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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader by Wesleyan University

128 ratings
62 reviews

About the Course

The blank page can be the most daunting obstacle in writing. In this course, aspiring writers will assemble a “starter kit” for approaching the blank page by developing constructive ways to think about the writing process as a whole. While subsequent courses in this series will focus on the mechanics of good writing, this course offers ways to think about the writer’s relationship to her material, and ultimately develop a writing style that is uniquely her own....

Top reviews


Aug 05, 2019

The information was given in such a way that I found myself re-thinking all of the stories I've written, wanting to explore other options and re-write from a clearer perspective. Truly valuable.


Sep 04, 2020

I really appreciate the professor and his classes I have enjoyed every single video and every assignment It is really useful course which will allow us to know how exactly to write a memoir.

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1 - 25 of 60 Reviews for Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader

By Peter C

Jan 04, 2020

I felt that sometimes the instructions for the assignments were not clear, or if they were clear, what was being requested was rather trivial and elementary. Perhaps that was what made it hard to review one's peers. I was rather disappointed that the number of peer reviews, and their depth and content, were so minimal. I was diligent in reviewing others' - ranging from a minimum of 6 to a max of 13 reviews per assignment, over the four weeks. Yet most of the time I only had one, and occasionally two, people make any comments in the peer review. I may well have misunderstood what was being asked. So many of the contributions were of a low standard in grammar and sentence structure, even if the situations they were describing were full of interest and life. They wouldn't have passed a 5th grade teacher. Having said that, the video presentations by the professor were very engaging and I enjoyed thinking about the points he made.

By Ruth L G

Apr 20, 2019

I loved the challenge of writing BUT I received one feedback apiece on only my 1st and 3rd assignment. I reviewed 3 assignments from others for all of the assignments. They were minimal. Maybe you should guide us what we say to other writers.

By Colin P

Jun 06, 2019

I enjoyed doing the course. Some of the ideas I gathered doing it were very exciting. However, I was very disappointed in terms of feedback. I received one bit of feedback over the whole course. Also, there was nobody to contact if and when you came across problems. For instance, I was forced to review the same essay twice simply because I couldn't get hold of anyone to rectify the problem. There will always be problems so, it is important that there is someone to deal with them. This is not acceptable.

By Austine C

Aug 20, 2019

I enjoyed the course, the lectures and the incentive to write. But I was very disappointed that I did not get enough reviews of one of my assignments. I hope there will be more reviews so I can get a grade. I don't understand the deadline system. People seem to be enrolling willy nilly.

By Elaine D d S

Jul 08, 2019

I would prefer to have a teacher's review of my material.

By Alicia W

Jul 03, 2020

Loved the course. The assignments were enough of a challenge and very manageable. I loved that the videos have transcripts because I am hearing impaired. I found that the majority of my peers gave good, helpful and encouraging reviews. I would have preferred a more personal sharing from the instructor at some point.

By eileen p

Aug 18, 2019

The instructor was excellent, clearly and patiently explaining key concepts; and the assignments were useful to make me think about the writing.

I am not a writer and my enjoyment and appreciation of writing have grown significantly. Thank you!

By Tracy A W

Jul 09, 2020

I really enjoyed this course. I've been working on my own memoir for about six months, with no organization or formal training. I've been able to solidify some of the work that I've already written and been able to create more layers of detail in what I have so far. I really enjoyed the instructor's videos and his easygoing speaking style. This is my first peer review course, and at first, I wasn't sure I would get enough feedback, but most of it is very valuable. I enjoyed the course and got a lot of value out of it.

By Linda A

Sep 07, 2020

For me it was perfect, about 2 to 4 hours a week between watching the videos, thinking about the assignment and then writing. The first week I think I was poorly matched to my peer-reviewers as they made few if any comments. The other three weeks, the program found 'my' stride and I was paired with excellent reviewers who helped me to improve my story-telling with their observations. Again, for me at this point in time, these short and to-the-point videos are perfect and well-matched to the assignments.

