Write a Personal Essay: 5 Common Mistakes That Should Be Avoided

The essay is a popular genre. The problem is that the number of essayists for the space on the page is much higher than the available places. For example, The New York Times column Modern Love found thousands of presentations each year of which only 52 per race. Do you want to attract the attention of an editor with your personal essay and get a coveted spot in your favorite publication? Make sure you are not making one of these common trial mistakes.

1. The use of the test to ventilate

Writers commonly use an essay as an opportunity to express a moralistic stance, rant on a controversial issue or vent of a family member. Do not do it. If you take a position on a topic, you will lose your reader the moment she (or he) gives you your point. Instead, challenge the reader to adopt their own stand without saying it openly. Give your reader a new way of looking at the subject by sharing part of yourself and showing your experience, and it is possible that, indirectly, change the point of view. The beginners also tend to underestimate help from third parties. By combining all personal skills with help from others, an amateur essayist can be better in the future.

2. Eliminate superficiality on the page

Most of the early critical drafts come with at least three lines of superfluous hawking that can easily go without impacting the piece. See how your essay sounds if you start with the fourth or fifth sentence instead.

3. The long writing

Do not be afraid of the butcher knife. When you are reviewing and polishing an essay, make sure what you have written is scarce, there are no unnecessary words, and there are no superfluous anecdotes and no nonsense! If you need to trim your piece to fit in a particular column, try to cut additional words or even more graphics, and see if your piece still works. And do not be so happy with the way he has turned a phrase that keeps him in his piece even though he does not add or support his takeaway.

4. Do not use day-to-day life as an example for the trial

The work of an essayist is to extract universal meaning from the facts and experiences of worldly life. I have written about my brother’s toy collection, my grandmother’s kitchen, and my attempts to select the perfect wine to combine with a dish. No matter what your story is about, it must involve some kind of personal transformation that allows you to see the world in another way. Does your story make readers feel something, or think of a problem in another way? Will you motivate them to act (by calling their mom, for example)? If your piece makes readers remember an event or life experience of their own, chances are you’ve created a great essay.

5. Use vague language

Many writers tend to use words and phrases repeated at times. Try this self-experiment edition: Highlight all the adverbs and adjectives in your piece. Are those the best words for the job? Can you find the best, richest or most meaningful words? Or will you find that you have used the same adjectives and adverbs again and again? Each description should only appear in your piece once. Look at your verbs. Are they action verbs? Quaint, blunt and precise? Or do you have a lot of “to be” verbs that do not impart any meaning?