about myself

about myself Essay Examples

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Published: Friday 25th of January 2013

About Myself Essay Example and Tips on Writing

A lot of students are assigned personal essays at one point or another. But, before putting pen to paper and composing your personal story, you should figure out:
  • What a personal essay is
  • What is its purpose
  • How to structure it
Even though these three commonly come under the same umbrella, we should distinguish between:
  • A personal narrative
  • A personal opinion on any topic
  • A personal statement
The purpose of the personal essay alters with regards to its goal.
  • Personal narrative - to learn from writer's personal experience, which is based on a life-altering event, be it a triumph or trauma.
  • Personal opinion - to provide readers with possible solutions to a problem, i.e., to a topic of interest explored from the writer's own perspective.
  • Personal statement - to ensure that admission committee is enthusiastic about your application and to convince them that you are the best college/scholarship/job candidate.

The structure

If you are a beginning writer, use a straightforward organizational structure:
  • Introduction: with an inspiring hook you will captivate the reader and ensure that your essay will be an engaging read. However, the hook alters with the type of personal essay you are going to write.
  • Personal narrative hook: Personal anecdote, quotation or the highest tension moment of the story.
  • Personal opinion hook: Quotation, controversial statement or a clear position on the issue you are going to discuss.
  • Personal statement hook: Open with an anecdote or a question you are going to reflect on and answer through the essay.

The Body

The body of the personal essay, be it a narrative, a personal opinion piece or a personal statement, should include at least three paragraphs that will tell your story in a clear manner:
  • Introduce the first paragraph with a topical sentence
  • Provide facts, evidence, opinion to support the topical sentence
  • Each new paragraph and factual evidence must relate directly to the topic sentence
  • Narrate in a chronological order
  • Convey your thoughts, feelings, opinions using character and scene building
  • Explain the problem or the issue and provide solutions
  • Use transitional words between sentence and the next paragraph ( Ex: afterward, after that, currently, eventually, finally, first, later, meanwhile, next, now, soon, then, etc.)

The Conclusion

In all three types of a personal essay, the conclusion or ending should answer the question: Why on Earth is your personal experience relevant to the reader?
  • Is he really going to obtain some wisdom from your life- changing experience displayed in your narrative essay? Will it remove the burden from their shoulders after reading your story? You ending should show new you living a new realization so that your reader can identify with you.
  • Your personal opinion essay ending should include final thought as well as advice, discernment, prediction, forewarning, etc. The purpose is to make your reader reflect on your statements and think about them carefully before they finally agree or disagree with your opinion.
  • Personal statement ending should convince your target institution to accept your application. Never end with: "I know I can be an excellent doctor because my friends tell me I am so good at comforting people.” You should make a strong statement that perfectly wraps up your work experience, skills that will help you cope with that particular goal, outside reading which backs up your interest in a particular course, job or scholarship.

PERSONAL ESSAY SAMPLE

If you haven't been provided with a prompt by your tutor, begin with a hook that will fire the imagination of your readers. It needs to be a life-changing experience or a turning point in your life that taught you a valuable lesson. In the end, your personal struggle will accommodate the problems of your readers and help them retain the story in a way that works for them. It will make your reader feeling wiser just from having read your piece. Remember, your narrative essay needs to have a point. Ask yourself:
  • Why are you sharing this story?
  • What can readers learn from your experience?
Think of an action that embodies the change you have gone through and turn the old you into new you thanks to the lesson you've learned. It can be a trauma or a triumph. It's up to you.

Personal essay structure:

  • Beginning or Introduction should present an action:
  • Start with a quote relevant to your topic. If you are writing about a bad experience that taught you a lesson, you can use one of the following:
“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser”(John W. Gardner) “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes” (Oscar Wilde) “Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards.” (Soren Kierkegaard)
You can also start in the middle of the tension of the story you want to tell. Find the highest tension moment and start your essay there. This rule can be applied to a wide range of topics. If you are writing about being continuously bullied by your fellow students, put the reader right there from the first line:
“They kicked me in the stomach as I lay on the ground. I thought they will beat me to death. I lost consciousness twice.”
Now, the reader will be curious about what happens next. This action portion shouldn't be longer than a paragraph. Here are more ideas to make this paragraph impressive:
  • Body or background should introduce the readers to the cause of an incident/ action you have stated in the introduction part.
  • Go back to the hours or even days preceding that moment.
  • Help the reader figure out what's going on in the action and who are these people that bullied you? How did you get there? The background is your chance to lead the audience up to that high tension moment:
“It was my first day at a new school. Even though I knew making friends would be hard, I was still optimistic since I was a good soccer player. So, as they were approaching me, I thought they would ask me to join their team and then all of a sudden.....”
The reader is now familiar with what came before the action. The development part should contain at least three events or scenes that will let the reader grasp the rest of your story. You can go back in time to explain your horrified reaction to the chain of events you were facing so far:
“Even before arriving on campus, I was aware how desperately lonely and isolated I was after my parents' death. There was no one to talk to either in my family or outside of it. I applied to university with the expectation that I would escape from real life hardships and find new friends whom I can confide in....”
So, you should choose very specific and sensory details from the distant past. To recapitulate:
  • The action started with a scene of you being bullied by your fellow students.
  • The next part, the background told us about that day, i.e., your expectations and hopes so innocent when compared to the experience you faced.
  • In the development part, you go back to show the readers your personal drama and a strong belief that university life would help you to overcome personal struggles. Thus, you set up the context, so this trauma is better understood.
You may also take a different approach, and instead of reflecting the scenes by flashbacks, you can go forward in time from your action. Your development details will thus be placed in a future tense. Whatever approach you take, stick to the specifics, people, scenes and even dialogue. The climax is a life lesson. A significant revelation/realization moment – a moment when you learned something about life through the experience:
  • “I realized that campus is filled with other college newbies going through the similar experience and eager to make friends with boys like me. They helped me to regain my self-esteem and dignity. And the aftermath was just incredible. The bullies were officially sanctioned and expelled from the school. This unpleasant experience gives me a chance to realize that …”
Actually, you are pointing out:
  • Here is what I've learned....
  • Here is the importance of this event....
  • This is how I am different now....

The conclusion

If you want to stand out from thousands of essays written every day either for school or publication, you need to end your essay with a vivid illustration. Because readers want to know whether you are actually turning your words into action by enacting this new realization:
“However, two weeks later I still felt as if I were living in a nightmare. Night after night I woke up crying. I was overwhelmed with feelings of fear, inferiority, and sadness. I finally decided to accept the student newspaper editor proposal and write an essay on bullying in school. After I wrote the very last line, I finally felt nothing but relief...”
And this should be a strong ending. That image of a boy resolute to write an essay and get it published at the very school where he experienced harsh times of bullying shows his acceptance. It tells us that a life lesson was really learned and that he gained the greatest possible advantage out of his atrocity.
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