Why College Essays Are About More Than Just College

Even if you're not applying to college right now, the format of the college essay has a lot to teach you about writing and self-reflection.

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read
Episode #697

Ethan Sawyer (aka The College Essay Guy) has been helping students write their best college essays for more than a decade, and along the way, he's identified four kinds of essays that can help anyone find their story, whether they've overcome a dramatic challenge or had a simple, normal life. He's also learned that the essay process (and its deadlines and thought exercises) can be a powerful tool for self-discovery that can help anyone, even people well beyond their college essay years. 

Listen to the interview to learn more about the tools Ethan uses to help students write their essays, about why writing a college essay is a lot like writing a screenplay, and about some of Ethan's favorite essays. You can also read a rough transcript.

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show. Her popular LinkedIn Learning courses help people write better to communicate better.