While one of the most common kinds of creative non-fiction writing (at least in an academic setting), the personal essay is probably one of the harder assignments to revise. After all, how do you fix a paper that is composed of very personal ideas? A personal essay is not like a formal analytical essay-- it doesn't need an explicit thesis-driven format. Therefore, revising a personal essay can be complicated, especially when you feel as though you don't want to tamper with personal thoughts. However, a personal essay often needs someone to tamper with it in order to make it a complete piece. Below we have listed several steps that may be useful when revising or giving feedback on a personal essay (either your own or someone elses).
But go back father than that, to the beginnings of American publishing itself — scholars of this dark and mysterious period are conflicted about actual dates, but in general we’re talking about the 1940s and 50s — and we enter a time when paperbacks had a fixed upper page limit. So how did these primitive cave-dwelling publishers reprint popular volumes, like for example John Campbell’s 600-page beast The Astounding Science Fiction Anthology (Simon & Schuster, 1952), when the typical paperback of the era contained barely 100 pages?
With his essay, “Empathy and (Film) Fiction”, Alex Neill tries to develop new theory for analyzing the fiction and, especially, the emotional responses from the audience on it.
For the nonfiction essay, I wrote a string of memories, anything I could think of and that I could potentially expand upon in a longer piece, and I did this early on....
The personal essay is one of the most popular forms of creative non-fiction writing found in English classes, especially in high school but also, to a certain degree and in a more complex way, college. This kind of writing allows you to explore a topic through the lens of your own, personal experiences, reflections, ideas, and reactions. It can be one of the most powerful kinds of writing you get to do, both in its direct connection to you, the writer, allowing you to engage with material in class at a very personal, complex, and meaningful level, and also in the amount of latitude that you as a writer are afforded in terms of style, technique, and form. The following are some tips and strategies to help you think as you write and revise a personal essay, or prepare to write this kind of assignment for the first time (the topic of the essay will always varywe are focused on the genre as a whole here).