9 Tips for Writing an Essay About Yourself
You know yourself better than anyone else, but writing about yourself can still be tough! When applying for scholarships or to college, essay prompts can feel so general (and yet so specific!) that they leave us stumped. So we’ll show you 8 tips to write an essay about yourself, so that you can land more scholarships. (Psst – Going Merry makes applying easy .)
1. Create a List of Questions
2. brainstorm and outline, 3. be vulnerable, 4. use personal examples, 5. write in the first person, 6. don’t be afraid to show off…but stay on topic, 7. show personality , 8. know your audience, 9. proofread and edit.
Let’s start with some examples of personal essay prompts:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Describe a challenge or event that made you who you are today.
- What are your short and long-term goals, and how do you plan to achieve them?
- Write about a time you failed at something. How did it affect you?
These are just a few of many scholarship essay prompts that require you to look internally, to answer a question, solve a problem, or explain a scenario in your life.
We get it. You might not be a big fan of bragging about yourself, or you might want to keep your personal stories to yourself. But by opening up and sharing your story, you can show scholarship providers, colleges and universities who you are, and why you’re deserving of their scholarship.
(Don’t just take our word for it – check out our scholarship winners page full of students like you who were brave enough to share their stories with us).
To get started, check out these 9 tips on how to write an essay about yourself:
After reading through the scholarship essay prompt, breathe, and make a list of smaller questions you can answer, which relate to the big essay prompt question.
Let’s say the main essay prompt question asks you, “What were challenges or barriers you had to work to overcome?” Then the smaller questions might be something like:
- What is your background? Family, finances, school.
- What was challenging about that background?
- What’s your greatest accomplishment? How did you get there? How have previous challenges influenced your goals?
Think of these questions as mini-prompts. They explain your story and help you answer the main essay prompt with more details than if you just answered it without a plan in place.
After considering smaller questions, it’s time to brainstorm your answers. Take out a pen and paper – or open up a document on a computer – and take your time in answering each mini-prompt. Organize your responses in order:
- Intro to main essay prompt.
- Answer about 3 mini-prompt questions.
- Conclude by rewriting the answer to the main essay prompt with a summary of your mini-prompt answers.
This organization will help you stay on topic and answer the prompt directly. (Or check out these 6 scholarship essay examples for alternative essay structures.)
Don’t be afraid to let your strengths, challenges, and personal stories shine through in your essay! Scholarship and admissions committees love to see that you’re self-aware how you can improve as a person, or how you’ve grown because of your experiences. Honest writing can help tell the best stories (in this case, YOUR story).
Since this essay is all about you , you should make your answer as specific as possible! Avoid using generalizations (e.g., “I’m really good at music). Instead, go for more personalized statements (e.g., “My fourth-grade teacher Ms. Matay really inspired me to pursue my interest in the clarinet”). Your personal examples are what will help your scholarship essay stand out among the thousands of applicants..
You’re telling your story, so write from your perspective! You can narrate your story. You can provide an overview of what you learned from your experiences. However you choose to answer the prompt, we recommend writing in an active tone, and using “I” and “me” throughout your essay.
Most students worry about bragging in their essay, but we say go for it! This is your time to shine, so highlight your accomplishments and strengths. Review your essay to make sure that you’re keeping the tone informative and that you’re still on topic. (Brag while answering the essay prompt; don’t just mention random, unrelated but impressive facts about yourself!)You can use this brag sheet where you can brainstorm your accomplishments. While the worksheet is geared toward requesting letters of recommendation , you can still use it to write out your hobbies, interests, college list , and strengths to help you answer your scholarship essay prompt.
Just because it’s an essay doesn’t mean it has to be dry and boring. This essay is all about you, so let your personality shine through. If you’re the class clown, you can use a bit of humor. If you wear your heart on your sleeve, don’t be afraid to show emotion. Trying your best to express who you are as a person will have a huge effect on the admissions or scholarship committee!
If you’re applying for a scholarship, research the scholarship provider. If you’re applying to college, research the school. Understanding what makes the provider/college unique and what their motivations are, will allow you to incorporate that information in your essay. For example, many scholarships are funded by private companies that sell products. You might want to reference those products in your essay. A good example of this is Emily Trader’s essay for the Life Happens organization , where she uses her personal narrative to explain the importance of insurance planning, since that is the mission of the organization (which is funded by insurance companies).
The last step in answering your essay prompt is to double-check your work! One typo can be distracting and cause scholarship providers to scratch their head while reading the essay. ( Psst, humble brag: Going Merry’s application platform includes spellcheck because we’ve got your back .) In addition to proofreading for typos and grammatical errors, also consider whether the sentence or paragraph structure makes sense. Are you breaking paragraphs in the right place? Are you using topic sentences well to signpost your main ideas? Does the essay flow? Consider these “bigger” structural questions too. You might also want to ask a friend, family member, teacher, or guidance counselor to review your essay. They might catch something you didn’t see the first time around, and that can really help your essay! In fact, that is scholarship winner Daniel Gill ’s #1 tip. (Another tip is to apply for scholarships using Going Merry !)
Also, check out this helpful list of the 10 most common scholarship essay topics while you’re brainstorming!
Now that you know how to write an essay about yourself, it’s time to start applying for scholarships! Remember: You’ve got this.
Sign up for your free Going Merry profile . From there, you can easily upload and submit your essay for thousands of scholarships. We make it easy so you’ll only need to enter your profile information once! And then, you can apply away. In fact, we even have some bundled scholarships so that you only enter your essay once, to apply for multiple scholarships at the same time.
