Be sure to use plenty of detail to make this happen and avoid overrelying on adjectives. Don’t tell the reader that the sunset was breathtaking, describe it. When describing a particular event, most writers focus on how a place or situation appeared.
The rest of this handout is devoted to strategies for figuring out when to use “I” and personal experience.
In many cases, using the first person pronoun can improve your writing, by offering the following benefits: The original example sounds less emphatic and direct than the revised version; using “I” allows the writers to avoid the convoluted construction of the original and clarifies who did what.
A personal essay is a broad essay that often incorporates a variety of writing styles.
Most personal essay assignments ask writers to write about an important person, event or time period in their life.
Here’s another example in which an alternative to first person works better: Original example: Although you may run across instructors who find the casual style of the original example refreshing, they are probably rare.
Essays On Modernist Literature - Personal Writing Paper
The revised version sounds more academic and renders the statement more assertive and direct.If you’ve decided that you do want to use one of them, this handout offers some ideas about how to do so effectively, because in many cases using one or the other might strengthen your writing.Students often arrive at college with strict lists of writing rules in mind.Here are some tips on making a personal essay more effective: Focus on detail.The writer’s job is to show, not tell, what happened.Here is an example in which alternatives to the first person would be more appropriate: Original example: In the original example, using the first person grounds the experience heavily in the writer’s subjective, individual perspective, but the writer’s purpose is to describe a phenomenon that is in fact objective or independent of that perspective.Avoiding the first person here creates the desired impression of an observed phenomenon that could be reproduced and also creates a stronger, clearer statement.Or you might include a brief description of an experience that could help illustrate a point you’re making without ever using the word “I.” So whether or not you should use first person and personal experience are really two separate questions, both of which this handout addresses.It also offers some alternatives if you decide that either “I” or personal experience isn’t appropriate for your project.The problem is that overly strict rules about writing can prevent us, as writers, from being flexible enough to learn to adapt to the writing styles of different fields, ranging from the sciences to the humanities, and different kinds of writing projects, ranging from reviews to research.So when it suits your purpose as a scholar, you will probably need to break some of the old rules, particularly the rules that prohibit first person pronouns and personal experience.