Personal essay definition explains a lot about the task
You must have already been asked multiple times to share an interesting experience or a funny story from your life. This means that a personal essay won’t be a tough cookie for you. Basically, it’s the same but written on paper. So what is a personal essay and why is it important in your academic career? The principal goal of this paper is to demonstrate students’ traits of characters, their versatile personalities, thoughts, and views. A personal essay is a short sincere autobiographical narrative written in a conversational manner about an intimate and important experience in student’s life. “Does this essay has to tell all about me?” you may ask. And the answer is positive – you have to show the readers your inner self and what has helped you to shape or enhance your personality.
It’s a great tool to check students’ abilities to analyze their experience objectively and evaluate different ideas. This task is often included in the application process to different colleges or universities. So treat it carefully as it may determine whether or not you will be accepted. Yes, you need to boast a bit about your positive qualities, but not too much. The make your essay even more memorable, choose your own style of writing – solemn, funny, ironic, etc. And use all the means you can to intrigue the committee and create a unique essay. This self-intro essay should be written completely from scratch in an engaging manner to make it stand out from the essays of other applicants. But even if you have to deliver a personal essay as a part of the typical school assessment, be original and honest!
A proper personal experience essay has to be based on several important factors that predetermine its success. First of all, make sure that you have chosen the most compelling topic to express and promote yourself. Give a brief glimpse of who you are by means of selected valuable experiences. You can write about turning moments of your life, events that influenced your outlook, or encourages your personal growth. Don’t be afraid to write about negative experiences. As long as you explain how you managed to cope with those problems or overcame your fears, obstacles, or failure. This helps the committee to see that you have learned the lesson. Plus, describing what you understood in the process is the best way to show your maturity and understanding of the world.
Always keep in mind why you are writing this essay in the first place. Your story can be interesting but if it’s not significant to you or has no impact on your life, think of another one. The best tip is to reveal your personal experience as an example of a common universal pattern. Show the readers that there is a deeper dimension in your topic and by telling your story you also describe the experience of other people.
To achieve this effect, forget about “dry” facts from your life as those who are reading your essay have already got acquainted with that information. It’s tempting to remind the readers about your achievements once again. But it won’t help them to understand your inner world – something they don’t have access to. This can be done using intimate details, concrete descriptions, vocabulary, syntax, and many other devices that can render the principal meaning of your work.
Personal essay format and creativity
If you are assigned to create a personal essay, demands to the formatting and structure are not very strict. In fact, this essay type has a loose structure and allows students to be creative and organize material as they please. But if you are interested how to format such an essay, you can apply the five-paragraph system. It’s the simplest and the most widespread structure which consists of three basic parts – an introduction, the main body, and conclusions.
It’s important to create an efficient outline before starting the writing process. It helps to organize ideas, emphasize necessary moments, and make the entire essay coherent. So how to start a thought-provoking essay? First of all, begin with an engaging opening scene which will provide the readers with significant information about the story. The key characters, overall purpose, a central conflict of the work, and the setting of the events have to be explained clearly. But don’t make it too obvious by just explaining what you will write about.
You can apply the rule of Five Ws to present the appropriate information about your paper. These Ws include five questions answers to which should be provided by the writer at the beginning of the story. So check whether you have your answers to these questions – Who? What? When? Where? Why? The first one is who.
Your readers need to understand who the main character of your story is. In case of a personal essay, you can have more than one character to present your story. But it has to center around your experience. Then you need to explain what is happening in your essay in an understandable and engaging way. Inform your readers when and where the described situation takes place. The last thing to be mentioned in the introduction is why these events are happening.
If all of these questions are answered, your readers will find it easy to understand your motives and what you want to share with them. The introductory section has to grasp the attention of your readers from the first sentence. Invite your readers to the story using intrigue and curiosity. Present them a certain scene with characters that are discussing the principal subject you are going to write about.