Or if you’re not ready to register, simply sign up to receive an email with 20 new scholarship opportunities each week. Just enter your email address below:
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How to Write About Yourself
Last Updated: July 31, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Lucy Yeh . Lucy Yeh is a Human Resources Director, Recruiter, and Certified Life Coach (CLC) with over 20 years of experience. With a training background with Coaching for Life and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at InsightLA, Lucy has worked with professionals of all levels to improve the quality of their careers, personal/professional relationships, self marketing, and life balance. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 5,612,052 times.
Whether you're writing an essay about yourself for a scholarship, a self-introduction, or a personal bio for a job application, coming up with the right words to capture what makes you unique can feel challenging. Fortunately, there are tips and tricks that can make writing about yourself a breeze. Want some help getting across just how impressive, interesting, and skilled you really are? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about putting yourself into words effectively, complete with examples.
Writing of the Autobiographical Nature
- Who are you?
- What is your background?
- What are your interests?
- What are your talents?
- What are your achievements?
- What challenges have you faced?
- What is your most interesting or unique quality? What word(s) describes you the best? Choose that topic.
- Bad: I like sports.
- Ok: I'm a fan of basketball, football, tennis, and soccer.
- Good: My favorite sport is football, both to watch and to play.
- Better: When I was growing up, I would watch Big Ten football with my dad and brothers every Saturday, before we'd go outside and toss the football around. I've loved it ever since.
- Braggy: I'm the best and most dynamic worker at my company right now, so you should want to hire me for my talents.
- Humble: I was lucky enough to be awarded three employee of the month awards at my current job. Turns out it was a company record.
Writing Personal Essays for School
- Common themes or prompts for autobiographical essays include overcoming obstacles, great successes or spectacular failures, and what you learned about yourself.
- Depending on the assignment, you may need to connect a personal anecdote to a reading or an idea from class. Start brainstorming topics that are connected to that idea, to give yourself a variety of options to choose from.
- Common autobiographical essay cliches include sports stories, mission trips, and dead grandmothers. While these can all make for excellent essays if done well, it is difficult to stand out when telling the story of how your lacrosse team lost a big game, then practiced hard, then won. It has been written before.
- If you want to tell the story of your nasty break-up, start with the break-up, do not start with the star-crossed way you met. You have got to get immediately to the tension in the story.
- When you have an idea of your topic, start writing a "memory list" of specific things that you remember about the event. What was the weather like? What did it smell like? What did your mother say to you?
- Your opening paragraph will set the tone for the rest of the essay. Rather than telling the dull biographical details (your name, your place of birth, your favorite food), find a way to express the essence of the story you are going to tell and the themes you are going to explore in your essay.
Writing a Cover Letter for an Application
- Outline your qualifications and highlight your talents in a cover letter.
- Write about who you are.
- In a cover letter, describe how your education and experience qualifies you for this position.
- Explain how this opportunity will benefit your career goals.
- When in doubt, keep it brief and serious. If you are unsure whether or not telling an amusing anecdote about your friend's bachelor party is appropriate in a cover letter, it is probably best to leave it out.
- "I'm writing to apply for the entry-level position with Company Inc. advertised on your website. I think my experience and training makes me an ideal candidate for this position."
- Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to include your name in the body of the letter: "My name is John Smith and I am applying...." Your name will be included in the signature , as well as the header of a cover letter, so there is no need to put it in the text itself.
- Who you are and where you come from.
- Where you want to go.
- How this opportunity would potentially help you get there.
- Be as specific as possible. It is alright to note that you are "A passionate leader in all walks of life" but it would be much better to write about an example of a time you lead in a surprising way.
- Stay focused on skills and talents that connect specifically to the thing you are applying for. Extracurricular involvement, leadership roles, and other types of outstanding achievement may be important to you personally, but it may be totally extraneous. If you include something, ensure to connect it specifically to the goal of the cover letter.
- Be as specific as possible. If you are writing a university cover letter, it is obvious that you have to have a degree to get a job as a doctor, but how did you come to choose this field? Why did you choose this school? What, specifically, do you want to take away from the experience?
- Be careful about using a cover letter to critique a business. It is not the time to describe the suffering of a particular brand over the previous fiscal quarter, then promising that you will be able to turn it around with your ideas. That might not go over well if you are hired, and then you are unable to live up to the promise.
- Even if it is impressive, a high GPA or class ranking does not belong in a cover letter. Highlight it on your resume, but do not include it in two different places of the application.
- Mailing address
- Telephone and/or fax number
Expert Trick : Save time and effort by creating one generic format that you can use for many different job applications by tweaking the specific content for each one. Start with a general introductory paragraph , then a section or two fleshing out your resume and expertise as it relates to the job, and finish it off with a closing paragraph and a note of thanks.
Writing a Short Biography Note
- Pretend you are writing about someone else. Write your name and start describing that person like a character or a friend: "John Smith is the Executive Vice President of Company Inc..."
- If you are a jack of all trades, say so. Do not be afraid to list "actor, musician, mother, motivational speaker, and professional rock climber" if they all apply equally.
- It is common to list degrees that you have received. Pay particular attention to anything that ties into the work you are writing about. If you have special training, include it here.
- "John Smith is the Executive Vice President of Company Inc., in charge of marketing and overseas acquisitions. He received an MBA with distinction from Harvard and lives in Montauk with his cat Cheeto."
