I was wondering if anyone can explain or describe the main parts of an autobiogrpahical essay, the only requirement is a 2 point thesis. Also, if you have any links that provide guides on writing any kind of essays, please point it out!
1 2 3 4
I myself have written a few personal essays, but none of them has a thesis, per se.

For example, I began one essay with:

I was on North Lamar, outside Central Market, journeying back to work after a futile hunt for cheap lunchable gourmet. The morning hummed a refrain from a sunny tune. The larger concerns in life barely registered: the Iraqi war hung like an overdue cold front . . .

You see? No thesis.

Moderators, feel free to chime in.

You sound like a cannibal? "...hunt for cheap lunchable gourmet"

I think you were looking for an inexpensive but tasty or at least acceptable lunch?

gourmet: A connoisseur of fine food and drink. In other words, a person.

lunchable: No such word exists, but I think you meant tasty or at least acceptable.

Don't worry, we all make up our words now and then.

As far as autobiographies go, I have no clue. I never wrote one. I have read several autobiographical books, but that's about it. I suggest doing an Internet search or something.

Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Strange, the opening went through several pairs of eyes, and this is the first time the question comes up. (OK, none of the proofreaders is a copyeditor...)

I did make up another word -- "skyful" (the phrase was "a skyful of cotton balls") -- which got edited out by an internet poster.

Anyway, the blurb I posted was the beginning of an autobiographical incident.
Hi julielai,
OK, none of the proofreaders is a copyeditor...

Neither am I a copy editor nor a proofreader. I am just an average Joe.

Actually, it was the word "lunchable" that jumped out at me. And then "gourmet."

It's interesting how when we hear words in our native language we can instanteously detect incorrect words by their sounds. Yet, when learning a foreign language, this instinctive ability is lost. Anyway, no harm, no foul.


I intentionally made up the word "lunchable". I guess my native-speaking proofreaders were okay with it since we were all in a creative writing group, and there were even more outrageous with words such as (words like SOBEIT???).

I do agree that gourmet is questionable, and it would have been marked wrong in a business writing course.

I come to think that the ability to detect incorrectness is learned, though native speakers do have an advantage. And some people are more visual-oriented. Just my humble opinion.


Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Hi Julielai,

Both "lunchable" and "gourmet" would be marked wrong in most writing courses.

The ability to detect errors is simply the ability to write well. Once a writer knows right from wrong, then it is easy. Don't worry, I make my fair share of mistakes as well. And I need to write several drafts before I am happy with my product.

As far as being visual, when you read something, you can either picture it or hear it. So as long as you are predisposed to either one of those, you are fine.

My oh-so-very-picky writing instructor and two other creative writers didn't mark the words wrong. (I assume you mean "marked", not "market"?) But as I said, many native speakers also like to experiment with words, including many writers I've come across in New Yorker and Harper's.

(And the person who marked "skyful" wrong was a non-native speaker)

My teacher once gave me this definition of good writing:
Superior writing shows clarity, organization, polish, language skills, confidence, imagination, energy, and insight.

Anyway, our views towards "corrrectness" will never coincide. Better leave this discussion as it is.
No carry on!

I can accept lunchable as an easily understood invented word but it is the use of gourmet that rang out as incorrect to me. As originally stated, it sounds as though you wanted to eat a human!

Gourment as a noun, such as here, means a person who appreciates good food. As an adjective, it means something that a gourmet would enjoy, but it needs a noun to modify. And you had turned 'lunch' into an adjective as well. So a lunchable gourmet snack or meal would have made sense, or a lunchable snack, or a gourmet lunch, but a lunchable gourmet doesn't.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Show more