If you were asked to write an essay about yourself, you are not alone. A writing about yourself can be very difficult to do whether you’re writing an essay for a college project or for admission to a college. There are many things you need to consider when writing this kind of paper. You need to figure out what details you need to include in your essay and develop your personal experiences into an interesting story. Also, you need to know how to write about sensitive subjects and people without offending anyone.
Getting ideas for your paper
When writing a paper, you may be given a prompt. For instance, you may be asked to write about the happiest time in your life. Or you may be asked to create a paper from scratch coming up with an interesting idea, which can be difficult. In order for your essay to stand out, you need to discuss an experience that not everybody goes through.
Even though such events like a wedding, the birth of a child, or a college achievement may seem important to you, they are the things that many people go through. Therefore, they may not be particularly interesting to a reader. Instead try to come up with something where you need to describe your personal struggles.
Finding ideas and inspiration
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If it is difficult for you to come up with an interesting topic for your paper, try to do the following:
- Check out online for various ideas on how to write an essay about yourself in an interesting way.
- Try to write in a stream of consciousness. Open a document and just start writing anything that comes into your mind without stopping until you fill three pages.
- Conduct a research. There are many places where you can research the subject in addition to the internet. However, don’t steal ideas, instead get inspiration from them.
Working on your grammar
If you know that grammar is not your strongest side, you may want to do some refreshing and use various sources to improve your grammatical skills. You can find many books online and in the libraries. It is always useful to purchase a good grammar book and have it at hand at home.
Using your own vocabulary and voice
One of the things your professor will be paying attention to while reading your paper is the use of the active voice. The active voice lets the reader know exactly who is doing what.
Personal papers are very casual and full of feelings. If you are writing about something you are passionate about, you will cause emotions in your readers as well. When you show how you feel, your readers can usually relate to this and this is when you make a real impact. You should be tough about your opinion, your views, and your feelings. Don’t use weak words such as could, would, and should.
Your most powerful tool is the use of the positive language. Instead of writing about the things you are against of, write about something you are for. Also use the voice that is natural to you. Use your own vocabulary. When you apply your own voice, and describe your own experiences, your writing because authentic.
Check what the plagiarism is and try to stay away from it. This is your personal essay, so never use the thoughts and ideas of other people and then call them your own.
Other tips to follow when writing a paper
- Make prior notes. Before you start writing the essay, take some time to brainstorm ideas. You don’t have to include everything in your final version, this is simply an exercise that will help you find as many ideas for your paper as possible.
- Make a list of your weaknesses and strengths. You can write about your emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual qualities. Describe your special hobbies or talents. If there are heroes you like, you can name them as well. Then write about your significant experiences. Add some dates to refresh your memory in case you want to write a paper in a chronological manner. Also write down some adjectives that you think describe you the best.
- Choose a format. Sometimes you may be given instructions on what format to use. If you didn’t get any special guidelines, it is always best to follow the five-paragraph method. This is a standard method that includes the opening paragraph, three strong paragraphs, and a deduction.
- Don’t be very negative. Of course, you may mention some rough times you have experienced. However, it is better to leave some things unsaid. Use negative characteristics and situations only to highlight your good points. For instance, if one of your parents has left you as a child and you had to take care of your other sibling, you can say how this experience taught you to be more responsible and mature. In any case concentrate on the outcome of that experience rather than the experience itself.
- Start with a strong sentence. Whether your essay will have a title or not, you will want to start the paper with a strong sentence. For instance, you can quote your favorite writer, mention something that other people say about you, or make a joke that shows you as a person.
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Writing a thesis
This is a statement, which is included in the entry of your paper. It is not the same as the hook. It gives the overall description of what you are going to talk about in your paper.
Craft three effective paragraphs
There are several ways to structure your paper. You may write one paragraph about your most important memories, values, or goals. Or you can devote one paragraph describing yourself socially, psychologically, or physically. Again, you may have been given instructions on how to structure your paper, so be sure to follow them if you got any. Otherwise, you can be creative and think of an original organization for your essay.
Be definite with descriptions
Personal papers give a unique view of the topic. Be descriptive and try to use all the senses. Make everything possible to put the audience in your shoes and assist them to experience exactly what you smelled, saw, felt, tasted, or heard. Explain how you felt – whether you were nervous, how everything looked like, what the weather was like, etc.
Be logical with your point of you
Personal essays, as the name suggests, should be written in the first person using the pronoun I. When writing in the first person, you’re talking about yourself only. You can make observations of other people, but you can’t speak for them or know for sure what they are thinking about.
Usually a lot of personal papers are written in the past tense because you are talking about something that happened to you in the past. If you want to, you can write in the present tense. The main point is to be logical and consistent. Whatever tense you decide to apply, stick to it without switching back-and-forth between various tenses.
One of the most important parts of the writing process is editing. Once you finish your essay, let it sit for a day and then go back to it and read it again. By putting your esssay aside for a day or even several hours, gives you a chance to have a break and concentrate on other things rather than writing. When you read your essay again think about your audience. Try to answer the following questions:
- Is your message clear?
- Do you use correct grammar?
- Is the sentence structure correct?
- Do you write logically?
- Does one thing follow from the other naturally?
- Do you use the same tense?
- Are there words you can eliminate?
- Did you make your point?
It is hard to edit your own work. Therefore, if you can, ask someone else to do it because it will help you a lot. If you can afford it, you can hire an essay editing service where the professionals will properly read your essay and correct all the mistakes. When you choose a service to correct your essay be very careful. You need to find a reliable site that is legal, and you can rely on.
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