- Do not overshare. It can seem funny to immediately start with "John Smith loves rafting and hates eating Cheetos. He's a total boss" and such bio notes can be appropriate for some venues, however be careful to avoid awkward oversharing. Telling everyone about your killer hangover might be best left for after work talk.
- Stephen King, who is one of the most successful and popular authors in recent history, has a bio note that just lists the name of his family members, his hometown, and his pets. Consider leaving out the self-congratulation entirely.
- Remember that you’re supposed to talk about yourself, it’s the main topic. Don’t talk about your friends or family, even though you may feel tempted to. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
- If you are having a difficult time writing about yourself, search online for examples of personal writing, in order to get some ideas and inspiration. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 0
- Don't think about how others feel about you. Everyone thinks from a different perspective. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
- ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/how-to-write-about-yourself
- ↑ https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/brainstorming/
- ↑ https://ohiostate.pressbooks.pub/choosingsources/chapter/narrowing-a-topic/
- ↑ https://www.yourdictionary.com/articles/essay-about-self-writing
- ↑ https://writingcommons.org/article/using-first-person-in-an-academic-essay-when-is-it-okay/
- ↑ https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/6-unconventional-ways-start-cover-letter/
- ↑ https://english.washington.edu/writing-cover-letter
- ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/career-goal-statement-examples
- ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/resume-vs-cover-letter
- ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/whats-the-ideal-cover-letter-length
- ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/how-to-format-a-cover-letter-example
- ↑ https://writingcenter.uagc.edu/first-vs-third-person
- ↑ https://www.grammarly.com/blog/how-to-write-bio/
About This Article
If you have to write an autobiographical description of yourself, write down a list of your talents, interests, and accomplishments. Use this list to help you choose one specific topic for your description, such as your academic achievements or your leadership qualities. Use specific, unique details to support your topic, such as being awarded an academic scholarship or the fact that you were president of the newspaper in high school. You can list bits of your personal life, but be careful not to overshare. If you want to write about yourself a cover letter or personal essay, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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15 Tips for Writing a College Essay About Yourself
- What is the Purpose of the College Essay?
- How to Stand Out Without Showing Off
- 15 Tips for Writing an Essay About Yourself
- Where to Get Free Feedback on Your Essay
Most students who apply to top-tier colleges have exceptional grades, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities. How do admissions officers decide which applicants to choose among all these stellar students? One way is on the strength of their college essay .
This personal statement, along with other qualitative factors like teacher recommendations, helps the admissions committee see who you really are—the person behind the transcript. So, it’s obviously important to write a great one.
What Is the Purpose of the College Essay?
Your college essay helps you stand out in a pool of qualified candidates. If effective, it will also show the admissions committee more of your personality and allow them to get a sense of how you’ll fit in with and contribute to the student body and institution. Additionally, it will show the school that you can express yourself persuasively and clearly in writing, which is an important part of most careers, no matter where you end up.
Typically, students must submit a personal statement (usually the Common App essay ) along with school-specific supplements. Some students are surprised to learn that essays typically count for around 25% of your entire application at the top 250 schools. That’s an enormous chunk, especially considering that, unlike your transcript and extracurriculars, it isn’t an assessment of your entire high school career.
The purpose of the college essay is to paint a complete picture of yourself, showing admissions committees the person behind the grades and test scores. A strong college essay shows your unique experiences, personality, perspective, interests, and values—ultimately, what makes you unique. After all, people attend college, not their grades or test scores. The college essay also provides students with a considerable amount of agency in their application, empowering them to share their own stories.
How to Stand Out Without Showing Off
It’s important to strike a balance between exploring your achievements and demonstrating humility. Your aim should be to focus on the meaning behind the experience and how it changed your outlook, not the accomplishment itself.
Confidence without cockiness is the key here. Don’t simply catalog your achievements, there are other areas on your application to share them. Rather, mention your achievements when they’re critical to the story you’re telling. It’s helpful to think of achievements as compliments, not highlights, of your college essay.
Take this essay excerpt , for example:
My parents’ separation allowed me the space to explore my own strengths and interests as each of them became individually busier. As early as middle school, I was riding the light rail train by myself, reading maps to get myself home, and applying to special academic programs without urging from my parents. Even as I took more initiatives on my own, my parents both continued to see me as somewhat immature. All of that changed three years ago, when I applied and was accepted to the SNYI-L summer exchange program in Morocco. I would be studying Arabic and learning my way around the city of Marrakesh. Although I think my parents were a little surprised when I told them my news, the addition of a fully-funded scholarship convinced them to let me go.
Instead of saying “ I received this scholarship and participated in this prestigious program, ” the author tells a story, demonstrating their growth and initiative through specific actions (riding the train alone, applying academic programs on her own, etc.)—effectively showing rather than telling.
15 Tips for Writing an Essay About Yourself
1. start early .
Leave yourself plenty of time to write your college essay—it’s stressful enough to compose a compelling essay without putting yourself under a deadline. Starting early on your essay also leaves you time to edit and refine your work, have others read your work (for example, your parents or a teacher), and carefully proofread.
2. Choose a topic that’s meaningful to you
The foundation of a great essay is selecting a topic that has real meaning for you. If you’re passionate about the subject, the reader will feel it. Alternatively, choosing a topic you think the admissions committee is looking for, but isn’t all that important to you, won’t make for a compelling essay; it will be obvious that you’re not very invested in it.
