7 Helpful Tips on How to Write A Memorable Personal Essay
Everyone has a story to tell and a message to share. The challenge lies in getting that story and message out of your head and into print in a way that resonates with your audience.
Starting somewhere in the late 2000s, a certain type of personal essay experienced a popularity boom. These essays were ultra-personal and confessional in nature, often in a TMI sort of way. Their headlines were clickable, not to mention shareable, for their shock value alone.
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Although the confessional shock essay’s star seems to be fading, the personal essay itself is still standing strong. Essay collections by late greats like James Baldwin ( The Fire Next Time ) and David Foster Wallace ( Consider the Lobster ) still top Amazon’s Best Sellers in essays. Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) launched a career with her darkly funny and self-effacing essays about her health and mental illness challenges ( Let’s Pretend This Never Happened ). Celebrities like Mindy Kaling ( Why Not Me? ) and Tina Fey ( Bossypants ) blended personal essays into memoir-esque collections that became best sellers. We head for the nearest bookseller when essay titans like David Sedaris or Anne Lamott have a new release.
We’re looking for real stories and musings from people who are able to share their foibles, lessons, and truths in a way we can relate to. Here are seven tips to help you craft a personal essay that will connect with readers.
1 Understand what a personal essay is
Ask three different experts what a personal essay is and you’ll likely get three different answers. Are they structured? Must they address a certain type of subject? Here’s a definition we like:
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. A type of creative nonfiction, the personal essay is ‘all over the map,’ according to Annie Dillard. ‘There’s nothing you can’t do with it. No subject matter is forbidden, no structure is prescribed. You get to make up your own form every time.’
Personal essays relate the author’s intimate thoughts and experiences to universal truths. They aren’t simply a retelling of events, though—that falls more in the realm of memoir or autobiography. They conclude with the author having learned, changed, or grown in some way and often present some truth or insight that challenges the reader to draw their own conclusions.
2 Find a compelling topic
The best essay topics are often deeply relatable. Although the story itself is unique to the author’s experience, there’s some universal truth that speaks to us from just below the surface. Topics like facing a fear, falling in love, overcoming an obstacle, discovering something new, or making a difficult choice tackle feelings and events that happen in everyone’s life.
3 Start with a strong hook
As with any type of writing, it’s essential to draw the reader in from the very first paragraph , or even the first sentence. Here are a few examples.
Aside from Peter, who supposedly guards the gates of heaven and is a pivotal figure in any number of jokes, the only saint who’s ever remotely interested me is Francis of Assisi, who was friends with the animals.
When I was young, my family didn’t go on outings to the circus or trips to Disneyland. We couldn’t afford them. Instead, we stayed in our small rural West Texas town, and my parents took us to cemeteries.
I underwent, during the summer that I became fourteen, a prolonged religious crisis.
Alone, we are doomed. By the same token, we’ve learned that people are impossible, even the ones we love most— especially the ones we love most.
Your hook and opening paragraph should establish the topic of your essay (or at least allude to it) and set the scene and tone.
4 Create an outline
All it takes to understand the importance of an outline is listening to someone who struggled to tell a personal story. Often, the story will seem to have no real point. The switchbacks where the teller says “But wait, I have to tell you about this part, first!” are maddening and disruptive. An outline will help you organize your thoughts before committing them to text.
Consider your opening hook and the statement it makes, then map out the sequence of events or main points that support it. Just like a good fictional story, your essay should have rising action. Raise the stakes with each paragraph until you reach a climax or turning point. Plan to add a conclusion that will evoke an emotional response in your reader.
5 Narrow your focus
Don’t try to write to a general topic. Your essay may well be about sexism, but you need to illustrate it through the lens of a defining incident that’s deeply personal to you. What did your experiences teach you about sexism? What does it mean to you as an individual?
6 Show, don’t tell
Close your eyes. Think of the scene you’re about to write down. What were you experiencing with your five senses? How did you feel?
Your challenge is to evoke those senses and feelings without flatly stating them. Don’t say “I felt cold.” Say “I exhaled and my breath turned to vapor that hung in the air. I shivered and pulled the blanket tight around my shoulders in a vain attempt to trap my body heat.” Your description should help the reader experience the cold with you. Stephen King describes it as making the reader “prickle with recognition.”
