How to Write a Personal Essay

A personal essay or personal statement is usually required by universities in the USA and Europe along with your other application documents. Optional classes and activities, such as sports, volunteering, part-time work, and so on will give you an advantage over other candidates. Yet, to be accepted to the university, you need to have excellent grades and a strong personal essay. The personal statement is a very important part of applying for universities, but anyone will tell you that. However, why is it so hard to write a successful essay?

The fact is that writing a personal essay is a task that most of the high school graduates did not come across before. This essay is often limited to about 4 thousand characters and 47 lines. Thus, you need to squeeze your thoughts, which will convince the reader that you will be an excellent student of your chosen university and specialization, into a short, coherent essay. This essay is almost the only thing from the submitted documents, which shows that you are a real person and how much you really want to join the university life.

Universities are primarily interested in your skills and personal qualities, your interests related, your academic capabilities and potential. This is what should make up a large part (about 80%) of your personal statement. The rest of your essay can include your hobbies and work experience, especially if they relate to your future studies. In many universities, they note that you recognize how to effectively use your free time, and their main interest is still focused on academic life.
It would be ideal if you specify the place of work or interests that relate to your chosen specialty or demonstrate the necessary qualities for it. But in any case, do not lie about it: be prepared for the fact that during a personal interview you will be asked questions based on your letter, and if it turns out that you have not been very honest, you may have problems. In any case, do not plagiarize – personal statements are tested on a special plagiarism check system, which tracks plagiarism in a very extensive library.
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You are probably now wondering how to write a 5-paragraph essay and be able to fit all the great stuff you want to tell about yourself. Start right away. Do not allow yourself to sit for a long time looking at the created empty document on the computer as it will discourage you even further. Sketch out a draft or at least a plan of what you would like to include in this essay. Keep in mind the time when you need to submit it. Try to make sure that you have enough time for writing and then revising your essay.

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Carefully read your personal essay out loud to find words and sentences that do not sound very interesting or bring value to your essay and correct them. After that, go through the text several times, looking for grammatical and punctuation errors. To be sure that your essay is top notch, it is advisable to give this essay to one of your instructors or advisor, friends or relatives - perhaps they will not some errors you missed or will have valuable suggestions and input to improve your text.

This simple guide on how to write an essay about yourself should help you write personal essay that will be energetic and present you in the best possible way:

  • Pick one great experience in your life to write about. If this is related to one or two others, you can include them, but do not skip from one idea or event to another.
  • Start your personal essay with an intriguing or interesting part of the story. Personal essays don’t have to be written in a chronological order. You can start from the end, middle or beginning of your story. The goal is to engage the reader and lure him in with the most fascinating part first
  • Have some dialogue in your essay and ask questions. You have more freedom in your writing to interest the reader in yourself, so don’t make your personal statement boring.
  • Be clear and concise in your essay. You can allow your personality to shine through, but if your thoughts are everywhere at one time by nature, try to keep it to a minimum in your writing.
  • Make sure your essay has an introduction, body and conclusion.
  • Speak the truth in your personal essay. Give the full story, even if you are not a hero/heroine. Remember you are a real person. The reader will fall in love with you for your honesty and genuineness.
  • The literature you read receives a lot of attention. List what you read and tell what you liked and what did not, and why. Be sure to include your thoughts and a brief analysis of the literature.
  • Mark the connection between what you studied earlier and what you are going to study at the university.
  • When writing an essay, you should alternate short sentences with long ones. This will make the essay dynamic enough to be easily read. Also, do not use complex and incomprehensible words, especially if the meaning of the word is unfamiliar.
  • Review and edit the story after several days. Once you have written an essay, step away from it for some time. This will give you a chance to look at the work from a different and a better perspective when you go back to reread and revise it.
  • Have fun with your personal essay. If you are funny and humorous, let it be seen on the paper. If not, maybe you shouldn't try to add humor to your story, so just be serious on paper. Do not try to change your personality to write about yourself. You are who you are; write a story as you would tell it to your friends and family.

With all the advice and suggestions available, many are still unsure of how to write a perfect essay. This is when one has a choice to ask for help from friends, family, tutors or let the professionals write and/or edit it for them. After all, what matters is that others will hear your personal story, which will ensure that the purpose that made you write it in the first place will be fulfilled.
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