3. Show your personality
One of the main points of your college essay is to convey your personality. Admissions officers will see your transcript and read about the awards you’ve won, but the essay will help them get to know you as a person. Make sure your personality is evident in each part—if you are a jokester, incorporate some humor. Your friends should be able to pick your essay from an anonymous pile, read it, and recognize it as yours. In that same vein, someone who doesn’t know you at all should feel like they understand your personality after reading your essay.
4. Write in your own voice
In order to bring authenticity to your essay, you’ll need to write in your own voice. Don’t be overly formal (but don’t be too casual, either). Remember: you want the reader to get to know the real you, not a version of you that comes across as overly stiff or stilted. You should feel free to use contractions, incorporate dialogue, and employ vocabulary that comes naturally to you.
5. Use specific examples
Real, concrete stories and examples will help your essay come to life. They’ll add color to your narrative and make it more compelling for the reader. The goal, after all, is to engage your audience—the admissions committee.
For example, instead of stating that you care about animals, you should tell us a story about how you took care of an injured stray cat.
Consider this side-by-side comparison:
Example 1: I care deeply about animals and even once rescued a stray cat. The cat had an injured leg, and I helped nurse it back to health.
Example 2: I lost many nights of sleep trying to nurse the stray cat back to health. Its leg infection was extremely painful, and it meowed in distress up until the wee hours of the morning. I didn’t mind it though; what mattered was that the cat regained its strength. So, I stayed awake to administer its medicine and soothe it with loving ear rubs.
The second example helps us visualize this situation and is more illustrative of the writer’s personality. Because she stayed awake to care for the cat, we can infer that she is a compassionate person who cares about animals. We don’t get the same depth with the first example.
6. Don’t be afraid to show off…
You should always put your best foot forward—the whole point of your essay is to market yourself to colleges. This isn’t the time to be shy about your accomplishments, skills, or qualities.
7. …While also maintaining humility
But don’t brag. Demonstrate humility when discussing your achievements. In the example above, for instance, the author discusses her accomplishments while noting that her parents thought of her as immature. This is a great way to show humility while still highlighting that she was able to prove her parents wrong.
8. Be vulnerable
Vulnerability goes hand in hand with humility and authenticity. Don’t shy away from exploring how your experience affected you and the feelings you experienced. This, too, will help your story come to life.
Here’s an excerpt from a Common App essay that demonstrates vulnerability and allows us to connect with the writer:
“You ruined my life!” After months of quiet anger, my brother finally confronted me. To my shame, I had been appallingly ignorant of his pain.
Despite being twins, Max and I are profoundly different. Having intellectual interests from a young age that, well, interested very few of my peers, I often felt out of step in comparison with my highly-social brother. Everything appeared to come effortlessly for Max and, while we share an extremely tight bond, his frequent time away with friends left me feeling more and more alone as we grew older.
In this essay, the writer isn’t afraid to share his insecurities and feelings with us. He states that he had been “ appallingly ignorant ” of his brother’s pain, that he “ often felt out of step ” compared to his brother, and that he had felt “ more and more alone ” over time. These are all emotions that you may not necessarily share with someone you just met, but it’s exactly this vulnerability that makes the essay more raw and relatable.
9. Don’t lie or hyperbolize
This essay is about the authentic you. Lying or hyperbolizing to make yourself sound better will not only make your essay—and entire application—less genuine, but it will also weaken it. More than likely, it will be obvious that you’re exaggerating. Plus, if colleges later find out that you haven’t been truthful in any part of your application, it’s grounds for revoking your acceptance or even expulsion if you’ve already matriculated.
10. Avoid cliches
How the COVID-19 pandemic changed your life. A sports victory as a metaphor for your journey. How a pet death altered your entire outlook. Admissions officers have seen more essays on these topics than they can possibly count. Unless you have a truly unique angle, then it’s in your best interest to avoid them. Learn which topics are cliche and how to fix them .
This is a critical step. Even a small error can break your essay, however amazing it is otherwise. Make sure you read it over carefully, and get another set of eyes (or two or three other sets of eyes), just in case.
12. Abstain from using AI
There are a handful of good reasons to avoid using artificial intelligence (AI) to write your college essay. Most importantly, it’s dishonest and likely to be not very good; AI-generated essays are generally formulaic, generic, and boring—everything you’re trying to avoid being. The purpose of the college essay is to share what makes you unique and highlight your personal experiences and perspectives, something that AI can’t capture.
13. Use parents as advisors, not editors
The voice of an adult is different from that of a high schooler and admissions committees are experts at spotting the writing of parents. Parents can play a valuable role in creating your college essay—advising, proofreading, and providing encouragement during those stressful moments. However, they should not write or edit your college essay with their words.
14. Have a hook
Admissions committees have a lot of essays to read and getting their attention is essential for standing out among a crowded field of applicants. A great hook captures your reader’s imagination and encourages them to keep reading your essay. Start strong, first impressions are everything!
15. Give them something to remember
The ending of your college essay is just as important as the beginning. Give your reader something to remember by composing an engaging and punchy paragraph or line—called a kicker in journalism—that ties everything you’ve written above together.
Where to Get Free Feedback on Your College Essay
Before you send off your application, make sure you get feedback from a trusted source on your essay. CollegeVine’s free peer essay review will give you the support you need to ensure you’ve effectively presented your personality and accomplishments. Our expert essay review pairs you with an advisor to help you refine your writing, submit your best work, and boost your chances of getting into your dream school. Find the right advisor for you and get started on honing a winning essay.
