Brainstorm essay ideas, analyze other essays that work, discover which essay type best fits you. Then outline, complete, and revise an essay that truly tells your story.



Try the guide. Do the exercises. Get some great ideas flowing. If you're not completely satisfied, just let me know and I'll send you a full refund up to 30 days after your purchase.



Unlimited access for one year.
Can't afford the $99 suggested fee? Just email and let me know. Yes, really.

If you cannot afford these resources,
please let me know and I will send them to you for free.


So I was thinking . . .

Wouldn’t it be great if I could work with more than 40 or 50 students on their personal statements each year? I wondered:

How could I do that?

Then I thought: What if I could create an online video series that walked students (and counselors) through the personal statement process?


Finish an Awesome Draft of Your Personal Statement

And what if, by the end of those sessions, students had an awesome draft of a personal statement and counselors had all the tools they needed to help their students through the process? That’d be pretty awesome.

So here it is. The College Essay Guy's Complete Guide to Writing the Personal Statement.




Using the Secrets of Screenwriting to Write Your Personal Statement

In the first half of this session, I’ll lead you through the two best brainstorming exercises ever, then introduce you to two possible structures: narrative and montage. In the second half, we’ll analyze two example essays and develop a deeper understanding of how story structure works.


How to Outline Your Personal Statement in One Hour

In this session we’ll begin by “Naming the DVD chapters” of the essay and learn four different ways to outline an essay. In short, this is when we begin to interpret and organize all the content generated in the brainstorming exercises.


Analysis of Four Amazing Essays

Get an inside look at four personal statements written by some of my star students. And there's one for each essay type: A, B, C, and D.


How to Give and Receive Feedback & How to Refine Your Outline Before the Second Draft

In this session you'll learn techniques for connecting quickly and deeply with the person you’re working with on the essay, how to create a safe space, and how to provide feedback that is kind, useful and actionable. Then I’ll demonstrate how to help someone refine an outline before writing a second draft (or how to do this on your own).


Bringing the Essay to Life (or) When to Scrap What You Have and Start Over

The key question for this session is: Am I telling my deepest story? We’ll discuss how to tell whether the answer is yes or no. For the “yes” students, we’ll discuss techniques to bring the story to life with vivid details. For the “no” students, we’ll discuss when (and how) to cut losses and begin again.


How to Write the Four Types of Essays

Here's a step-by-step process for writing each of the four types. For those who are having trouble finding the arc of your personal statements and want a little more structure, this is exactly what you've been waiting for.


Advanced Screenwriting Secrets & Three of My Favorite Essays Ever

Seven techniques that can be used to improve most any essay, illustrated through three of my very favorites.  

What Else You’ll Get

Each video comes with a PDF, plus links to additional resources mentioned during the session.

Downloadable MP3 versions of the sessions so you can listen to sessions on the go.

Yes, it's Actually Pay-What-You-Can

Access is really important for me. In fact, it’s at the heart of most everything I do, and it’s why so many resources on my site are free. Can’t afford the $99 suggested fee? Just email assistant@collegeessayguy.com and let me know. Yes, really.

The College Essay Guy's
Complete Guide to Writing the Personal Statement



Unlimited access for an Entire year.