Introduction to writing creative personal essays ADED12020E

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: Short Courses
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Summer
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

In this course we'll study the art and craft of writing reflectively about life in the personal essay form. Whether up-close, or more distantly observed; we'll discover what we each might have to say about key aspects of being human (such as relationships, art, politics, travel or nature), and how to sculpt our written voices to say it. We'll read and learn from notable examples, then apply those key techniques in writing exercises that we share for group feedback. While the main purpose of this course is literary and creative and not therapeutic, personal reflections are welcome and the ethics of writing from real life will be discussed. Overall, this practical course offers students a welcoming first step or new approach towards writing about real-life, using further reflection and storytelling to get to the heart of an experience.


Block 3 or 4

Days and times TBC

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Portfolio (1,500 words) of personal essay writing in the form of several shorter pieces, extract(s) from a longer work or one singular complete piece (75%) (ILO #1 and #2)


Self-reflective essay (500 words) offering a short commentary on their personal creative decision-making process whilst composing their portfolio, in particular the personal essay techniques attempted (25%) (ILO#3)

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce students to the key distinct literary characteristics of the personal essay form through textual analysis of notable examples.

■ Encourage individual, creative approaches to the personal essay through practical writing exercises that draw inspiration from real-life and enables them to apply key techniques to their own writing.

■ Build students' confidence in submitting their creative writing for feedback.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Identify and distinguish the key literary characteristics of the personal essay form and apply these to their own writing.

■ Compose persuasive, artistically coherent and technically competent written work that demonstrates key techniques of the personal essay form.

■ Appraise and reflect upon their own creative process and that of others.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.