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Box Outline Essay Examples

Major points are the building blocks of your paper. Major points build on each other, moving the paper forward and toward its conclusion. Each major point should be a clear claim that relates to the central argument of your paper.

Sample Major Point: Employment and physical health may be a good first major point for this sample paper.  Here, a student might discuss how dropping out of high school often leads to fewer employment opportunities, and those employment opportunities that are available tend to be correlated with poor work environments and low pay.

Minor points are subtopics within your major points. Minor points develop the nuances of your major points but may not be significant enough to warrant extended attention on their own. These may come in the form of statistics, examples from your sources, or supporting ideas.

Sample Minor Point: A sample minor point of the previous major point (employment and physical health) might address worker injury or the frequent lack of health insurance benefits offered by low-paying employers.

The rest of the body of your paper will be made up of more major and minor points. Each major point should advance the paper's central argument, often building on the previous points, until you have provided enough evidence and analysis to justify your paper's conclusion.

More Major and Minor Points: In this paper, more major points might include mental health of high school dropouts, healthcare access for dropouts, and correlation between mental and physical health. Minor topics could include specific work environments, job satisfaction in various fields, and correlation between depression and chronic illness.


YOU HAVE 30 or 300KIDS.



You just can't do it all.


With the right tools and a little guidance.

They can do this themselves.



The Complete Guide to Leading a Life-Changing College Essay Workshop

I believe a workshop is the most effective and inspiring way to get students started on their college personal statement.


20+ videos and dozens of pages of lessons, worksheets and brainstorming activities to help students through the most common essay struggles, including:

  • How do I know which topic to choose?
  • How should I structure my essay?
  • Should I write about X in my essay?
  • How do I make my essay, like, deep?
  • How do I know if my essay is ready to submit?
  • Who should I ask to get help revising my essay? And when?


More than 200 tips and Resources specifically for counselors, including:

  • How to keep your students focused and on task
  • Tips for adapting your workshop to any size group
  • How to use this workshop material in a one-on-one setting
  • Making the most of focused writing time
  • So much more I can't even fit it all on here.

follow-up RESOURCES to help students keep the momentum going after their workshop

  • Monthly follow-up webinars for students where I give direct feedback on essays
  • A Brief Guide to Tackling the Supplemental Essays
  • Guides to Writing Your Activities List, Additional Info Section, and College Resume
  • A Brief Guide to Preparing for College Interviews
  • Four Essential Qualities to Include in Your Essay
  • Tons more.

“You are awesome. The kids won't stop talking about you!”

— Amy, Counselor


Ethan Sawyer is a internationally recognized college essay expert, sought-after speaker, and author of the best-selling book College Essay Essentials. Each year he helps thousands of students and counselors through his online courses, articles, guides, and books. He works privately with a small number of students. 

Ethan delivers workshops around the world on the college essay. His workshops range from 1-hour long to 1-week long and he has given workshops to groups of 4 students and groups of 400+ students.  

He's excited to share everything he's learned over the last 10+ years with the college counselors of the world.  

Gone are the days of repeating yourself, ad nauseum, with every single student. 

Workshop Options




An online, pre-recorded step-by-step workshop for students

1-Hour Workshop

  • Step-by-step Student Guide

2-Hour Workshop

  • Step-by-step Student Guide

3-Hour Workshop

  • Step-by-step Student Guide




A step-by-step guide for counselors on delivering a virtual or in-person essay workshop.


-Follow up webinars throughout the fall

-The Guide to leading a 1-Hour, 2-Hour or 3-Hour Workshop

  • Step-by-step Counselor Guide
  • Step-by-Step Student Guide
  • The CEG Complete Video Library
  • The private Facebook Support Community
  • The College Essay Guy Webinar Club
  • Additional outlines for leading:
    • Full-day workshops
    • 3, 4 and 5-day workshops
    • 6-week workshops




A five-part course for counselors, personally led by me (Ethan).


-Access to EVERYTHING in the free and premium versions.


  • 8 Hrs of instruction and training
  • Practicums to gain experience using the tools and resources in the guide
  • Video and audio recordings that you can watch anytime, anywhere
  • Collaboration with your counseling peers to help tweak your own workshop
  • Resources to help get your students inspired to write


Limited budget? Pay-What-You-Can spots available for counselors and CBOs working with low-income students.

My goal is to help counselors lead workshops that shift their students’ thinking about their own life stories in a way that is inspiring, purposeful, and fun. 

A great workshop will also save you tons of time.

Step-by-step lessons for counselors that cover:

  • How to create a safe space that invites openness, vulnerability and creativity
  • Two activities to efficiently help your students find their deepest story
  • Two simple structures that will work for any personal statement (really)
  • A system for personally reviewing and approving essay topics for 100+ students in one day—and more, if you have help
  • Four ways to help students outline their essay
  • How to adapt this material to a one-on-one setting

And here’s the best part: You can lead the workshop yourself, co-lead it with videos from me, or have students guide themselves, depending on what will work best for your students and (honestly) how much time you have.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I lead a workshop anyway?

It’s incredibly efficient. Early on, I learned that much of the process of brainstorming and finding a structure for a personal statement can be taught in groups. 

What are the main differences between the Free Student Version and the Counselor Version?

The Free Student Version provides a link you can give to your students so they can work step-by-step through the process on their own. The Premium Counselor Version gives you the student link (to share with students), but also gives you a Counselor Version of the The Essay Workshop in a Box that you can work through with your students, at a pace you determine, and with Counselor Notes and Tips throughout to help you make the workshop as productive and efficient as possible. The Premium Counselor Version also gets you:

  • A copy of my book College Essay Essentials
  • My Complete Video Library (these are the videos I actually use with my own students) 
  • The private Facebook Support Community (Collaborate and share notes with hundreds of other high school counselors on best practices)
  • The College Essay Guy Webinar Club (monthly webinars where I offer direct feedback on student essays)
  • Additional outlines for leading full-day workshops, 3, 4 and 5-day workshops, and even six-week workshops

What are the main differences between the Counselor Version and the Counselor Training Program?

  1. Metaphorically speaking, the PCV gives you a boat and a map; the CTP teaches you how to sail.
  2. The Premium Counselor Version (PCV) equips you with all the tools you need to guide students through a dynamic, life-changing workshop, while the Counselor Training Program (CTP) does that PLUS teaches you how to become a master workshop facilitator. 
  3. The PCV comes with one year of access to the materials; the CTP includes one-year of access to the PCV materials.

Got another question?

Our FAQ page has you covered. Or if you can't find the answer there, shoot us an email. [email protected]