Graduate School Essay Review

Essays are important. It is in your essays that you are able to explain yourself. All the time you spent thinking about why you want to attend your target graduate school and why you feel it is the right fit will pay off in the essays.

Manhattan Review's admissions consulting team can offer you expert advice on essays and the application process.

We recommend the following method of tackling your essay:

  1.  Match yourself to the grad school.
  2.  Determine what the question is asking.
  3.  Consider how to answer the question: Brainstorm.
  4.  Organize. Select the aspects of yourself to emphasize and back them up with examples / stories / anecdotes from your experience. Put this information into an outline format that you find comfortable.
  5.  Write the essay, paying attention to format.
  6.  Make revisions.
  7.  Have someone read it over.

The guidelines around which we suggest engaging in the essay writing process are the following:

  • Convince your reader
  • Distinguish yourself
  • Demonstrate sincerity
  • Write in a fashion that keeps the reader's attention


To do this we suggest the following:

(1) Select different and unique, but honest experiences. You may want to expand upon an experience to make it seem more unique. Try to select those experiences that make you a unique candidate.

(2) Convey your experience honestly. The admissions committee will notice the difference between extreme embellishment and sincerity and depth.

(3) It is in your writing that you have the opportunity to demonstrate your personality. One important way of doing this is through your style. Within your essays you want to continue to keep the reader's attention. Try to use the 1st person singular, use "I" and avoid "we". Avoid using the passive voice as well as 'to be' verbs.

Many of us also worked with Admissions offices in helping evaluate prospective candidates and continued that role after our graduation. If you need help with any of your decisions along your application process, please feel free to email us.