Tips on how to write a personal essay

Everyone has their own reasons for writing a personal essay. A personal essay may be required when applying for a job, Scholarship, admission into an institution or when sharing personal stories with others. A personal essay in this sense is one that is capable of getting your story known to your readers to achieve a particular goal.

What Is a Personal Essay?

A personal essay is an essay that gives specific details in the life of the writer which is of significance in the given context. It could also describe life lessons and certain events in an individual’s life. Personal essays are different from other types of essays in terms of Tone and its aim.

Structure of a Personal Essay

A personal essay consists of three main parts: introduction, body and conclusion where the length of the essay will depend on the writer.

Introduction: This is the point where you begin a fresh essay so writers include words that capture the attention of readers and form a connection to the essay. The introduction also has to create a link to the body of the essay to further captivate readers.

Body: This is where you fully develop your main points and ideas that come together to support the experiences you are referring to.

Conclusion: This is the last section of the essay and it should restate your main goal of writing the personal essay. It should as well summarize all that has been said to enable readers fully grasp what actually you want them to understand in your essay. 

Tips for Writing a Personal Essay

Here are a few general tips to keep in mind when writing your personal essay:

  1. Make Preparations
  2. Draft your Outline
  3. Choose a topic
  4. Write your Essay Intro
  5. Write the Body
  6. Include a conclusion,
  7. Proofread your work
Tips for Writing a Personal Essay
Photo by Dan Counsell on Unsplash

1. Make preparations

This consists of making a little research about the specifics of what you want to write about, your audience and the kind of information you want to get them informed about. You should make sure your goal is well defined. This also entails thinking of how to make your essay interesting and very engaging. Listing of key points is very significant when preparing your essay.

2. Draft your Outline

Drafting your essay outline is very important a step in writing a personal essay as it helps you better lay out and structure your main points of the essay. Overall, it makes your work organized and it can help in selecting the right tones for the essay. An outline as well,  keeps you focused on your goal or main idea without going astray. 

3. Choose a Topic

It is important that you state a topic to work towards in order to form a connection with the intended audience. This is where you give them something to look forward to. You have to choose a topic that is in line with your essay’s goals. 

 4. Write your Essay Introduction

A good introduction usually has a length of one or two paragraphs that focus on your key points without providing too much detail. The introduction usually highlights the key points of your essay. The deployment of  inspirational or funny quotes can be a plus in the essay.

5. Write the Body

This is where you build up your personal story which will be a link to your main topic.   The body is generally two to three paragraphs minimum. The body is very informative. It is required that the body explains the main points of the essay which was stated in the introduction. This is where you provide supporting evidence of the points you decide to explain.

6. Include a conclusion

In your conclusion, you ought to summarize what your points are, what you learned from your experience and what message you hope to pass on to the reader. Generally, this can be just a paragraph or two and repeats your main points in the body. It is recommended that you desist from sharing new information at this stage in writing your personal essay. You should always focus on linking the entire story together in line with your main goal.

7. Proofread your work.

Read through your essay to check for grammatical or spelling errors. Aside from checking spelling and grammar, make sure your intent is clear and your narrative is easy to follow and understand. Take your time proofreading and consider reading more than once. No matter how good your writing skills are, it’s always helpful to read your own work again and ensure your essay is satisfactory. You can also consider using Modern writing tools that can help you swiftly identify spelling, grammar and tone errors to make your work readable.

Clifford Opoku-Antwi

Clifford Opoku-Antwi

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