Where To Find Great Personal Essay Examples For College

When you write a personal essay, you are providing a narrative about yourself and your experiences, incidents that are important to you. That is why they are written in the first person. Because they are the most popular types of writing, you can find many examples of them. When choosing the places to find examples on the Internet, it is important to avoid the writing mills, and other places that ask you to pay for the papers. Use only the resources that are free and legitimate. Here are some of the best ways to get examples/sample that will guide you as you construct your own papers.


Many colleges have free writing services for their students and offer them to the public as well. You can trust that the samples on these websites are ones that teachers have declared to be well-written. Some of the colleges that have writing services websites with samples are:

  • Boise State University
  • Connecticut College
  • Hamilton College
  • Humboldt State University
  • Michigan Tech University
  • Purdue University
  • Rice University
  • Sweet Briar College
  • Trinity College
  • University of Toronto
  • Virginia Tech


In addition to information about grammar and documenting sources, this manual has samples of essays and explanations about why they are well-written.

  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White


  • “Purdue OWL Writing Lab” is the most widely used online resource for colleges. It contains explanations of grammar structures, formatting styles, and samples of papers in all the disciplines.
  • “Writing Commons online” is a resource that is been peer-reviewed, which means it goes through rigorous evaluation to ensure it adheres to the highest scholarly standards. You can find research strategies and writing techniques for all of the academic subject areas.


There is no better way to learn about what good writing is than to read the works of famous authors. You can use some of these works as guides to see how they organize and present their narratives.

  • “An Apology for Idlers” by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell
  • "The Search for Marvin Gardens" by John McPhee
  • “The Death of a Moth” by Virginia Woolf
  • “Once More to the Lake” by E.B. White
  • “The Fourth State of Matter" by Jo Ann Beard,
  • “Two Ways of Seeing a River” by Mark Twain
  • “Goodbye to All That” by Joan Didion