7 Craft a thought-provoking conclusion
Your essay should end with your own reflection and analysis. What did you learn? How have the events and thoughts you described changed your life or your understanding of life? It’s not enough to say “And that’s what happened.” You have to describe how whatever happened shaped you.
Just as a good lead hooks readers and draws them along for the ride, a good conclusion releases them from your essay’s thrall with a frisson of pleasure, agreement, passion or some other sense of completion. Circling back to your lead in your conclusion is one way to give readers that full-circle sense. Try to restate your thesis in a way that reflects the journey the essay has taken.
There is so much outside the false cloister of private experience; and when you write, you do the work of connecting that terrible privacy to everything beyond it.
What Is a Personal Essay (Personal Statement)?
Glossary of Grammatical and Rhetorical Terms
- An Introduction to Punctuation
- Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
- M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
- B.A., English, State University of New York
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 .
A type of creative nonfiction , the personal essay is "all over the map," according to Annie Dillard. "There's nothing you can't do with it. No subject matter is forbidden, no structure is prescribed. You get to make up your own form every time." ("To Fashion a Text," 1998) .
Examples of Personal Essays
- An Apology for Idlers , by Robert Louis Stevenson
- On Laziness , by Christopher Morley
- Coney Island at Night, by James Huneker
- New Year's Eve , by Charles Lamb
- How It Feels to Be Colored Me , by Zora Neale Hurston
- My Wood, by E.M. Forster
- Two Ways of Seeing a River , by Mark Twain
- What I Think and Feel at 25, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The personal essay is one of the most common types of writing assignment--and not only in freshman composition courses. Many employers, as well as graduate and professional schools, will ask you to submit a personal essay (sometimes called a personal statement ) before even considering you for an interview. Being able to compose a coherent version of yourself in words is clearly an important skill.
- What qualities does a personal essay reveal about you? Here are just a few:
- Communication Skills How effective are your communication skills? Do you write clearly, concisely, and correctly? Note that many employers put communication skills at the top of the list of essential qualifications.
- Critical Thinking Skills How fresh and imaginative are you in your thinking? Is your writing cluttered with cliches , or is it obvious that you have original ideas to contribute?
- Maturity What specific lessons have you learned from experience, and are you ready to apply those lessons to the job or the academic program you're considering? Keep in mind that it's not enough to be able to recount a personal experience; you should be prepared to interpret it as well.
- Self and Subject in Personal Essays "[W]here the familiar essay is characterized by its everyday subject matter, the personal essay is defined more by the personality of its writer, which takes precedence over the subject. On the other hand, the personal essayist does not place himself firmly in center stage, as does the autobiographical essayist; the autobiographical element of the personal essay is far less calculated..."
- The Essayist's Persona "Personal essayists from Montaigne on have been fascinated with the changeableness and plasticity of the materials of human personality. Starting with self-description, they have realized they can never render all at once the entire complexity of a personality. So they have elected to follow an additive strategy, offering incomplete shards, one mask or persona after another: the eager, skeptical, amiable, tender, curmudgeonly, antic, somber. If 'we must remove the mask,' it is only to substitute another mask..."
- The "Antigenre": An Alternative to Academic Prose "[T]he more personal essay offers an escape from the confines of academic prose . By using this antigenre form that in contemporary essays embodies multiple kinds of writing, many essayists in search of democracy find a freedom for expressing in their writings spontaneity, self-reflexivity, accessibility, and a rhetoric of sincerity."
- Teaching the Personal Essay "Given the opportunity to speak their own authority as writers, given a turn in the conversation, students can claim their stories as primary source material and transform their experiences into evidence ..."
- Essay Forms "Despite the anthologists' custom of presenting essays as 'models of organization ,' it is the loose structure or apparent shapelessness of the essay that is often stressed in standard definitions. . . . Samuel Johnson famously defined the essay as 'an irregular, indigested piece, not a regular and orderly performance.' And certainly, a number of essayists (Hazlitt and Emerson, for instance, after the fashion of Montaigne) are readily identifiable by the wayward or fragmentary nature of their explorations. Yet each of these writers observes certain distinctive organizing (or disorganizing) principles of his own, thus charting the ramble and shaping the form. As Jeanette Harris observes in Expressive Discourse , 'Even in the case of a personal essay , which may appear informal and loosely structured, the writer has crafted with care this very appearance of informality' (122).
