How to Write a Personal Essay

Writing a Personal Essay

Before writing a personal essay, it is crucial to understand what it entails and what is expected of it. In simple terms, a personal essay can be described as a narrative whereby you majorly talk about yourself and your experiences while taking the readers through your feelings and emotions during a particular experience. In a personal essay, you are free to include your own opinions, and you are not expected to support the ideas or facts you mention. However, it is always important to write an essay in the first person (I) because you will be mentioning your experiences and presenting your views.

How to start a personal essay

Starting an essay often bestows students with different problems and thus the need to prepare before commencing. A personal essay is not just a vague description of an essay, but it involves something deeper which one must try to convey clearly. Before starting an essay, it is vital to note that you understand the composition of the essay. This will help you flow and make the ideas coherent.

First and foremost, one ought to discover how to approach the essay. Once this is established, you can write about a significant moment. One can further go into details and explain the feelings triggered, most importantly on a precise occasion. Therefore, define the moment you wish to include in your essay and then find an appropriate angle or approach.

How to write an outline for a personal essay

To start a personal essay and make it flow smoothly, one ought to have the ideas outlined accordingly. Once you have identified how to start your essay, it is a bit easier to produce an outline. An outline helps in the easy and smooth flow of our essays. Having our ideas in order makes it easy to expound on a point and also get to remember the little memorable moments we might have forgotten. The introduction, the body, and the conclusion should all have their key points. After deciding on the particular experience, write down the points you wish to include in your essay.

How to write a thesis

A thesis statement is the most crucial part of an essay. Without it, the essay will have no meaning. There are many forms on how to write the thesis statement in our essays. A personal essay cannot have one thesis statement since we will talk about many of the experiences we have encountered. One can begin the essay with the main idea, for instance, that we have all been brought up differently, some through hardships and others living the lives of princes and princesses. Starting our thesis with the main point instantly gives the readers an idea of what we are talking about. Once we have the main point of the essay, we observe clarity and expound on the main idea with the sentences that come after.

There are thesis statements which come along in the middle of the essay. Sometimes, many personal essays which have thesis statements in the middle capture the attention of the reader. It usually makes them eager to want to know what has happened that has your emotions triggered in that manner. For example, in a personal narrative about when you began school, you can begin with, “After all these years, I still have a clear picture of the events that transpired that day.” You should not tell your reader of the lesson you learned. The reader should want to read more, get emotional, and be involved in the process.

One can also launch their thesis statement at the beginning of their essay. When doing so, one ought to take on the present tense while reporting the past events and laying down the scene. This makes the reader feel the propinquity of the occurrence.

How to write an introduction for a personal essay

The introduction is the most vital part of an essay. It majorly serves to capture the attention of the reader. It is quite obvious how many students make the mistake of over-explaining what they will be talking about in the rest of the essay in the introductory paragraph. This most likely makes the reader lose focus since he/she can already predict what will follow in the rest of the essay. For example, “My journey in the campus has been silhouetted by an array of experiences such as academics and co-curricular activities.” The reader will already be bored and lose interest.

When you begin the introduction by over-explaining yourself, whatever comes later in the paragraphs may have much weight than your introductory paragraph. These other paragraphs may seem to work better than the introductory paragraph.

None of us is perfect. We usually have some problems. Some we might be able to sort out while others are always concurrent. Stating our problems in the introductory paragraph can make the reader want to know more about us. He/she will also be curious to know how we address it. Our essays should not tell the reader of a lesson learned rather than let him know what we encounter. Feelings and emotions can be elicited along the way. For instance, you can begin your essay with…., “My short stature made many people criticize me and doubt whether I can do the high jump.” This will make the reader want to know how you came to address this issue.

How to write body paragraphs

The body paragraphs of an essay help to enhance the main argument being communicated in the thesis statement. The body of a personal essay is appropriately the meat of your essay. Therefore, you need to ensure there is a seamless flow in the thoughts being discussed. Body paragraphs for different types of essays follow the same principles of writing. For example, each should start with a topic sentence which simply seeks to draw your readers in. Once this is done, the subsequent sentences will provide the reader with more information while the concluding sentences will close the argument. A personal essay is not any different and should be structured the same way.

However, before you start writing the body of your personal essay, create an outline. Jot down your ideas first before you start developing them. Below are some clearly elucidated tips to help you further develop the body of your personal essay.

Tips on body writing

  • Do not glide away from the topic sentence. Once you write the first sentence, you need to elaborate on it but stay on a topic simply. Once you drift away, you risk confusing the readers or even losing your essay’s lucidity.
  • Do not let the paragraph be long. This will help you to avoid over-explaining yourself and stay on topic. You will have enough sentences to state what you need to state.
  • You should avoid words and phrases that are unnecessary. You should be writing to express yourself and not impress the reader unless stated to do so.
  • Our paragraphs should be altered accordingly. The last sentence of each paragraph should lead into the next paragraph smoothly. This helps in developing a connection when writing the paper. It also helps the reader to read easily through the paper without getting confused.

We may have encountered many experiences, but it is always important to remember when to finish writing our essays. Like all conclusions, we are wrapping up our stories. It is a summary of all our ideas.

Conclusion writing: Tips on writing a conclusion

  • Link back the story to the introduction. This brings the reader back to the present. The reader will want to know how you have progressed so far after all you encountered.
  • You can freshly re-state your main point and touch mostly on the lesson learned. You can also end by touching on how you intend to use the life lesson from the essay in the future.

Many students usually avoid going through their essays once they are done with writing. It is very important to go through to ensure everything turns out the way we want it to. We can make changes once we notice errors. Once we have corrected, it is also important to go through it again.

Tips on revising a personal essay

  • Review the main points. This helps in ensuring that they are not restated.
  • Always review your work once you are done writing. Once you spot errors, correct them and revise the work again.
  • Review online sources which can help you polish your essay.
    • In conclusion, writing a personal essay is just like writing any other essay only that here you are narrating about your own experiences and encounters.

      Personal Essay Sample

      Since I was a young girl, I admired the women who took part in the high jump. Fortunately, in my school, high jump was a highly esteemed activity and students were noticed through it. When one day I found out that the school team was recruiting new players, I did not hesitate to join. However, most of the professional players looked down upon us mainly because we were short and new. However, this did not discourage me or even lead towards the path of quitting like some people did. My determination and resilience were left many in awe and this essay is simply about excellence in spite of the odds.

      It was difficult, of course, because everyone expected us to fail and we were booed at every turn. Some were affected and their self-esteem depleted despite showcasing obvious talent. However, I kept my head high and eyes on the target. One day, as I was jumping, I landed wrongly and dislocated my shoulder. I was shaken and torn because I knew the critics were having the last laugh as well as the fact that I was to miss the national championship. However, I grew stronger and with friends by my side, life continued on well.

      I came to realize that I can never do things with the goal of impressing others but to better myself. To date, I still look back and admire the steps I took and the resilience I had.

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