All You Need to Know About Personal Essay

  • January 14, 2020
  • |
  • David Fritts

The Essentials of A Personal Essay Writing

A personal essay can be defined as a brief memoir of your life, or the writer’s life specifically. This is a kind of true story of your life. This type of essay gives you a great chance as a writer to take out a little slice of your life events and bring out the true meaning of it. For instance, you can take out any memorable event be it positive or negative. This might be about an instance that gave you immense happiness or this may also be about any of the trauma of your life after which your life changed to a certain extent. By taking out that certain event and examining it in a literary manner gives you a feeling that you are living and you are feeling every bit of your life experiences.

So in simple words, a personal essay is one in which the writer narrates any story or event of his real life as the main topic of the essay, bring out his real life experiences attached to that particular event and briefly tells the experience about that particular event. What exactly happened at that moment, what were the circumstances post that even and how it affected the writer’s personal life or what were the take home lessons learnt out of this real time life experience. Here in this certain type of essay, the writer uses the first person throughout the narration of essay and cannot say in my opinion, as the entire essay consists of his personal opinions and findings about some particular event.

Finding Personal Essay Topics

When we talk about finding personal essay topics, again this is a very interesting aspect of personal essay writing. You can take out any memorable event, a set of events in a certain time period, or anything bad that happened to you in your life. For example, you can carve out a title as three best things that happened to you or, a memorable day out with family or, how my new job changed my entire perspective of thinking. As we can clearly see that all these three topics are mainly linked to the writer’s personal life. In this certain type of essay, no external theory, thought, opinion or data is being brought in to the discussion of the essay.

After picking up a certain topic out of your real life, you start revealing things in such a lively manner that this generates interest in the reader and he associates himself with your real life experiences. Once you start unfolding the events, the reader becomes even more conscious about what exactly is going to come in the forthcoming lines. In a personal essay, you can talk about the places you have worked, or you can also mention the places you have travelled, trips you have taken or the places you have lived. All of these diverse topics can make best titles for your personal essays. You might write about your hobbies as well on which you have specialized knowledge for sure. You can explain the struggle of your life in a more engaging and storytelling manner. The best things happened to you or the worst things that happened to you etc as a personal essay writer.

A Quick Food for Thought In Personal Essay Writing

To make the narration of your personal essay writing and make it more engaging for the readers, one must start his personal essay with action. For instance, you start writing about your life story as a businessman who got bankrupt and you got up again and made it through to the ultimate success. You can write it, as I was all broken inside out, my bank statement was a mockery of a broken person, my business got closed and I was left to die like a fallen soul, but, I got up again. I recomposed myself, worked out my weaknesses, took rescue from some old friends and established it all over again and now I am an established businessman having a net worth of this much million dollars! This is how a personal essay writer must sound like!

Look at the drama and emotions expressed in just one paragraph which is simply more than enough to capture your entire reader’s list. When we talk about action in a personal essay, this implies that even in the narration there must be something happening throughout, you bring life into the narration by expressing your sensory feelings in such a beautiful manner that your reader could literally feel every bit of it.

Again, as an example, if you are talking about your last trip, do not waste much of time in your packing and gathering stuff and your plane etc. if the essay is about a certain place, do not drag a lot before entering right in to that particular scene of that specific place. The moment you start witnessing something as a lifetime experience or the moment you started seeing some incredibly great pieces of art or sculptures. Some moments right within the middle of that moment. Show your reader how you lived that particular moment. You show action, dialogue, you show living humans around you.

Personal Essay in Academic Writing

We know that everyone has a story to share and a message to convey to its dedicated audience who are interested in listening to your real life experiences. This is right here from where the personal essay writing begins in academic essay writing as well. Yet the most of students do not know the appropriate manner of telling their story or writing a personal essay. If you are also among that lot, keep reading this blog to explore more about writing a personal essay, structuring it the write manner and which exact substance is to be added in your personal essay.

Personal Essay in Academic Writing
Personal Essay in Academic Writing

Brief Definition of Personal Essay

This is an essay through which you express your personal feelings, or you report an event that you witnessed in your own words without borrowing any external help in form of supportive theories, arguments or facts. This mainly includes your very personal opinion based on research. Here the writer defines a certain topic of his interest, and tells a story about something happening in his life in such an engaging manner that the reader finds interest in the essay. So in simple words, the writer tells his own story or describes some certain event and uses the first person throughout the narration of entire essay in personal essay structure.

