The Power of the Personal Essay For Persuading People
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The Power of the Personal Essay For Persuading People

Learn How to Write More Effective Blog Posts, Newspaper Columns, and Admissions Applications
2.8 (3 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
621 students enrolled
Created by Duncan Koerber
Last updated 8/2016
English
Current price: $12 Original price: $20 Discount: 40% off
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Includes:
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV

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What Will I Learn?
  • Advice on causing or changing behaviour through writing
  • Rhetorical categories needed to affect readers
  • Tips on recognizing argumentative fallacies in your own work and the work of others
  • Approaches to writing personal essays
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • No specific materials are required
Description

Blog posts, newspaper columns, and admission applications can often be quite lifeless, abstract, vague and thus ineffective in persuading anyone about anything

Yet great changes in people's thinking and behavior can occur with persuasion done right, particularly in writing. 

If you want to change people's opinions in the online public sphere and get them to act in new ways, you must include rhetorical elements and take on approaches that I describe in detail in this course. 

Incorporate those elements in the personal essay – and avoid logical problems listed in the lectures – and you can make your writing more powerful

In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How a personal essay is nothing like an academic school paper;
  • The roles of Cultural Observer and Activist common to almost all personal essays;
  • Three rhetorical devices that – when combined – can influence people profoundly;
  • Ways to identify and remove logical problems from your arguments;
  • How to see and break down false assumptions in your opponent’s arguments; and,
  • The basics of an admissions essay.

This course is useful for anyone looking to improve the impact of his or her writing, particularly on the Internet.

Try a free preview of the lectures. Udemy offers a 30-day refund guarantee.

Who is the target audience?
  • This is best suited for students new to writing personal essays
Compare to Other Essay Writing Courses
Curriculum For This Course
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Beginnings
2 Lectures 08:06

A look at the benefits of the course and details about the instructor. 

Preview 01:18

This video examines a number of issues: What's a personal essay? And how is it different from an academic paper? And how does a personal essay influence people? 

Preview 06:48
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Personal Essay Writing Roles
2 Lectures 13:24

An explanation of the reserved stance of Cultural Observer and how to find cultural observation ideas for essays. 

Preview 05:29

An explanation of the reserved stance of Activist and how to find activist ideas for essays. 

Writer as Activist
07:55
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Fundamental Principles in Personal Essays
4 Lectures 21:05

Personal essays need to be focused and have a certain structure. 

Specificity and Structure
03:42

People's writing often speaks truths that, upon investigation, are not true at all. 

Personal Essays and the Truth – Not Always What It Seems
05:51

Classical philosopher Aristotle had it right – three rhetorical elements must be combined to persuade people effectively. 

Three Rhetorical Elements in Effective Personal Essays
05:20

You can cut down the arguments of your opponents – and support your cause – through attacking logical fallacies. 

Argumentative Fallacies that Make People Look Stupid
06:12
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Application Personal Essays
1 Lecture 04:10

How does an admissions essay differ from the kinds of essays discussed earlier in this course?

How to Write a Personal Essay for a School Admissions Application
04:10
About the Instructor
Duncan Koerber
4.6 Average rating
234 Reviews
4,445 Students
10 Courses
University Professor

Dr. Duncan Koerber has taught writing and communications courses for the past 10 years at six Canadian universities to thousands of students.

Oxford University Press recently published his writing textbook, Clear, Precise, Direct: Strategies for Writing (2015). Available on Amazon, the book considers the seven most common errors (interfering factors) in writing and how to improve them (enhancing factors). His second book, Crisis Communication in Canada, is in the revision process for University of Toronto Press.

Currently a full-time assistant professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada, Duncan Koerber worked for nearly 10 years in reporting and editing roles for the London Free Press, the Mississauga News, and the University of Toronto Medium. He has freelanced for magazines and newspapers, including the Toronto Star.

Duncan Koerber has been a successful freelance editor, earning a 95% success rating on Upwork. 

Duncan Koerber has a bachelor of arts degree in English, Professional Writing, and Political Science from the University of Toronto (2001), a master of arts degree in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario (2003), and a Ph.D. in Communication and Culture from York University and Ryerson University (2009).

His academic writing, which focuses on media and journalism history, writing pedagogy, and public relations crisis communication, has been published in the Canadian Journal of Communication, the Journal of Canadian Studies, Journalism History, Media History, Composition Studies, Canadian Journal of Media Studies, and Sport History Review.