By J J

Oct 05, 2020

Excellent Introduction Course

I gained more confidence in myself as a writer. I was able to become more comfortable with the idea of being reviewed by peers. I found feedback by peers helpful. It was also helpful to review work by peers as a way to improve my own writing and thought processes. The instructor, Mr. Pardio, delivered his messages in an engaging and thought-provoking manner.

By Paula P

Jul 26, 2020

This course was excellent all around - the professor was wonderful and offered valuable insights to the writing process, and thinking about the writing process for oneself. I learned a ton about choosing topics, frames, and techniques to tell the story which have helped me to open up the door to writing my memoir.

By Victoria R

Sep 02, 2020

The assignments were very helpful, although the instructions were sometimes not as clear as they should have been. Video instruction was good. I especially liked Mr. Pardlo's easy manner and his use of poems to help make his points. I had an excellent experience with the peer reviewers, too.

By Alison E L

Sep 07, 2020

Gregory Pardlo has a friendly demeanor while he provides extremely insightful tips on how an author can present themselves to the reader when writing memoir. The homework aligned well with the lessons, providing the opportunity to put the information from each week's videos into practice.

By Alexandria S

May 02, 2020

I thought this class was very well structured and that Greg Pardlo was relatable and on point. I have listened to the lecture segments repeatedly, and I continue to learn from them. The assignments, especially the one relating your life to historical trends and events, are enlightening.

By B R H

Jun 11, 2020

it was a good learning experience . I was really forced to think and write my bits of my memoir with emotions, understand the difference between the frame and the story. Thanks Mr Greg . I never knew that i can do justice for on line learning. but YOU made it possible.

By Jean-Pierre C

Apr 29, 2020

I have learnt a lot. More importantly, this course has unlocked my ability to think reflectively and to better structure the narrative. Sounds weird now but I never thought about the reader before with this level of respect. I genuinely think it has changed my approach.

By Laura F Z

Jun 30, 2020

Dr. Pardlo was really clear in his explanations of the material, and presented the material in a fresh way that I had not been exposed to before, since I'm not a poet. I highly recommend this course for anyone who wants to kick-start their personal writing projects.

By Betsy A

Aug 31, 2020

The course's pace kept me writing but wasn't a burden. The minilectures were very interesting and helpful. The prompts were a challenge but not crazy hard. My classmates' writing was very interesting to read. In short, I learned a lot about writing in 4 weeks.

By Constantino C

Oct 13, 2020

Though the course was excellent, I did not like to receive one encouragement message from you (which I appreciated), but I did not have any possibility to respond. I tried to write a text to Greg, and I left it in his blog. Regards, Constantino

By June W

Feb 25, 2019

I audited this course to brush up on my personal essay skills. I think that's something every blogger and writer, like myself, should do periodically. I enjoyed the course and I think I'll enjoy the rest of the specialization just as well.

By Pongitte R

Jun 02, 2020

Professor Pardlo is fantastic. His video clips are effective for getting participants to consider the various aspects of memoir writing. Excellent and appropriate use of examples to make his points. I only audited but would recommend.

By Jon K

May 16, 2020

I really enjoyed this course. I was my first course ever done online and the pace and topics were great. I would've liked more input from the instructor on my work, but it's probably not a suitable venue for that.

Thanks again.

By Clarissa S

Jun 17, 2020

I loved this course! thank you so much! I loved Greg's videos, which were short but very insightful. I loved the assignments, very well thought. Couldn't recommend this course enough for anyone who wants to write.

By Michelle L V

Oct 27, 2020

I enjoyed listening and learning from Greg's videos. He gave in depth explanations and compelling examples. I will move on to the next course after this experience. Thank you for an affordable chance to learn!

By Margaret M J

Oct 19, 2019

Key concepts in crafting memoir are presented, explained, and followed up with dynamite exercises. I found this course extremely useful in my efforts to structure and craft a memoir of my long work history.