Learn How to Write a Personal Essay by Experts
Teachers typically assign a personal essay at the beginning of the school year. Their reason behind this is to evaluate your writing abilities, communication skills and also to get to know you a little better.
If you are overwhelmed with the writing process or don’t know what to include in your essay, there’s no need to panic. This complete guide will provide you with all the necessary steps for writing a personal essay.
1. What is a Personal Essay?
A personal essay is the type of writing that is based on the personal experiences of the writer. It talks about such life experiences that were the turning point for the writer or resulted in some major lessons and growth.
Not just that, you can also write a personal essay to address an issue close to your heart and how you feel about it. The focus of such essays isn't having to prove a point, but share the writer's feelings, personal opinions and experiences. It is a work of creative nonfiction autobiography narrated in a way that the reader feels as if he experienced it himself.
2. Characteristics of a Personal Essay
Now that you have understood the personal essay definition let's take a look at the different writing styles and their characteristics.
When writing a personal narrative:
- To write personal narrative essay, the center point should be a significant and meaningful life-changing experience.
- Since it is a narration, you must include the storylike elements such as plot, setting, characters, imagery, dialogues, etc.
- It is written in the first-person perspective.
- It is an insight into the writer's personal story, so it doesn't need to be objective.
- The writer must be honest when sharing the real-life incidents.
When sharing a personal opinion:
- It is kind of like a conversation with the readers where you can talk about an issue and propose a solution.
- It includes facts.
- It isn't an essay about yourself, but an issue from your perspective.
- Your opinions are like evidence to prove the argument.
3. How to Write a Personal Essay
Writing a personal essay isn't much different from other types of essays. They all follow the same writing process and structure - the only difference is the content.
3.1 Come Up with an Interesting Topic
When choosing a topic to share with your reader, think about things that you like reading about yourself. These are normally things that we can relate to, such as overcoming a hurdle, losing a loved one, a milestone, etc.
It'll be easier to write about events or experiences that hold a significant meaning in your life, and that have happened to others too, at some point or another. The idea is to write about something that will teach your reader's a lesson.
Here are some interesting personal essay topics to give you an idea:
- Someone who taught you an important lesson.
- Things you learned from your mistakes.
- In what ways can you contribute towards the betterment of our society?
- The incident that changed your life forever.
- How you got rid of a bad personality trait.
3.2 Create a Personal Essay Outline
It is always better to organize your essay and information using a proper structure to avoid going off track. Make a list of everything that you want to share with your reader and then create an outline to organize this information into different sections.
For a personal essay, make sure that you start on a light note. Build the reader's interest by providing them with something catchy and interesting about yourself. You can do that in the form of an anecdote, short story, or some fact.
To make it easier for the reader to understand, introduce the characters in your story as well as yourself.
3.2.2 Body Paragraphs
he body typically consists of three paragraphs, but it can vary depending on your teacher's requirements. Chronologically describe the life events and how they influenced your beliefs and personality.
While writing such essays, your focus should be to show and not tell. Provide descriptive details about the incidents to make it easier for the reader to visualize. Use sensory details so that the reader uses his five senses to visualize your story.
Don't just focus on narrating the story that you forget the main purpose – how the event influenced and changed your life.
The conclusion is just as important as the opening of your essay. Use it to give the reader a sense of closure and reflect on your life events.
4. Personal Essay Tips
- Always remain truthful when narrating your story and events from your real life.
- Take out some time to list down your thoughts that you want to incorporate in the essay beforehand.
- Don't add irrelevant details to meet the word count as it will only bore the reader.
- Don't feel shy sharing your failures, instead use them to show how you became a better version of yourself because of the setbacks. This point is extremely important, especially when you decide to write a personal statement essay for college. Check out more about writing a personal statement.
- Maintain a positive point of view throughout the paper.
- Write in a conversational tone.
4.1 Personal Essay Examples PDF
This was everything you needed to craft an interesting personal essay. Remember that there is a greater purpose than simply narrating a story. Your aim should be to inspire the reader with the lessons that you have learned.
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