Harry Potter and the risky essay

<p>Okay, this is my last shot at an additional essay for Harvard. If it's bad and you don't like it, then I probably just won't send one. It's on what I would consider a risky topic (maybe too risky?), but I sure did enjoy writing it. Please tell me what you think (respectfully) and point out any errors. Thanks!</p>

<p>Throughout my high school career, I have been introduced to many "intellectual" books. Each of them has its own unique value and message. It is agreed by most that reading these books will not only strengthen one's literary skills, but will also broaden his or her view of the world. I applaud these books, but I also feel that credit must be given where credit is due. In this essay, I celebrate an "unintellectual" book that has influenced me more than any other. Yes, I admit it, I am in love with the Harry Potter series.</p>

<p>I was in the sixth grade when I first opened the cover to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I was skeptical at first, reading wasn't really my "thing." However, a lot of people had been talking about the books so I decided to give them a shot. I was captivated from the very first chapter. I read all day long, not wanting to put the book down. It was so easy for me to become attached to that young wizard with untidy hair and his world of flying broomsticks, dragons, post owls, and magic. After I finished reading the first book, I immediately began reading the second. I was hooked.</p>

<p>The Harry Potter series opened up a whole new world for me--a world of reading. Books became my beloved companions. I read many different types of books, ranging from Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy to Plato's Republic. Each book relates to me in a different way and allows me to see deeper into myself. Seeing the way characters react in various situations and seeing the values they display helps me to define my own values.</p>

<p>Although many people may dissaprove of the Harry Potter series, it is one of my most endeared pieces of fiction. I have read each book several times and I am emotionally attached to that green-eyed boy and his friends. Somehow, I can see myself in them and I can truly relate with them. They may not hold a Nobel Prize, but the Harry Potter books will forever be my favorite books of all time. I leave you with a piece of solid advice from the series: ''Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus''(Never tickle a sleeping dragon)!</p>

<p>Sounds pretty OK to me... Why do you think this is risky?</p>

<p>I like it. But then again I'm one of the larger Harry Potter nerds on this earth, so there ya go ;)</p>

<p>first of all, HARRY POTTER ROCKS! </p>

<p>i like your essay, but when i visited Columbia they said to stay away from listing Harry Potter as your favorite book(s). But i guess your essay is ok since it talked about how you became an active reader because of the books.</p>

<p>I loved your essay. I think admission's counselors will love the fact that it opened you up to the world of reading. You also brought out that you are a broad based, avid reader without giving me any sense of bragging.</p>

<p>Instead of Nobel Prize, maybe do a prize awarded specifically to literature, like Pulitzer Prize. (and yes, I know there is a Nobel Prize in Literature)</p>

<p>disapprove</p>

<p>"In this essay, I celebrate an..." Don't tell me so explicitly what you can show me with events. </p>

<p>Overall, I think the essay is okay (I love HP too!) but I think it would be a lot stronger if you took a specific event to show how much you love the book. (dressing up for Halloween, reading late into the night, waiting outside of a bookstore at 4 in the morning, etc.). Instead of just saying you like Harry Potter, show me that you love and are obsessed with Harry Potter. Your essay is all about enthusiasm for something, yet writing about it you come across as sort of blase.</p>

<p>Good luck</p>

<p>Thanks, I wrote this just today in the last several minutes in the language lab, so I haven't spent a lot of time on it. I'm trying to decide whether to send it or not. If I do, I'll obviously work on it to make it better and more personal. The people on the Harvard forum are pretty much against me sending it, but other people have told me I should. So, I'm trying to decide whether I should take the time to make it really good or not.</p>

<p>um, just a grammatical thing...
"It is agreed by most that reading these books will not only strengthen one's literary skills, but will also broaden his or her view of the world"&lt;/p>

<p>should be </p>

<p>"It is agreed by most that reading these books will not only strengthen one's literary skills, but will also broaden one's view of the world.</p>

<p>I think the other posts cover my other comments well... </p>

<p>Good luck! :)</p>

<p>There is nothing glaringly wrong in this essay, but I would expect this kind of writing from a middle-schooler, not from a person applying to Harvard.</p>

<p>I guess the real question I'm asking at this point is whether it is worth it to take the time to really revise this essay and make it good, or if I should just leave it out. It is an additional essay, to the prompt of which book has had the most influence on you, so I don't HAVE to write one. If this essay has potential with some fixing up and with some more sophisticated language, then I might send it. If not, then I probably should just scrap it and not write an additional essay. So, what do you think? Fix it and send, or don't send?</p>

<p>scrap it, its not harvard material</p>

<p>Don't send editional essays. Writing is NOT your strength.</p>

<p>I actually can write pretty well, when I put an adequate amount of time into it. I'm just not good writing in a short amount of time. I seriously just wrote this essay in about ten minutes. The one I wrote yesterday I spent about an hour on. My main essay is really A LOT better than these since I spent a far larger amount of time on it. If I were to send in an additional essay, which I really don't think I will, then I would obviously spend a lot of time changing it to make it sound way better.</p>

<p>I agree with nngmm and hello - NOT for an elite school. I can't stress this enough. Bad, bad, bad idea. If it were a great writer like Lewis or Tolkien, then maybe (Maybe!). But for a hack....no, no matter how "endeared"," as you put it.</p>

<p>I don't see that you are saying anything remotely original here.</p>

<p>I think it's great. But did it really say "Never tickle a sleeping dragon" in the series? For some reason, I don't remember that line.</p>

<p>It sounds like I'm in the minority here, but I like the straightforward writing style.</p>

<p>You answer the prompt, it's fairly light and engaging, why not send it?</p>

<p>Draco dormiens nunquam titalandus.</p>

<p>Latin for "Never tickle a sleeping dragon". I believe it's the Hogwarts motto.</p>

<p>That said, I don't think it's a good idea to send this in. Additional essays are for people with extraordinary skill at writing so they can showcase their talents. This essay doesn't do that, so I'd scrap it.</p>

<p>Thanks for your responses. People seem either to really not like it, or to pretty much like it. I think I'll stay safe and not send it. It was fun to write though, even though I didn't have a lot of time to do it.</p>

<p>The idea's nice, but you have to be realistic. You're not an exceptional writer and sending an extra essay like this wouldn't move you up in the admissions officer's eyes. If you must, think of some other supplemental material to send, like a recommendation or write something other than an essay.</p>