The college application process is a stressful and challenging task, and for a majority of students, the most intimidating part of that process is the submission of a personal statement. Applicants who lack experience in making this type of assignment feel extremely uncomfortable trying to guess what they have to write in the paper to impress the admission committee. From another point of view, unlike tests and GPA scores, which by that moment already placed the student in a particular percentile, this type of work is another chance for an applicant to improve one’s prospects for enrollment. It is an opportunity for seniors to demonstrate their creativity and to persuade the committee that they deserve becoming a student of that prestigious college or university. Here are few tips on how to write a personal essay for college that will stick out to the examiners.
To begin with, let’s answer to “what is a personal essay” and what are its peculiarities that differentiate it from other types of essays.
The primary purpose of the personal statement is to introduce oneself to the admission committee. While they have access to applicant test scores and GPA, a personality of the one remains unclear. Marks reached in the assessment process can reflect theoretical knowledge of a student, yet not the one’s creative skills. The personal paper is an useful tool for an applicant to show the committee what exists beyond test results such as what is one’s motivation for studying, what are one’s ambitions and prospects for the future. Here, a committee may evaluate an applicant as an individual, yet not as a bulk of different kinds of scores or as a percentile.
Also, a personal statement is a chance to demonstrate the applicant’s writing skills, imagination and the ability to express their ideas. It may be especially important for candidates of creative professions as test scores commonly cannot reflect their talents and way of thinking entirely. Thus, a personal essay definition might be broken down as follows: a statement, in which applicants prove their personality, ambitions, and writing skills to the admissions committee to give the latter a full perspective of their candidature.
Each essay begins with an idea, and this paper is by no means an exception. Even more so, the idea of what the essay helper wants to tell the reader is the primary element of a personal statement. Since this type of assignment is truly individual, it must include a real life story from the author’s life. Try to start by approaching the issue in a simple form. Meaning any particular one must understand what the author wants the reader to experience and gain as a result of them exploring the story as well as the intended reaction.
Thus, when there is the question of ‘ How to start a personal essay?’ one should remember that one of the first preparation steps of the assignment is picking up a topic or idea for the paper. As mentioned above, it must be unique and tell the reader something that is unknown regarding the author. Namely, this should not be a description of the one’s academic achievements, extracurricular activities or finals scores. This work should demonstrate those sides of a personality of the writer that is not shown by test scores or tutor’s recommendations. Writers may describe their role models, people who inspire them, their plans for future of even about their attitude towards global warming. Further, in this section ‘The Most Suitable Personal Essay Topics’ this issue will essay writing be explored deeper.
Meanwhile, after the topic is chosen, the second step is to build an essay plan – essentially making an outline of the assignment. That is a significant step since admission committees in colleges place a lot of emphasis on well-structured and well-written works. That is why the personal essay format should always be respected and followed. The following is its basic structure:
This is the simplest structure for a paper. However, more details about structuring more complex and detailed outline may be found here.
Similar to most college essays, this assignment starts off with an introduction. Here the writer may speak about his or her background using a witty anecdote as an example of their life. This section should make use of a sturdy hook ( an interesting fact about the story) that will get the designated audience interested in the events that are coming up. The opening paragraph should conclude with the thesis statement – express the main idea of the paper. Namely, focus on the reason why this story is relevant to the audience and what they stand to gain from it.
After that, the core body paragraphs of the paper begin being developed. Here, the author tells the story or explains the facts backing up the thesis statement given in the introduction. It is part of an assignment where creativity takes the first place and writers may use any advantages they possess to do so. For instance, if one has a good sense of humor, now is the best time to use it. However, it is important not to overreach or over exaggerate things as this will take away from the credibility of the text. It means that fun or creativeness should not be dull or illogical like in this joke about an elephant and a marshmallow:
To put it simply, a writer has to improve his or her strengths and use it appropriately and wisely throughout the paper.
To sum things up, the concluding paragraph should state what experience he or she learned and how this particular story has helped them learn these life lessons. Thus, well-structured essay helps the audience explore the story from its very beginning to its effect on the writer’s life.
As previously mentioned, the primary goal of a personal statement is to demonstrate writing skills and, even more importantly, to tell people more about oneself as an individual. That is why personal essay prompts, which colleges offer to consider as essay topics, are mostly regarding life events, choices or plans.
Here are several ideas for writing a successful personal statement:
These are suitable topics for discussion in a personal statement as they relate both to personal issues and to life experiences. Also, responding to this type of issues demonstrates author’s ability to think thoroughly and apply problem-solving concepts in their daily activities.
