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Now available for November 2023...

The College Essay Workshop

Join my on-demand step-by-step course for crafting outstanding college admissions essays, plus 1-on-1 help.

Here's everything needed to write essays worthy of Top-20 colleges.

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Essay Examples Database

See exactly how real admitted students wrote winning essays

Dive into the admitted essays database and learn from 230+ essay examples from real students just like you.

  • 50+ personal statements
  • Hundreds of supplements
  • "Why This College?", "Why Major?", and more
  • For 40+ colleges

You'll learn what made the essays work, what didn't work, and how you can use the same strategies.

Video Lessons

Write outstanding essays with 40+ step-by-step video lessons

Learn how to write amazing college essays from scratch.

You'll get over 40 videos and over 6 hours of high quality content.

  • Common mistakes to avoid
  • Cliché and overused phrases
  • Writing tips & tricks to easily improve your essays
  • How to brainstorm, outline, write, revise, and edit

Learn by example as I walk you through how to write every type of college essay: Common App, UC, supplemental, and more.

Downloadable Cheatsheets

Save time with quick, actionable guides and checklists

You'll get access to all my actionable tips, advice, and mistakes to avoid in one place.

Whether brainstorming, writing, or editing, you'll know exactly what to do next.

  • How to write a powerful hook
  • How to craft a memorable ending
  • Techniques to add personality and create voice
  • Tips and tricks to make your essay "deep"

...and more!

I've included dozens of downloadable worksheets and resources jam-packed with college admissions advice.

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You'll learn exactly how to:

Have Unique Essays
Write unique essays, not cookie-cutter
Following a formula is not the way to write a winning essay. I'll give you the tools and understanding to write a genuine essay that will help you stand out, without being gimmicky.
More College Opportunities
Stand Out with "Wow" Essays
I’ll help you avoid cliché topics. In fact, I’ll share a huge list of overused topics I’ve uncovered from reading thousands of essays.
Save Time
Beat procrastination & writer's block
Get started early and learn how to write great essays quickly and efficiently. I'll share tips and tricks to help you get started, save time, and stay motivated.
All Your Questions Asnwered
Understand What top colleges Seek
All your essay questions answered. College essays can be confusing and overwhelming. By understanding what makes great essays, you'll be able to write your own with confidence.
Impressive Ideas
Brainstorm Your Best Ideas
Want to get ahead? You'll be able to complete your applications early, and you'll have time to focus on other parts of your application.
Apply with Confidence
Press "submit" with confidence
Wondering when your essays are "good enough"? You'll learn how to evaluate essays like an admissions officer so you can press "Submit" with confidence.

Don't just take my word for it...

"I feel so much more reassured to press the submit button now. I wish I knew about your site sooner!"
Judy Z., University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2025
"...Invaluable to me during the college admissions process! It gave me a different perspective to look at my essays.""
Anna M., Duke University, Class of 2026
"Thank you for your help with my essays back in November, including my Yale supplements. Just wanted to let you know I ended up getting into and committing to Yale!"
Student, Yale University, Class of 2025
"Applying to top tier schools, your essays are one of the most vital aspects to your application. I would definitely recommend""
Marc R., Washington University in St. Louis, Class of 2025
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Everything You Will Learn...

These 40+ step-by-step videos cover every type of college essay, from your personal statement (aka Common App essay) to supplemental essays, UC essays, and more.

Week 1: 🧠 Understanding

  • 1
    Everything You Need to KnowStart here! Welcome and course overview, plus tips for getting the most out of this program.
  • 2
    Student Success StoryA real story of how a student took their essays from good to great, and the results paid off.
  • 3
    What is the Purpose of College Essays?What's the purpose of your college essays? What are admissions officers looking for? And how much do they matter? I'll answer these questions.
  • 4
    What Do Great Essays Have in Common?I've read thousands of essays over the years. And the best essays all have these 4 key qualities in common. Learn the foundation of what makes outstanding college essays.
  • 5
    4 Tips for Working Smarter, Not HarderWriting your essays is often the most time-consuming part of applying to college. I'll show you how to save tons of time in the essay process, while still writing your best essays possible.
  • 6
    What Should Your Essay Be About? (Important Advice)This one piece advice will unlock a new perspective that'll turn your essays from good to great. I'll answer the question: What should my essays be about?

