Try to restate your thesis in a way that reflects the journey the essay has taken.
Personal Narrative My Life I never really thought about where my life was going.
These essays were ultra-personal and confessional in nature, often in a TMI sort of way.
Their headlines were clickable, not to mention shareable, for their shock value alone.
All it takes to understand the importance of an outline is listening to someone who struggled to tell a personal story. The switchbacks where the teller says “But wait, I have to tell you about this part, first! An outline will help you organize your thoughts before committing them to text. Don’t say “I felt cold.” Say “I exhaled and my breath turned to vapor that hung in the air.
Consider your opening hook and the statement it makes, then map out the sequence of events or main points that support it. I shivered and pulled the blanket tight around my shoulders in a vain attempt to trap my body heat.” Your description should help the reader experience the cold with you.
Plan to add a conclusion that will evoke an emotional response in your reader. Your essay may well be about sexism, but you need to illustrate it through the lens of a defining incident that’s deeply personal to you. Just as a good lead hooks readers and draws them along for the ride, a good conclusion releases them from your essay’s thrall with a frisson of pleasure, agreement, passion or some other sense of completion.
Circling back to your lead in your conclusion is one way to give readers that full-circle sense.
The challenge lies in getting that story and message out of your head and into print in a way that resonates with your audience.
Starting somewhere in the late 2000s, a certain type of personal essay experienced a popularity boom.