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How To Write an Essay About Yourself (and Cement Your Writing Style)
- DESCRIPTION Student Writing an About Me Essay
- SOURCE Ekaterina Naumenko / iStock / Getty Images Plus
- PERMISSION Used under Getty Images license
The “about me” essay is a classic assignment. Part of that comes from its practicality; it’s a good way to introduce yourself to new people. The “about me” essay also helps your teacher get an idea of your writing voice and style, and it involves a lot of elements that you’ll find in other writing, from research papers to fiction. Looking at some creative “about me” essay examples can help you figure out where to get started.
Brainstorming an Essay About Yourself
Before you even open your document, you should take some time to brainstorm ideas for your essay. Aside from your teacher’s instructions, the sky's the limit here. A lot of “about me” essays discuss:
A personal accomplishment of some kind (winning a writing contest, running a marathon, getting a black belt)
A special moment with a family member
A challenging moment in your life
A talent or skill that you developed and the journey you took to gain it
How To Start an Essay About Yourself
Getting started is the hardest part of anything, and essays are no different. The "about me" introduction is ostensibly the most important part of an essay. The intro is the first thing the reader sees, and it gives a reason for the reader to keep reading.
Start With a Hook
The hook is the opening sentence of the introduction. It’s the actual first thing that the reader sees, so it should be engaging and immediately hook the reader in while setting the tone for the rest of the essay.
That can be hard to accomplish, but there are a few different strategies to go with:
- Ask a question ( Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a piece of cheese and the human body? )
- Find a statistic ( Scientists estimate that there are about one quadrillion ants on Earth, equating to about 1.5 million ants for every one person. )
- Use a metaphor ( I once dated a rat. )
Starting with something surprising or unexpected is the best way to go, but try not to overthink it. Even going with a basic statement ( My name is Edna, and I love apples. ) is enough to entice a reader (Why does she love apples? Why is she writing a whole essay about her love of apples?).
Once you’ve got your hook down, get into what you actually want to talk about in your personal essay. Most “about me” essays highlight a special event or episode from your life that illustrates some larger insight about you. Use sensory details and try to keep things concrete.
The hard part is introducing the event without going too deep into the details (that’s what the rest of the essay is for).
Conclude Your Intro
If this was a research paper or traditional five-paragraph essay , the conclusion of your intro would technically be your thesis sentence . This sentence outlines the whole point of the essay. What are the contents of this essay saying about you? What insights are you revealing about your personality through the whole essay?
It’s okay to work your way backwards here. Start with a pretty basic thesis, write out the body of the essay, and then go back and modify the thesis as you see fit.
What To Include in an Essay About Yourself
Approach a creative essay about yourself the way you’d approach telling your best friend a story. You want to put in enough details that the story makes sense without ending up on weird tangents, all while incorporating a bit of your personality.
Seems obvious, but make use of paragraphs to break up your story. Exact length will vary based on what your teacher says, but shorter essays should have one to two body paragraphs, while longer essays should have at least three paragraphs.
Unless your teacher says otherwise, stick with at least five sentences per paragraph . Regardless, make sure that each paragraph presents a full thought and leads into the next.
Show, Don’t Tell
This is the type of advice that writers will repeat forever, but it’s even more annoying because it’s true.
Essentially, try to stick with illustrative details that draw from the senses. How did things smell, taste, or physically feel? Specificity and groundedness are more engaging than abstractions. For example:
I’m a really great guitarist.
That’s not super interesting, descriptive, or engaging, and it mostly just sounds like you’re bragging. Compare that to:
When I was five, my dad brought his old guitar out of the dusty attic one spring morning. He held his fingers against the wood of the fretboard and showed me how to strum the strings. I didn’t know then that I’d fall in love with making music. I only knew the safety of sitting in my dad’s lap, my mom holding a cup of coffee and smiling at us plucking away at some strings.
That has images and emotion. It feels concrete while still staying personal, and it urges the reader to want to learn more.
Include Metaphors, Similes, and All That Good Stuff
Use metaphors , similes , and all the other figures of speech available to you to add some creativity to your essay.
How To End an Essay About Yourself
Okay, you’ve got a solid intro, and you’ve finished the body paragraphs. It’s time for your conclusion . The easy part of your conclusion: reiterating your thesis and briefly reviewing your story.
The hard part: thinking beyond the essay. A conclusion addresses the “so what?” of an essay and understands that there is a world outside of the few paragraphs that you just wrote. How do the events of the essay affect who you are now? What did you learn, and how do you plan to apply that to your future endeavors?
Give it some thought, and don’t be afraid to be a little cheesy. As long as you keep it sincere and genuine, a little cheesiness can be effective.
Short "Describe Yourself" Essay Sample
For shorter essays, you generally want to keep things fairly tight and focused, while adding in some creative details and imagery to make it fun to read.
In preschool, the other kids called me "Polka Dot" because of the birthmark on my cheek. I remember coming home crying. My dad told me all the usual sayings about "sticks and stones" and judging a book by its cover, but it was something else he said that really helped me. He said that the people who understand others the best are the ones who haven't always been able to fit in. I still have a birthmark on my cheek, but I've long since become comfortable with it. I think I learned early to accept myself physically, and that's been hugely helpful as I've gone through the teenage years. When everyone else was worrying about whether they had the right shoes or bag or brand of jeans, I've spent my energy on learning about people. My bedroom at home offers a great symbol of who I am and what is important to me. The walls are simply painted and decorated with photographs of my family. My bookcases are filled with psychology texts and sociology journals, and my desk is covered in research papers. I know this isn't the bedroom of a typical teenage girl, but I'm so excited to learn more about psychology and how other people think. I plan to spend my life trying to understand people, and I hope someday to help them in a clinical practice of my own. - Kate Miller-Wilson
Longer Essay About Yourself Example
A longer essay gives you a bit more room to breathe with your details and provides more space for creativity. If you’re not sure how to start, write a shorter essay, then go back and add embellishments where you feel it fits.
