Writing an essay about yourself

Writing an essay about yourself is quite a challenging task. On the one hand, it seems easy because you may know everything about yourself and this is not such a big deal to describe your own personality in several paragraphs. On the other hand, however, you need to know what exactly you have to write about, it may be hard to be honest and open, share your weaknesses and strengths, dreams and goals, your vision of life and worldview. Anyway, this is kind of writing assignment every student in the world has to deal with at least once during studying at high school or college. Sometimes it is a cover letter or an admission paper for a scholarship. There are tons of possible rules and requirements to deal with this task, which vary considering the purpose of writing the paper and the target audience. However, there are some fundamental techniques and essential principles you have to know in order to cope with it. In this article, you will find out the essentials of writing this kind of paper.

How to write an essay about yourself

The hardest thing about writing this kind of essay is that sometimes you cannot use “I” here. This is very confusing for some students. While other requirements may be different from one college to another, this rule is very common. Here some possible ways how you can write your paper without using “I”:

  • Using a second person pronoun. This is one of the ways how to replace the “I” in your essay, even though not everyone may like it, because for some people it sounds ridiculous to talk about themselves using a second person pronoun. Thus, instead of saying “I finished courses” you have to say “He/she finished courses”.
  • Using phrases like “the author”. This is less ridiculous than the previous option and it’s far more popular. Whenever you have to refer to yourself, you just have to replace “I” with a simple expression “the author” and keep going with with your thought.
  • Referring to the sections of your essay. One of the main principles in this kind of writing is avoiding subjectivity and trying to be as objective, as possible. For example, you may say “This piece of writing is dedicated to…” instead of saying “In this essay, I will share my story about…”
  • Making direct statements. Explaining your personal ideas and opinion in regard to something does not allow you to provide your personal viewpoint without stating a fact proving that point. In other words, if you think that something is bad but you don’t have any fact to support your opinion, you’d better not express it at all. Instead, tell something that you can prove with a strong argumentation.
  • Using passive voice. You need to come up with a strong argument by means of using a passive voice. For example, instead of saying “I believe that…” say “It is believed that…”

A brief note about autobiographical essay

To write an autobiographical essay, you need to really think about yourself as if you were an observer of your own life. You need to be ready not only to show your achievements, but maybe even to acknowledge something that you don’t really like about yourself. While it seems good that you probably have so much to say, the hard thing is that most of students don’t know what to start with. However, to make it easier, we suggest you start writing with a simple introduction. Answer the following questions, the answers to which will be the basis to build the introduction part of your paper.

  • Who are you? Here, you just have to say your gender, nationality, age and other details identifying you in society.
  • What is your background? Have you already finished the highs school? Have you attended any courses or additional classes?
  • What are your interests in life? This may be also referred to your hobbies. What do you like to do in your free time? What is your passion? Is it sports, music, dancing, reading? Be honest to share what sets your soul on fire.
  • What are your achievements? Did you win any competition? Do you have any art pieces made by yourself? In the end of the day, maybe you saved someone else’s life? Don’t be shy to share you achievements with the reader.
  • What challenges have you faced in your life? This is the right time to share the experience that made you stronger.

To answer all of these questions, take a pen and a notepad and write down honestly everything coming to your mind. Later you will choose your best thoughts and some of them will be left behind. However, the more ideas you will write on that list, the wider choice you will have, and, eventually, the better ideas you will finally choose.

How to make you essay interesting

In this kind of writing, just stating a fact like “I like riding a bicycle” is not enough. You have to be willing to explain, at least in a few words, what exactly you like about, how it helps you etc. A good idea would be to provide a couple of interesting details, for example, you may briefly tell a short story from your childhood related to your hobby. Details always make an essay about yourself a little bit brighter. However, make sure you didn’t overuse details. There has to be balance in everything.

Acknowledge your strengths and achievements, but stay humble. You don’t have to pride yourself like you are better than other people. Instead, you need to sound confident and calm, like a person who knows his worth, but who is not trying to overshadow other people’s achievements. For example, instead of saying “I won a competition because I was the best there”, you can be humble enough to say “It was a hard competition, but I pulled myself together and managed to finish with the best results”.

Where to use a personal story

Unlikely scholarship papers and cover letters as a part of job application, in high school and college professors may want you to share your personal story in the essay. They may want you to share a significant experience, an event, situation that was very challenging and influenced you a lot, changed your views and beliefs etc. Well, if this is what you are required to write about, you have to come up with some really exciting story. There is no way you can just tell about an ordinary situation. Instead, this has to be some really uncommon experience that would amaze your readers and let them discover your personality from a totally new side.

  • Don’t be shy to tell about you personal experience.
  • Try using specific and real-life details to illuminate certain idea and make your essay special.
  • Use your life story as a basis for your own research.

Sharing a story doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be a story of an incredible success. On the contrary, it can also be a story about your greatest failure! Everything happening to us in our lives is determined to teach us something. Therefore, you need to think about your personal lesson that you’ve learned from that or another situation and share it with your audience. It all depends on the way you look at your failure. Sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.

Don’t write about common issues

Any kind of cliché is not the best issue to cover in your essay. First of all, a remarkable essay is a special one. Don’t overuse ordinary and commonly used statements, avoid repeating after someone else. Make sure that your paper sounds original and that it is absolutely unique and in that or another way reflects your personality and all your features that you would like readers to know. Don’t be afraid to write about complicated issues and discuss meaningful problems. Willingness to go deep into things will only make you look better in the eyes of the reader.

At the same time, it is important that you don’t discuss too many problems and issues all at once. A professional college paper requires you to stay focused on one particular theme and not changing your focus throughout the paper. It also concerns your ability to keep your style throughout the paper. It doesn’t mean that you have to be serious from the beginning to the last sentence. Quite the opposite, a good joke is always appropriate, especially in the beginning. However, you need to find your personal style and follow it. This is what the best professional writers always do.

If you don’t know how to start

Not knowing how to start and what to start with is a common trouble among most of students. However, there is a trick some of them use when writing college papers. Try to start writing the middle of the story, which is the body of the paper. You can even start in the middle of the body itself and continue with the first part of your paper (introduction, thesis statement), when your body is already done.

It is important that all of the details provided in your story are in a perfect match to each other and connected with logical links; every last sentence in every your paragraph has to lead to the following paragraph and so on.

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