Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

The Hired Girl

Laura Amy Schlitz

Essay HELP!

Essay HELP!
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The first email arrived just 27 minutes after this website went live: It was a plea for help from a college freshman in California. He needed insight into Raskolnikov’s psychological breakdown in Crime and Punishment.

And he needed it now.

Within a week, I found myself working through an inbox without end:

There was a high school sophomore in Spokane. He wanted to understand the symbolic connections between Boo Radley and Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird. There was the home-schooled teen in Chicago. She wanted guidance writing a “monster essay” about Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing. There was a middle school student in Seoul, with Ivy League aspirations. He wanted help with his reading and writing skills so he could tackle English assignments with confidence.

Teachers are heroes

essay coach pen_30w

Who needs an essay writing coach?

Anyone who wants to craft a great thesis statement.

Anyone who wants to write with focus and clarity.

Anyone who wants to organize thoughts and convey ideas persuasively.

Anyone who wants to write a great essay.

Only you can write your essay. But we can guide and coach you through the process of writing a great essay, step by step, from idea, to outline, to draft, to completion.

If you’d like to know more, click here.

I tried to respond to everyone. But it wasn’t enough. There was always more ground to cover, more guidance to offer.

And it wasn’t going to happen in an email, not like that.

All those emails—by now, they number in the thousands—drove me to a conclusion. Two conclusions, really.

Conclusion #1: Teachers are heroes.

Full disclosure: My mom is a teacher. If she weren’t, I’d still call teachers heroes. Anyone who gets 21st-century teenagers excited about 17th-century iambic pentameter is, in my opinion, a hero. If you’re inclined to call that person “superhuman,” that works for me, too.

Conclusion #2: Students need help.

Teachers do their heroic best, but class size often limits their ability to offer individualized attention. Sometimes, students get that from parents, older siblings, or friends. Many times, for many reasons, they don’t.

And that’s a shame. The right kind of help really can make all the difference. I know, because my life was transformed by that kind of one-on-one coaching. Which is why I want to make that experience available to as many people as I can.

1-on-1 Coaching

I plunged into my freshman year in college with enthusiasm—and ignorance. In high school, I’d mastered the five-paragraph essay. I was sure I was ready to take the English department at Bryn Mawr College by storm.

Jenny Sawyer's alma mater: Thomas Great Hall, Bryn Mawr College

Have fun storming the castle.
Thomas Great Hall, Bryn Mawr College


My first paper came back with a comment from the professor. He wanted to see me. During office hours.

Professor Briggs was (and still is) a soft-spoken man, with kind eyes that twinkled at me as I sat across from him in his office. He broke the news as gently as he could, but the message was clear: He wanted more. A lot more.

He wanted more than a wrap-up of our class discussion, even if I had wrapped it up in pretty paper and topped it with a perfect bow. He wanted me to go deeper. He wanted me to attack the text and write about it in a way that would speak, not just to him, but to anyone looking for a nuanced, engaging perspective on 18th-century British poetry. I could have felt intimidated, but he made me feel up to the task.

Patient, insightful, and empowering, Professor Briggs was more than an academic authority. He was a great coach. And he set me on my life’s journey.

I became a better writer, a better reader, and a clearer thinker…because Professor Briggs inspired me to dig deeper.

1-on-1 Essay Help

Our truly tiny team launched 60second Recap with one goal: To engage teens with the literary classics. To offer them guidance, encouragement—and sometimes a touch of slapstick. To help them feel up to the task of reading, understanding—even enjoying—these books. We hoped to empower teens to succeed.

More than 600 videos later, it’s time for the next step: Helping teens dig deeper in their reading, writing, or understanding of the literary classics, with one-on-one online tutoring.

Perhaps you’re preparing for an English literature exam, or struggling with the outline of an essay about a book you’ve read, or looking to dig deeper into a book you’ve been assigned. Web conferencing technology now enables us to hold one-on-one tutoring sessions easily and effectively, across continent or ocean.

Why 60second Recap?

Most tutoring services offer tutoring services in just about any academic subject you can image.

Not us.

Literature, and writing about literature: It’s what we know. It’s what we do. And we have nearly 14 hours of video here on this site to show for it. Yes, whether you’re in AP English, or middle school English, we can help you get where you want to go.

A word about “we”

Jenny Sawyer, 1-on-1 tutoring, 60second Recap, 60second Book Review


Really, I should say “I.”

You see, our Truly Tiny Team here at 60second Recap plans to make sure that everyone who wants one-on-one tutoring from 60second Recap has an opportunity to get it. To that end, we’ve begun to identify individuals who have the credentials, passion, and ability to be amazing online tutors. But note the operative word in that sentence: begun.

For now, it’s just me. So consider this the “early bird special.” I have a limited number of hours each week to devote to helping you dig deeper into any book you’re reading, whether for a class, or on your own. We’ve created packages for middle school and high school students, each geared toward different needs—whether exam prep, or essay-writing supervision and coaching, or literary study and analysis.

You can fill out the form on this page, and I’ll get back to you right away with more information. Or you can send an email to: essaycoach@60secondrecap.com.

Literature is my passion. With 60second Recap, I’ve been able to share my love of books with students, teachers, parents, and book-lovers on every continent. Now, I look forward to working with you.

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  • kelly


  • kelly

    this is so boring nothing fun


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