Sunday, January 25, 2015

Different Forms, Different Effects?

Something about personal essays makes them my favorite literary outlet.  I noticed that out of the five personal essays I read dealt with similar topics including loss, missionary lessons and difficult situations.  However, though similar topics, each was told in a completely different way.  Some focused on describing the emotions felt, some described one specific moment, others told a story.  I especially enjoyed the essays that did describe a moment yet did so with specific detail and emotion that it was able to fill an entire essay.  I think that is an especially moving way to write an essay and perhaps an aspect I would like to incorporate into my own essay.  Another aspect of some of the essays was their different perspective on situations.  Though multiple talked of grief, each provided a perspective I had never considered before.  By doing so, I found myself relating to stories and situations I have never experienced myself something I desire to accomplish in my own writing.

The form of a video proceeding the essay was an interesting introduction.  Though I liked the idea of an introduction, many of the videos seemed too long.  I enjoyed the shorter videos because they gave an inkling into the subject and sparks enough interest to read the essay but does not completely give away everything.  Some of the videos seem to give the essence of the whole essay and I was left with a small desire to read what they had written.  After reading a few essays that had longer essays, the essays were still great but I think the initial interest is important in introducing an essay so I appreciated the shorter videos.  However, though I have said opinion, the video form gave an opportunity for the writers to verbally express their essays and invite others to read.  

As for the blogging form in regards to a personal essay, I can't say I felt much different reading the essay on a blog as compared to in a compilation on paper.  I think the difference simply is that the blog makes an essay more accessible and easily shared which can definitely be a plus.  Overall, I appreciated the blog form but it didn't affect my reading of the essay.


  1. I hadn't really noticed--until you mentioned it--how many of the essays spoke about grief. That's a really interesting idea. I wonder if Mormons are any more prone to write about grief than non-Mormons.

    1. That is an interesting question Tyler, now I wonder too..

  2. I agree that the longer essays made me lose interest more quickly, but I also think that if the video was too short in summarizing their essay with only a few words, it didn't make me interested in reading it either. So I think there has to be a balance, not too long, not too short. And yeah, it's true, a blog does make essays more accessible, and I also think maybe more personal because there isn't that formality that come with typed, written papers. But you're right, the content and what the audience gets is still the same.