Start with a strong introduction , such as an anecdote or specific example of your personality. Follow this with details that help the reader really understand who you are. In a longer essay, you have time to show your skills at descriptive writing .
I remember right where I was sitting the first time I wrote a poem: on the floor of my messy bedroom surrounded by dolls I hadn't played with in months. I couldn't understand why I simply didn't want to play with them anymore. I was getting older, and it scared me. I put my fears on paper, not even really intending to write a poem. I just let the words flow out of my pen, about how I couldn't even remember what my doll's voices sounded like anymore. I tentatively showed the poem to my teacher the next day at school, and I was surprised when she loved it. I hadn't really thought it was anything amazing. My teacher's encouragement gave me the support I needed to keep writing. I began to read books of poetry, and I wrote every single day. I learned that in order to improve, I had to write whether I felt inspired or not. By the end of eighth grade, I had written 200 poems. They weren't all great. In fact, a lot of them were really bad. A few stood out, though, and my teacher helped me enter one in a local contest. When it won, I knew I just had to keep writing. I kept at it all through high school, receiving plenty of rejections. Some of those rejections were devastating, and there were times I felt like quitting. By now, though, I thought of myself as a writer. What would I be if I stopped writing? So, I dug in and wrote. I wrote about teenage things, about heartbreak and existential crisis. I wrote about my world, about my school, and the beauty of our natural surroundings. Often, I just wrote about my perspective and tried to convey that in a way that moved other people. Now, as graduation approaches, I have been published 24 times. I'm certain I want to pursue a degree in creative writing. There's so much to learn about words and the beautiful ways we can use them, and I want to learn all of it. I hope to get a BA in creative writing, and after that, I want an MFA. Some day, I'd like to support others who write too, just as my encouraging teachers helped me. My journey as a writer has taught me a lot of things about myself, but the most important thing I've learned is that I don't give up. It takes more than natural talent to become good at something; you simply have to do it. The old adage is true: Writers write. I write when I know I'm making something I love, but I also write when I'm discouraged and think I have little to say. I write to be read, but I also write knowing sometimes, no one will read my work. My persistence is the secret of my success so far, and I know it will serve me well in college and beyond. - Kate Miller-Wilson
Beyond the “About Me” Essay Assignment
A lot of the things that you learn and use in an “about me” essay are applicable even beyond your class. Your personal statement when applying to college is essentially an extension of the “about me” essay, and “about me” pages on professional websites and social media use elements of the “about me” essay. Even if you don’t foresee writing in your future, it never hurts to think more critically about yourself and your life experiences.
Writing an essay about yourself can be intimidating, but hey, no one’s better equipped to write about you than you!
- Applying For Scholarships
How to Write a College Essay About Yourself
David Sep 30, 2020
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The scholarship you’re applying to requires that you write an essay about yourself. Easy peasy, how hard could it be? After all, you’ve been living with yourself for the last 17+ years! You know yourself better than anybody. You open your computer to start typing but your mind goes blank. Everything that you know about yourself suddenly seems unworthy of a $5,000 scholarship.
What in the world can you write about that will spark enough interest in the scholarship committee? Before you start panicking, check out our step-by-step guide on how to write a college essay about yourself.
Step 1: Brainstorm
The first way to tackle any scholarship essay prompt is to start with some thinking. We highly suggest that you take time before starting to write to brainstorm the essay prompt. This will not only get your creativity flowing, but your essay will be more organized and cohesive.
To start brainstorming, sit down in a quiet space with a pen and paper. Think about your background, your family life, your family’s financial state, your academic history, your childhood, your education, sports you play, and anything else about yourself that makes you who you are. If you’re stuck, strike up a conversation with your parents or friends about yourself to get you rolling. Jot notes about yourself down on the paper.
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Now, it’s time to take the facts you’ve written about yourself and dig deeper. The goal of your scholarship essay is to tell a story about yourself that will convince the scholarship committee that you deserve to win. How can you turn facts about yourself into a compelling story? What information can you provide about yourself that will broadcast your character?
It helps to think about who your audience is. To do this, get to know the scholarship organization better! Visit their website and read their ‘about’ section. What do they stand for? What kind of students do they award?
Your audience might be interested in how much you studied to get your 3.8 GPA. Your GPA and test scores may have helped get you into college, but they might not be enough to win you scholarship money. Thousands of students have near to perfect GPAs, and writing about it can be a bit dry.
Your audience wants to read about the challenges you’ve faced along the way or meaningful experiences you’ve had. Did you have to watch a younger sibling every day after school because your parents were at work? Have you experienced mental health challenges or learning disabilities that have made studying hard for you? How did you decide that you wanted to study business in college? This is what we mean when we say to dig deep. Go past the surface level. Talk about the experiences you have had that have gotten you to where you are today.
Step 2: What to Include in an Essay About Yourself
A scholarship essay about yourself is obviously very broad. You can take your essay in many directions. Remember, you want to provide information about yourself that makes your essay worth reading. Including facts about yourself in your essay is fine. But, you better be seasoning those facts with a lot of flavors.
