2023 – Summer

Toolkit: Identity, Culture and Me: Personal Essay (ONLINE) (2-credit) (5/31 – 6/28)

Course Number: SS0: JOUR-UA 25.003

Day & Time: Mon/Wed 6:20-9:20 pm

Location: Online

Instructor: Betty Ming Liu

Albert Class Number: 4972

Welcome to personal essay writing! Let’s show the world what you and your community are all about. Bring us your stories and reflections about gender, race, culture, diversity, the immigrant experience, film, fashion, food, gaming, health and wellness victories and challenges…if the topic is important to your identity, let’s explore it. You can be funny, serious or off-beat. What matters is developing your authentic voice with a journalistic flair for strong reporting and concise writing.

This short course will carry lasting impact because the personal essay is so adaptable. Its elastic format is core to endless writing projects. You can shrink, stretch and shape it for presentation as opinion columns, intimate journeys, memoirs and post-graduate admission essays. Our journalistic approach also elevates your creative nonfiction and fiction writing by gifting you with essential research and organizational skills.

By the end of our four weeks together, you’ll know how to write in a concise, conversational way. Your authentic voice will develop as you experiment with both long and short personal essay-writing exercises. You’ll also leave with a curated collection of research resources and sources that can become the foundation of your future body of work. We’ll cover interviewing and rewriting skills, too. This is your opportunity to introduce your world to a wider audience and put your community on the map.