Personal essays often accompany college admissions or scholarship applications. This essay provides information that tells the reader why you are the right person for that college or scholarship, and when well written, it inspires the board to take the intended action.
But what is a personal essay? It’s a nonfiction narrative story that tells the applicant's personal experiences or insightful information on lessons learned after a predicament. Even when it gives second-hand information, the essay must draw from personal experience, generate interest, and be thought-provoking.
While it might look easy, writing a personal essay is hard because students often don’t have extensive experience composing this type of paper. That is why we have created this guide to teach you about personal essay writing and tips you should use to make your essay stand out.
Is a Personal Essay the Same as a Personal Statement?
Students are often asked to write a personal statement or personal essay. While the two have the same structure, they differ in many ways.
For starters, a personal statement focuses on the author their strengths, skills, personal motivation, and any other thing that adds a personal touch to college admissions or scholarship applications. A personal statement should also reference your interest in that college and your qualifications for that course.
On the other hand, no subject matter is forbidden in a personal essay. You can focus on a specific author, event, or even a book as long as it centres on you or how that person or event has affected your life. The information shared doesn’t include your academic achievements.
A personal narrative essay reveals something the reviewer will not see in a resume or transcripts. But it can reveal qualities about you such as communication and critical thinking skills. For example, using only original ideas in your essay proves you can contribute to a subject, which shows you have critical thinking skills. Writing clearly, concisely, and correctly points to your communication skills.
What are the 5 elements of a personal essay?
When encountering it for the first time, a student may ask, “what should I write my personal essay about?” Well-written and successful personal essays have five main components.
A compelling Hook
How do you start a personal essay? With a good hook that grabs a reader’s attention from the first to the last sentence. It could be a thought-provoking scene, a humorous opening line, or any other hook that pulls the reader in. Feel free to be funny or creative as long as it helps to set you apart from other college applicants.
Avoid common hooks such as statistics or a famous quote. The admission board wants to hear about you, so allow the originality of your essay to shine. In case you have trouble coming up with a good hook, look online and read personal essay examples; better yet, ask our subject expert to craft you an essay that you can use as a guide.
An Engaging Story
A personal story is essentially a captivating story that will elicit an emotional reaction such as joy or sadness. If the reader remarks, “wow,” by the end of the story, then there is a high chance you will find success.
Just like in every memorable story, a good personal essay will have interesting characters that take the spotlight. So even if you are using the first-person narrative, don’t just focus on you, build your story to allow the characters to be unforgettable.
Personal essays are based on real events, which means they need to immerse the reader in a specific setting. So use interesting details and paint a vivid picture that will help bring the setting to life. One great way to make this happen is to include sensory details such as sounds and smells.
A meaningful Theme
Apart from a good story, a successful personal essay delivers a specific theme or informative message. By reading the essay, the reader should be able to tell the story's point or main message.
What Are The Examples Of Personal Essay?
Nowadays, it’s easier to find personal essay examples on the internet. Just make sure you are getting your essay from a reputable site. That way, you can be sure that the essays are done correctly. You can also browse through our website to find different personal essays.
Examples of personal essays could be about your experience in a summer exchange program, a conversation with your grandmother about God, your life as a refugee, and an unforgettable train trip.
Here is an example of a personal statement:
As a child, I always considered myself the queen of the jungle. The beloved daughter of nature and a free spirit that was one with all things natural. That is why I couldn’t understand why the stubborn sticks refused to burst into a flame no matter how hard I rubbed those two rocks together. After all, I had seen Tarzan and Mowgli do it so effortlessly in the latest movies.
Tips for Writing a Personal Essay That Stands Out
Your personal essay can increase or decrease the odds of your application becoming a success. So how can you convince them you are the best candidate? Here are more points to consider.
Use Active Voice
Avoid passive voice because it’s vague and creates complex sentence structure that makes the message much harder to comprehend. Use active voice as it makes you look more knowledgeable on the subject and keep the sentences clear.
Use a Conversational Tone
Write the story as if you are talking to a friend. Avoid slang and any complex vocabulary. Consider your tone and the feelings you want to evoke and use them to add personality to your essay.
Read the essay aloud, use an online grammar checker tool or ask a friend to edit the essay. You can even take it a step further and ask a professional editor to look at your work.
Structure Your Essay
Outline your essay to have an introduction, body, and conclusion. The number of paragraphs to have depends on the word limit specified and the number of main points you want to discuss.
With this post as your guide, you will have an easier time knowing how to write a stellar personal essay. However, if you struggle to get your creative juices flowing or complete the essay within the stipulated deadline, don’t worry; we can help. Click the Acemyhomework Order Button, and one of our professional writers will write the essay on your behalf.