Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Personal/reflective essays

Hi! Today I got my first higher essay back (which was on Trio) and I got 16 out of 25! I'm quite pleased with that actually-is that a pretty good mark for a first attempt at higher level? Also, today we had to choose what type of essay to write (either argumentative, persuasive, short story etc.) and I thought I would probably be best off going for personal/reflective. Would you mind telling me what makes a good personal/reflective essay and what should be avoided? I felt slightly intimidated by some of the things that were being said in class, ie-implicit and explicit, as most people knew exactly what was being said and understood everything. However, a lot of what was being described was completely new to me. Judging by my past attempts at personal experience are there any pointers you can give me for writing this essay?
Thank you

PS-I was talking to LP today and it would seem that she may be considering blogging again too!


Chris said...

16 is a very respectable first mark - you should be able to improve on that too.
Are you asking about explicit (clearly stated) and implicit (suggested, hinted at)? You should ask, you know, if there are things said which are unclear to you - there's no shame in it, and others will be glad you had the guts to ask.

As for a good personal/reflective essay at this level, the most important thing I can tell you is that the bar is set a good deal higher at this stage. You can't just write about what has happened; you have to discuss the implications of the event. It's best if you can draw some general conclusion from a specific experience - a new insight, perhaps. You'll find mini reflective essays all over the blogosphere - I've just written one in Blethers.
In writing personally you should be self-aware and also audience-aware. Are you sure you want to avoid fictional writing? I was re-reading a seriously good one in which the writer focussed on the last days of a very old person - very impressive for someone of your own age.

Post again on this topic if that isn't enough.

the teens said...

Well, I honestly still don't feel all that confident about writing personal essays never mind short stories. I really can't remember the last time I wrote a short story. But I do remember that it was far too long and I struggled to keep it short. It may have been a festive story? I think you were my teacher at the time actually! I've never even attempted a short story under timed conditions-I just don't think I'd manage it. I considered doing a personal/reflective essay as that was always what I did in exams etc. I've never even thought to try argumentative or persuasive so I don't even know if I am any good at that!


Bun said...

"as most people knew exactly what was being said and understood everthing." I doubt this very much. They are all good bluffers! I bet if you asked questions (make the teacher work) many of your classmates would be very grateful and even admire you for it.

Chris said...

The festive story was me :-( -sorry!
I remember - and you're probably right. Mind, i still think you could try it some day (when you've nothing better to do ......)

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