Personal Essay

Personal Essay


A personal essay is one that tells the reader about the writer’s personal opinions or perspective. It may also be an occasion for the writer to tell the reader more about their personal story. It follows the formal structure of all other essays unlike an informal one. The personality of the author should show in the essay, revealing personal memories or opinions on the given essay topic.

Components of a Personal Essay

            The most important thing about a personal essay is the concept. A purposeful vision ensures the essay does not deviate from this single concept. Jotting down points the moment this vision is conceived is vital to the outcome of the essay and its content. This vision is realized using vivid language and vocabulary to bring it out. Apart from colorful adjectives, the language needs to be illustrative and clear.

Connect the beginning and the ending with a thesis statement that states clearly the premise of the essay. The conclusion of the essay restates the thesis statement without being repetitive. The body of the essay contains the content of the essay. It is important to note that the truth is paramount in a personal essay. Taking liberties with the truth does not leave a good impression of the author, especially when these inconsistencies are rather obvious.

Clarity of thought is paramount to success in essay writing. The writer needs to be concise and let their personality show through the essay. Each paragraph should be unhampered by inconsistencies. The writer should try to stick to one particular topic and exhaust it. The body of the essay should contain well-developed paragraphs.

Common Topics

            A personal essay topic is based on the personal experiences of the author. They seek to bring out the personality of the writer to the reader. For this reason, they are a common essay type in application to higher institutions of learning. The format should be as formal but the content is the differing factor. They assist the admissions board learn a little more about the applicant.

Apart from college entrance essays, a personal essay is usually given as an assignment. These range from a narration of a family member’s anecdotes to describing future events. The common factor is that these essays are not based on factual events but the memories of the individual and their opinions. The reader is able to elucidate the individual’s disposition from “Self Description from a Stranger’s Viewpoint”.


            In following the structure of an essay, the format of a personal essay is divided into three parts:

ü      The introduction invites the reader into the author’s world and gives the reader the main premise of the essay. This is usually done in the first paragraph of the essay.

ü      The body of the essay contains the various paragraphs that develop the thesis, giving it validity by expounding on it using illustrative language and tone. The paragraphs should be coherent in their structure and order to convey the story, but need not follow any particular chronological order.

ü      The conclusion restates the thesis statement. It wraps up the body of the essay and gives the final stance of the essay. It should give the reader a sense of finality.

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