Length: 3-5 pgs, double spaced.
Guidelines: (1) The essay should be about you, meaning your life should be central to the essay. So, we’ll be writing in the vein of personal essays vs. The New Journalism, but this is not to say that you can’t include or weave in researched facts and/or discuss people that you know—well or peripherally—but your life should be at the heart of the essay.
(2) The essay should be rooted in truth, meaning true events and true people, BUT as we’ve discussed, “truth” can mean different things to different people. “Truth” is not always the same as fact. So, composite characters, compression, embellishment, poetic license, etc, are acceptable. You are in control of how you present your truth.
(3) The essay should be subjective and reflective. This is not a journalism course, so remember that with CNF, it is expected that you yourself—your thoughts, your ideas, your reactions to the events and people you present—should be very much a part of your work. Good literature (1) pleases and (2) teaches. Think of the pleasing aspect. These essays should be good to read—interesting, evocative, etc.