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While many personal essays include a direct statement of the thesis, in some personal essays the thesis may be implied rather than stated outright.Imagine, for example, that in your personal essay you decide to write about the way someone influenced you.For example, if you developed certain habits and attitudes as you and your grandparent worked together on a project, that experience might provide the focus for the essay.
(Even length is left vague.) The organization, the length, the style, the tone—often these are determined not by any template but by an author making choices in response to purpose, context, and audience.
In the past, one choice may have been made for you.
This writing in order to establish a focus is something that you do for yourself, without being concerned about how it will come across to an audience.
As you write informally (even a bulleted list can help), react to your own writing.
For this assignment, you will use various writing processes to develop an essay on a personal topic.
You will be given an opportunity to explore the topic in rough form, but the final version of the essay will be in standard written English.
Let us say that the person who influenced you is a grandparent.
You may know a lot about this individual: personality traits, family and marital history, medical history, educational background, work experience, military experience, political and religious beliefs, hobbies, tastes in music, etc.
For readers, a clear focus is essential for their understanding of a writer’s message and purpose.
The following section of the Handbook will introduce you to the factors that are important for creating a piece of writing with a clear focus.