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.

Why Kindle?

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.

Thanks

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.