TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Ethan Sawyer

Ethan Sawyer (aka College Essay Guy) has been helping students tell their stories for more than 10 years. He’s a graduate of Northwestern University and received an MFA from University of California Irvine. He has two counseling certifications, one from UC Irvine and one from the Interchange Counseling Institute. Through his website, www.collegeessayguy.com, he offers free resources, one-on-one essay coaching, and more.

Posted July 11, 2015, 9 a.m. by Ethan Sawyer | View Comments
Doing it Right on Your College Essay

Download Now that's doing something right. In Part 1 of this post we talked about how not to write your essay. Time for the positive part, the what-you-should-do-instead. First, a quick recap of what to avoid doing on your college essay: Don’t write it like an AP English paper. Don’t write about your tennis/violin/mission trip in a way that sounds like everyone else. Don’t think that writing about how your turtle/grandmother/friend died that you will automatically get in. You’ve got to do more. You might be #DoingitRight if... You avoid sounding like an AP English essay. Write like you talk. ...

Posted July 10, 2015, 8 a.m. by Ethan Sawyer | View Comments
Three Signs Your College Essay is #DoingitWrong

Download What does #DoingItWrong look like? Well, like that. So how do you know if your college essay is destined for a meme poster? You might be #DoingItWrong if... 1. Your personal statement sounds like an AP English paper. And what do AP English papers do? They use a five paragraph intro-body-conclusion structure. They avoid use of the word “I.” They sound suuuuuuper analytical. Don’t do that on your college essay. Instead, make it more like a personal memoir, a Fresh Air interview, or a work of creative nonfiction. So get personal, get fresh, and get creative. First, here’s how ...