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How To Write A Personal Essay: Do’s, Don’t’s And Tips To Ace The Essay

UserHenry Lee time26 March,2021

Students already in the final year in school are the ones who fill-up the form of college applications during the famous travel season. Usually, in the season, the classes are in full swing, and people are taking up internships and joining part-time jobs. They attend as many college fairs and competitions as possible to make the college application work like a charm and develop resumes that are valued.

There is another part of college application apart from this, and it’s called the personal essay. An article at Grammarly.com throws light on personal essays by saying this: “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.” The part in the quote works two ways: one, students know how to write a personal essay and where the focus should be; and two, anyone who has limited knowledge will understand the basics.

How To Write a Personal Essay

What Is A Personal Essay?

To put it simply, it is the essay that you have to write in the college application.

In other words, the personal essay is a write-up that serves to describe a vital lesson gathered from the writer’s life experiences. Wondering how to start a personal essay? Students can write a personal essay in the first person as it will cater to their experiences.

Writing a personal essay is also a description of creative non-fiction.   

A personal essay is conversational that helps create a connection with the reader. The tone can be inspiring, motivational, uplifting, or confessions-based on the experience students feel free to talk about in a college application.

The Topic

what is a convincing personal essay topic? There are no fixed areas to choose the topic for a personal essay. Personal essays are written based on the personal experiences of an individual. Hence the topics can range from a wide variety of areas.

Students can talk about their first time in school, their learning experiences, turning points, and life-changing decisions, any extracurricular activity they have been part of, earned certificates, personal loss, and war and natural calamity experiences.

The Headline

“Headlines were clickable, not to mention shareable, for their shock value alone”. So, create personal essay topic formats in a way that the readers will find relatable. A grappling story preceded by a deeply relatable essay topic is what the readers look for. Incidents like facing a fear, falling in love, overcoming an obstacle, discovering something new, making a difficult choice, and tackling feelings happen in everyone’s life. So, speak of the universal truth with a headline that can fetch the attention at once.

The Structure

Like any other academic essay, an excellent personal essay structure should comprise an introductory paragraph, body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. If you follow the five-paragraph essay format, you will end up structuring a well-balanced essay that follows the standard structuring rule while sharing the writer's personal associations.

How to write a personal essay? Here is the elaboration of the three sections of the write-up-

  • Introduction

Usually a few sentences and two paragraphs long, the personal introduction essay should have a hook to capture the reader’s attention. Students have to share a personal statement that they plan to work on across the essay's body.

Also, they should avoid typical clichés like opening with a famous quote. Instead, start straight away with your narratives to form a unique connection with the audience.

  • Body

The body of the personal essay is called the ‘meat of the students’ story’. Usually three paragraphs long, this part of the paper will revolve around sharing the main points and personal pieces of evidence supporting the essay's title and objective statement.

While writing a personal essay body paragraphs, the student-writers should reflect deeply on their experiences and share it shaped their perspective and knowledge.

  • Conclusion

The personal essay conclusion is an independent paragraph restating why the essay's thesis contains the moral of the students’ story. It holds the revelation of more profound truth and the realisation of the student writing it.  

Students can share why the personal experiences matter to them, and the readers' take away from the piece.

The Tips To Nail It

Learning about the structure is not all for writing a college-application friendly personal essay. For that, students have to know about easy-to-use tips that will ensure an easy transition from school to college. So, here are some tips from personal essay examples for your disposal-

  • Stay Specific

Personal essays are descriptive. If the descriptions are not thought-provoking, they are not going to grab the readers’ attention. Provide only necessary details about real-life experiences and feelings.

  • Keep The Essay ‘Personal’

The personal essay in the college application is not about the lengths or accurate structure. Although there is no harm in following the exact guidelines for forming the essay, the professors look for how the incidents and persons have affected you and your life decisions. Don't give a detailed narrative of the experience. Instead, focus on how it has changed your outlook.

  • Let Your Creative Juices Flow

Be funny, be sad, or be creative. The unrefined narrative will increase the chances of the college admission board like your essay. If you are funny or have a creative knack for writing, show that in the write-up. Let innovation and quick take centre stage. Figure out your personal strengths, and stick with them during writing.

What Is A Not A Personal Essay?

  • It is not an ill-presented write-up. The experiences shared are unique, but the approved structuring and formatting rules should be in place.
  • It is not something that takes in several referencing and citation. It is a piece of writing that improves communication skills and personal psyche.
  • A personal essay is not simply a retelling of life events.

20+ Personal Essay Topic Ideas

  1. Your most blessed day.
  2. How did you learn to drive a car?
  3. Write about something unexpected you have learnt from a close friend.
  4. What was most challenging about the 2020 Pandemic and quarantine for you?
  5. Write about a time you were sure you were right – but it turned out that you were wrong.
  6. Write about a food item that makes you think of another time.
  7. Did you face any natural calamity? Share how it felt.
  8. What was the most memorable time pass event before you learnt about using social media?
  9. What was a stressful situation that you have dealt with recently?
  10. The biggest loss of your life.
  11. An unknown person’s words that prompted hope
  12. Share your emotional invention after a sad phase of life.
  13. The most significant movie moment of your life.
  14. Your secret talent.
  15. A near-death experience.
  16. The hardest news you had to deliver.
  17. What is that one important item that you can't live without?
  18. Share a travel experience you will never forget.
  19. Any incident of the past you regret doing?
  20. Do you want to change anything about yourself? Why?
  21. An accident that changed everything
  22. A place you would like to visit once a year.
  23. A hard lesson
  24. What is your fondest childhood memory?
  25. Your learning about feminism and equality.

Feel free to use any of the topics to create unique pieces of the personal essay.  Employ the tips and place the essay a notch higher. Make a powerful impression on the college assessment board with your personal essay and get promoted.

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If you are a senior year school student, it's time to write a college application essay followed by a personal essay. If you have limited knowledge about writing a personal essay or don’t want to prepare a rushed paper, MyAssignmenthelp.com is the right place for you to be. Boost the chances of getting admission to your desired college by getting help from the industry’s best writing partner.

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