The hook sentence technique is usually used to draw readers’ attention – that can be an interesting quotation, a shocking statement, or a controversial situation mentioned. You can tell the story from your own perspective relying on your thoughts and ideas. Many essays of this kind are written in the first person with the word “I” which creates the illusion of a conversation between writer and the readers. And remember about the voice of your work which can differ in various personal essays.
Most personal essays are written in the form of a story so make sure that you have all the necessary elements of good storytelling. They include plot, characters, setting, climax, and resolution. These are the essentials of an exciting story that can reach the hearts of your readers. To begin with, the plot is necessary as it ties the entire story together and describes how it unfolds. This is a sequence of events that leads up to climax of your story. Also, you need to present well-rounded characters as this is an indispensable part of a good narration. Using short dialogues, you trigger changes in the story and reveal your ideas. Use bright sensory and physical details to show the characters to your readers.
You also need to clearly indicate when and where the events take place – the setting of your story. And the most important part is climax, a crucial moment when the purpose of your entire story is revealed. This is the moments your readers are waiting for as it explains how the conflict in the story is resolved. After you have stated the main idea of your work in the introduction, it’s time to develop your story in the main body.
If you ask how many paragraphs are in an essay, the answer can be different. Typically, it takes five paragraphs to write an essay, three of which belong to the main body of your work. But in case of this essay type, the number may vary due to the topic peculiarities, and the message writer wants to convey. You are not obliged to stick to this method completely if you have another vision of your paper.
But it’s important to structure your thoughts and feelings in an understandable way. Start your paragraph by introducing its key idea to interest the readers and then move on to supporting your viewpoint. A perfect paragraph should have a topic sentence which logically connects information mentioned in this part. Don’t make your paragraphs too long or overwhelmed with unnecessary details as it can bore your readers.
But make sure that every body paragraph is dedicated to another aspect of the topic. Finally, close your essay with the conclusion paragraph and analyze your reflections on what has been mentioned. This is the part where you state what lesson you have learned from the described experience, what feeling you felt in a particular situation, or what changes happened with your personality.
Personal essay examples
In academic writing, three types of personal essay can be distinguished. Taking into accounts their objectives, this essay type can have three different aims. First one is to entertain. This first type is used when you need to share a funny or exciting story about an event that happened in your life. The second one is to inform. This work requires you to provide detailed information about a particular experience you went through.
This task is common to the application process of different colleges. The third purpose is to support or oppose a certain idea or thought. You need to prove your attitude towards the selected issue using your own judgments and observations. Anyway, it’s not a demand for you to be objective. You share your own viewpoints so feel free to express as many of them as you want but remember the purpose of your essay.
To melt the hearts of the committee or just earn an A form your school professor, make your personal essay easy and interesting to read. If it’s full of emotions, written in a positive casual manner, and you write from the heart, you will definitely evoke an emotional response.
Don’t be afraid to show your true feelings to the described matter as your readers can always relate to them. In general, an impeccable personal essay is truthful, concise, and demonstrates your personality from the best side. You can or even should use it as an opportunity to boast a bit about yourself. But always search for the golden mean and don’t get too overwhelmed – remember, your essay has to be honest. And never mention your grades, other academic achievements, or your extra-curriculum activities.
If you feel lost or unsure whether you are moving in the right direction with your essay, we have a significant base of various free essay samples to look through. They can inspire you to create your own personal essay, propose interesting ideas to work with, and demonstrate in practice what you are demanded to do. You can browse them whenever you need to without paying any fees as they are available to all students.
In case this essay type is a hard nut to crack for you, our professional writers will be glad to answers all your questions or explain dubious moments. They also possess a high level of expertise in various disciplines which guarantees positive outcomes if you decide to improve your academic ratings by means of a custom personal essay. The principal milestones of our work and cooperation with students are professionalism, reliability, and affordability. Put aside your worries and allow us to make the process of essay writing easy and comfortable!