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Graduate Admissions Essays: Write Your Way into the Graduate School of Your Choice 3rd Edition

56 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1580088725
ISBN-10: 1580088724
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From the Publisher

* Updated third edition includes an entirely new chapter dedicated to online applications and how they're managed, processed, and considered.

About the Author

Career consultant DONALD ASHER is a featured speaker at more than 100 colleges and universities every year, coast to coast. A columnist for MSN Encarta and contributor to the Wall Street Journal's CareerJournal.com and CollegeJournal.com, he divides his time between Nevada and San Francisco.
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Product Details

  • Series: Graduate Admissions Essays: Write Your Way Into the
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 3 edition (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580088724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580088725
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

DONALD ASHER is the author of ten books on the topics of careers and higher education. He is a contributing writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Wall Street Journal's CareerJournal.com and CollegeJournal.com, USAirways Magazine, MSN Encarta and MSN homepage, Dow Jones's National Business Employment Weekly and Managing Your Career magazines, and many other publications and career sites. He visits more than one hundred university campuses every year to discuss career management topics from salary negotiations to linking your major to your life goals.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Student on June 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In the fall of 2003, I applied to 7 top PhD programs in my field (in the sciences), including the 5 best. Although I had graduated from the top Ivy League university, I had worked for 5 years and wasn't sure how I'd present myself to the graduate programs. I had reasonably good GRE scores, but all of my recommendations were from industry, so I needed to massage my personal statement to reflect strong industrial experience.

Using this book as a guide, I completed great personal statements. This book helped me through the writing and revising. In total, for the 7 programs, I had the following #s of versions of my PS: 13, 10, 14, 8, 6, 6, 7, in order by submission date. So, you should plan on being serious about writing your PS and revising it carefully! 64 revisions of my personal statement may seem like a lot of work, but why would I want to be lazy and take chances with the graduate applications?

I was accepted into my first choice program (I only had 1 rejection - from my second choice program), which is ranked #1 in the country. The chair of at least one department told me I was the best candidate, and many faculty remember reading my personal statement.

Am I really that great a candidate? Well, I was fortunate to have great work experience, but I also owe this book a lot of credit in helping me communicate some of the insights I gained during my years of working.

I strongly recommend this book. It's a bargain and its advice is invaluable. If you're going to spend the time and money to go to grad school, why not submit the best application you can?

As for specific comments on the book: I think one thing many may overlook is the fact the book covers a lot beyond just essays.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Martin H. Smith on February 14, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First, let me state this: I followed the advice in this book and for it, I was accepted to graduate school. I was accepted to one MS program, and had the impression that an additional MS program and a PhD program were interested in me, but couldn't offer acceptance for lack of financial support (both were public schools that lost a lot of funding in the recession).

There are a few short requisite sections on things relating to graduate school: why you should (or shouldn't) go, how the application process works, etc. These are simply to provide framework for how you'll write your essay. They aren't authoritative on such, and as a result, are somewhat lacking. That's ok though, since that's also not the book's mission. For a more complete look at the entire admissions process, I recommend Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning an M.A. or a Ph.D. with gusto.

Then the actual essay section. It comes in two sections: advice and examples.

The advice section is extremely good. It tells you how to structure and essay. How to develop and stick to a theme. How to address something on your record which may be problematic. And it also covers a large number of "Don't do this!" items. This part was crucial in helping me craft a personal statement. For me, the advice was crucial. I had a crappy undergraduate GPA, but good experiences and great GRE scores. The advice in this book really helped me to develop my strengths and use them to not only outshine my weak GPA, but even to mitigate it.

Also, for reasons lost on me, this book is not available from Amazon (as a seller). It's only available from third parties.
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Stacey L. Camp on March 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is by far the best book out there for those applying to graduate schools in the social sciences (I'm planning on getting my Ph.D. in Anthropology with a specialization in Archaeology). I followed his strategies carefully, and have received multiple funding offers from well known universities. Coming from a family where no one has ever attended graduate school, this book was essential. Definitely buy it now if you're considering applying in the fall!
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Can Adiloglu on April 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful grad admission essays book not only explains writing an essay for graduate school, but also covers the topics of choosing a program and financing it, planning your application, requesting recommendation letters, and dozens of samples of essays and recommendation letters. Just from looking at the cover, I didn't expect a book with such a large content when I bought it. This book was written as a complete reference for the applicants of the top grad schools. Contains internet links and many helpful examples. I didn't have oppurtunity of viewing the other books in this subject, but I think this book would be adequate by itself to the prospective grad students.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Young Canadian on April 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is definetely worth every penny you spend on it. It helped me a lot in my application process, and the tips I got helped me a lot to get into all the top Canadian universities I applied to with full scholarships. This book explains why it is important to go to grad school, who should go, how you should plan your application process, and it guides you through writing your essay. It also gives information about what a reference letter should contain, which is very useful as well. It has 50 samples of essays in a wide variety of grad programs, from history and anthropology, to medicine and molecular biology. I applied in biochemistry, and I found a couple of good related samples. It includes samples of post doc applications as well. It is very methodical, and it contains the experience not only of applicants, but also of the people in the admission committees who read the essays. I would pay 100 dollars for this book, because with it I got 6 offers with scholarships each of about 30,000 canadian from both the chem and biochem departments of Toronto, McGill and UBC!!!
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