These Hollywood screenwriters can help craft your college essay

Alyssa Pry
Personal Finance Reporter

If you’re applying to college but don’t know where to start when it comes to crafting the perfect admissions essay, there’s a new website to help you “unleash your story.” helps students identify a topic for their essays and provides a step-by-step writing process.

The founders, Howard Reichman and Mitch German, have worked as Hollywood screenwriters for 25 years. Their first software program, Plot Control, helped thousands of screenwriters develop and write scripts, and they saw an opportunity to adapt the same process for student essays.  

“We quickly discovered the issues students have writing college essays are the same issues that any creative person has in his or her writing endeavor,” Reichman said.

EssayDog breaks the essay-writing process into four simple steps. Reichman explained that students start by simply filling out four sentences.

“The four sentences are the backbone of every major story,” Reichman said. “You have the structure of your entire story, and now it’s just a matter of fleshing them out.”

The first sentence forms the foundation. The site gives this example: “Every summer, I looked forward to sports camp.” Sentence two is the anticipated outcome: “I made a lot of friends and I couldn’t wait to make more.”  

The third sentence is the pivot of your essay, where you write about setbacks or obstacles you dealt with: “One day, my parents told me instead of sports camp, I would be going on a family vacation.”  The fourth sentence identifies the discovery, where you write about what you’ve learned: “I was disappointed, but I discovered my siblings could become friends.”

Using this basic structure, EssayDog helps writers develop their ideas and add authenticity to their stories using step-by-step videos and writing exercises.

Instead of starting from scratch and dealing with the anxiety of how to start, Reichman said the software is meant to make the writing process fun and collaborative.  

Though this is EssayDog’s first full college application year, they’ve already assisted over 1,000 students. The software starts at $49 for a one-year subscription, and one-on-one consulting is offered for $349.

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