A good rule for the length of an introduction is to keep it to one or two paragraphs that focus on your main points without providing too much detail. The introduction highlights the main points of your story and the opening sentence should make an impact.
Use an opening sentence that engages the reader so they want to keep reading to find out more. Consider opening with an inspirational or funny quote or observation to start your introduction. The body of your essay contains the most information and is generally two to three paragraphs long. The body is the main text that expands on each of the points you made in the introduction and follows a chronological order.
This is where you provide supporting evidence of the lesson or moral you are conveying in your story. Use examples in your essay to make the story vivid and readable and create an emotional connection by describing scenes or events through sight, sound and touch. The closing is generally one or two paragraphs long and repeats your main points in the body.
Try not to share new information and focus on relaying your personal message. End your essay with a sentence that sums up the lesson in your story and links the entire essay together. Follow these tips to help strengthen your essay, identify errors and enhance clarity:.
Use action verbs in your writing and try to avoid passive voice by making sure the subject performs the verb's action. Be direct. A personal essay conveys emotion within its central message. Write as if you were talking to a friend but avoid slang and terminology that may not translate to another generation.
Read through your essay to check for grammatical or spelling errors. Check that your margins and formatting meet any applicable guidelines. Take your time proofreading and consider reading more than once. Reading your essay out loud can help you hear how it will sound to your reader. Reading aloud also helps you spot errors or places where your message is unclear. Take notes as you read and make changes where necessary.
Ask others to listen to your essay while you read aloud to help identify where you might go off-topic or need additional clarification. Friends might also read the essay and catch spelling or grammar errors. Modern writing tools can help you identify spelling, grammar, passive voice, clarity and tone.
Consider using online writing tools or apps to help make your essay clear and readable. Indeed Home. Find jobs. Company reviews. Find salaries. Upload your resume. Sign in. Career Development. What is a personal essay? How a personal essay is different from a personal statement. How to write a personal essay.
Make preparations. Get organized. Choose your topic. Consider your tone. Include a lesson or moral. Write the introduction. Write the body. Write the conclusion. Introduction paragraph s Opening sentence Key points Central message. Beginning of story Describe mood and attitude toward the event. Provide details of the story Follow a logical order Answer how, what, where, why.
Describe the ending of the story Expand on feeling and attitude toward the event. That alone makes you compelling, right off the bat. It makes you brave, for being willing to share your truth with us. But it also means a fair amount rides on the voice in any personal essay. And the No. A confident voice knows why they are telling this story, and they know exactly where it is going.
They know they have something to say, and they also know why they are the only one who can say it. A little pre-planning can do a world of good in boosting your own confidence as a narrator. This intimate four-day virtual conference celebrates and champions the use of spoken, written, and sung word to effect change. Advertisement The scent of bread baking in the oven. The crunch of a fresh carrot. The tartness of a wild strawberry. Stay in touch with The Writer. Keep up with current events in the writing world.
Skip to content Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, contests and more! Start with a story. If I were writing an essay on beekeeping, I might open with: The first thing we did when we arrived in Virginia was check on the beehives strapped to the back of the pickup truck. Fiction is nothing without a strong protagonist. Guess who the protagonist is in nonfiction? Why am I the only one who can tell it? Why does it matter to me, and why will it matter to others?
How do I want the reader to feel when they read this story? If I were telling my story out loud to someone, how would my voice sound? Where would I tell this story, and who would I tell it to? Pages: Page 1 Page 2 Page 3. Stay in touch with The Writer Keep up with current events in the writing world. Sign Up for Our Free Newsletter.
Feel free to break a large paragraph up into two separate paragraphs if the topic changes or goes on for too long. Conclusion : Close your essay with a final paragraph that summarizes the points you have made and states the takeaways. When writing personal essays, conclusion paragraphs are where you talk about the lessons you learned, ways that you changed as a result of your subject, or any other insights that were gained from your experience.
In short: restate the ideas from the introduction in a new way and wrap up your essay. In English grammar, there are many elements of writing that determine the quality of your work and voice is one of the most important. There are two types of voice: the author's voice and the voice of verbs. One of the things your teacher will be looking for when reading your personal essay is the use of voice in your essay, which is your own personal style of telling a story.
