10 Tips on Writing a Personal Essay
What can be easier than writing about yourself? There is no subject you are more familiar with. Quite the contrary, the biggest challenge of writing a personal essay is presenting yourself in the best tones without sounding egoistic. Moreover, even though you’re free to write about whatever crosses your mind, reflective or personal essays still need to meet certain requirements. We can write this essay for you, or custom essay order can be placed here.
Writing a Personal Essay Guide
Find information about them and more useful tips in this article:
So what exactly should the “about me essay” be about? As obvious as the answer might be, it’s hard to pick up what part of you it should depict. The general direction that we recommend stick to is writing about your life experiences. There are numerous reasons why this is the best approach. First of all, life experience shows that you’re a mature person who has seen things. Second, you can use those experiences as life lessons and say what they taught you. Finally, your choice of things to describe is a direct reflection of your personality.
More Specific about Experiences
So yes, you need to write about your life experiences but which ones to choose? If you’re writing a personal essay as an admission requirement to go to college, choose an education-related topic. Writing about your first trip to the beach or how you helped your baseball team win a competition might sound great, but these things are not what will bring you to college. Instead, focus more on school-related topics whether they are about a role of an inspirational teacher or your own personal achievements. Make sure you also cover such things as your life goals and aspirations because a person with perspectives is always appreciated.
Ideas for Your Essay
There are two types of situations you might end up with: you may already be given a prompt you have to develop in an essay or you might have a chance to start writing from scratch which means you have to come up with your own ideas. In the first case it’s a clear cut, but if you need to pick up your own topic, be especially careful.
Since you want to stand out from the crowd of all other potential students, you need to write about an experience that no other person is likely to have had. That is why describing your first school day is not a good choice for a personal essay. Other things like a big achievement, a death of a close person, or a birth of a sibling might carry a big emotional value for you, but they are also something that many people go through. I need to find something personal that makes you come across as an extraordinary individual.
What Things to Avoid
Many people think that risky topics make good essays. Partially it’s true since you can spark more interest with something problematic or controversial. However, when an essay plays a decisive role in your future, taking such risks is unreasonable. That’s why we recommend avoid dubious topics such as money and politics, religion and race.
Also, try to avoid any phrases that give a very blatant description of your personal traits. For example, saying “I’m a good leader with an exceptional yearning for justice” is a no go. Instead, make the reader coming to that conclusion by describing a story that shows those features. You’ll achieve more by avoiding self-flattering and simply telling a story that reflects your beliefs and principals.
But What if You Need a Sensitive Topic?
Yes, sometimes writing on a sensitive subject is a calculated risk that can bring you extra points. However, this is something that you need to know how to execute. First of all, think about the target audience and try to predict what things are okay and what should be left unsaid. For example, you might be driven to write about your creative thinking, but describing how you managed to cheat on an exam is not a good idea. Second, make sure you show clear judgment and your statements are not ruled by emotions. This is especially important when mentioning such things as religious beliefs, sexuality, mental health, or race. Finally, when you want to mention other people, it’s recommended to protect their identity and use different names instead.
Planning the Essay
Once you’ve picked your topic, you can start writing. Usually, personal essays are quite short – approximately 400 words. This means that you need to be as concise as possible and saying only things that are worth to be heard. One thing that is important about a reflective essay is being sincere in it. If it’s a factor that decides the destiny of your education, you can’t make up facts that might harm you in the future. For example, saying that you were a captain of your school volleyball team and the school president while you were none of them, will bring you only troubles. Instead, try to find something positive about yourself because you’re bound to have something. Tell about a challenge you’ve managed to conquer or struggles you’ve overcome to achieve a goal and this will be enough. Don’t try to paint a pretty picture because your true self is already valuable enough.
Opening the Story
“My name is…”, “The best moment in my life was…”, or “One memory that I’ll always cherish is…” may seem like good opening statements but they are not. At least, they are not for an adult who’s writing a personal essay. They are plain and predictable – two things you should watch out for in your writing.
An alternative opening is starting to describe your story without any introduction. For example, “The wind was gusting in my ears. I was standing on the edge of the bridge feeling the shivers running through my whole body. The moment of truth has finally come.” By doing so, you’ll create an intrigue, and the reader won’t even second guess whether they should continue – they will be eager to find out what happens next.
Even though you need to be true in your essay, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take a creative approach. Try to think out of the box and avoid clichés. There are so many similar essays that the admission committee has to read that your chances don’t grow any better if you submit something that has already been said. There is always a way to describe even most mundane things in an interesting way. You just need to find your own personal style and not try to mimic someone else.
Ending the Essay
Finishing your essay might end up being even harder than starting it because where do you set a full stop in the story of your life? In this case, focus on the specific subject you’re writing about. For example, if you’re writing about how you’re learned a foreign language by yourself, finish by describing the first time you had a conversation with a native speaker. If you write about how you overcame bullying in your school, describe how you helped someone else. Don’t just finish with a chronological order of events. You need to highlight why this experience was useful and what you got from it for yourself and possibly for others.
Once you think you’re done with the practical part of writing, make sure you have a third party to give their honest opinion. At first, your essay might seem perfect for you, but that’s due to the fact that after working so long on it, you can’t judge it in an unbiased manner. For this, you need someone who has not been involved in the writing process. Ideally, this role should be fulfilled by someone who knows you well, whether it’s a parent, a close friend, or a teacher you’ve been working with. They should be able to tell if your essay is a true representation of you and what changes you should make.
Finally, the key to writing a good personal essay is just writing it the way you feel right. You are a unique human being like every other person so if you just stay true to yourself, you’ll end up with an equally unique essay. Hopefully, these tips will help you to polish your ticket to college and make your journey easier.