The power of a well-written personal essay should never be underestimated. Inspiring readers with your experiences, lessons learned from past mistakes, or simply describing the joy you felt from doing a fun activity can literally change people's lives. Take a moment to reflect upon this. How much influence you can have on your audience with just a pen and paper in your hand and thoughts flowing through your head is insane.
To take the reins of your floating thoughts and put them into perspective, you need to know how to write a personal essay. Otherwise defined as a nonfiction narrative story, the personal essay format differs slightly from other kinds of writing with its implicit structure. Once we touch upon those, we will also explore some personal essay topics with our online essay writing service. After reading this article, we promise you'll be so confident writing your personal statement that you might want to craft many personal essays in one go!
When trying to understand what is a personal essay, you must start with the formatting specifics. And no, we didn't mean to scare you off if this sounded too complicated! The format for personal essay can be similar to most academic tasks with just a few distinct aspects. Let's examine the details from our paper writer:
- Font: Unless required to write in a Harvard essay format, you can use any readable fonts - Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri in size 12.
- Margins: Just like in most writings, set your margins to one inch on all sides.
- Spacing: This is a classic! Use double-spacing throughout the essay, including between paragraphs.
- Indentation: Indent the first line of each paragraph by 0.5 inches or use the tab key. This might be a little too specific, but it's a true-and-tried method!
- Page numbers: Include page numbers in the top right corner of each page. You don't have to do this necessarily, but it can add more spark to your paper!
- Title: Include a title that reflects the theme or subject of your essay. Center the title on the page. Did we really have to elaborate on this?
- Header: Include a header with your last name and the page number in the top right corner of each page. After all, it's your personal story; why would you want to miss your name here?
- Length: The length of a personal essay can vary but typically ranges from 500 to 2,000 words. Well, unless you're discussing healing from a generational trauma... Then you'd probably need a few more extra pages.
- Tone: The tone of a personal essay should be conversational, reflective, and sincere. At least, this is what we recommend not to sound dull.
- Personal pronouns: Use first-person pronouns such as 'I,' 'me,' and 'my.' Remember, the spotlight is directed at you as you're the true hero of the story.
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 creates 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 on their impact on your life. This tip can help you create many really good essay topics, but if you need motivation, you can find some examples below.
- 'One small step that helped me skyrocket in my career!'
- 'Why controlling urges teaches you to 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.'
- 'The moment when I should have made a better choice.'
- 'The moment I overcame my public speaking fear.'
- 'How I conquered adversity with strength.'
- 'The impact of mentorship: valuable lessons learned from my mentor.'
- 'My journey to finding a place to belong.'
Personal Essay Topics on 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 reflects 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.
- 'How I ran away from fear: the power of exercising.'
- 'How I overcame the trauma through painting.'
- 'My quest to reclaim my cultural identity
- 'How I tackled cultural shock while studying abroad.'
- 'The year I went from being an amateur to a professional artist.'
- 'The best solo hike of my life
- 'The moment I beat my eating disorder and learned to love my true self.'
- 'How practicing gratitude helped me find beauty in the ordinary.'
- 'The power of letting go of toxic relationships
- 'How I lived up to my family's legacy.'
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 reading them. That is the secret to a provocative title!
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Crafting an Outline for Personal Essay
Like most academic tasks, the personal essay can be easily structured into 5 paragraphs. This is one of the most important steps of personal narrative essay writing at any level. Your outline for personal essay will serve as a navigator, so you don't want to get off track. Understanding how to start a personal essay, what to write in body paragraphs, and how to conclude it appropriately will be important.
How to Start a Personal Essay?
Start your writing with an introductory paragraph. As it gives your reader a clear understanding of what the story will be about. Employ a hook sentence to catch their attention and motivate them to read the rest of the paper with a whimsical thesis statement. It can be a narrative thesis, for example. But it must be written in one concise sentence that will bring the reader to the starting point of your essay.
Don't leave your readers in the dark in the introduction 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?
Creating the Personal Essay Body
After creating an introduction, you must formulate three body paragraphs supporting 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.
Usually, the body section 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 for Personal Essay?
Ultimately, 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 you have stated in body paragraphs, and leave your reader with a specific emotion, depending on the subject of your paper.
Readers should also 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.
Tips for Personal Essay Writing Process
If you think you already possess sufficient knowledge of personal essays, we've yet to supply you with more information. Now let's explore the various stages of personal essay writing. Follow the list of valuable tips and advice from our skilled personal essay writer without skipping a beat!
Start with an 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 essays, writing from your perspective or in your personal manner is welcomed. For instance, if you are writing about a trip adventure, you might express your individual writing style by describing the sights and sounds that captured your attention. As a result, your writing will be more interesting and genuine and will better convey your experiences and feelings.
Take the Characters into Account
Be sure to describe your characters from all angles. Even though it is your real-life experience, 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.
Write a Rough Draft & Submit
After you have completed all the previous steps, it's time to write a rough draft. Writing a rough draft lets you get new ideas for a personal essay. Moreover, it's a great place to polish your essay 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. Once you have checked everything, you can start writing 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. Reading an essay full of grammatical mistakes is somewhat frustrating, which can be easily avoided. You can ask your classmate for help, so in that way, you will save each other. Don't forget to meet the deadline - and you're officially finished!
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.
To Sum Up
As we scratched the surface of the personal essay writing process and delved deep into the specific stages of creating a flawless paper, we hope you gained some valuable insights. These tips are all you'll ever need to inspire readers or even WOW the admissions officers!
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