Academic Essay (Personal Essay)

Jul 16th, 2015
Price: $25 USD

Question description


Length: 1000-­‐1200 words (must maintain), double-­‐spaced, 12pt font *


In Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, David Shields emphasizes two main points: people in our cultural crave “reality” (although what that reality is debatable)and non-­‐fiction is the most vital,relevant and important form of contemporary writing. He argues, through the voices of others with whom he agrees, that the personal essay, lyric essay and memoir are the most provocative genres in nonfiction.

The lyric essay uses techniques found in fiction to describe, explore and convey our understanding (or even non-­‐understanding) of experience.

The memoir, unlike what we usually find in an autobiography,doesn’t aim to provide a definitive, chronological account of a life but instead works to convey maybe only one stage of a life in a way that relies lesson facts and more on what the stage meant for the writer or has come to mean for the writer. The term “personal essay” is more inclusive and can refer to any nonfiction which explores personal, rather than public experiences. In all cases, the “I” who is speaking represents the actual writer.

For your personal essay, you are asked to write about an experience that was and remains significant to you and to try to convey that significance to your reader. The experience might be a specific event or experience, such as an event most people know about to one only you know about. Your goal is to convey that significance and why the experience mattered/matters to you. You won’t want to provide every single detail of the experience; instead, you will select what“facts”to include and try to describe them in ways that convey what the experience meant to you.

You do not have to arrange the “facts” in chronological order and you can use techniques of story-­‐telling, such as evocative imagery and description, metonymy, dialogue, inclusion of non-­‐standard English,integration of other “voices” (from music, novels, poems, films etc.,),and

Unconventional formatting (such as changes in font, effective use of white-­‐space between sections, variations on typical paragraphing).

Think of Reality Hunger as an affirmation of the writer’s right to use techniques usually associated with fiction writing to write of personal experience. Think how a writer can convey the significance of an experience without telling to her/his readers what to think about it.

This is not a creative writing class and you do not have to use more“experimental”/less-­‐conventional techniques.However,you can use language, a variety of sentence structures, rhetorical and emphatic devices, imagery, metaphor, evocative description,and dialogue,to craft an evocative personal essay.The best non-­‐fiction,including academic essays,relies on a conscious use of any writing technique appropriate to the subject and context.

*If you choose to experiment with formats, be sure that you still produceapproximately1000-­‐1200wordsofdouble-­‐spacedlinesin12-­‐point font.



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School: UIUC

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