Personal Plan Coursework

Starting somewhere in the late 2000s, a certain type of personal essay experienced a popularity boom.

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We head for the nearest bookseller when essay titans like David Sedaris or Anne Lamott have a new release.

We’re thirsty for real stories and musings from people who are able to share their foibles, lessons, and truths in a way we can relate to.

Their headlines were clickable, not to mention shareable, for their shock value alone.

Here’s a tip: Want to make sure your writing always looks great?

______________ I leaped into the personal development world with a copy of Tony Robbins’ Personal Power program.

You know, the one from those late night infomercials?

—Anne Lamott, “Blessings: After Catastrophe, A Community Unites” Your hook and opening paragraph should establish the topic of your essay (or at least allude to it) and set the scene and tone. Your challenge is to evoke those senses and feelings without flatly stating them.

All it takes to understand the importance of an outline is listening to someone who struggled to tell a personal story. The switchbacks where the teller says “But wait, I have to tell you about this part, first! An outline will help you organize your thoughts before committing them to text. Don’t say “I felt cold.” Say “I exhaled and my breath turned to vapor that hung in the air.

Circling back to your lead in your conclusion is one way to give readers that full-circle sense.

Try to restate your thesis in a way that reflects the journey the essay has taken.


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