Instructor: Terri Giuliano Long



Writing the Personal Essay



“Through finding a story’s shape within you life’s shape, you could know what your life means.” Tristine Rainer, Your Life as Story

This semester, we’ll read the personal stories of others, using those pieces as inspiration to help us discover and write the stories of our own lives. In writing the stories of our life, we explore feelings and beliefs about love and loss, faith and commitment, hope and disappointment, faith, courage, challenge and success; in exploring our emotions and deepest beliefs, we search for meaning and insight.

We’ll look with a writer’s critical eye at an assortment of essays, discussing their insight and meaning. In our discussions on craft, you’ll learn the techniques you need to write compelling essays. You’ll learn to engage your readers by writing realistic dialogue, building interesting scenes, describing dynamic characters and settings. Exercises and homework assignments, designed to complement classroom discussion, will give you the opportunity to experiment with structure and form, as you learn new ways of exploring and expanding your creativity.

McGuinn 100
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