University and College application essays are basically personal essays
As mentioned above, a persuasive essay requires a suitable topic for exploration and development in a well-structured essay format. However, here are few additional tips to follow to a master personal statement:
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Life happens, and sometimes it is even hard to find idea for this type of essay. The importance imposed by the outcome of it does not help you concentrate on the task at hand or relieve any pressure despite there being so many examples of it. Thus, if you have searched through hundreds of personal essay sample and still struggles to complete the assignment, our tutoring service offers a helping hand and is eager to assist you in creating the most effective essay possible.
Personal essays are used in testing the students’ ability to convey their thoughts and ideas in way in which the reader can grasp. In most cases, a writer is asked to describe an event in their lives, or narrate about another individual. It can also be an opinion on a particular subject. Since the author is giving a personal account, experience or opinion, there is no need to proof the details. Personal essays are popular forms of non-fiction narratives in the literal world. As much as it sounds straightforward, it can be a daunting task especially if one is not conversant with various writing styles. This paper will elaborate on the best methods that a writer can use in writing a personal essay.
University and College application essays are basically personal essays
The first step in writing a personal essay is coming up with a title that will capture the attention of the reader. The title should give the readers an insight into what the essay is about, without giving so many details such that the essay. This will allow the readers to have curiosity into the content of the paper. Whereas there are no specific rules that are set on how a title should be formulated, it is important to craft a title that gives the reader a hint of the content of the paper. The title, therefore, can be a short phrase, a sentence or a question. For example, if you were to write about your experience on immigration or another pertinent issue that touches on other people’s lives, instead of just having a heading that says ‘my experience … immigration,’ you could say something like ‘outside’ ‘beyond the border lines.’ This will capture the attention of the readers without revealing too much information about your essay.
After the title, the author should come up with a killer introduction that will outline the major elements of the essay. These include details such as the main characters, the focus of the story, and the major conflicts in the story. By giving a solid introduction, the author gives the audiences a map that will allow them to follow the events as they unfold in the personal essay. The introduction is also the part where the author is targeted on a particular issue where the themes of the story will revolve. In essence, the introduction helps the readers to gain an insight into the writing and thus assist them to understand the author.
After crafting a god title and a taking eye introduction, the next part is to come up with the points that will support your position. If the essay is an opinion about something or someone, the author will give specific details that will support his claims. Just like in every other essay, the organization is an important element that will determine the understandability of the essay. As opposed to clumping all the ideas in a single or few paragraphs, it’ll be more appropriate for the author to have a single paragraph for each idea. Thus, any idea that is used to support the author’s position is elaborated in a single paragraph. All the paragraphs should focus on the main point in the essay. The style of the delivery of the message is unique to the writers. One may choose to use few simple sentences while others may opt for long compound sentences.Successive paragraphs should reinforce the main point and give deeper layers of the personal experience. If for instance, you are talking about a situation where you ignored a piece of advice, you may consider giving examples of past events where adhering to the advice had worked well for you. Alternatively, you can compare your situation against your peers who adhered to the given sets of instructions. In pursuit of the deeper truth, the author can connect with the readers by giving specific details that will take the readers into the exact state of emotions that he/she was while experiencing the event. It may be a sense of excitement, desperation, anger, determination among others. The author should be able to craft a description that will give the readers the exact feelings.
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Upon completion of all the main points in the essay, the author should go through the paper and try to read it out. This will help in detecting any inconsistency or lack of flow that may be present. The essay will then be closed with a final thought. This is a parting shot that is supposed stick to the writer. It may be the lessons learned, and point away from the author’s mind. The final part should focus on the reader. It is a transition from the self-expression introduction to acknowledging that you are writing for them. This should be something that will make the reader glad that they took their time to read your essay.Finally, a point to note is that personal essay is an art. There is no prescribed writing styles or format. One should, therefore, strive to come up with a different essay that will capture the attention of the readers and convey the intended purpose.
Undertaking college level studies is a challenge that can be hardly passed without any losses. Things take a turn for the worst when students get stuck and are flooded by assignments without the ability to navigate amongst the variety of types of academic papers. There are loads of types of essays, research papers, and bibliographies. And if the individual does not perceive the differences between an expository and narrative assignment, then the fulfillment of academic tasks turns into a deep analysis of types of papers. To keep that from happening, we suggest taking a closer look at one of the particular types, namely the narrative essay.
Related articles: How to Write A argumentative essay, How to Write a Persuasive Essay, How to Write a Personal Essay
Among other types of academic works, narrative papers prove to be the most creative and personal ones. Thus, leading us to pop the question of what is a narrative essay? Simply put, it encompasses telling a story to demonstrate a particularly unique insight. It allows paper writers to express themselves creatively and share their experiences with others.
