How to write a Good Personal Essay
A personal essay is a reflection of a person’s thoughts and actions after the deeds. The actions and reactions have taken place and the author is reminiscing about the things that actually happened and what could have happened. In short, a personal essay is a writer’s attempt to share his thoughts with those who are literally strangers to him.
Like any good essay, if the basics are to be followed, a personal essay will also contain an introductory paragraph followed by three to four paragraphs containing three to four ideas relating to writer’s views. The essay should have a conclusion paragraph at the end, but when it comes to the contents of this paragraph, there should not be any stagnation in views and ideas, the vocabulary or the style of conveying the contents.
There are few pointers that should be considered when writing a personal essay. As the essay is a reflection of writer’s own personality, he should make sure that it is presented in the best possible manner. Hence, the following points should be taken under consideration;
It is accepted as a norm by most critics that a personal essay should be written with first person point of view. Rather than writing the who said what in one’s own words and then explaining his or her emotions, it is a wiser and suitable choice to adopt the active voice. It allows the reader to take an event at its face value.
The language being used in the essay plays a vital part in keeping the reader engrossed in a particular account. Instead of assembling long tedious sentences revolving around a single idea, being short and snappy is the preferred approach for personal accounts as it keeps the reader interested and prevents the essay from getting monotonous.
Use of correct grammar is also a very important component for a good personal essay. It is vital for the writer to keep in mind that the content of his essay are not only free from all types of syntactical and structural errors, but also there should not be any grammatical errors present in the account. These types of errors tend to take the attention of the readers away from the content of essay and reflect badly upon the credibility of writer.
After making sure the above mentioned areas are covered, the actual writing of the essay begins. As mentioned earlier, the essay is to be divided in three portions; introduction, body and conclusion.
After undertaking an interesting topic, starting the essay with an interesting sentence is crucial. The reader needs to be addressed so that he feels involved in the events that are unfolding in the essay. A strong compelling introduction gains the interest of a reader and given a hint about the body of essay, without actually revealing it.
The body of an essay can comprise of three or more paragraphs. These hold the content that needs to be addressed in the essay. Each paragraph discusses a single idea, but it does so in a way that a whole essay is being written in a single paragraph. Here, the first few lines are used to introduce the idea for that particular paragraph, followed by a discussion of the idea, while the last few lines usually wrap up the discussion by stating the effects of that idea. A paragraph usually contains eight to ten lines. But this is not a restriction as the key is to present the views without being boring and repetitive.
Finally, the last paragraph concludes all the ideas discussed in the preceding paragraphs of the essay. The conclusion usually includes the hopes and wishes of the writer regarding his ideas. A good conclusion also ties all the loose ends and hints that are deliberately included in the introduction.