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How to describe yourself in a personal essay

So, you have to write about yourself and you are sitting there staring blankly at the computer screen in front of you. It is funny, no one knows us better than ourselves, but communicating who we are is one of the most difficult tasks out there. Take a moment to step back before you dive right in. Here are a few pointers that will help you describe yourself in a personal essay.

Think About the Structure

Ask yourself what kind of essay you really want to write. Do you want to write just a chronological timeline of sequential events? Do you want to focus on one key area or quality that you possess? Are you looking to explain how a particular circumstance displays your abilities or personality? Do you want to be creative or analytical? Most times, the structure of your paper will depend on how the prompt for the essay is worded. Give some serious consideration as to what will be the best style of writing to use in your personal essay before you start the composition process.

Look Objectively, Not Subjectively

Sometimes, we humans take the blessing we have of subjective analysis too far and it can prohibit a fluid personal writing process. If you take a moment to step back and look at yourself from another person’s point of view, you can pull yourself out of your own head and actually see who you are more clearly. If you were a stranger, what would be your first impression? If you were your own best friend, what qualities would you find attractive? If you were a family member, how would you view your reaction to situations and obstacles that you have overcome? Take a moment to step back and look objectively at who you are.

Use Details but Don’t Ramble

Some of us have the gift of being able to talk about ourselves for hours and others are too humble to get a word out. Regardless of your personality, your number one goal is to write a personal essay demonstrating details supporting the prompt that you have been given. Give honest details, but be careful not to go off track and start rambling about unrelated events.

Writing a personal essay is no different than any other type of essay writing. Make sure that you stay connected to your thesis and that your evidence supports your topic sentences. You will be amazed at how much you learn about who you are through this process.