Theresa Werner, "Personal Essay." Encyclopedia of the Essay , ed. by Tracy Chevalier. Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997
E.B. White , Foreword to Essays of E.B. White . Harper and Row, 1977
Cristina Kirklighter, Traversing the Democratic Borders of the Essay . SUNY Press, 2002
Nancy Sommers, "Between the Drafts." College Composition and Communication , February 1992
Richard F. Nordquist, "Voices of the Modern Essay." Dissertation University of Georgia, 1991
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Content Writing What is a Personal Essay? Useful Essay Writing Tips with Examples
- 1) What is a personal essay?
- 2) What is a Personal Narrative Essay?
- 3) How to Structure a Personal Essay?
- 4.1) Choose a topic
- 4.2) Use personal stories
- 4.3) Be honest:
- 4.4) Use vivid language:
- 4.5) Stay focused:
- 4.6) Show, don’t tell:
- 4.7) Use a strong thesis statement:
- 4.8) Read your essay aloud:
- 4.9) Use transitions:
- 4.10) Get feedback:
- 4.11) Edit and revise
- 4.12) How to Conclude a Personal Essay?
- 5.1.1) Show growth and learning:
- 5.1.2) Take risks:
- 5.1.3) Be reflective:
- 5.2.1) Overshare:
- 5.2.2) Be too general:
- 5.2.3) Focus solely on the negative:
- 6) How to Improve Your Personal Essay Writing Using an AI Writer?
- 7) Conclusion
A personal essay allows you to share your experiences and perspective with readers. If you are wondering what is a personal essay, then this blog is all you need. This blog will tell you all you need to know about personal essays.
What is a personal essay?
A personal essay is a creative piece of writing. Unlike common essays, a personal essay delves deep into the author’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences. It is a captivating writing genre where writers can express themselves and connect with readers personally. According to a personal essay definition, it is a form of creative writing and self-expression.
When writing your essay, choose topics that resonate with you. This could be anything from a life-changing event to a small, insignificant moment that impacted you in a significant way. Your personal experiences are the fuel that powers your narrative, giving it the emotional depth and authenticity that readers crave.
What is a Personal Narrative Essay?
A personal narrative essay is a type of personal essay that focuses on storytelling . It allows you to take readers on a journey, inviting them into your world and showing them your perspective. A narrative essay can be funny, heartwarming, sad, or anything in between.
How to Structure a Personal Essay?
A personal essay should have three main sections: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.
Start your essay with an attention-grabbing introduction. An intro paragraph is where you introduce your topic and set the tone for the rest of your essay. You can draw the reader’s attention by sharing a personal anecdote or a thought-provoking quote.
The body of your essay is where you’ll tell your story. This is where you’ll share the details of your experience, using vivid language and sensory details to paint a picture for your readers. Stay focused on your topic and avoid going off the discussion.
Your conclusion should wrap up your essay and leave readers with a sense of closure. This is where you’ll reflect on what you’ve learned from your experience and offer any final thoughts or insights. You might end with a call to action or a question to encourage further reflection.
Tips on How to Write a Good Personal Essay
Here are some helpful tips for effectively writing a personal essay:
Choose a topic
Choose a meaningful topic. You can pick a personal experience, a life-changing event, or a challenge you’ve overcome. Choose a topic you are passionate about and willing to share it with others.
Use personal stories
A personal essay is all about sharing your personal stories, so don’t be afraid to get vulnerable. Share your thoughts, feelings, and emotions as honestly as possible, and use specific examples to illustrate your points. Personal stories connect readers with your experience on a deeper level, making your essay more engaging and memorable.
A personal essay is about sharing your experiences and emotions with your readers. Be honest and open about your thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Honesty will connect your readers with your essay on a personal level.
Use vivid language:
Use descriptive language and sensory details to paint a picture for your readers. This will help them visualize your experiences and make your essay more engaging and memorable.
Stick to your topic and avoid going off on tangents. It can be tempting to include every detail of your experience, but try to focus on the most important moments and emotions.
Show, don’t tell:
Instead of simply telling your readers how you felt, show them through your actions and reactions. Use examples and anecdotes to illustrate your points and bring your experiences to life.
