About William Bryant, PhD

I’ve been a writer, editor, and educator for over three decades. I’ve worked extensively with student writing, gaining a deep understanding of the “college-ready writing gap” and its causes. Before launching BetterRhetor, I spent ten years in test development at ACT Inc., lastly as Director of Writing Assessments. While at ACT Inc., I oversaw the redesign and development of the current ACT Writing Test. My PhD in American Studies (University of Iowa, 2006) gives me an interdisciplinary orientation; I believe that foundational knowledge, critical thinking, and strong communication skills are the keys to student success, regardless of major or career choice. Along with my wife, Becky, I co-founded our educational publishing & services company, BetterRhetor, in 2015 as a vehicle for addressing the “persistent problems” in education I feel most passionate about. If you’re an educator or parent deeply invested in education and where it’s headed in the U.S.—let’s connect, via any of the links below. You may also enjoy my American Educator blog, where I frequently take a look at education, equity, democracy and how they work together.

If you could tackle One problem in education, what would it be?

For myself, my wife, and our company…it’s college readiness

Far too many students leave high school either thinking that college isn’t for them or else unprepared for college-level academics once they get there.

It’s a persistent problem that has serious consequences for students and families, and for society as a whole.

Research shows that competent writing is the SINGLE most important academic skill for students entering college, across majors.

BetterRhetor’s mission is to help ALL students who want a college education achieve their goal, no matter their income or background.

For more about BetterRhetor, and the short- and long-term problems in education we feel most passionate about tackling, please visit here.


Contact Me


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American Educator Blog

Getting Smart Articles

Research Gate Profile


American Educator Blog

Connect on LinkedIn

Research Gate Profile

Getting Smart Articles

Get My free College-Ready Writer Checklist!

Learn the key skills to teach your high schooler(s) BEFORE they arrive at college:

College-Ready Writing Essentials offers homeschoolers who are unable to participate in a college-prep level writing class, the opportunity to receive excellent instruction… I highly recommend the premium package.

Cathy Duffy
Cathy Duffy Reviews 5/8/20

[College-Ready Writing Essentials] goes beyond the mechanics to help students understand such things as the expectations for college-level writing, the importance of critical thinking, how to express their own ideas based on information and research, how to present arguments, the importance of taking into consideration what a course instructor will be looking for, and how to work with peers.

Cathy Duffy
Cathy Duffy Reviews 5/8/20

The unique beauty of the BetterRhetor course is in its approach. There are no assignments like, ‘Write a 1,000 word persuasive essay on (insert boring subject student doesn’t care about here).’ …I highly and wholeheartedly recommend BetterRhetor for high school writing. You will find it easy to follow, enjoyable for the student, and helpful in understanding the quality and expectation necessary for college writing success.

Shannan Swindler
Captivating Compass

There are so many amazing resources within this very thorough course. For any student (or adult) who is looking to strengthen their skills in writing and research, this is definitely a wonderful resource…College-Ready Writing Essentials doesn’t just teach writing but also an understanding of how each part of an essay works…We aren’t just tossing words and phrases around. It’s so much deeper than that.

Jennifer King
A Peace of Mind

I cannot stress enough how helpful Dr. Bryant’s personal feedback was for A. If you are like me, it can be hard to help guide and teach your child/student through the complete process of writing and give feedback. Having Dr. Bryant’s feedback really completed the program for me as it gave A. ideas and suggestions for improving her personal writing. This was so valuable!

Kathryn Cummins
Cummins Life

I truly do believe this course is worth every penny.

Nicole Cole
Some Call It Natural

If you are seeking a well-researched program to help your student learn the academic skills needed beyond high school, this is an excellent program. The level of detail is spot on for each step of the writing process.

Laura O'Neill
Day by Day in Our World

This is an excellent intensive course that would be very suitable for a high school senior, or motivated high school junior, or for a summer preparation course for a high school graduate. It is not light or casual, but takes a serious approach to building the necessary skills for students who want to be well prepared for college academics.

Kym Thorpe
Homeschool Coffee Break

I thought the program was extremely thorough. It covered everything a student heading off to college would need to know about writing. I love the fact that we have lifetime access…If you have a student heading off to college, or if they just want to become a better writer, I highly recommend this online writing course! I promise your student will not regret it.

Monique Gilkison
Mountain of Grace Homeschooling

Homeschool moms want curriculum that can be used independently by their students without much help, especially at the high school levels. This course delivers exactly that—top-notch instruction without any hassle for mom.

Abby Banks
Making Room 4 One More

I was low-key ready to give you a co-teaching credit for as much as I leaned into your work. Five Stars. Extremely satisfied.

Matt B.
Teachers Pay Teachers

College-Ready Writing Essentials focuses on substance and understanding, not just a final writing product. This is the kind of college preparation students need most. In college, students learn to develop a broader perspective and see the bigger picture. I think College-Ready Writing Essentials is a great stepping stone to that.

Clerissa Vickery
ELA Teacher, Elbert School District #200, Colorado

Having taught HS English and then a college freshman writing class, I saw the vast difference (and lack) of writing abilities from students coming from several different states. I would say 1 out of 30 had skills that only needed honing. I would highly recommend parents and schools getting on board with College-Ready Writing Essentials—college is an investment and this is a great way to protect the investment you are about to make.

Christine Mitcheltree
Curriculum and Instruction Support Specialist, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit 16