Any writer can select from the following two writing styles. The first one takes a form of a story and should have the same structure and elements: introduction, characters, plot, setting developing into a climax and finishing with a conclusion. Meanwhile, the second one can take a form of an informative narrative and does not necessarily have to be in the shape of a story. This type is useful when there is a need to write a narrative essay for making book or film reviews.
Thus, a narrative essay definition may be formulated as a paper that describes a significant personal experience of the writer.
The answer to the question ‘How to start a narrative essay?’ starts by making a point. Namely, what is being narrated and for what reason is it explained to us? The point of the paper is highlighted by its thesis statement, allowing us to gauge the purpose of it immediately. Thesis statements also have their respective structures, and to nail it here are a few great tips.
After the point has been defined, the next step will be outlining the paper. In other words, there is a need to create a skeleton of the work. This will carve out a structure helping the writer stick to the topic and not lose the narrative thread. Here, classic essay structure might be applied consisting of an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
As mentioned before, to write a successful paper it is necessary to have a clear image of its final structure. In essence, one must always be aware of their narrative essay outline. The following is an explicit sample of it:
The introduction opens with a hook – a leading statement about the story that catches reader’s attention. Then, essay writers should proceed with setting the scene. When did the event happen? Where? Under which circumstances? Being able to answer these questions will allow the audience to delve into the story and will be mesmerized by it until the very end. The introduction closes with a thesis statement that informs the reader about the truths or insightful experience resulting from the reported story.
Further, in the body part, the main story develops. Usually, it consists of three paragraphs that are divided as follows. 1st one entails the engaging action – a trigger or the catalyst of this events described in the narrative. The second one illustrates the middle stage – the progression of the story as well as hints to its significance. And the third paragraph describes the end action – what has been done to reach a resolution and lessons learned from it. During the process of writing this type of essay, it is important to list feelings, smells, sounds, tastes that the writer experienced during the story.
In other words, the writer should draw the reader in so they vicariously share the experience, while avoiding to produce it sound like just another summary. It is important to use transitional words to make the text flowing and easy to perceive.
The essay ends up with a conclusion in which the author presents us his/her reflection and analysis of the situation as well as highlighting why these events are significant to us as the audience.
Since the assignment is a paper that should be regarding a personal experience, the most suitable topics stem from examples of life changing events that have a particular significance to the author. It may be a story about the first visit to a library, a summer vacation spent in a camp, or about 1st day at school. It can be anything as long as it has a special meaning to the writer and successfully connects with the audience through this insight.
Here are a few narrative essay topics:
To illustrate how to write it, here is a sample narrative essay on the topic ‘A Holiday That Never Ends.’ For convenience, the text has been divided into three main parts discussed before.
(tip: catch reader’s attention)
‘Like any other family, mine has its traditions and our unique holidays (a hook). This one, in particular, was comprised by my father when he had just started dating my mother. The lesson to be learned from this is that the tradition still exists in our family and serves as long-term proof that family values should be appreciated and preserved (a thesis statement).’
(tip: develop a story)
‘It happened when both my parents were young and desperately in love. They were surviving in the same neighborhood in a small town in Northern Pennsylvania (setting the scene). My mother lived with her parents who were very strict and did not allow her to date or go out with boys. Meanwhile, father lived alone and was assembling custom-made bikes for a living.
Since they lived close, mother met him every morning on her way to school. He picked her up at the street corner, so her parents would not see him, and took her to school. This ritual repeated itself every morning thus becoming routine. However, one morning she did not come to meet him as usual. He felt obligated to check up on her at the parent’s house and see if she was alright. It ended up badly as my grandfather did not know that mother had a boyfriend. She was told not to meet with him.
In desperation, my father came to her yard every evening and stood in front of the door so her parents might see him and sang similar song – ‘Strangers in the Night.’ After one month of singing, my grandfather approved of their relationship, and so they married soon.
(tip: give an insight)
They have been married for 25 years now, and each year my father makes a romantic gesture for his wife on the day when my grandfather said ‘Yes.’ Ironically, the song still resonates at every family holiday. It is our unique tradition that makes our family stronger, and this story taught me that it is important to chase your dreams with all the passion in your heart to create something extraordinary (insight).’
It constitutes one of the narrative essay examples, which includes the main elements that have to be incorporated into the paper.
To sum up, these are the major steps when it comes to writing a narrative essay:
Following these steps contributes to creating a well-structured and flowing personal narrative essay, but completing a paper may be a time-consuming and complicated task. However, when being swamped by deadlines coming up at the end of the term, or the writer simply has not experienced anything suitable for this type of work, then one may seek academic assistance from our tutoring service to cope with stressful situations.