There is something deceptive about writing a good essay about yourself. You would think it’s easy but it’s not.
Writing an essay about yourself comes with the challenge of conveying your message in the right way. You definitely know the subject which is you. But how should you write about yourself so as to sound neither too conceited nor too boring?
The trick here if it can be called that is to define in advance what message you want to convey and then structure your essay to suit your end goal. You have to offer something to the reader, something he or she will take away about you.
A 3-step approach to writing a good essay about yourself
1. The outline
– To get started writing about yourself, define in advance what your reader’s take-away should be. Do you want to go for a serious take-away or a fun anecdote? Your goal should be defined at the very top of your draft essay so you never lose focus.
– In addition to your goal, you should also define the points, facts and details you want to include in your essay. Quotations, if you are going to use any, should be well researched and relevant.
– For your personal essay, attempt to sort through your ideas to make sure you stay relevant at all times. In addition to that, you also want to make sure that at the end of the day, your essay holds together and is a beautiful piece of literature that bears testimony to the kind of person you are. If anything does not hold together, omit it from your essay.
2. Writing the essay
– To write your essay, do not improvise. Use the outline you designed beforehand. If you are unsure about how to make your first paragraph catchy enough, you can choose to start from the second paragraph and come back to your introductory one at a later date.
– In any essay, the introduction is by far the most important section that you absolutely need to get right. To get started with your introduction, you may use a blueprint that you can find online but at some point, you will have to personalize it by re-evaluating what you wrote against your goal. Brief anecdotes, a general observation or a brief description of your essay are all good ideas for an introduction.
– For your conclusion, what you will write will largely depend on the general flow of your essay. It might happen that your essay has a “book-ending” whereby you refer to the introduction in your conclusion or you may end your essay in a completely different place.
3. The finishing touches
– When you are done writing your essay, go through it as a whole so see if it holds together. Ask yourself the following questions: What message is my essay conveying? Is the message clear? Is anything out of place? Is anything compromising the integrity of the essay? Can I improve it in any way?
– Once you go through your essay and you’ve scoured every inch of it, read it out loud to make sure the essay tells the story you want. If anything seems out of place, make amends.
– As a last stage, proofread the essay or have someone proofread it for you to find any mistakes in spelling, punctuation or capitalization.
How to make writing an essay about yourself less frustrating?
Writing an essay about yourself especially if the stakes are high, for example if it’s meant to be part of your college application or a job application, the process can be maddening and very frustrating. To help make the process as smooth as possible, taking the time to appropriately plan the essay is wise.
To write an essay that’s relevant, take the time to research your topic. Of course you will be talking about yourself but what about yourself and from what perspective? For instance, if you are applying to a medical school, the essay you write has to be medically oriented. For research, use the Internet, the library close to you and academic databases. Think outside the box.
2. Analyze your resources
It’s not enough to research things to say in your essay, you also have to evaluate the information you have and sort through the ideas you get from the different sources of valuable information. Writing an essay always starts with analyzing essays written by other people.
To write an essay that is going to blow away your reader’s mind, you will need to do a fair share of brainstorming. Ask yourself dozens of questions about your essay and answer them. Meditate on your essay and when you can’t do it anymore sitting at your table, take walks and mull ideas over until you come up with the perfect things to say and discuss in your essay.
4. The title and first paragraph
The title and first paragraph of your essay are among the most important things to consider when witting your essay. In the first paragraph, depending on what you write, you can either hook the reader’s interest or lose it. Take the time to do things right.
5. The formatting
When your essay is all done, format it according to the correct guidelines. Note that all borrowed ideas and quotations if you used any should have the proper citations.
All in all, writing an essay about yourself is not the easiest of tasks but with the right approach, you can largely eliminate some of the more common mistakes that many people make. The most important thing to remember is this: do not just dive in an essay. Plan the essay and then execute the plan you outlined. Keep the essay relevant and interesting. Depending on what the essay is intended for, the complexity of the language you use should be appropriate. Last but not least, do not forget to seek the help of people close to you especially for proofreading. They might spot mistakes you couldn’t.
Best of luck with your essay!