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UCF Crafting the Personal Essay by Dinty Moore Question

I’m working on a writing question and need an explanation to help me understand better.

from the book: Crafting the Personal Essay by Dinty Moore

Q1:”In making your personal essay public not private is finding a measure of distance from your experience, learning to take a step back, narrow your eyes, and scrutinize your own life with a dose of hale and hearty skepticism.”

Q: Why do you as a writer think it is important to take a step back from your writing? Do you believe it to be more beneficial for the writer or the reader?

Q2: “The personal essayist (that would be you) takes a topic—virtually any topic under the sun—and holds it up to the bright light, turning it this way and that, upside and down, studying every perspective, fault and reflection, in an artful attempt to perceive something fresh and significant.”

Q: How (as an author) do we determine significance? Where do we find it? How do we meaningfully impart it to others?

Q3: “The private essay hides the author. The personal essay reveals. And to reveal means to let us see what is truly there, warts and all.”As I came across this quote, I realized how difficult it is (in some circumstances) to truly be honest in your work and to allow your work to reveal things about yourself that you would rather keep buried or hidden.

Q: How do we decide what is public or private? How and why do we find comfort in revealing?

Q4: “The writer of a personal essay does not begin with an idea and then struggle to prove her point; she investigates, keeps an open mind, goes wherever the thought may lead, and, in fact, may end the essay having still not reached a final conclusion.”

Q: writings can consist of many ideas while exploring, not just one. How exactly would one start investigating? Could it be from just a lingering thought or is there more to it?


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