Use a strong thesis statement:
Your thesis statement should clearly state your essay’s main point. It should tell readers what to expect from your essay. Write a specific, to-the-point and concise thesis statement.
Read your essay aloud:
Read your essay aloud to catch errors and awkward phrasing. Reading aloud helps you better understand how your essay reads.
Use transitions to help your essay flow smoothly from one section to the next. Common examples of transition phrases are “in addition,” “however,” or “on the other hand.”
Consider sharing your essay with a trusted friend, family member, or writing group. Getting feedback can help you identify areas that need improvement and make your essay stronger.
Edit and revise
Read through your essay several times. Check for typos, grammatical errors, and awkward phrasing. Ensure your essay flows smoothly and each section is connected with the previous one. You might also ask a trusted friend or family member to read your essay and offer feedback.
How to Conclude a Personal Essay?
Your conclusion should be strong and memorable, leaving a lasting impression on your readers. Consider ending your essay with a powerful quote or thought-provoking question, or tying your conclusion back to the themes you introduced in your blog introduction . Whatever you do, make sure your conclusion feels satisfying and brings your essay to a satisfying close.
What is a Personal Essay Dos and Don’ts?
Show growth and learning: .
If your essay is about a challenging experience you went through, make sure to show how you grew and learned from it. This will make your essay more impactful and inspiring.
Writing a essay requires vulnerability, so don’t be afraid to take risks and share something that feels uncomfortable or difficult. This is often what makes for the most powerful and memorable personal essays.
Reflect on your experiences and tell your readers how these experiences have impacted you. In this way, you can craft a thoughtful and meaningful essay.
While honesty is important, make sure you’re not oversharing or revealing too much personal information. Keep your audience and your own comfort level in mind when deciding what to share.
Be too general:
While it’s important to reflect on your experiences and what they mean to you, avoid being too general or vague. Use specific examples and details to make your essay more impactful.
Focus solely on the negative:
If your essay is about a challenging experience, make sure to show how you grew and learned from it, rather than dwelling solely on the negative aspects.
How to Improve Your Personal Essay Writing Using an AI Writer?
An AI writer is an incredibly useful tool for essay writing. An AI content generator lets you easily brainstorm blog ideas and generate personal essay prompts. Once you have your topic, an AI writer can help you create a essay outline, organizing your main points and supporting details. And if you’re looking to turn your personal essay into a blog post, an AI blog writer can help you with formatting, search engine optimization, and even suggest images to include.
A personal essay is a powerful self-expression form. It allows writers to explore their personal experiences and share their unique perspectives. Whether you’re writing a personal narrative essay or a more traditional essay, the key is to choose meaningful topics and write passionately. So take the plunge, and start writing your personal essay today!
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How to Write a Personal Essay: Your Easy 2023 Guide
The power of a well-written personal essay should never be underestimated. Inspiring readers with your experiences, lessons learned from past mistakes, or simply describing the joy you felt from doing a fun activity can literally change people's lives. Take a moment to reflect upon this. How much influence you can have on your audience with just a pen and paper in your hand and thoughts flowing through your head is insane.
To take the reins of your floating thoughts and put them into perspective, you need to know how to write a personal essay. Otherwise defined as a nonfiction narrative story, the personal essay format differs slightly from other kinds of writing with its implicit structure. Once we touch upon those, we will also explore some personal essay topics with our online essay writing service . After reading this article, we promise you'll be so confident writing your personal statement that you might want to craft many personal essays in one go!
When trying to understand what is a personal essay, you must start with the formatting specifics. And no, we didn't mean to scare you off if this sounded too complicated! The format for personal essay can be similar to most academic tasks with just a few distinct aspects. Let's examine the details from our paper writer :
- Font : Unless required to write in a Harvard essay format , you can use any readable fonts - Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri in size 12.
- Margins : Just like in most writings, set your margins to one inch on all sides.
- Spacing : This is a classic! Use double-spacing throughout the essay, including between paragraphs.
- Indentation : Indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5 inches or use the tab key. This might be a little too specific, but it's a true-and-tried method!
- Page numbers : Include page numbers in the top right corner of each page. You don't have to do this necessarily, but it can add more spark to your paper!
- Title : Include a title that reflects the theme or subject of your essay. Center the title on the page. Did we really have to elaborate on this?
