How To Write A Perfect Personal Essay

Have you ever been asked to write a personal essay for a University application? Do you require a comprehensive step-by-step guide to get you started? GlobeDock got it covered 🙂

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How To Write A Perfect Personal Essay

A personal essay is a short work of autobiographical nonfiction characterized by a sense of intimacy and a conversational manner. Also called a personal statement. 

Personal essays are written for a variety of purposes. Students write them for college admissions purposes, while authors use them to share personal stories with others. With information gathered from real-life experiences, a personal narrative essay can enlighten and inspire an audience.

6 Tips for Writing a Personal Essay

While everyone’s writing process differs, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind when drafting your essay:

Step 1 - Create an essay outline.

Making a personal essay outline initially might assist you in laying out the main points and tone of the information you are attempting to convey. Your framework will help you determine early on whether this particular moment is worth writing about. Whatever topic you choose for your essay, it must have had a powerful emotional impact on you or taught you anything.

Step 2 - Start with your intro. 

Include your hook, convey your point, and engage the reader emotionally. Set the tone for your piece and offer your audience something to look forward to.

The first sentences of your essay should include a hook that captures the 

reader’s attention. Provide a personal statement that you plan on proving in the body of your essay. Avoid common cliches like opening with a famous quote, and try to form a unique connection with your audience.

Step 3 - Fill your body paragraphs. 

The body of your essay is the meat of your story that should include your main points and personal evidence supporting the statement of your essay. This is where you, as a writer, share how your personal experiences shaped your point of view, and reflect on the knowledge gathered.

To guide the reader through your personal essay, use sensory details about the sequence of events around your topic. Develop your personal story in this section to finally lead the reader to your main point.

Step 4 - Be specific. 

A detailed essay about an important event in your life is far more interesting than a basic outline of what happened to you. Give as many details as you can regarding real-life characters or any specific experiences you've had.

Step 5 - Include a conclusion. 

Summarize what you gained from your experience and the lesson you want the reader to take away. Although it may be a difficult or unpleasant revelation, finishing on a generally positive or hopeful note might help it feel more aspirational or motivating.

Your conclusion should restate your essay and contain the moral of your story or a revelation of a deeper truth. Review why this essay matters and sum up the things you want the reader to take away from this particular piece.

Step 6 - Proofread your work. 

Aside from spelling and grammar, ensure that your aim is obvious and that your story is easy to follow. No matter how amazing your writing talents are, rereading your own work to ensure you've reinforced your story is always beneficial.

Subjects for the Personal Essay

Your subject can be about anything that you are passionate about. You can write about a “turning point” in your life, or a milestone, or adversity, such as death, illness, divorce. The subject you choose must have provided you with significant personal meaning or a lesson that you have learned. But, keep in mind, you are not just reflecting or remembering, you are going to make a point, some universal truth that your readers can appreciate. Otherwise, your story is just a story. So, write about the following:

• Incident

• Anecdote

• Personal Experience

• Topic

• Issue

• A memory

Potential Topics

• A relative, who taught you a valuable lesson;

• A relationship you cherish the most;

• What changed your personality?

• A minor but significant event from the past;

• One of the key events of your life;

• What are the lessons, which shaped you?

• The most meaningful places for you;

• What is the first thought you wake up with in the morning?

• Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

• What is the most valuable lesson you will teach your children?

• What profession is the most suitable for you?

• Can you think of the ways how you can help and change the society

Mistakes to Avoid 

Here is a list of the most popular mistakes, which prevent you from creating a great personal essay: 

  1. There is no organization. Although writing a personal essay is much easier than writing a term paper or a research paper, you must still properly organize your essay.
  2. List of topic. Make a list of the topics you want to cover in your paper to save time and nerves in the future.
  3. Boring topic. You may be surprised to learn that the subject you choose can have a significant impact on the success of your personal essay. Make sure your story is meaningful and engaging for the audience, as well as modern and interesting. Choose a relevant topic and spice it up with examples from your own life.
  4. No structure. If you ignore an established pattern, you risk losing the entire point of the story. Make sure you understand what elements your essay should contain in order to be logical and easy to understand.
  5. Absence of morals.A personal essay should teach the reader a specific lesson. That is why, in addition to telling the story, you must explain how it changed your personality and how it can benefit the reader.
  6. Inappropriate lexis. Although a personal essay may use loose language, you should avoid slang and clichés, which can weaken the text.

Sample Essay

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