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Back to Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader

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

205 ratings
98 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 4, 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 3, 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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76 - 98 of 98 Reviews for Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader

By Suzanne M

Apr 13, 2021

I thought the first few weeks were interesting and the assignments thoughtfully constructed. The second two weeks had assignments that were either less clearly explained (especially week 3, but I thought that was the weakest week in general) or potentially challenging to complete for reasons other than academic difficulty. This course could use more polish and review but I did not feel as if my time was ill-spent.

By Marilyn G

Sep 16, 2020

Excellent course. It made me think, sometimes a little too hard. I had trouble with The diegesis and the extradiegetic frame concepts but as they continue to become clearer, I can see how useful the concepts are in memoir / personal narrative. I wish the course made them clearer than it they are really helpful. Thank you!

By Fran L

Jun 23, 2021

E​njoyed the course and the writing prompts. The prompts helped me to focus on my audience, which is one of the skills I hoped to improve. My only complaint relates to feedback from peers, which was often slow. Otherwise, I enjoyed and learned a great deal in the course.

F​ran L.

By Mark G W

Jan 9, 2019

Eye opening from a technical writing viewpoint but slightly frustrating practically as it took me longer to finish than I wanted due to relying on others to review my work. Nevertheless, this course has some vital information for writers. Recommended.

By Gloria J M

Feb 22, 2021

The last two assignments were difficult for me, but I learned important lessons which should help me accomplish my goals. I didn't understand assignment # 3 until I reviewed others assignments. I recommend this course if you want to learn to write.

By Suzanne G

Aug 17, 2021

The course covered key elements of memoir and I learned a lot. The lectures were very good and relevant. I loved Greg's presentation style. I found following the instructions for the assignments difficult at times.

By Sarah B

Apr 14, 2021

I really enjoyed this course. It's frustrating if you aren't on the same schedule as several others though, making it difficult to review others' work and have them review yours.

By Jennifer M

Aug 19, 2019

I enjoyed this course and found it very valuable. I thought some of the assignments were confusing and could be clarified.

By Penny B

Mar 8, 2021

The last assignment could use a few examples. I’ve passed but I don’t know if I really met the rubric.

By Toshiaki O

Nov 14, 2020

Every week I got an interesting assignment and developed the writing skills. Thank you!

By Lisa Z

Apr 7, 2019

Lots of insightful tips and thought provoking ideas for my memoir.

By Alice G

Apr 6, 2022

​The lectures on video were somewhat rambling and made understanding the concepts presented difficult to understand and put in practice. I ended up researching other video lectures on each topic online to get clearer instruction. The assignments were also difficult to understand and would have benefited from short examples to clarify meaning. The last week's assignment to interview two family members is exclusive to those with living family members to talk with and would have been more inclusive to allow interview of anyone known to me as the writer. Getting assignments "graded" by other students was also difficult and involved begging on the discussion forum for another student to do so. All in all, a somewhat disappointing experience.

By Jorge A C C

Jul 9, 2020

Great videos. Great explanations by author Greg Pardlo. That alone made it worth it. On the other hand, there is no moderator, no one to ask questions and have a clear view of the assignments. No professional to give a few pointers. That was too bad. I was looking forward to taking all four courses, but that element does make me rethink and look for another option.

By Fernando A

Aug 11, 2021

E​l curso es bueno, el instructor tambiné, pero me interesa un curso impartido por un escritor que domine elidioma español. Deseo cancelart mi inscripcinó. Segu ílas instrucciones de su "tutorial", pero no me muestra la opcinó que indica "un- enroll"; solo muestra la opcinó de "calificar"

By Joe H

May 29, 2020

The lectures were a bit wooden and not particularly inspiring. But the assignments were not easily understood and without example for many and did not fit what I thought I would be learning or writing about.

By Maggie L B

Aug 10, 2019

couldn't find how to apply for finaincial aid so I haven't proceeded. Hate the money up front model.

By Naima M

Jul 25, 2019

Perfect for newbies. For the already writing practitioners, it still is useful as keep us on track.

By Wendy C

Mar 11, 2022

The writting assignments were not very challenging.

By Jocelyn R

Apr 23, 2021

While there were some interesting points of view, the lectures lacked depth and half the assignments were not well linked to that week's topic. The assignments were often unclear and I was really frustrated by the peer review grading criteria. The criteria laid out in the assignment description were not reflected in the grading criteria and new criteria were often introduced.

By Carolee F

Apr 13, 2022

Suggestions, but not structure, format, or style, voice, idea, conventions, organization, sentence fluency, or word choice instruction.

By Sunny W

Jul 19, 2020

This course could have been great if there was any control over how assignments were graded. Students who peer-reviewed, for the most part, did not read the essays instead just wrote either "good" in every section or simply put a letter like "P" or "D" so that they can move on with the course and get credit . There was no one to talk to about this. Discussion forums were dead. How do you run a good course like this? I think I totally wasted my money and time with this course. I will never ever sign up for a coursera session. I will ask my friends to boycott coursera as well.

Don't just try to make a business out of this. Do a good job with Coursera because it can only bring a bad name to the university.

By Angela S B

Dec 16, 2021

I have been begging someone to review my edited week 3 in the Creative Writing Course. I have searched for any moderator; none is available to answer any questions. I will not pass this course based on only one peer review. This is why I am giving this course a 1.

By Eva N

Oct 21, 2021

Audited only. Won't let me complete course.