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Advanced Placement United States History, Academic Experience Harvard Supplement


Juliano 11 / 29  
Dec 14, 2010   #1
An academic experience (course, project, paper, or research topic) that has meant the most to you.
Please give me any suggestions you can.

When people hear the words United States History class, many think of a boring class where the teacher recites dates and tells about events which seem unimportant and boring at the time. For me however, Advanced Placement United States History was one of the most joyous times of my education. It was a class that I honestly looked forward to every day because of the love I had for the history of this great country even though it is not my birthplace. This class fascinated me. I learned things that happened 300, 200, or 100 years ago and saw that they were still relevant and were still affecting me. This class taught me about the teachings of John Locke, Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, and René Descartes. By reading their books, I learned about the origins of the Constitution and the real meaning of freedom and how it is achieved. This class changed my view of freedom and of government itself. It has served me well because I am no longer one of the masses who does not know the origins of their freedom and the bloodshed that it takes to protect it. Now, because of this course, I do not take freedom for granted but instead value it because as Ronald Reagan said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." This class and the friendships I have made in it will always stay with me. We bonded through our struggles with the homework, exams, and the dreaded DBQs of one of the hardest classes in the school. I will never forget this class or the experiences I had in it.

angeleyes 1 / 4  
Dec 14, 2010   #2
This is a great start! I really like the topic, and I think considering that you're applying to Harvard, the admissions officers will be extremely impressed with your love of learning. Maybe I think what you could do a little more is stress what you really got out of that class, not just material wise, but what you learned as a person as a result of it. You do mention the Ronald Reagan quote, and I think you should expand on that.

It's a great start to a great essay!
OP Juliano 11 / 29  
Dec 14, 2010   #3
Thank you so much for the comment. I was going to leave the essay like this but your comments have inspired me to expand it as you suggested. Thank you again.
amazingA 8 / 35  
Dec 14, 2010   #4
i think you should leave this as it is..because i feel like you have said why it 'meant' more to you. i would say this is a good essay even though you could have worked a little bit with the variety of sentences used. your current edition makes it sound a little bland. but if you are under extreme time crush, don't bother.

just a side note: shouldn't you stress more on james madison and thomas jefferson rather than on Montesquieu and Rene Descartes, given that it is the AP US History course and not AP Euro? I agree with you in saying that their philosophies helped you understand the concept of freedom, but then again, freedom was much defined by Madison and Lincoln (later on) in their own words. just a suggestion
OP Juliano 11 / 29  
Dec 14, 2010   #5
I totally agree with your analysis in the historical aspect I should have put Jefferson and Madison. I was trying though to introduce things that maybe not many knew. Also i was trying to show the origins of the ideas that influenced the founders because they were influenced by the Enlightment and its philosophers. Thank you for your suggestions.
EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Dec 25, 2010   #6
Hi Juliano, welcome to EssayForum. I see that you have helped a lot of other writers lately, and I appreciate the help!

I want you to kill that first sentence, ha ha... people do not think of U.S. history that way... well, some kids, but in general people know that U.S. history is a crazy dramatic story...

When I get to the second sentence, I am still looking for something to capture my interest.
For me however, Advanced Placement United States History was one of the most joyous times of my education, It was a class that I honestly looked forward to every day because of the love I had for the history of this great country this country is not my birthplace. This class fascinated me. I learned things that happened...

I cut out some sentences so that it would have NO boring sentences. For example, do not write, "This class fascinated me." That is unnecessary, and it bores the reader because she already knows it fascinates you.

The examples you gave are great, but can you think of a theme that can sum up the meaning of the essay? What is the perfect adjective to describe the insight you gained about history? "Package" your message in the way the reader can easily remember. :-)
OP Juliano 11 / 29  
Dec 25, 2010   #7
Thank you for your suggestions and nice comments Kevin. I love this forum because it has helped my writing so much and im happy to contribute to it. Have a nice day and thank you again.


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