In the first half of this session, Ethan will 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.
Here's Why You Should Take This Course
This unique, six-part course by Ethan Sawyer (“The College Essay Guy”) shows you how to use the techniques of screenwriting to write a great personal statement. Ethan has been helping students tell their stories for more than ten years. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, He received an MFA from UC Irvine, and has received two counseling certifications, one from UC Irvine and one from the Interchange Counseling Institute. He’s a proud, active member of the Western Association of College Admissions Counselors (WACAC) and the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC).
Here’s what you’ll learn from this course:
- How to outline your personal statement in just one hour!
- How to give and receive feedback
- How to refine your outline before the second draft
- How to bring your essay to life, in a way that will make it stand out for college admissions officials
- How to write each of the four types of essay
Along the way you’ll see dozens of examples of great essays, which Ethan will break down and explain.
Who should take this course?
- Parents of high school sophomores, juniors and seniors who want to make sure their teens write a great essay
- Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who know they need help writing an essay that will stand out and set them apart.
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.
In this lesson 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 Ethan will demonstrate how to help someone refine an outline before writing a second draft (or how to do this on your own).
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.
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.
Seven techniques that can be used to improve most any essay, illustrated through three of my very favorites.