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.
Top of Page Memoirs are an often overlooked subdivision of creative writing, and more specifically, creative non-fiction.
They have the potential to be incredibly interesting, richly developed, beautifully moving pieces that can sometimes be confused with autobiography.
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.
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?
In most situations where you find yourself straying into the first person plural (“we”) or even the third person, using such vague language as "one could" or “one would,” you will almost always find the writing becomes stronger if you replace the subject with “I.” Most of the time, drifting into vague language is a sign that you are trying to convey a message you find “too” personal and are afraid of expressing.
However, it is this vulnerability that fuels the personal essay.