Here we have a silly personal essay for you to consider. It was written by a college student named Silica Gelcap and is used here with his gracious permission. As you read it, try to figure out what the point of it might be and where that point is being made. Is it fun to read? What is the source of that fun? Enjoy!
You will probably want to use quoted language in your personal essay. There is nothing like the "heard voice" to create the impression that this is real. Your readers are going along, reading your prose on the paper, and then they see someone saying "This is great stuff!" and they not only read and see, they . Spoken speech engages another whole sense and enriches the medium immensely. Unfortunately, using quoted language demands a whole set of typographical conventions the quotation marks themselves and the various commas and end-marks that are required. The Guide to Grammar and Writing contains a brief section on to help you. Review that section and take the quizzes on quotation marks before using quoted language in your own prose.
Your reaction to a work of literature could be in the form of an expository essay, for example if you decide to simply explain your personal response to a work.
The expository essay can also be used to give a personal response to a world event, political debate, football game, work of art and so on.
What are its most important qualities?
You want to get and, of course, keep your reader’s attention.
Analysis aims to explain how the writer makes us see what he or she wants us to see, the effect of the writing techniques, the text’s themes and your personal response to these.
What is it?
This is the type of essay where you prove that your opinion, theory or hypothesis about an issue is correct or more truthful than those of others.
This essay is about my strong family heritage of serving in the military and why I joined the Air Force, some of my personal experiences that are memorable since joining, and my current role in supporting the A...
They represent what think, what feel, about a given topic. They represent effort (the word comes from the French , which means ) to communicate those thoughts and feelings to others. In the purely personal essay, however, there is no effort to objectify those thoughts, there is no concealment that this is opinion; no standing behind any mask of objectivity is permitted, no embarrassment is allowed.
The personal essay is often a free-wheeling device of self-expression. If you ever want to experiment with prose and with loosened structure, this is where you can do it. (If you're writing for a grade, though, make sure you understand what your instructor is looking for before you get too crazy!)
To add to the list: Creative Nonfiction! We’re always reading and often are looking for personal essays on specific themes. We’re just about to announce some new calls for submissions.
It’s worth mentioning that there is a $25 fee to SUBMIT to Creative Nonfiction. I know it’s a reputable magazine and many writers would love to be included in their fine collection of personal essays, but I find this fee offensive. There are many of us writers willing to write and submit for free for the exposure alone but to have to PAY to even be considered? Shame on them.