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How to Write a Personal Essay

Your guide to landing scholarships, college admissions, and more.


It’s no secret that essays are required in many instances these days—whether it’s for an award, contest, or other type of recognition. As a student, you might come across essay prompts asking you to self-reflect on your life so far. Writing a personal essay can be a great way to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences with others. It's an opportunity to reflect on your life and the things that have shaped you, and to share your unique perspective with the world. Here are some tips for writing a personal essay in a friendly, approachable style:


Start with a strong introduction: The introduction is your chance to grab your reader's attention and give them a sense of what your essay will be about. Start with an interesting hook or a question that will make your reader want to keep reading.


Use personal anecdotes: Personal essays are all about sharing your personal experiences and insights. Use anecdotes, or short stories, to illustrate your points and make your essay more engaging.


Use a conversational tone: A personal essay is a chance to have a conversation with your reader. Use a friendly, conversational tone and avoid using overly formal language.


Be authentic: The best personal essays are those that are honest and authentic. Don't be afraid to share your true thoughts and feelings, even if they are vulnerable or difficult to express.


Edit and revise: As with any writing, it's important to edit and revise your essay to ensure that it's clear, concise, and error-free. Ask a friend or a writing tutor to read over your essay and give you feedback.


By following these tips, you can write a personal essay that is engaging, authentic, and approachable. Whether you're writing about a personal challenge, a memorable moment, or a lesson you've learned, a personal essay can be a great way to connect with your reader and share your unique perspective on the world.


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