Week 2: 💡 Brainstorming

  • 1
    How to Choose a Unique TopicLearn how to choose a great essay topic and what really makes a unique essay. I'll give you 7 pieces of advice for choosing an amazing essay topic.
  • 2
    What If No Tragedy or Big Accomplishments?In this lesson I'll address the common misconception that you need a "tragedy" or "big accomplishments" in order to write a great essay. I'll share why you definitely don't need these things and what to do instead.
  • 3
    10 Best Brainstorming Questions (Step-by-Step)Now I'll share a step-by-step brainstorming method for finding your essay topic, including my 10 favorite brainstorming questions and a foolproof brainstorming method.
  • 4
    Why Failure Makes Successful EssaysI'll share a final key piece of advice about choosing great topics, which is that your topic must deal with change. You need conflict, challenge, or failure, of any size, and I'll share why this makes for successful essays and how to use it.
  • 5
    7 Types of Essay Topics to AvoidJust as important as knowing what to write about, is knowing what not to write about. In this lesson, I'll share 7 categories of essay topics that are trickier to write about and help you avoid these common pitfalls when starting out.
  • 6
    How to Structure Your Essay (Every Type of Structure)How should you structure your essay? While there's no one-size-fits-all, I'll share every type of essay structure possible (seriously!) and how to go about finding your best essay structure.

Week 3: ✍️ Writing & Revising

  • 1
    How to Write Powerful Stories (The Right Way)Using stories is a crucial part of your essays, but students often use write stories completely wrong. I'll share the best way to craft powerful stories and avoid these common pitfalls.
  • 2
    How to Write Your First Drafts (Step-by-Step)Now let's write your first drafts, from start to finish. I'll share a step-by-step method you can use to write first drafts, as well as a real example of what that process might look like.
  • 3
    How to Revise & Improve Each DraftOnce you've written your first draft, where do you go from here? I'll show you how to make each draft better than the last, starting with the most common pitfalls to avoid when revising, as well as a step-by-step revising method.
  • 4
    10 Tips and Tricks to Easily Improve Your WritingLooking to boost your writing quality without much extra effort? I'll share 10 actionable tips that'll easily improve your writing for college essays.
  • 5
    8 Common Writing Mistakes & Pitfalls to AvoidMistakes are good, because they teach you what not to do. I'll share the most common writing mistakes I see students fall into, and how you can avoid them in your essays.
  • 6
    How to Make Your Essay "Deep" (12 Techniques)Want to create those "wow" moments to impress admissions officers? I'll show you how to write "deep moments" in your essays that give you goosebumps when you read them.
  • 7
    6 Ways to Show Personality & Create VoiceHow do you show personality in your essay? Your voice is a key part of making a connection with admissions officers, and I'll show you 6 actionable tactics to show your personality authentically without being cliché, over-the-top, or gimmicky.
  • 8
    How to Use A Metaphor to Bring Your Essay To LifeThere's few writing tools more powerful than a unique metaphor. I'll show you a step-by-step method to come up with brilliant metaphors that impress admissions officers.
  • 9
    How to Write a Powerful Hook (7 Strategies & 4 Mistakes to Avoid)How should you start your essay? Your hook is one of the most important parts, and I'll share 4 mistakes to avoid in your beginning, the secret to an amazing hook, plus 7 types of hooks you can try out.
  • 10
    How to Write a Memorable Ending (9 Tips & 4 Mistakes to Avoid)Want to leave a memorable impression with your essay? I'll show you how to craft an impactful, resonating ending that stays with the reader. I'll share 4 mistakes to avoid and 9 tips for an outstanding ending.

