My Essay Guide is now available as a Kindle book. It’s about 100 pages long, and contains a bunch of the essay advice I’ve posted to this site over the years, plus a bunch of other stuff that I’d never really written down before I decided to write this book. It’s aimed at helping you become a better writer of SAT essays, obviously, but I think a lot of the advice inside will also help you become more adept as a writer in general. I’m selling it for $4.99.
Here’s what you’ll find inside
- How the essay is scored and how that should inform your writing
- A step-by-step process for picking a position, outlining, and writing your essay
- The DOs and DON’Ts of essay writing
- How it all comes together via critiques of sample essays written by real students
Here’s what you won’t find
I don’t believe in the template memorization technique espoused by a lot of other people in this business. In my experience, it leads to awkward, jerky prose, and anyone who’s read more than a few SAT essays can sniff out a pre-written template in about two seconds. So I don’t do that.
Currently, there’s no paper version. I’m not sure if there ever will be, although I’m not totally opposed to the idea. The reason it’s only digital for now, honestly, is that I want it to be affordable, but I also want it to be in color. Printing in color is prohibitively expensive. I can sell the book digitally for less than it would cost me just to print, let alone ship, a paper version.
Aside from cost, there were some other compelling reasons to release the book this way:
- Kindle books have a built-in dictionary function. I’ve been conscientious in using a bunch of good vocabulary throughout the book, and used bold type for words you should learn as a gentle reminder to look them up if you don’t already know them. Just highlight the word and Kindle tells you its definition. Nice.
- I can include links in a digital book. So when I mention something you might want to consider using as evidence in your own essay, I can link you to a Wikipedia article for further reading. When I mention a College Board policy that surprises you, I can link you right to the page on the CB site where it’s spelled out.
- Kindle has a neat lending feature. I like the idea of you being able to let a friend borrow the book.
A bunch of people have asked me how they can read the book if they don’t have a Kindle. The reason I went with Kindle is that you can read a Kindle book on pretty much any device, from your iPhone to your desktop PC. If you’re able to read this blog post, you’re able to read a Kindle book.
A bunch of you were cool enough to write essays for me to critique in this book. Even if I didn’t end up using your essay, I’m incredibly grateful for your help. I couldn’t have put this together without you.
Fantastic work! I learned a ton reading through the book. Cheers.