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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Writing a Personal Essay by Wesleyan University

43 ratings
18 reviews

About the Course

This class is the chance to create your personal essay or extend into a full memoir -- from planning and structure to bold narrative brushstrokes to the layering of significant detail. You will develop the opportunity to find your voice and see it come alive, amplified and improved, on the page. This is the chance to tell your story in a way that invites readers in; your story, written to be read. The memoir and personal essay are two of the best-selling and most universally acclaimed genres in the world of modern creative writing. Welcome to your story....

Top reviews


Nov 06, 2019

Amy Bloom has a wealth of information to share and she leads the learner through complex ideas with ease.


Aug 27, 2020

The course lecturer was incredible. I was so interested and engaged in the assignments.

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1 - 18 of 18 Reviews for Writing a Personal Essay

By Liliane M

Jul 06, 2019

I am giving five stars to Amy Bloom, whom I also know from the 'Creative Writing Specialisation'. Amy Bloom is a wonderful instructor. Her passion is catching. Amy Blooms personality and forthcoming ways, makes you as a student, believe that you can do this. That is so wonderful.

To Coursera I cannot award anymore than one star and that is just for being here. Since the introduction of the 'Finish at your own pace' concept, it has destroyed any sense of being part of a community. The grading and peer review systems are not working as they should. The new concept, I am sure, works perfectly well in factbased courses, where two plus two, can only be four. But not in liberal arts.

In liberal arts, I see the writing of assignments and the giving and receiving of peer reviews, as a very important and integral part of the course, however, with the 'Finish at your own pace', it has been decapitated.

I have been informed by an employee not to expect this to change. Well in that case and once I have finished this course, I will change to another platform.

By Mark G W

Feb 18, 2019

Amy is great. I learnt a lot from her. I loved the course. The reason for the four stars is that I had to wait a long time for others to catch-up so I could finish the course. I find this extremely irritating.

By Travis W C

Sep 21, 2019

This course is a great way to continue building writing skills.

By Dave S

May 01, 2020

The teacher is tedious, and just loves the sound of her own voice. Unlike other coursera courses (even within this specialization) we're not given prompts. Also, the teacher doesn't use the white screen every single teacher uses for the read parts of the lessons. Lastly, the assignments 2 and 4 have nothing to do with that week's lesson and feels random. By far, the worst of the courses in this specialization.

By John E P

Nov 13, 2019

Thank you Amy for all this great advice. I enjoyed all the videos but there was one that really helped me to get out of a rut and that was "Begin in the Middle". I started revising my book right away. A Little Distance was also notable. Five Nouns and Open the Window. I will be reading your words of wisdom over and over again. Unfortunately I had to rush through the Specialization because we're leaving to go on vacation. I managed to score what I could and submitted my assignments even though I knew they could be improved. I am so glad I managed to listen to all the videos in all four courses and I have downloaded the so that I can refer to them whenever I need more inspiration. Thanks again Amy.

By Diane Z

Apr 29, 2020

Amy Bloom is a wonderful teacher. I love her style, her intelligence, her weaving in examples from various writers of the lessons she wants to teach, and her concrete and useful suggestions of what to be thinking about when sitting down to write a personal essay. Also appreciated and learned from the interviews she had with a number of writers. Very happy with the course.

By Alicia W

Aug 06, 2020

Amy Bloom is an awesome lecturer. She knows her craft well and cites the most awesome examples from published and known works. And I love how she invites other writers to the lectures! I learnt so much and so many writing techniques in this one course alone.

By Sophie F

Jul 08, 2020

I loved all of the prompts that we were given in this class, and I loved the length limitations or the things we were told to add to our work, including sounds and actions, two things my work often lacks. The instructions made me a stronger writer.


Nov 06, 2019

Amy Bloom has a wealth of information to share and she leads the learner through complex ideas with ease.

By Ann R

Aug 27, 2020

The course lecturer was incredible. I was so interested and engaged in the assignments.

By Susan B

Sep 20, 2020

Fantastic course, really loved it! Such intelligent, interesting teachers.

By Mare

Jun 06, 2020

Instructor has a lot of knowledge. Enjoyed course

By Shruti P

May 10, 2020

Very engaging course. I learnt a lot.

By Sarah A

Jul 10, 2020

Fun and educational class!

By Erica S

May 13, 2020

I loved this course

By Rosslyn D

Jun 23, 2020

The quality of the transcripts is abysmal; every transcript is scattered with errors, including many which alter the fundamental meaning of the sentence. (Don't they proofread??!!) Despite the poor quality, I was motivated to write and I learned something so all is not lost. However, for a paid course, I expect better. It should also be made clear that the only reviews a learner will receive are peer reviews - there is absolutely no tutor/learner interaction. There is also a major issue with having to complete 3 peer reviews when the learner is told repeatedly that there are no reviews available! Very frustrating. Finally, although I enjoyed this course and learned something, Coursera needs to be aware that there are many other excellent sources of online learning and if they want to maintain their reputation (or improve it!) they need to up their game and improve the content quality and accuracy. I did complain about the transcript errors and was told someone would reply to me in 24 hours. That was a month ago so I'm not optimistic that anyone even read the complaint let alone dealt with it.

By Rabia A

Aug 31, 2020

The two stars are for the quality of the instruction. For each of the four parts of this course. The rest of it is truly reprehensible. The focus seems to be on getting people to sign up and pay up. Obviously, for the price one can't expect any feedback from the instructors but peer feedback is a disaster. Most of the people I've had to review or who have reviewed my submissions have enormous difficulty with the English language. Some of them can't write a straight sentence in English. On the site we are asked to make allowances for the fact that English may not be the first language of the students. But this is a writing course—writing in English. People who cannot write in English should not be enrolled in this course. But Coursera seems to care only about taking in the fees. I'm surprised that the instructors—all of them successful, critically acclaimed writers and poets—should sign on to a project where bringing in the money (enrolling people in the thousands) seems to be the priority.

By Debra A

Oct 07, 2020

The taped lectures are fairly good, but otherwise not having any contact with the instructor or even any TAs is not what I wanted out of this class. All I receive from written assignments is a couple of peer reviews. I would like to withdraw from this class and take another class where I can have interaction with, and be graded by, an instructor.