Personal essays or personal narrative essays are broad writings that include diverse styles of writing. Most instructors will require students to write about a significant event person, an experience, or describe a particular time in life. The idea is to give a vivid narration in a manner that the reader can understand. As such, this incorporates two significant modes of writing namely, narrative and descriptive writing.
All personal essays become effective if the writer incorporates the following:
- Focus on details
When writing personal essays, you have to show the reader, not tell what transpired. This requires you to use enough details and strong adverbs to describe your story.
- Appeal to the senses
When describing an event, most writers concentrate on how the situation unfolded since most of the audience members tend to be sight dominant when using senses. You can bring the audiences deeper into the essay by appealing to the senses, that is, sound, smell, touch and taste and sight.
- Connects the event, place, a person to the larger idea
As you continue describing the event, person or place, do not digress from the central idea, however, changed you became. The main idea is the thesis of your essay, and as such, every detail you include in your personal essays must come together to support this central argument. As you narrate the event, do not forget to give enough details that highlight its significance.
- Beware of verb tense
As you go about explaining the event and how it has affected your life, ensure that you use appropriate verb tenses and keep it consistent. Some writers describe a past event in the present to make the audience more involved. This is possible, but to do it you must have good writing skills. If you are in doubt about this technique, you can write about the event in past tense and use the present tense to discuss the changes that have taken place.
Personal essay for your college application
As earlier stated, the personal essays are broad writing and depending on whatever the assignment is about; you must ensure that you deliver on content and style. At times personal essays are meant to present who you are to the audience. If you are writing to people who do not know you personally, say, like the admissions officer, you have to package that essay in a manner that will earn you a slot in the institution of your choice.
You must show them why you ate an acceptable addition to their program. This demands you to prepare your essay carefully. Look at different personal statement sample essays.
This essay can be an intimidating experience because graduate schools make decisions partly based on the contents of the personal narrative essays essay. You can begin brainstorming using the following questions.
- What will assist the evaluating committee in understanding you better?
- What makes you stand out from the rest of the applicants?
- Who will be applying for a similar program?
- What sparks your interest in this field? What aspects stimulated and strengthened your interest?
- How did you come to know about this field?
- What are you aspiring to become?
- Are there grey areas in your academic record that need explaining?
- What personal traits and skills do you have that would enhance your success in this field?
- Why should the admissions board be interested in you?
With the above questions, you can formulate a rough draft of your personal essays. Try to use a hook or an angle that will draw the admission officer’s attention. You can start with an intriguing paragraph. Rest assured that you do to want to write a boring essay especially if you are so much interested in joining this institution.
Do not start by using phrases like “I have always wanted to be a” because that is a very boring start. Give your introduction oomph by starting with an anecdote or a memorable incident that sparked your interest in a particular field. This gives personal essays the needed drama, vitality, and originality. However, the anecdote must relate to the questions and not just a recount of a catchy real life situation.
You have to ensure that your personal essays are not sloppy. Correct any spelling errors, whining, embellishing your personality, poor English, abiding the questions asked, personal religious biases, politics, ethnicity, sexist language, character weakness, and arrogance.
This essay is a crucial part that will determine your admission to that institution you have been eyeing. It can be frustrating to write the best, original and well thought personal essay, but with time and practice, you can get better. Excellent essay writing takes time. Feel free to show your draft to any person who knows the requirements of writing it because they will assist you in giving it the right balance of personal, academic traits and specifics.
If you develop a sense of faculty’s interests and the special features of the department, you can indicate in your essay the reasons for your intention of joining that school. Tell them about the department’s curriculum stricture or the general approach to the filed that sparks your interest in that school. Do not write about why the school is the best or how prestigious and wonderful it is because they already know that. The essay is about you and personal statement sample essays can help.
Should there be any special programs in that school that you are interested in, tell them why you want to be a part of it. While researching the school’s department and you identify a faculty member that strikes you like someone you would work with, indicate it in your essay. Tell them clearly and concisely why you want to work with this particular person. Mention how his work relates to your interest. However, do not use this as a way of appealing to the admissions board because that can affect your application.
Some applications will demand you to provide details about personal history about the events that have contributed to your decision of pursuing graduate education in a given field. If this information is not required, then you do not have to give it.
Your imagination and life history confine the information you include in the persona-type essay. Be highly selective about what you include. In other words, do not say too much and do not say too little. You have to be reasonable. Do not rumble about yourself as that might adversely affect your application. Some applicants hesitate to promote themselves by saying too little. This can be occasioned by not knowing what to tell about them or what would be interesting to the committee. In such a case focus more on what you, intend to do than what you have already accomplished. This will help you in going beyond self-inhibition.
Remember that the life information that you include in personal essays must be relevant to your field of study, interest as well as the requirements of the admissions board.
If you have any information about yourself that did not fit in personal essays, you can include it in your curriculum vitae or any application section of that institution. This applies to those who are working professionally and have graduated before. You can include relevant work experience, presentations, publications, language and computer skills.
If you have experienced great hardships and circumstances that have negatively affected your academic performance at any time, give a brief explanatory statement. However, you should not overdo it, but you have to make it concise and clear.
Important tips for writing personal essays for your college application
- Start early
You have to give adequate time to revision, recording and rewriting. If you start early, you will improve your presentation.
- Read the instructions carefully
Answer the questions as directly as possible and confine your essay within the word limit. This is a brief and clear expression of you.
- Be honest with yourself
The admissions board is anonymous to you, and even if you bump into one of the admissions board members in the future, he will have no way of connecting your essay to you.
- Focus on the aspects that show your best side
You might have surmounted a serious challenge or worked on a complex project. Give a narrow focus that is more fascinating than a broad-based generalisation.
- Be comfortable while expressing your anxieties
Every human being has his or her anxieties, and it is a good thing to know that the applicant has them and can face them confidently.
- Talk about your greatest achievements and be proud of them. See some personal statement sample essays and identify how this is achieved.