Your personal essay may be that much stronger once you add in literary techniques that show how well you can tell your story. Read the essay out loud. Once you have written a first draft of your personal essay, you should read through it and listen to how it sounds. You may read it out loud to yourself or to a sympathetic audience. You should also make sure your characters are well developed and your essay follows some kind of structure or sense of plot. Consider if you are hitting a deeper truth in your draft and what you can do to get there if it is not yet on the page.
Revising your essay will only make it that much stronger. Proofread and revise the essay. Once you have a strong draft of the essay, you should sit down and proofread and revise it. You can take into account the notes you made on the draft as you read it out loud as well as feedback you receive from trusted readers.
You want to avoid confusing your reader, as this can turn her off from reading to the end of your essay. You should also make sure the focus and themes of the essay are clear. Your experiences should center around a central question, issue, or theme. This will ensure your personal essay is well written and concise. Avoid relying on spellcheck to catch all of the spelling and grammar errors in your essay. I would start by diving right into a personal moment that connects to the story you want to convey.
Try going back in time to when that moment occurred and focus on really drawing the reader in. That will allow you to expand on your story from there once you have the reader's attention. Not Helpful 0 Helpful 4. What is the average page length of a personal essay, and how much of a lifetime should one cover? Answer this question Flag as Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Already answered Not a question Bad question Other.
Quick Summary To write a personal essay, start by deciding on an experience that affected your life in some way, such as how failing a pop quiz in class made you change your goals. Did this summary help you? Tips To get a better sense of the genre, you should read highly crafted examples of personal essay. Ask yourself several questions as you read the examples, such as: How does the writer introduce the subject of their essay?
How does the writer explore the subject for a personal perspective? What are the key themes in the essay? How does the writer connect their personal experiences to a universal theme or idea? How does the writer use humor or wit in the essay? What is the concluding moral of the essay? Does the end of the essay leave you satisfied, unsettled, curious, or all of the above? Essays In other languages: Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read , times.
AC Alvyn Chin Mar 2, Romel Saquing Apr 21, It helped me to brainstorm ideas from my past life experiences. EY Elsabeth Yermed Feb 1, HO Hedda Offernes Feb 21, This helped a lot!
JR Jack Ritchie Jan 12, And to reveal means to let us see what is truly there, warts and all. The truth about human nature is that we are all imperfect, sometimes messy, usually uneven individuals, and the moment you try to present yourself as a cardboard character—always right, always upstanding or always wrong, a total mess —the reader begins to doubt everything you say.
Even if the reader cannot articulate his discomfort, he knows on a gut level that your perfect or perfectly awful portrait of yourself has to be false. Pursue the Deeper Truth The best writers never settle for the insight they find on the surface of whatever subject they are exploring. They are constantly trying to lift the surface layer, to see what interesting ideas or questions might lie beneath. A year ago today, my mother stopped eating. She was ninety-six, and so deep in her dementia that she no longer knew where she was, who I was, who she herself was.
All but the last few seconds had vanished from the vast scroll of her past. There is a good reason for this: These events can truly shake us to our core. But too often, when writing about such a significant loss, the writer focuses on the idea that what has happened is not fair and that the loved one who is no longer around is so deeply missed.
The problem is that there are certain things readers already know, and that would include the idea that the loss of a loved one to death or dementia is a deep wound, that it seems not fair when such heartbreak occurs, and that we oftentimes find ourselves regretting not having spent more time with the lost loved one. These reactions seem truly significant when they occur in our own lives, and revisiting them in our writing allows us to experience those powerful feelings once again.
For this reason it is hard to grasp that the account of our loss might have little or no impact on a reader who did not know this loved one, or does not know you, and who does not have the emotional reaction already in the gut. Final Thoughts In the last twenty years of teaching writing, the most valuable lesson that I have found myself able to share is the need for us as writers to step outside of our own thoughts, to imagine an audience made up of real people on the other side of the page.
This audience does not know us, they are not by default eager to read what we have written, and though thoughtful literate readers are by and large good people with large hearts, they have no intrinsic stake in whatever problems or joys we have in our lives.
Self-expression may be the beginning of writing, but it should never be the endpoint. Only by focusing on these anonymous readers, by acknowledging that you are creating something for them, something that has value, something that will enrich their existence and make them glad to have read what you have written, will you find a way to truly reach your audience.
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