A well written personal essay can inspire readers to act (for example, to change something in their lives). It can be defined as a nonfiction narrative story in which authors share their personal experiences, incidents, insightful information or lessons learned from finding themselves in a predicament. In order to write a compelling piece, the first step is to understand the personal essay format and its implicit structure. Then, it is best to explore multiple personal essay topics by coming with basic outlines allowing one to examine which one would be the most compelling.
Like most academic tasks, the personal essay format can be easily outlined in five-paragraphs. Start with an introductory paragraph. It gives your reader a clear understanding of what the story will be about. Then, catch their attention and motivate them to read the rest of the paper with an awesome title. As you can see learning how to write a personal essay doesn’t have to be a pain when the process is clearly explained.
The following step requires students to include a thesis statement to the introduction and all the points you would like to discuss.
After creating an introduction, you must then formulate three body paragraphs that support 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.
In the end, 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 that you have stated in body paragraphs and leave your reader with a specific emotion, depending on the subject of your paper.
Before looking at some prominent personal essay examples, let us discover what criteria can be used to select the most suitable topic for oneself.
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 created 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 their impact on your life. This tip can help you to create a bunch of really good essay topics, but if you need a motivation, you can find some examples below.
- "One small step that helped me skyrocket in my career!"
- "Why controlling urges teaches you 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."
- "A moment when you should have made a better choice."
Write about 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 acts as a reflection of 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.
- "Moment when your life changed forever."
- "A disappointment you've experienced."
- "An accident that changed everything."
- "A near death experience."
- "Most terrifying thing you've witnessed."
- "An event that changed your life."
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 you start reading them. That is the secret to a provocative title! Check out "write my essay online" service: TOP 25 Personal essay topics to help you get started.
25 Good Personal Essay Topics
Crafting an Outline
This is one of the most important steps of personal essay writing at any level. Your outline will serve you as a navigator, and you don’t want to get off the track, do you? It will be important to understand how to start a personal essay, what to write in body paragraphs and how to conclude it appropriately.
How to Start a Personal Essay
Start your paper with a statement about your story, while at the same time catching the reader’s attention by making use of a hook sentence. It may be a suitable quotation, definition, fact or even an intriguing question.
Don’t leave your readers in the dark 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?
The great introduction should also have a narrative thesis.
It must be written in one concise sentence that will bring the reader to the starting point of your essay.
It should include supporting evidence for your narrative thesis. Usually, it 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
Naturally, it should include a conclusion to the events and experiences discussed throughout the essay. Students should also come to 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.
Use 1 for the introduction, 2-3 for the body section, & 1 for the conclusion. Doing it allows one to put together a solid outline from the start. Keep in mind that you do not need to be limited to five paragraphs as long as you have all three sections covered in the personal essay.
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Personal Essay Writing Process
We are going to explore the various stages of personal essay writing. Follow the tips of our writers and don’t skip anything.
Start with 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 essay, writing from your perspective or in your personal manner is welcomed.
Take the characters into account
Be sure to describe your characters from all angles. Even though it is your real life experiences, 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.
Personal Narrative Essay
Writing a personal narrative essay is an easy way to share your (writer’s) personal experience or a story from your life. Writing a good paper will require you to focus on many vivid details and look at them from another angle. You will need to identify crucial points and pay a lot of attention to the information you want to present.
The 1st line should let the audience know what you will be talking about and your opinion. In the body, give the reader a full idea of what happened (personal experience, event, etc.) and how you feel about it. Your story can be told chronologically, or group the facts by importance.
In the end, you will need to wrap everything up and present the main idea of your story, whether it is a lesson that you’ve learned, the impact of a particular experience, etc. Using this type of personal essay format will allow the author to keep their audience in an interactive manner throughout the entire piece.
Writing a Rough Draft & Submitting
After you have completed all the previous steps, it’s time to write a rough draft. Writing a rough draft gives you the opportunity to get some new ideas about what you're writing. Moreover, it’s a great place to polish your essay up 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. As soon as you have checked everything, you can start to write 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. It is somewhat frustrating to read an essay full of grammatical mistakes, which can be easily avoided. You can ask your classmate for help, so by that way, you will save each other. Don't forget to meet the deadline - and you're officially finished!
Video Guide: How to Write a Personal Statement
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.