During the time that you are working on your college application essay, reading personal essays by other writers can be extremely helpful. Seeing how a variety of successful writers have handled this form will make you more familiar and comfortable with the personal essay, give you a better idea of what constitutes a good one, and ultimately, instill in you a higher standard for your own work.
Some resources for the personal essay are listed below. Few of them are as short as 500 words but the basic principles still apply.
(Please Note: I am supplying these names and resources strictly for the benefit of students who want to learn more about the personal essay. I am not personally advocating any of these writers, their beliefs, or the way they write about them.) Write my Essay
1. The works of acknowledged masters of the personal essay. Some of these include:
Henry David Thoreau, H.L. Menken, E.B. White, James Baldwin, Susan Sontag
Essays by these writers are available in collections from the library or occasionally online.
2. Contemporary masters of the personal essay. Some of these include:
David Sedaris – His approach is usually humorous but the essays are beautifully constructed and often quite moving. His work can be found collected in books and in various magazines.
Joel Stein – His columns in Time Magazine are excellent examples of the personal essay.
John McFee – Many collections of his work are available. Essay typer
Annie Dillard – Lyrical and very poetic.
3. The Op Ed page of your local newspaper, or a nearby big city one
This page, usually found side by side with the newspaper’s editorials, features syndicated columnists, local citizens, even well known national personalities, all with a point to make. The subject matter is often political but try to detach yourself from that and concentrate on how these writers construct their essays for greatest impact.
4. “Fresh Yarn”
This website offers a wide range of personal essays – humorous, dramatic, everything in between – written by contemporary, often well known writers. An occasional curse word can creep into some of them but the essence of the essays is always thoughtful and in good taste and the quality of the writing is exceptionally high. Who Invented homework
The internet is bursting with blogs, many of them extremely well written. Since I do not feel that it’s appropriate for me to recommend one blog over another, I will just encourage you to check out some of the larger ones that feature a number of different writers and comb them for personal essays that capture your attention right from the beginning, develop a cogent point, and end with a flourish.