Structure of A Personal Essay

Just like all of other essay types, even in personal essay the overall structure of the essay remains the same roughly. Here below will discuss all these aspects or components of a personal essay structure.

  1. Introduction
  2. Supporting Argument # 1
  3. Supporting Argument # 2
  4. Supporting Argument # 3
  5. Conclusion

The above mentioned pattern explains the overall structure or the skeleton of a personal essay. Here the introduction consists of the thesis statement that is mainly the thesis statement. This very statement defines the crux of the entire discussion around which the entire essay revolves. It also consists of a punch line statement that is written with an intention to seek the attention of the reader.

The body of the personal essay consists of multiple paragraphs and each one of this paragraph talks about an entirely new and different argument that is written in support of the thesis statement. These multiple paragraphs must contain multiple arguments separately, each one must carry its own substance and above all, despite being separate, there must be cohesion and a kind of connectivity between all these paragraphs. None of these paragraphs should look as if it is deviating from the main discussion point.

Structure of A Personal Essay
Structure of A Personal Essay

In the end, just like all other essay formats and types, here in personal essay comes the conclusion. In the end, the writer gives a conclusion based on his personal life experience and by analyzing these incidents of events. Again the conclusion must be clear, precise, argumentative, practical and realistic enough so that the reader could easily believe it and relate himself with the findings of the writer in his personal essay.

Key points for writing a personal essay

  • First of all begin with tips for personal essay writing, it is essential to understand the true essence of the personal essay and the writer must be aware of all its basics, dos and don’ts. Deviating from these basics will simply ruin the entire attempt in academic personal essay writing attempt.
  • As far as the topic is concerned, this is very crucial in personal essay writing. According to the experts, the title must be such that a common reader can associate with it. Much effort must be done for finding the most appropriate title as this will be the first attention grabber.
  • While starting your essay, your hook statement must be very effective and appealing enough to grab the attention of the reader. If your hook statement isn’t prominent and crisp enough, this will never serve the purpose for which a hook statement is made part of the essay.
  • Just like all other essay formats, even in personal essay the outline is very crucial. Though there are different schools of thought who believe that an essay can be written even without an outline but the other one opposite is more dominant. Prepare a perfect outline for your essay.
  • While writing the body of your essay, one must bear in mind that the discussion must not look scattered and beating about the bush. Instead, it must be focused and directed towards the main point of discussion or the topic of your personal essay.
  • While narrating the story of your life, you must narrate it in a manner that your reader could literally envision the entire situation as a part of it. You can do this by including sensory descriptions of the moments.
  • Finally, when it comes to the conclusion, it must be a thought provoking, relatable and practical one that every reader can associate with easily. This implies that in the end, there must be some take home substance for the reader after finishing your personal essay.
Key points for writing a personal essay
Key Points for Writing A Personal Essay

Things to Remember

  • As we mentioned earlier that more or less, the personal essay is very much identical to the common essay writing formats yet there are some exceptions. Therefore, you must never follow the five paragraph essay style in your personal essay.
  • The overall tone and flow in any essay matters a lot and it varies according to the certain type of the essay. While writing a personal essay, one must make sure that the tone of storytelling would sound perfect and most appropriate for this particular type of essay writing.
  • While addressing your readers, make sure to never say “In my opinion” as the entire essay is supposed to be a real life story that belongs to you. so such phrases might be distracting as if the rest is not according to your opinion or the writer’s opinion.
  • In the end, the personal essay must serve such purpose, which is easily identifiable. This implies that while reading, a reader must find some substance to relate himself with the essay and only then will he find interest in reading and completing your personal essay. Therefore, the purpose must be clear and not vague in any way or manner.
Things to Remember
Things To Remember

In the end of tips for personal essay writing, we believe that we have highlighted and sufficiently discussed each and every aspect or element of personal essay writing. Al though the overall structure of personal essay remains the same yet there are some very clear differences that must be borne in mind while writing one. If any of these aspects are ignored, the writer will literally miss the true essence of personal essay writing and this can be very crucial especially in academic personal essay writing attempt as this could cost you a few numbers or entirely a failed personal essay paper altogether.

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