College Essays

Barnard College – Supplement

Prompt: Pick one woman in history or fiction to converse with for an hour and explain your choice. What would you talk about? (300 words max.)

A prim lace collar disguises her fiery, take-no-prisoners attitude. As the most-frequent dissenter on the bench, Ruth Bader Ginsburg stands resolutely at the forefront of shaping women’s rights on the Supreme Court. In a society that has long trained women not be assertive, it is vital that a woman not only sits in one of the most influential decision-making chairs in the world but also proudly embraces the moniker “the dramatic dissenter.”
Ginsburg consistently says that a dissenter looks forward into the future. After her passionate and methodical Hobby Lobby dissent, I’d choose to discuss how she views the role of the female dissenter, not only on the Supreme Court but in life generally. Has Ginsburg ever contemplated compromising her opinions to garner additional support among the Justices? I imagine the courage needed to go against the prevailing crowd is no different in the Supreme Court than in my high school. Of course, her intellectual tenacity contributes to consequences infinitely more significant, resulting in the elevated judicial standards in equality during her tenure.
My AP Government course spurred my fascination with the Supreme Court. I often become wrapped up in the paradoxes and the broader implications. The Supreme Court holds the greatest ability to initiate social change of the three branches, yet the decision rests in the hands of only nine people.  Like me, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a tiny woman with big ideas, and I am honored to have her fighting for my rights.

Tips for Writing:
This essay is a supplement for Barnard College. At first, I had difficulty choosing a woman to write about. I am very interested in the Supreme Court and its policy, and the many monumental Supreme Court cases of the summer of 2014 gave me direction in writing this supplement. I began reading more blogs about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Supreme Court in general, which helped me write an essay with accurate and interesting information. Secondly, I had difficulty creating a specific tone of the essay. I did not want to sound too casual or too formal. In the beginning of the writing process, my essay read like a textbook. With the help of my teachers and friends, I revised the tone, realizing that the admissions officers did not want to read a research paper about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The point of the essay, like most college essays, is to show my personality and insight.

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