- Header : Include a header with your last name and the page number in the top right corner of each page. After all, it's your personal story; why would you want to miss your name here?
- Length : The length of a personal essay can vary but typically ranges from 500 to 2,000 words. Well, unless you're discussing healing from a generational trauma... Then you'd probably need a few more extra pages.
- Tone : The tone of a personal essay should be conversational, reflective, and sincere. At least, this is what we recommend not to sound dull.
- Personal pronouns : Use first-person pronouns such as 'I,' 'me,' and 'my.' Remember, the spotlight is directed at you as you're the true hero of the story.
Personal Essay Topics
If you have got a lot of exciting stories to tell, your personal essay can shine brightly by interactively engaging the reader. Put in a little extra effort and dig deeper to find a unique or interesting experience or an unusual moment in your life.
Looking at a life lesson from another angle can turn into deep and purposeful subject matter. If you decide to pick a topic from a huge list of personal essay topics that you found in the internet, be precise and careful because not all of them can meet the requirements of your professor.
Personal Narrative Essay Topics
In this type of writing, try to explore a unique experience that creates a sense of conflict in your life. Explore how and why you were confused, annoyed, or hurt by the experience. Imagine your piece of paper as a place where you can freely express your emotions, discuss significant moments, & reflect on their impact on your life. This tip can help you create many really good essay topics, but if you need motivation, you can find some examples below.
- 'One small step that helped me skyrocket in my career!'
- 'Why controlling urges teaches you to master self-control.'
- 'People only learn from their own mistakes.'
- 'Life is not a one-dimensional path: it is curvier than a snake!'
- 'What I learned about conquering my fears.'
- 'The moment when I should have made a better choice.'
- 'The moment I overcame my public speaking fear.'
- 'How I conquered adversity with strength.'
- 'The impact of mentorship: valuable lessons learned from my mentor.'
- 'My journey to finding a place to belong.'
Personal Essay Topics on Specific Emotions
You may also talk about a specific event in your life that left a long-lasting impression on you. Usually, this type of essay reflects an incident that took place in your life and shifted it in some way. Dive deeper into your mind and find an event that is unique and personal to you. The weirder the occurrence, the more likely the essay will be engaging to read.
- 'How I ran away from fear: the power of exercising.'
- 'How I overcame the trauma through painting.'
- 'My quest to reclaim my cultural identity
- 'How I tackled cultural shock while studying abroad.'
- 'The year I went from being an amateur to a professional artist.'
- 'The best solo hike of my life
- 'The moment I beat my eating disorder and learned to love my true self.'
- 'How practicing gratitude helped me find beauty in the ordinary.'
- 'The power of letting go of toxic relationships
- 'How I lived up to my family's legacy.'
If you have not noticed, each of these titles can bring a fascinating vibe to the table. The names grab your attention, but you can only honestly know what they are about when reading them. That is the secret to a provocative title!
And if you'd rather have a pro write your personal essay for college, purchase essay on our platform and lay back in peace knowing your task is in expert hands!
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Crafting an Outline for Personal Essay
Like most academic tasks, the personal essay can be easily structured into 5 paragraphs . This is one of the most important steps of personal narrative essay writing at any level. Your outline for personal essay will serve as a navigator, so you don't want to get off track. Understanding how to start a personal essay, what to write in body paragraphs, and how to conclude it appropriately will be important.
How to Start a Personal Essay?
Start your writing with an introductory paragraph. As it gives your reader a clear understanding of what the story will be about. Employ a hook sentence to catch their attention and motivate them to read the rest of the paper with a whimsical thesis statement. It can be a narrative thesis, for example. But it must be written in one concise sentence that will bring the reader to the starting point of your essay.
Don't leave your readers in the dark in the introduction by explaining the important things such as:
- Who are the major characters?
- When and where is it taking place?
- What kind of story is it?
Creating the Personal Essay Body
After creating an introduction, you must formulate three body paragraphs supporting your thesis statement. Each new point should contain its own body paragraph. Don't forget to make transitions from one paragraph to another to make sure that everything flows smoothly.
Usually, the body section is presented in the form of your experiences and your reflections on these events. You should also note the passage of time in your body sections, so make sure that the reader is aware of when and how each specific chapter took place.
