Graduate Admissions Essays: Write Your Way into the Graduate School of Your Choice / Edition 3by Donald Asher
Pub. Date: 02/28/2008
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony
Veteran higher-education consultant Donald Asher demystifies the graduate school application process and offers a detailed action plan that has proved successful for some of the most competitive programs in the country. The 50 sample essays-selected from thousands of candidates-showcase the best of the best, while the Essay Hall of Shame identifies common pitfalls… See more details below
Veteran higher-education consultant Donald Asher demystifies the graduate school application process and offers a detailed action plan that has proved successful for some of the most competitive programs in the country. The 50 sample essays-selected from thousands of candidates-showcase the best of the best, while the Essay Hall of Shame identifies common pitfalls to avoid. Sample letters of recommendation and essays for scholarships, residencies, fellowships, and postgraduate and postdoctoral applications cover all stages of the application process.
- Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony
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Table of ContentsAcknowledgments vii
Introduction: How to Use This Book xi
Should You Go to Grad School, and How Are You Going to Pay for This? 1
Choosing a School or Program 13
Planning and Managing Your Application Process 27
What Happens to Your Application 46
Getting Ready to Write 55
Your First Draft: From Your Heart onto the Page 64
Subsequent Drafts: From the Page into the Reader's Brain 79
Samples, Samples, Samples 88
Letters of Recommendation 211
Sample Essay Index 235
General Index 239
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The strength of Mr. Asher's book is not, necessarily, the writing Mr. Asher inserts at the beginning and the end of the book. Rather, Mr. Asher's book is ingenious because the bulk of it is composed of writing done by other people. That is, actual exemplars of good to down right excellent specemens of graduate personal statements. I'm not the kind of person who typically uses a book like this: I consider myself a writer and I like to write. When it came to this damn statement, I felt like I needed to see what other people did, how they succeded in selling themselves to a prospective program. Mind you, the portions that Asher writes are good and helpful if you can make the excercises yours. The great thing, however, is seeing others transform themselves and their goals through their writing. Whenever I have to write a personal statement (grant, fellowship applications, etc.) I look through the sample essays to see the elements that others have used as inspiration for my own. I can see this book would not be for everyone but if you have a talent for squinting between the lines and letting your writing take off, this book may help you chart a strategy.
This book will really help prospective graduate students construct their statements of purpose with depth and clarity. It will help you to effectively communicate what your motivations are for applying to grad school, where those motivations came from and how you plan to use your degree in the future. Half of the book are examples of great essays and sample recommendations. P.S. I used this book when preparing my statement of purpose this past Fall and just received word yesterday that I got accepted into my #1 choice school.
Mr. Asher's book is not very useful for a college senior who is a minority woman applying to medical school. I believe it is impossible to offer admissions advice without knowing the people involved. Mr. Asher is unable to tailor his advice to meet the needs of individuals. And he discounts the role that other factors play in the admissions process.