Week 4: 📝 Editing

  • 1
    How to Edit Your Essay to Perfection (Step-by-Step)Learn how to edit any essay to perfection. I'll share a step-by-step editing method so you can edit like a pro and improve your writing.
  • 2
    How to Cut Down Words (Or Add More)Trouble meeting the word count? I'll show you easy ways to cut down words or add more words to meet the word count. I'll share tons of actionable tips and phrases you can cut out.
  • 3
    7 Ways to Make Your Essay "Flow" BetterMaking your essay "flow" will help it read more better and show yourself as a strong writer. I'll share 7 actionable tips for improving your essay's flow without much extra work.
  • 4
    27 Essay Mistakes to Edit OutHere's a huge list of common mistakes you should edit out of your essay. This is my ultimate list of essay mistakes to avoid when editing and how to fix these common problems.
  • 5
    17 Grammar Do's and Don'tsWondering what you're allowed to do grammar-wise? And what you should do? This is my complete grammar guide for college essays with simple, actionable rules to follow.
  • 6
    How to Get Feedback On Your Essay (The Right Way)How should you ask for feedback? How many people should you ask? And how should you ask? I'll answer these questions and provide you with a system to get the most helpful feedback from anyone you ask.
  • 7
    How to Test Your Essays (The Ultimate Checklist)This lesson has my huge 150+ point checklist that you can review before you submit your essay. Plus, I'll show you step-by-step how to evaluate your essays from an admissions officers perspective.

Week 5: 🏫 Supplements

  • 1
    12 Tips for Writing Outstanding SupplementsWant to make a strong case for yourself with your supplements? I'll share my 12 favorite tips for writing outstanding supplemental essays for any prompt.
  • 2
    How to Write "Why This College?" SupplementsWhy us? essays are one of the trickiest to get right. I'll share a step-by-step guide for writing these types of supplements, as well as the secret to writing an outstanding answer (with real examples).'
  • 3
    How to Write "Why This Major?" SupplementsWriting Why this Major? essays doesn't need to be hard. I'll share tips and strategies for approaching this prompt, plus a step-by-step guide you can follow.
  • 4
    How to Write "Diversity" SupplementsThe next most common supplement is the "Diversity" essay. Even if you don't think you have a "unique identity", I'll show you how to answer this supplement in a strong way that makes a case for yourself.
  • 5
    How to Write "Community" SupplementsThe final most common supplement is the \"Community\" essay. I'll show you exactly how to answer this prompt in a way that makes a strong case for why you'll be a great addition to their community.
  • 6
    How to Write Your Short Answer SupplementsShort answers are often the most fun to write. I'll share some tips for writing your short answers and mistakes to avoid, plus some examples of my favorite short answers.
  • 7
    How to Write Amazing UC Personal Insight QuestionsApplying to the UCs? I'll share general tips for writing your UC Personal Insight Questions, what the UCs are really looking for, and a step-by-step guide to writing your PIQs.
  • 8
    How to Write Each of the 8 UC PIQs (Step-by-Step)Now, I'll dive into each UC PIQ prompt and give specific advice for answering each one. I'll cover each prompt 1-8 and help you decide which ones to answer and how to answer them.
Bonuses!

Plus... Make Applying to College Easier

You'll also get full access to all my best college admissions resources, including exclusive bonuses like...

Brainstorming Questions

100+ Brainstorming Exercises

FREE$19 value

Everything needed to brainstorm great topics—for any prompt.

Editing Checklist

My 154-Point Essay Editing Checklist

FREE$29 value

This ultimate editing checklist will make sure your essays are ready to submit.

Editing Checklist

My Ultimate College Application Planner

FREE$47 value

Stay organized and on track throughout the college admissions process. This planner covers every step from start-to-finish

Every Student Has a Story.
I'll Help Tell Yours.

Here's everything you get when you join The College Essay Workshop:

Video Lessons
40+
Step-by-step guides to writing every type of college essay. Watch the lessons wherever and whenever you want.
Types of Essays
7
Learn how to write amazing essays for your...
  • Personal Statement
  • "Why Us" Essay
  • "Why Major" Essay
  • "Diversity" Essay
  • "Community" Essay
  • Short Answers
  • UC Essays
Satisfaction Guarantee
100%
If you're not completely satisfied with the course, you can get a full refund within 30 days. No questions asked.
Downloadable Worksheets & Guides
25+
Save tons of time by using our cheatsheets and guides. You'll get access to all of them.
Essay Examples
230+
Read inspiring sample essays and learn why they work so well. Get full access to the Essay Library with expert analysis.
Full Course Access
1 year
Get full access to the course for a full year. You can watch the lessons as many times as you want.