Here are some ideas to include in your essay.
Topics You Can Address in Your Essay
There are plenty of ways you can talk about yourself in your essay. Remember, your essay must focus on yourself and your personal experiences in life. You can choose one or two of the following topics as the basis of your essay.
- Experiences that have inspired your degree choice.
- Challenges you’ve faced that have impacted your life and education.
- Unique hobbies you have or the sports you play.
- How you’ve changed over the years.
- Your experiences in school.
- Professional goals you have for the future.
- Your achievements.
- Special relationships that have inspired you. If you choose this topic, remember the essay still needs to focus on you.
The topic you choose to write about should be one that you can connect back to your education or career goals. If it didn’t impact your education or career in some way, it’s likely not relevant for the scholarship.
Remember, you need to talk about the why and the how. For example, why are you pursuing a degree in law? Why did you choose this degree path? How will a law degree help you in your future? How have past experiences led you to dream of becoming a lawyer?
Step 3: Sketch an Outline
Now that you have an idea of what you’ll write about it, it’s time to get organized. Creating an outline is your final step before starting to write. Choose one or two of the topics we suggested and start breaking down what you’ll write about in each paragraph. Your essay should consist of an introduction, 3-5 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Check out our tips on what you should and shouldn’t include in your essay:
- Impress from the start of your essay.
- Place yourself in the reader’s shoes. Do you show enough of your personality in your essay? Do you convince the reader that you deserve to win?
- Do your research and learn about the organization. Try and connect yourself to their initiatives. Do you have a hobby or goal that matches the organization? What can you bring to the organization?
- Only include relevant information. If something seems unnecessary or out of place, it probably is.
- Write in the first person, this is about you after all.
- Give specific examples. Don’t say you struggled during freshman year, instead, show what that struggle looked like.
- Show off your strengths and achievements.
- Make your essay interesting! If it doesn’t captivate your audience from the start, it’s not good enough.
- Proofread and edit your essay. Those little spelling mistakes can cost you the scholarship. They are distracting and they don’t do a good job at convincing the reader that you’re professional. Everybody makes mistakes but it’s on you to check your work before submitting.
- Use the correct format .
- Write about academic weaknesses in your transcripts. This is your chance to take responsibility for the ‘D’ you received during freshman year algebra. You might write about your struggles with algebra and how you were motivated to improve by getting a tutor. Definitely do not play the victim card by blaming a teacher!
- Making mistakes is human! Write about what you learned from your mistakes and how they have made you stronger.
- Be authentic- write how you speak (of course, with correct grammar). Trying to impress with big words from the thesaurus isn’t as impressive as you think.
- Follow the essay instructions! You can write the best essay but if you don’t follow instructions, you risk being disqualified.
- Lie- Making up stories to win over the scholarship judges isn’t going to win over anybody! Lies scream inauthenticity. Trust us, it’s obvious when students lie and scholarship judges aren’t impressed.
- Brag- If you think that bragging about your 4.0 GPA is going to win you scholarship money, you’re wrong. Show off your confidence in a way that doesn’t come across as overbearing and arrogant.
- Use the essay as an opportunity to divulge your deepest darkest family secrets. This is not the place to cry your heart out or disclose personal information.
- Be vague about your professional goals. What sounds better, awarding a student with clearly defined goals or a student who doesn’t know what they want to do in life?
- Repeat the same information over and over again. You will have your readers yawning!
- Use cliches. Cliches are overused! Be bold and different.
Step 4: How to Start an Essay About Yourself
As with all scholarship essays, your essay about yourself should captivate readers from the very beginning. Start your essay with a creative introduction that will make the readers want to continue reading your essay. You may choose to start with a personal story or experience.
Avoid using cliches such as “from a young age” or “for as long as I can remember.” Also, avoid using quotes. These are other peoples’ words, not your own.
At the end of your introduction paragraph, you should have a thesis statement that makes it clear to the reader why you are applying for the scholarship. They should be able to taste your enthusiasm and understand your motivation for applying.
How to Start an Essay About Yourself Example
When it comes to my passion for teaching others, you might say I wasn’t given much of a choice in life. As the older sister of four, it was my responsibility to lead the way and teach my two younger brothers and sister. At least, I assumed that responsibility. I helped them with everything from school projects to packing for camp in the summer. It’s no surprise to me that years later, I have chosen to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Education at the University of Texas in the fall. With this scholarship, I will be able to pursue my degree in education and return to my hometown to teach in a local elementary school after graduating.
Step 5: What to Include in Your Body Paragraphs
Your body paragraphs are the meat of your scholarship essay. This is where the scholarship readers really get to know you. Your body paragraphs should each contain an argument with supporting details and examples.
Your job in these paragraphs is to bring your personality out as much as possible. You also want to connect your arguments with your educational and career goals, and of course, to the scholarship you’re applying for. Make sure you relay to the reader how the scholarship will help you fulfill your goals.
How to Write a College Essay About Yourself Body Paragraphs Example
My role as a teacher to my little brothers and sister was only the start of it. As soon as I was of appropriate age, I started babysitting my neighbors on the weekends to earn extra money. Sure, that meant sacrificing my weekend nights with friends, but I was able to save up quite a lot of money from my Friday night and Saturday night gigs. For me, it was never only about the money. I loved spending time with the little kids. I would come up with fun activities to do with them, like “restaurant night,” where we would create menus and whip up ice cream sundaes in the kitchen.
