Writing A Personal Essay: Tips And Structure

Sep 12, 2021

Writing A Personal Essay: Tips And Structure

There are several reasons which prompt people to write personal essays. High school students often write personal essays when seeking college admission. Others use them to share personal experiences and stories that have impacted their lives in different ways. Your instructor or prospective college panel uses a personal essay as a parameter for determining your ability to express yourself.

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Things to Keep in Mind When Writing A Personal Essay

A personal essay allows you to describe the life-changing lessons that you learned through life experiences. You'll narrate significant events from a personal perspective using a formal or a creative non-fiction style. The essay also uses a conversational tone to create a connection with your prospective readers. It's worth noting that personal essays can inspire, uplift, or warn others to avoid making similar mistakes.

Examples of Personal Essay Topics

There are several topics that you can base your personal essay on, including the following;

What’s the structure of a personal essay?

An excellent personal essay should embrace the basic format of introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. A typical personal essay should have five introductory paragraphs, three body paragraphs, and the conclusion, bringing into five paragraphs.

Introduction: Capture your reader's attention by using a hook in the opening sentence. Include a personal statement or philosophy that you aim to achieve in your essay. It's advisable to avoid using clichés such as opening the essay with a famous quote, especially for college essays. Try to establish a unique connection with your readers. The thesis statement should come last in the introduction.

Body Paragraphs: The body paragraphs form the flesh of your essay. Begin every paragraph with a topic sentence and use personal evidence to support it. Your ability to share personal experiences in a witty and creative manner will determine how meaningful your essay will be. Build on these experiences and reflect on how they impacted your life and made you the person you are. Did they live you a better and stronger person or made you more cautious? Tell your readers about these experiences.

Conclusion: Use the conclusion to reiterate the thesis statement and reveal the moral behind your story or the deeper truth. Tell your reader why the essay matters and the possible takeaways from your writing.

Sample Personal Essay

My Parents Shaped Me

I felt my parents' pressure on me to succeed academically and in sports from a young age. My father constantly reminded me that successful people in life were all rounded, and there was a need for me to learn the art from a tender age. My life revolved around struggling to live my parents' wishes, something which put hefty pressure on my life. I'm neither complaining nor regretting because the fact that my parents were hard on me helped me a lot. Sometimes when I look back, I bet I couldn't have made it this far without their continued support, reminders, and reprimanding me whenever I erred. My story will inspire you that you have limitless capabilities to achieve your dreams, especially if you are ready to brave all challenges and take criticisms positively.

My parents separated when I was only ten, and I was left under my mother's custody. Although I was too young to talk about what was happening and stop it, I felt they made a mistake. I was going to miss my dad, and I did. I could always ask my mother to take me to my dad, but she was reluctant. On the other hand, my mother seemed to have diverted her energies and everything in her livelihood towards me. She took me to a good private school and became even harder on me to succeed. However, the absence of a father figure in my daily life made me feel bad. I vowed to work hard, become the best I could, make my parents proud, and become a reason for their uniting…

In the above sample extract from a personal essay, the writer has presented a coming-to-age thoughtful story that grasps the reader's attention. He touches on how his parents influenced her perspective towards life from a young age. It is evident that the author has identified with school-going children, and his goal is to use the story to inspire them. Identifying with a given audience is one of the essential aspects of a personal essay.


We can write you a custom personal essay anytime. We will just need some information from you such as your education level, your interests, major achievements, and probably how you intend to use your personal essay. Then leave the rest to profesionals!

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