Tips on Writing a Personal Essay that Will Stand Out among Others

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We all have some exciting stories to tell and useful messages to share. The complicated part is to get that story out of your head and express it clearly and comprehensively on the paper in a way that will make the reader interested. What thing that is more important than blathering about yourself does not work. Your task is to describe some vivid episodes from your life that can prove your experience and highlighted skills. You have to write about it persuasively so that the admissions committee will be sure you are the best candidate among plenty of students who are convinced that they are, too.

Consider using our tips on how to write a personal essay that will help you stand out among the competitors.

Come Up with a Compelling Topic

Usually, the best essay topics are deeply relatable. Certainly, you have to tell the story that is unique to your experience, but there should be some universal truth that will speak to the reader. Such things and situations like love, friendship, fear, obstacles, making a choice, competition, discovering something tackle feelings that happen in everybody's life.

One of the key factors that help maintain the reader's interest is being open and honest. Consider writing about some concerns and fears as it is usually more complicated to share such personal things than success or goals.

Write an Outline

Before you move to the actual writing, jot down a list of the things that inspire you to focus on them in your personal essay. Among such things, there might be famous influential people, some events or challenges, memories, or anything that has a relation to the topic you have selected. This list will help you better understand what to talk about further.

Some writers even take inspiration and examples from media if they lack their own experience to write about. If you want to do so, as well, ensure that the particular episode you have chosen describes your specific issue, instead of the general problem. Also, if you want to include any quotes, write them down before drafting an outline.

Introduction: How to Start a Personal Essay

Start your paper with some inspiring sentence to catch the audience's attention right away. Consider adding any quotes, facts, and statistics, metaphors, or anecdotes that help make the essay exciting from the very beginning.

A personal essay has to provide some background information to help the reader better understand the ongoing events. Explain who the main characters are, where and when the action takes place — the settings are a crucial part of any good essay.

End the introductory part of your paper with a catchy, convincing thesis statement. It has to clearly express your main idea and briefly mention the arguments and evidence that you are going to include.

Craft the Body of Your Paper

Each paragraph has to start with an introductory sentence that highlights one of the main points, continues with strong evidence, and ends with a short conclusion. You may also end up every paragraph with the sentence that leads to the next point, without going into details.

It is essential to concentrate on showing rather than telling while writing a personal essay, especially its body part. To do this, add various descriptive words that help your reader feel similarly that you felt in the situation you describe. By sharing feelings and emotions, you provoke sympathy from your audience.

Write the Concluding Paragraph

The conclusion should briefly sum up your main points and claim the final opinion of the essay. In this part, you may want to describe some insights or lessons learned that help highlight the importance of the topic. Explain how these events or things have affected you or changed your understanding of life. Make every effort to describe how they have shaped you.

Do's and Don'ts of Personal Essay Writing

What to do:

  • Stay honest
  • Organize your thoughts and ideas before writing
  • Be clear and concise
  • Ensure that the essay is connected with some personal experience
  • Reveal both good and bad sides of yourself
  • Stay positive by stressing that you are proud of whatever has happened

What to avoid:

  • Do not exceed your task's limits (word/page count)
  • Do not apply broad-based generalizations
  • Do not ignore any details provided in the assignment
  • Do not be hesitate to write about personal anxieties, which can show that you are intellectually developed person


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