through details that heartbreak becomes so very evident.


03

和癌癥朋友的相處

Successful Harvard Essay by Nikolas


文書使用了一種獨特的敘事方法,分享了作者哥哥的女朋友Kiersten與癌癥奮斗的故事,文章強調自己的內心變化和情感成長,文中對細節和畫面感的描述非常棒,讓所有讀到這篇文書的人都能跟著他的情感共同起伏。


文書部分內容展示:

I learned the definition of cancer at the age of fourteen. I was taking my chapter 7 biology test when I came upon the last question, “What is cancer?”, to which I answered: “The abnormal, unrestricted growth of cells.” After handing in the test, I moved on to chapter 8, oblivious then to how earth-shattering such a disease could be.

I learned the meaning of cancer two years later. A girl named Kiersten came into my family by way of my oldest brother who had fallen in love with her. I distinctly recall her hair catching the sea breeze as she walked with us along the Jersey shore, a blonde wave in my surrounding family's sea of brunette. Physically, she may have been different, but she redefined what family meant to me. She attended my concerts, went to my award ceremonies, and helped me study for tests. Whenever I needed support, she was there. Little did I know that our roles would be reversed, forever changing my outlook on life.

文書點評:

Nikolas uses an unexpected approach in this essay, sharing a story of someone else’s struggle, as he highlights change within himself. The emotions and connection that he felt for Kiersten, his older brother’s girlfriend, are quite powerful, as is his recognition of his own attempt to navigate his way through the experience. Nikolas is candid, writing about how he could solve problems intellectually, but struggled to cope emotionally during Kiersten’s diagnosis and treatment. Ultimately, he finds his way and gains a deeper perspective on life, and thus shares a story of overcoming and of complex intellectual and emotional growth.

Nikolas’ use of imagery is terrific. We first see it in the essay when he describes one of his first impressions of Kiersten, with her blonde hair flowing in the wind by the Jersey Shore and how that contrasted with the dark hair of his family. That description then flows as we read the next paragraph, where he talks about the impact of her cancer. “Tears and hair fell alike after each of her 20 rounds of chemotherapy as we feared the worst.” Instead of explicitly sharing everyone’s heartbreak, through details that heartbreak becomes so very evident.


04

法庭案件:與數學的對抗及和解

Successful Harvard Essay by Nicolas


作者以一種引人入勝的方式通過法庭場景的形式展示了他的案件,在他的文章的開頭,數學被呈現為“被告”對手,具備了一篇成功論文所必需的許多特征:一個允許更深入內省的主題,一個引人入勝的鉤子或方法,以及他的主題與他生活的各個方面之間的聯系,讓我們深入了解他是誰以及他如何去意識到并欣賞這個曾經令人恐懼的學科的重要性的。


文書部分內容展示:

When I failed math in my sophomore year of high school, a bitter dispute engulfed my household -- “Nicolas Yan vs. Mathematics.” I was the plaintiff, appearing pro se, while my father represented the defendant (inanimate as it was). My brother and sister constituted a rather understaffed jury, and my mother presided over the case as judge.

In a frightening departure from racial stereotype, I charged Mathematics with the capital offences of being “too difficult” and “irrelevant to my aspirations," citing my recent shortcomings in the subject as evi. dence. My father entered a not guilty plea on the defendant's behalf, for he had always harbored hopes that I would follow in his entrepreneurial footsteps -- and who ever heard of a businessman who wasn't an accomplished mathematician? He argued that because I had fallen sick before my examination and had been unable to sit one of the papers, it would be a travesty of justice to blame my "Ungraded” mark on his client. The judge nodded sagely.

With heartrending pathos, I recalled how I had studied A-Level Mathematics with calculus a year before the rest of my cohort, bravely grappling with such perverse concepts as the poisson distribution to no avail. I decried the subject's lack of real-life utility and lamented my inability to reconcile further effort with any plausible success; so that to persist with Mathematics would be a Sisyphean endeavor. Since I had no interest in becoming the entrepreneur that my father envisioned, I petitioned the court for academic refuge in the humanities. The members of the jury exchanged sympathetic glances and put their heads together to deliberate.

文書點評:

For some, math concepts such as limits, logarithms, and derivatives can bring about feelings of apprehension or intimidation. So, Nicolas’s college essay reflecting on his personal conflict coming to terms with Mathematics offers a relatable, down-to-earth look at how he eventually came to realize and appreciate the importance of this once-dreaded subject. Not only does Nicolas’s statement use a unique, engaging approach to hook the reader in, but also he draws various connections from Mathematics to his relationship with his family, to his maturation process, and to his extracurricular involvement. A number of factors helped Nicolas’s statement add color to his application file, giving further insight into the person he is.

