Point of View Essay
Insider’s point of view essay (or personal experience essay): In “On Dumpster Diving,” Lars Eighner is able to describe the life of the scavenger from an insider’s point of view, using his insights to make a critique (analysis and criticism) of consumer society. Think of some subject that you can bring the insider’s point of view to, and write an essay. Your essay will probably be more like the student essays we have read, so pay attention to Colin Clark’s “Becoming a Reader,” Emma Seward’s “When Speech Fails You,” or any of the other student essays we have discussed. The core of a personal essay is inward reflection about yourself. The idea is to think of something you have experienced and tell the audience what happened and why it is meaningful to you. Spend at least 15 minutes (or more) on each of the following steps! Use any or all of the incremental writing techniques we have used in the last few weeks; for example, freewrite or do a clustering exercise on a subject you could develop for an insider’s point of view essay. (Other techniques include listing, question asking, exploring associations, paragraphing on key ideas you have discovered in your freewriting). 2. Using a story or narrative: to make your essay concrete and vivid, think of an anecdote or an incident that happened to you at work (or at the place where you think of yourself as an insider) that you can relate to the reader, particularly if it reveals something significant about yourself, your job, your co-workers, the customers, etc. Now analyze what you think your narrative (the anecdote you have just written) represents. Can you detect a theme that you can explore more fully? If other stories from your experience occur to you, develop them in the same way. Try to answer the question, “What have I learned from my experience?” This could lead you to a strong thesis which will help keep your essay focused.