How to Write a Personal Essay: 10 Things to Remember

Writing a personal essay is one of the most basic assignments students get at school. Personal narratives presuppose sharing your life experience with others. It is a quick and easy way for a teacher to check your level of knowledge and skills of composition. In order to show yourself in the best light, you should follow specific aspects of a personal essay.

What should be done in order to write a successful personal essay?

  • Choose the event
  • One event becomes a central point in your essay. It doesn't matter if it is huge or insignificant. Sometimes the simplest ideas can be the basis for an impressive piece of writing. The important thing is that it describes something in your life that you find really interesting, so that it will interest others too.

  • Decide on the type of narrator
  • If this is a given assignment, it is most probable that your choice of narrative perspective is limited. As it is a personal story, it is usually the first person. However, this first person could be anyone – you or someone else.

  • Let your thoughts flow
  • Think your way through telling the story. Determine the sequence of the events, perhaps you will want to experiment with the chronology by using flashbacks or flash-forwards.

  • Create general outline
  • This will help you to organize your thoughts, and to differentiate between the important details and those which could be left out. Set up the tone of the narrative and choose your own style of writing. Aim at creating the emotional impact on the reader and refer to sensory perceptions and bright images.

  • Start effective
  • The lead is the most important part of the entire story. It determines whether the reader will get interested and decide to continue reading.

  • Work out the coherent structure. Beginning
  • Each story should have the beginning, the middle and the end. An introduction gives a clear idea about what you are going to write about and from what point of view.

  • Middle part
  • The body of the story describes what happened and how you feel about that.

  • Ending
  • The conclusion needs to state the main point of the story and leave the final impression.

  • Make it lively
  • Include anecdotes and dialogues. They effectively create the impression of the characters and make the story more dynamic.

  • Double-check
  • Sometimes writers use numerous drafts before they are satisfied with the achieved result. If that is not the case, at least make sure everything is in order and the story you created sticks together and provides the desired final impression.