Academic Essay (Personal Essay)

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.
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

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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