They will be looking for features of your writing that make it unique, analyze the pacing of your essay, and determine how you establish your authority. Because personal essays are works of nonfiction, your voice must be reliable. Other than that, you are free to play around with the delivery of your essay. Decide how formal or casual you want to be, how you want to keep the attention of your readers, how you would like your readers to feel when reading your essay, and how you would like your story to come across as a whole.
Don't be confused—verbs have their own voice that is entirely separate from the author's voice. The active voice occurs when the subject of your sentence is performing the action or verb and the passive voice occurs when the subject is receiving the action. The subject is italicized in the following examples. Passive : An essay was assigned by Ms. Active : Ms. Peterson assigned a personal essay about summer vacation. Generally, the active voice is most appropriate for personal essays as it is more effective at progressing a story forward.
Using verbs in the active voice also tends to come across as more authoritative. Personal essays are about yourself, so it is important that your point of view and tense be consistent with this. Personal essays are almost always written in first person tense, using the pronouns I, we, and us to tell what happened. Readers need to know what something was like from your perspective. Remember that you can only speak to your own thoughts and feelings in first person tense unless you know for sure what another person was thinking or feeling and can quote them.
Personal essays are also written in the past tense because they describe something that happened to you, not something that is happening or will happen. You cannot speak confidently about experiences that have not happened or are still happening because you have not yet learned from them.
Teachers will probably want you to write a personal essay to reflect on a real experience that taught you something. Just as you shouldn't lie when writing personal essays, you also shouldn't waver. Your choice of vocabulary can help you establish and maintain themes throughout your essay. Every word matters. Your goal when writing a personal essay should be authenticity and you need to choose your vocabulary accordingly. Use the words that naturally come to mind when you are writing and don't try to be something that you are not.
Your language should fit the topic and guide readers to interpret your writing in a certain way. Here are some examples of how to choose the right words. Always be as descriptive as possible and incorporate all of your senses into your writing. Write about how something looked, sounded, felt, smelled, or tasted to help your readers imagine the experience for themselves.
Use adjectives that support what you have described but do not use them to do the work of describing for you. English grammar is tough even for native English speakers. Brush up on grammar rules before writing and revisit your work when you are finished to ensure that you have written an essay that you can be proud of. No matter what you write, one of the most important parts of the writing process is editing.
The simplest structure of a personal essay has three parts: an introduction, body of information and a conclusion. You can begin your personal essay with a captivating or interesting sentence that incredibly hooks your readers. Always remember that you want them to read more. Are you out of topic ideas?
The truth is that some days you will brim over with countless topics to write about. On other days, you will have such a difficult time to even create a single idea. When you lack topic ideas, write stream of consciousness — open a blank document and pen down whatever comes into your mind without stopping until you have three pages.
Yes, it is a mind dump! Repeat this technique every time you are blank and discover the magic. The body of your personal essay comprises of paragraphs that inform your readers about the topic you introduced. To ensure your thoughts are organized, an outline can be more than helpful before starting. Remember to put your paragraphs in the same structure as your entire essay. Start with sentences that introduce the point and draws a reader in. The middle sentences of a paragraph should offer information about a point.
Have a concluding sentence that drives your views home and leads a reader to the next point. Every new idea should be a signal to begin a new paragraph. Every paragraph ought to be a logical progression from a previous idea and lead to the following idea. It can also lead to the conclusion. Ensure your paragraphs are relatively short.
Ten lines are always magical. There is no doubt that if you write concisely, you can say loads in ten lines. In your conclusion, close your personal essay with a final paragraph that perfectly summarizes the points, which you have made, and states your final opinion. Your conclusion provides you the opportunity to offer the lessons or insights learned.
You can also choose to share how you will be or were changed due to your approach to the topic. The rule of thumb is that incredible conclusions are always tied to your opening paragraph. Show and tell. The main difference between a piece of creative short fiction and a personal essay is that in the first one you must show but not tell, and in a personal essay, you must both show and tell.
Use your personal point of view. In a short story, you write about a situation and characters that create it. In a personal essay, you are expected to give your own comments and express your opinion. A reader needs to feel that both the situation and its participants concern you very much.
Ideas should be taken from your life. Everything that inspires you and makes you want to write will make an ideal subject for an essay. Some little things or extremely important issues may inspire you, so get ready to keep your diary with you and write down all the details! The hook humor and quotes. Use the first-person active voice.