How to Write a Conclusion Paragraph for Personal Essay?
Ultimately, it will be essential to wrap everything up and give your audience a sense of completeness by writing a proper conclusion. Restate your thesis, summarize the main points you have stated in body paragraphs, and leave your reader with a specific emotion, depending on the subject of your paper.
Readers should also discover a life lesson by going through the story. It is a moment where you show what you have learned from your experiences or how previous events have changed your life.
Tips for Personal Essay Writing Process
If you think you already possess sufficient knowledge of personal essays, we've yet to supply you with more information. Now let's explore the various stages of personal essay writing. Follow the list of valuable tips and advice from our skilled personal essay writer without skipping a beat!
Start with an Engaging Opening Sentence
Open your personal essay with an introductory section that will be engaging and interesting for your reader. In the opening section, introduce the principal characters of the story as well as the central theme or themes. It should also present the fundamental question of the essay.
Write from Your Unique Point of View
You are free to write from your point of view or in your own unique style. In contrast to other types of essays, writing from your perspective or in your personal manner is welcomed. For instance, if you are writing about a trip adventure, you might express your individual writing style by describing the sights and sounds that captured your attention. As a result, your writing will be more interesting and genuine and will better convey your experiences and feelings.
Take the Characters into Account
Be sure to describe your characters from all angles. Even though it is your real-life experience, you should still consider storytelling elements like the plot and characters. Using these ingredients in your writing will keep your reader engaged and help your essay flow smoothly.
Shed Light on a Deep Truth
Discuss your background experience with honesty and curiosity. Don't be afraid to uncover a hidden truth or a truth you didn't know was there at the time. Expose a thing that is uncomfortable or difficult for you to discuss. No matter who will read your essay. Whether it will be a teacher or somebody else, they will definitely appreciate your honesty and strive to share your experience.
Write a Rough Draft & Submit
After you have completed all the previous steps, it's time to write a rough draft. Writing a rough draft lets you get new ideas for a personal essay. Moreover, it's a great place to polish your essay and correct small grammar, spelling, and other types of mistakes. Get a second pair of eyes: No one can rate your writing as well as a neutral party. Once you have checked everything, you can start writing the final paper.
Before submitting your personal essay, double-check everything once again and make sure to present the central theme. After it, go through it and proofread your entire piece. Reading an essay full of grammatical mistakes is somewhat frustrating, which can be easily avoided. You can ask your classmate for help, so in that way, you will save each other. Don't forget to meet the deadline - and you're officially finished!
Personal Essay Examples
In our time it’s much more easier to find things on the Internet, and examples are not an exception. Remember one simple thing: not everything that you can find on the Internet is done correctly. If you need some inspiration to get started, you can find several examples of personal essays below, or you can use our free essay samples to sharpen your skills on any type of writing.
As we scratched the surface of the personal essay writing process and delved deep into the specific stages of creating a flawless paper, we hope you gained some valuable insights. These tips are all you'll ever need to inspire readers or even WOW the admissions officers!
If you want our experienced writers to help you with any writing assignment, whether a persuasive essay , creative nonfiction, or any type of college essay, hit us up with your ' do my homework for me ' request and consider it done with the highest caliber!
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Personal Essay Writing
A personal essay is a kind of narrative essay where the author tells about a certain life incident or something that has had a significant impact on him or her. It may also speak of a lesson learned, or simply express a point of view on some issue, which was of vital importance to the author. The personal essay appears to be one of the richest and most vibrant of all literary forms. The personal essay is also one of the most popular forms of creative nonfiction.
Here are some of the other names that are used to refer to a personal essay: Narrative essay, Profile Essay on Person, Essay about Yourself, Narration Essay, Personal Biography Essay, Reflective Essay, Personal Experience Essay, Personal Statement, and College Application Essay.
Personal essays are really ‘personal’ as the name suggests, they are quite chatty, friendly and reader-oriented. It generally comes in a form of a monolog addressed to the reader. It may concern everything like the death of a cat or a beautiful sight from your window.
Remember that the purpose is to give people what they want but not to give what you can give. That is why the more practice you have the better your writing is. There is one more way to get an excellent grade for your personal essay – order it here .
Personal Essay Structure
The simplest structure of a personal essay has three parts: an introduction, body of information and a conclusion.