Nicolas employs a number of characteristics essential for a successful essay: a theme that allows for deeper introspection, an engaging hook or approach, and a number of linkages between his theme and various aspects of his life, providing insight into who he is and how he thinks.


05

中國的毛筆字

Successful Harvard Essay by Jiafeng

文書的主題是書法,通過描寫自己對書法的偏愛,通過藝術表達了作者內心深處的自我,側面體現了學生性格的一些基本特征,以及在學習文化、追求知識這條路上的無限樂趣。


文書部分內容展示:

I have a fetish for writing.

I’m not talking about crafting prose or verses, or even sentences out of words. But simply constructing letters and characters from strokes of ink gives me immense satisfaction. It’s not quite calligraphy, as I don’t use calligraphic pens or Chinese writing brushes; I prefer it simple, spontaneous, and subconscious. I often find myself crafting characters in the margins of notebooks with a fifty-cent pencil, or tracing letters out of thin air with anything from chopsticks to fingertips.

The art of handwriting is a relic in the information era. Why write when one can type? Perhaps the Chinese had an answer before the advent of keyboards. “One’s handwriting,” said the ancient Chinese, “is a painting of one’s mind.” After all, when I practice my handwriting, I am crafting characters.

My character.

I particularly enjoy meticulously designing a character, stroke by stroke, and eventually building up, letter by letter, to a quote person-alized in my own voice. Every movement of the pen and every drop-let of ink all lead to something profound, as if the arches of every "m" are doorways to revelations. After all, characters are the build-ing blocks of language, and language is the only vehicle through which knowledge unfolds. Thus, in a way, these letters under my pen are themselves representations of knowledge, and the delicate beauty of every letter proves, visually, the intrinsic beauty of know-ing. I suppose handwriting reminds me of my conviction in this vi-sual manner: through learning answers are found, lives enriched, and societies bettered.

文書點評:

Jiafeng’s essay succeeds by using the metaphor of handwriting, and it’s immense physical satisfaction, to showcase the unbounded pleasure of pursuing knowledge. We can visualize spontaneously crafted letters filling his notebooks. We see him trace Chinese characters into air by chopstick and fingertip. We learn that he expresses his innermost self through an art that has become a relic within the information age. As we peer into his mind, we learn something essential about Jiafeng’s character–that he is irrepressibly drawn to the intricate beauty of pure learning.


想憑借優秀文書從眾多申請者中脫穎而出,就要重視英文閱讀和寫作,重視日常的詞匯積累,豐富的活動和故事經歷,經歷塑造和文書寫作技巧學習,都是必不可少的!如需專業文書輔導或大學申請問題歡迎加曉丹老師具體咨詢。


文書資料整理自The Harvard Crimson 官網,版權所有 ? 2021 The Harvard Crimson, Inc.


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王曉丹老師

合領教育創始人 / 美國IECA獨立教育顧問

合領教育創始人

美國獨立教育顧問協會(IECA)專業認證顧問?????????

美國招生管理協會(EMA)認證會員

美國大學招生咨詢協會(NACAC)認證會員

10年以上美國高中規劃申請咨詢從業經驗

走訪百所美國私立寄宿高中

作為美國寄宿高中的個性化申請專家

擅長基于孩子優勢充分挖掘孩子個性化標簽

善于將孩子的競爭力標簽通過多個渠道展示給招生官

成功幫助了上百名學生進入到美國頂尖高中和頂尖大學



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helingjiaoyu
合領教育專注為申請美國高中及美國本科的學生提供高端的個性化的多對一升學輔導,致力于關注孩子的個性化成長,陪伴孩子成為孩子的學業導師,是家庭密切合作以及最信任的伙伴。我們對學生的全方位評估和家庭需求的深入分析,會幫助每位學生在申請中藝術性地真實地展現自我,脫穎而出,進入最適合學生的學校生活成長,成為最好的自己。合領教育擁有頂尖的師資力量,從顧問到學術導師有著15年以上的帶領學生在美求學的成功經驗。我們的申請結果在業內名列前茅,2018-2020年的學生都拿到了自己理想的offer,錄取的院校有Phillips Academy Andover,Groton School,Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield Academy.
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