How to Write a Personal Essay
Human beings have always been storytellers; the common folklore is the best example of a personal essay.
Folklore was there when human beings did not have a proper written medium.
The ancient man has always been telling stories about their surroundings and whatever they see around themselves.
But now we also put down such stories that come in our mind to paper.
We not only create stories but also write them down.
Everyone does it whether in their personal diary or in the form of some book etc. It may seem crazy right? But even then we can’t live without it.
This written version of a tale or a story is what we call a narrative essay.
Personal Essay vs Narrative Essay
At times we get confused and find it difficult to differentiate between a personal essay and a narrative one.
So before explaining the structure of an individual or personal essay, let us make a distinction between these two.
As the name suggests a narrative essay is actually a story that is explained thoroughly in order to fulfil a specific purpose.
Sometimes it may be used to teach a moral lesson or just get the reader to laugh for a while and forget about his worries.
Whatever the purpose be, there always is a clearly defined predetermined purpose.
But if you take the personal essay, it can be termed as the subsection of the group of narrative essays.
This is the reason why they are actually called Personal Narrative Essays.
In other words, you can say that this is a narrative essay about yourself, in which you talk about the experiences and events that happened in your particular life! Take the example of rap.
These musical artists actually use words to explain a story with feelings telling how the things in life work etc… This is exactly like what you will be writing in a personal essay!
College Essay Tips
College essays are purely written with the purpose of getting good grades and secondly for entertainment.
If you answer the question “tell us about yourself” in a good way then you can easily write a personal essay.
This type of essay fits well into the personal essay category.
A college entrance essay holds an important place in an academic session so it is quite helpful to learn the tips and tricks of writing such an essay.
Brainstorm: before you think to start writing, plan what aim do you want to achieve. What exactly do you want to write about the topic?
You can ask yourself questions like these:
- What important incident took place in my life?
- What lesson did I learn from this event?
- What importance does this specific moment carry in my life?
- What was the turning point in my life at this particular moment?
- Why was this incident most crucial for me?
When you find answers to these and any other questions you can easily get a kick start and you can be sure of writing a really good story!
Remember that temporal, as well as logical organization, is very important in narratives.
The story should start at time A and conclude at time B or C.
You need to arrange the events in proper order. Follow a one- dimensional timeline.
You can back-track but try to avoid too much back-tracking so as not to confuse the readers.
Point of view:
Since personal narratives will always be written or told in your point of view, therefore, use first-person pronouns like I, we, us, etc.
You should proofread and correct the pronouns.
It is also recommended to use names for simplification where pronouns are spammed.
An impressive dialogue can pull the reader into the story like some live action!
Try to give your readers a first-class taste of the situation and excite them!
Readers will always infer from the story through the language the way they perceive it.
Catharsis makes your story a living being with which the readers interact every time they read it. personal ess
- Use illustrations:
A good piece of writing will always paint a complete picture in the readers’ minds.
Readers do not want to be pulled by the finger and taken straight to the point.
Rather they want to be cued and allowed to find it for themselves what actually this beautifully sculpted portrait of an illustrated scene is all about..
- For example, Instead of telling the reader that John was angry, say like:
“John’s head was slowly turning into a bright red color ball, with steam coming out of his nose and ears. He flew around the room like a tornado roaring and smashing everything that came in his path mercilessly.”
Or He was a fierce lion roaring in a loud voice with blood in his eyes.
He looked as if he would tear everything to pieces that would come in his way.
Using such picaresque words gives your readers an in-depth feeling of the characters’ situation and condition.
It makes the story more exciting to read.
Don’t forget to add an emotional touch to your personal essays as they will feel lifeless without any mental stimulation.
Feelings and emotions are the souls of personal essays.
These give the essay a realistic touch making it more interesting for the readers from a psychological point of view.
be to the point as the essay was never written without any aim.
Arrange the events in such a way that when all the drama reaches a climax, the reader suddenly realizes the point where you were trying to bring the reader.
The reader suddenly realizes the importance of all the events and characters. This is what makes your essay a success.
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Personal Essay Example Topics
- The first step that helped me skyrocket in my career!
- How can you master control yourself?
- Wise people learn from their own mistakes.
- Life is not as simple as it seems to be!
- How did I learn to conquer my fears?
Your titles of personal essays should also carry an interesting vibe with them. The names grab the readers’ attention and pull them to crave for what will be in the essay.
That is why titles are also important for personal essays.
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