You can begin your personal essay with a captivating or interesting sentence that incredibly hooks your readers. Always remember that you want them to read more. Are you out of topic ideas? The truth is that some days you will brim over with countless topics to write about. On other days, you will have such a difficult time to even create a single idea. When you lack topic ideas, write stream of consciousness – open a blank document and pen down whatever comes into your mind without stopping until you have three pages. Yes, it is a mind dump! Repeat this technique every time you are blank and discover the magic.
The body of your personal essay comprises of 1-3 paragraphs that inform your readers about the topic you introduced. To ensure your thoughts are organized, an outline can be more than helpful before starting. Remember to put your paragraphs in the same structure as your entire essay. Start with sentences that introduce the point and draws a reader in. The middle sentences of a paragraph should offer information about a point. Have a concluding sentence that drives your views home and leads a reader to the next point.
Every new idea should be a signal to begin a new paragraph. Every paragraph ought to be a logical progression from a previous idea and lead to the following idea. It can also lead to the conclusion. Ensure your paragraphs are relatively short. Ten lines are always magical. There is no doubt that if you write concisely, you can say loads in ten lines.
In your conclusion, close your personal essay with a final paragraph that perfectly summarizes the points, which you have made, and states your final opinion. Your conclusion provides you the opportunity to offer the lessons or insights learned. You can also choose to share how you will be or were changed due to your approach to the topic. The rule of thumb is that incredible conclusions are always tied to your opening paragraph.
Personal Essay Writing Tips
Show and tell. The main difference between a piece of creative short fiction and a personal essay is that in the first one you must show but not tell, and in a personal essay, you must both show and tell. You need to turn on readers’ imagination giving them useful information.
Use your personal point of view. In a short story, you write about a situation and characters that create it. In a personal essay, you are expected to give your own comments and express your opinion. A reader needs to feel that both the situation and its participants concern you very much.
Ideas. Ideas should be taken from your life. Everything that inspires you and makes you want to write will make an ideal subject for an essay. Some little things or extremely important issues may inspire you, so get ready to keep your diary with you and write down all the details!
The hook (humor and quotes). Remember that the reader is not obliged to read your article so you have less than 10 seconds to attract reader’s attention. It is recommended to start the first sentence or a paragraph with a bang and get the reader’s interest immediately. Some writers use humor or serious quotes to get the reader’s attention.
Use the first-person active voice. You are the narrator and so you must speak for yourself. Try to avoid informal language. The style of your personal essay should be more conversational than in other literary papers, but don’t make it too easy and boring.
Be concise. Different publications require different format but one thing is consistent: concise writing will always make a good personal essay. When editing, cut the fluff, be specific, and make each word matter.
Connect. The personal essay is personal, but the main idea should be recognizable to your readers if you want to make a connection with them. The wider your audience, the higher your chances for publication.
What Makes an Exciting Personal Essay?
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ essay topic; one of the winning essay topics is something related to people. The broader the audience your subject relates to, the more successful your essay. It makes no difference whether you are discussing some philosophical issues or you are posting about the laundry detergent you have recently bought. If your reader came across the same problem and it was important for them, then you have reached them.
Top 20 Topics and Ideas for Writing a Personal Essay
- Words that stung.
- My favorite time with family.
- The proudest moment of my life.
- A book that has changed my life.
- The greatest movie moment.
- If I lived 100 years ago.
- A museum I’d like to visit.
- My most fortunate day.
- My secret love.
- A secret place.
- If I could invent something.
- If my cat or dog could talk.
- The animal I would like to be.
- If I could live anywhere.
- The greatest discovery.
- My secret talent.
- Words that prompted hope.
- A special morning.
- My favorite gift.
- How I would use power if I had it.
Where Are Personal Essays Used?
From college, and media to blogs, personal essays are used in an array of fields and industries. A personal essay gives you the opportunity to exceed all the limits of a standard essay. With this piece, you are able to utilize dialogues, conversational tone, characterizations, and settings. Plunging into your inner world is very important before starting to piece together your work. Know yourself from the inside first and perfectly gain the understanding of self. Remember that anytime you write your personal essay, the intention ought to be to vent your ideas, interests, and thoughts to others. Therefore, always allow your personal essay to let you drive towards self-disclosure, candor, and honesty with yourself.
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