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Here are some questions I answer in this book:

How do I figure out what to write about?

How do I structure my essay?

Is there a step-by-step process for writing the essay?

Are any topics off-limits?

How much sharing is too much?

How do I revise my essay?

How do I make my essay not-boring?

Any tips for how to start the essay?

How do I demonstrate my intelligence?

How do I brag in a way that doesn’t sound like I’m bragging?

How to do I make my essay, like, deep?

How do I end my essay?

How do I write a great last line?

How do I make my essay amazing?

How do I know if my essay is good?

What do I do if my essay is just “okay”?

Should I share my essay? With how many people? When? 


ESSENTIAL  |  ★★★★★

“A very helpful guide for all of those completing college applications, I couldn't recommend this book enough. It's entertaining, informative, and it includes detailed instructions and exercises to help you brainstorm your perfect essay topics as well as great examples of completed essays. It truly is a great resource to have in your writing arsenal.”

–Brenda Zhao



Magic Bullet for College Essays  |  ★★★★★

“College Essay Essentials is a close to a "magic bullet" that students are going to find to help them produce meaningful and powerful college essays. Besides being an easy to follow, step-by-step guide, Ethan Sawyer injects the right amount of humor to make the essay writing process fun and rewarding. Following the advice in the book will not just produce thoughtful writing, but if done right, will allow the students to really get to know themselves on a deeper level. After all, the college process is as much about getting to "know thyself" as it is about getting into and going to college!” 

–C.B. McMeekan

Just in time for writing the college essay  |  ★★★★★

“This book is written as though the reader and the author are having a conversation - as though Ethan Sawyer is in the room with you, walking you through the creation of your college essay. Producing a good college essay still requires the student to do a lot of thinking, writing and rewriting, but this book offers a step-by-step approach with explanations that can help ease the stress of the project. As a bonus, a lot of what you learn from this book can be applied to other writing assignments in high school, college and beyond; students and their counselors can all benefit from College Essay Essentials.” 

–VK Budd


An Essential Source for College Essay Writing Advice  |  ★★★★★

“Ethan Sawyer has managed to distill all the wonderful information he provides in his classes and consultations into this highly informative and entertaining book. The only thing missing is the twinkle in his eyes as he connects with his audience! I highly recommend this book to parents, students and college counseling professionals who want to help students write compelling essays as part of the college admissions process. The exercises are engaging, and the step-by-step instructions are designed to create deep and insightful essays. I have tried these tips with my students, and they work extremely well.” 

–Wendie Lubick

If there's one book you need, this is it.  |  ★★★★★

“This is THE BOOK for writing your college essay. It has everything I need, from planning my essay to specific strategies on structure and idea implementation. It's also very easy to read and formatted very neatly, with great annotation space and well-organized chapters. But what I love about this book most is its ability to help me find myself in the process - instead of churning out a formula for writing a solid essay, this book helps you dig deep into the things which are truly important to you with thought-provoking questions and brainstorm strategies. I felt like the author was sitting next to me, probing my brain and asking me questions about my life and the threads that connect the different themes in my life. If you want to write a college essay that is personal, insightful, and truly revealing, this is the book for you.”

–Amazon Customer