Now available...

EssaysThatWorked

Everything you need to write winning college essays. Based on proven strategies that have helped hundreds of students write essays that earned acceptances into top-20 schools.

Student Admissions Bundle

An exclusive deal only for students. Get access to my premium video course, essay database, downloadable guides, and more for 1 year.

What You Get:

  • 40+ video lessons (6+ hours of content)
  • 230+ essay examples with analysis
  • 25+ downloadable cheatsheets
  • Unlimited email support
  • The Ultimate College Application Planner
  • The 154-Point Essay Editing Checklist
  • The Ultimate List of Brainstorming Questions
  • 1 year of access
November SPECIAL

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$29$297USD

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100% Satisfaction Guarantee

At Essays That Worked, we want you to be completely satisfied with the products we provide. If you’re not happy with your purchase, you can request a full refund within 30 days of your purchase. No questions asked.

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Ryan Chiang

What Is EssaysThatWorked.com?

My name is Ryan Chiang, and I'm the founder of EssaysThatWorked.com. Since 2018, I've helped students write their best application essays possible for top-20 schools.

My website features over 200+ successful essays from admitted students at top-20 schools. I've created dozens of free resources, guides, and videos to help families navigate the college admissions process.

I've worked with hundreds of students and parents to apply confidently with their best essays possible. Will you be next?

Learn more about Ryan →

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is this for?

The College Essay Workshop is ideal for high school students applying to undergraduate colleges or college students transferring to a new college.

I designed this program with top-20 colleges in mind, because more selective schools place more emphasis on essays in admissions.

How does it work?

You'll get full access to 40+ video lessons that you can watch at your own pace. With over 6 hours of content, these videos provide a step-by-step guide and advice for writing strong essays of any type.

Along with the lessons are downloadable worksheets to help you summarize the key points and apply them.

You'll get direct access to me to ask questions about your essays and get general advice via email, text, or chat.

Does this include essay editing?

No, but you'll have unlimited communication with me through email, text, or chat. I'll respond within 24-48 hours depending on the day of the week.

I can answer questions, provide general feedback on your essays, or help you brainstorm ideas.

While this doesn't include in-depth editing, I can point you in the right direction and give general impressions on your essays.

What type of payment do you accept?

You can pay using credit/debit card or PayPal.

You can choose between a one-time payment or 4 interest-free payments using PayPal's Buy Now, Pay Later.

Will this get me into top-20 colleges?

I cannot guarantee admissions success as it depends on many factors, many of which are out of your and my control.

This course will, however, help you write essays I believe are worthy of acceptance to the most selective colleges.

Essays are not the only factor in admissions, but they're an important one if you want your best chances.

What kinds of essays does this cover?

This will give you the tools to write outstanding college essays for any type of prompt, including:

  • Personal Statement (a.k.a. Common App essay)
  • Supplemental Essays
    • "Why Us?" Essay
    • "Why This Major?" Essay
    • "Diversity" Essay
    • "Community" Essay
  • Short Answer Questions
  • UC Personal Insight Questions (#1-8)
What if I decide it’s not for me?

No problem. You can get a full refund, no questions asked.

If you're not completely satisfied with your purchase, I'll refund your purchase fully within 30 days of purchase.

See our refund policy for more info.

How will my student get access?

If you're a parent purchasing The College Essay Workshop for your student, you'll receive an email with a link to access.

You'll also be able to enter your student's email address and I'll send them a link which they can use to access the program.

Who made this and why?

Ryan Chiang, Founder of EssaysThatWorked.com.

I've helped hundreds of students earn acceptances to their top-choice colleges by having genuine, compelling essays. To date, EssaysThatWorked.com has published over 200 essays from admitted students.

I believe any student can improve their college outcomes by writing strong essays and that the best way to do that is by learning from examples of successful essays.

If you have any questions about the course, feel free to contact me and I'd be happy to help.

What if I still have questions?

You can schedule a free 15-minute consultation with me to ask any questions you have about the course.

Just click here to schedule your free consultation.

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