Darcy Gentleman

Tutor/Essay Specialist


  • Application Essays
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Math
  • Physics


  • ACT
  • AP Exams
  • SAT


  • Remote (Zoom, etc.)
  • Tenleytown, DC


Darcy is an essay specialist and academic tutor. At his heart, he is a teller and teacher of story forms, often (although not necessarily) those involving science. After all, solving many science problems requires working through a scenario, using a combination of words and numbers to uncover and show what happens. His subject specialties are chemistry and environmental science, along with algebra, geometry, physics, and biology.

Darcy’s own journey through science has been one of student, researcher, educator, communicator, and storyteller. While a student at the University of Toronto, he convinced the departments of astronomy, chemistry, geology, and physics to offer a degree in Planetary Science, and then became the program’s first graduate. Darcy went on to complete a PhD in analytical chemistry at Arizona State University, where he worked on a project funded by NASA’s Astrobiology program.

Darcy found, however, that his greatest interest was in writing and presenting compelling stories of science: how a fashion craze sparked the chemical industry or the idea that meticulous materials engineering can produce a modern Stradivarius. His career has been dedicated to helping scientists, engineers, and other technical experts engage audiences beyond their specialties. Over several years, he has trained hundreds of speakers and worked in science policy. He has written dozens of narrative texts and scripts including YouTube science videos and TED-style talks on the shared histories and cultures of arts, STEM, and the humanities.

As an educator, he developed an award-winning way of teaching undergraduate chemistry students to work alongside graduate students in the laboratory. He has lectured general and analytical chemistry, and written texts on bio-nanotechnology; he has also taught high school general science and chemistry and has written a grade 5-8 workbook on climate change.

Whether coaching others or crafting his own content, Darcy helps to bring out the human journey. Now, he brings his talents to PrepMatters. As an academic tutor, he will help students overcome gaps in their knowledge, and, as an essay specialist, he will help students tap into their unique stories and develop them into a cohesive narrative.

In his spare time, Darcy enjoys travel and cuisine with his wife and finds time for distance running and yoga.


My mantra is to put audiences first.

For essay writing, this means that I help students consider who they are writing for (e.g., a college admissions professional). Then we can co-develop a process that leverages both creative thinking and rigorous technique: from freewriting and conscious downtime for thoughts to surface, through outlines and drafts, and then revising for clarity and flow. My goal is to help students appreciate that the practice of editing is a vital life and career skill. Expecting to edit teaches better time management and develops confidence that improvement comes through a deliberative process, not one-offs.

For academic coursework and getting ready for tests, the student is my audience and the grader is theirs. I ask students what they find interesting in general and in science to construct familiar-sounding scenarios in conversations about concepts. Picking through the logic of the scenario then incorporates analytical problem solving beyond just algebra. Through different problem types, we identify where to focus skills development. I encourage students to experiment with their approach as there is often more than one way to the answer and insight comes through process.

Be it writing or science problems, I help students to consciously identify what is being asked and to develop their skillsets so that they can strategize and assemble an appropriate and effective response.

Recent Writings