'Go and write'
Link: The Soul-crushing Student Essay, New York Times
Somewhere along the way, these young people were told by teachers that who they are in their writing ought to be divorced from who they are.
This is incredibly true.
Don't use 'I'. Speak in generalities (but don't say most people, at most, say many). [OK, but that last bit is good advice when it comes to ensuring accuracy.—Ed.] This paper isn't about what you think, it's about what you've been told to think. We have decided what the author meant, or why a historical event was significant, and your own relation to the material is irrelevant.
As Korb concludes:
But don’t forget: You’ve been trying to understand and triumph in the world for as long as you can remember, even as a kid. Now go and write.
Go and write. Go and write, because it is one of the amazing tools that enables individuals--that enables me-- to understand the world, the information I come across, and my existence, in relative terms.
Go and write.