When we see a movie trailer that comes up based on a true story, I don’t know about you but that is a powerful emotional hook for most of us. That true story part intrigues at least and invites us in at most.
The art of the personal essay is how you deliver your true story. Be honest in your personal essay. Don’t shy away from difficult subjects or areas you may feel uncomfortable with. If you are too scared to share the whole truth and nothing but the truth it will tell in your personal essay. The impact won’t be nearly as intriguing nor inviting. Give the reader something to dive into and enjoy.
A great way to begin your personal essay is now. Start to take notes on what you are about to write. Once you get started you will begin the natural flow of creativity. The notes you start today will be the content you can use in your introduction, paragraphs and conclusion. Brainstorm your own memories and personal accounts to develop powerful content.
To master the art of the personal essay, you will be required to explain, analyse, describe and illustrate:
Explaining is the how something has happened. In this case, the personal essay allows you to talk about the topic from your own perspective. The art of the personal essay is a form of self-expression. You get to choose a significant event or position in your life you wish to share.
Who is better informed about your personal life, whether you’re talking about your family, a favorite holiday or a relationship, than you? When we analyze we can begin to make connections between events that can help us understand what it might all mean. This is called our own personal account.
In your personal essay you are being asked to express and describe all those accounts so the writer can understand and comprehend your ideologies, what makes you tick in the here and now – how you feel about these things today.
There are some wonderful examples of personal essays and none more so than the author of The Art of the Personal Essay by Phillip Lopate. One of the more popular essay writers of his time he has finely tuned his writing skills to describe and illustrate his lifetime memoirs.
In an article written in the New York Times March 2013 by Morris Dickstein describes him as having … “an engaging voice, the projection of the curious, appealingly modest, sometimes self-mocking character behind that voice, and “the fluent play of single consciousness”. It sounds to us like Phillip Lopate not only has required brilliant personal essay writing skills but he has developed the self-confidence to show and tell who he really is and he isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. This is a vital component in the art of the personal essay writing.
Whilst Phillip Lopate is obviously one of the geniuses when it comes to personal essays in this same article it states: "he urges them (the writer) to season their memories with research, ideas, analytic thinking and argument: tools borrowed from more formal essays”. Looks like using the best of both essay style worlds will work wonders when it comes to the art of the personal essay.
At OZessay.com.au not only will you meet a clever bunch of writers and researchers; you will also discover the art of the personal essay through the eyes of the experts. Developing key writing skills and understanding there are pitfalls to writing personal essays will give you invaluable insight. Your first attempt won’t be a disaster if you listen to what the experts have to say.