By high school, it was clear to me that I wanted to be a teacher. I took several classes in high school that confirmed this dream of mine. I particularly enjoyed my early childhood education class where I learned theories in childhood development, classroom management techniques, and about developing curriculum. I even started to write up my own curriculum and made my younger siblings be in “school,” with me as their teacher. I don’t think they were too happy about all those extra hours of school…
Over the last year, I completed an internship as a teacher’s assistant. Every Tuesday and Thursday I spent half the day working with a 3rd-grade teacher at the local elementary school. I learned so much from this experience, like how to manage behavior problems and how to encourage shy students to participate in lessons. I can’t wait to come back to my hometown and work as a teacher after college.
Step 6: How to End an Essay About Yourself
By the time you get to writing your concluding paragraph, you may feel an urge to finish up your essay quickly. But, your concluding paragraph is also important in making that final last impression. Don’t rush through it.
Your concluding paragraph should wrap up your essay while giving an overview of the main points of your essay. You should do the following in your concluding sentence:
- Restate your thesis in other words.
- Give an overview of the arguments you made in your body paragraphs.
- End your concluding paragraph with a big thought related to your future.
How to End an Essay About Yourself Example
You might say that my upbringing made me who I am today, but I think it’s a lot more than that. I wouldn’t have the confidence I have today in myself and in my future goals if it weren’t for my studies and jobs throughout high school. I am so excited to start my degree at the University of Texas and keep developing the tools and skills I need to become the best teacher I can be.
Step 7: The full Example of How to Write a College Essay About Yourself
Now that you have learned how to write a solid introduction, conclusion, and body paragraphs, it’s time to put it all together. Here is the full example:
The “Tell Us About Yourself” scholarship essay prompt might feel frustrating. It can feel intimidating but it’s really not so bad once you know how to tackle it.
Use these tips and you’ll be good to go. Time to start writing!
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David Tabachnikov is the CEO of ScholarshipOwl. Formerly at Waze and Google, David is an experienced CTO/R&D manager with over 10 years of experience of leading tech teams. David fervently believes that students should have greater access to education, and is passionate about using technology to help them achieve that goal.
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How to Write an Essay About Yourself With Tips and Examples
8 December 2023
Essays are essential in demonstrating student’s proficiency in writing academic texts. Basically, this proficiency includes writing creatively and without notable mistakes and errors. By considering writing essays about themselves, students should follow the same approach that they use when writing other types of essays, including research papers. In essence, authors should focus on preparation, stage set up, writing process, and perfecting their compositions. Also, these steps are essential in ensuring the writer’s essay is of high quality. In turn, these essays on yourself do not rely on external research to strengthen the main arguments. On the other hand, papers rely on personal anecdotes to make them authentic and original. Hence, a student needs to learn how to write an essay about yourself.
General Guidelines of Writing an Essay About Yourself
Essay writing is one of the activities that students engage in to develop their creative writing skills. Unlike a research paper , an essay that a student writes about yourself does not rely on external research. Basically, one can argue that this type of article is exploratory. Also, it explores the writer’s life across different settings, such as school life, home life, and social life. While such essays may differ from a research essay in content, it follows the same structure: introduction, body, and conclusion. Then, a research paper utilizes external research to make it relevant, but a personal essay that a student writes about yourself uses personal anecdotes to create relevance. In other words, since such a piece explores the student’s life, it is only prudent for a person to include one or several stories that give readers a glimpse into their personality.
Writing an Essay About Yourself: A Step-by-Step Guide
The strategy of writing academic texts is almost the same, regardless of the kind of the type of text. In short, whether academic writing involves a research essay, report, thesis paper , dissertation , or personal story, writers must engage in some activities, which are similar across these types of papers . Basically, these activities include preparation, stage set up, writing process, and wrap up of the writing process.
Step 1: Preparation
Preparation is the first step in writing an essay of any type. Basically, this stage has several components, including defining the topic, preparing ideas, and considering the audience. Concerning the topic, a person who writes about yourself can use the instructor’s theme or choose one if none is provided. In the latter case, authors should settle for a topic that interests them, one that they can find information to back up claims and arguments easily. When it comes to writing all about me essay, students should choose topics that allow them to capture a broad perspective about their lives. On preparation of ideas, students need to reflect on their lives, including positive and negative experiences and strengths and weaknesses. About the audience, they should write with expectations of instructors in mind.
Step 2: Setting Up the Stage
After preparation, the next step in academic paper writing is to set up the stage. Basically, components of this step include making notes, creating an essay outline , and creating an annotated bibliography. When writing an essay about yourself, a student should make notes when reflecting on your own experiences. In this case, a personal anecdote comes into play. Then, authors should use a personal account, highlighting a positive or negative experience and areas of strength or weakness. When it comes to creating an outline, students should use academic standards of essay outlines – introduction, body, and conclusion. Although it is unnecessary to write down these headings, authors must ensure that those reading all about me essays can identify where each of these sections begins and ends. In turn, there is no need for an annotated bibliography since no external research is required.
Step 3: Writing Process
After preparing and setting up the stage, students start writing their essays about themselves. Basically, components of this step include making the first draft, ensuring the paper captures everything that authors intend to write about, has a thesis statement , and captures the writer’s concluding thoughts. In this case, first drafts are essential because it allows writers to have an opportunity to perfect their papers through revisions and editions. Then, the thesis statement is the writer’s guide. Besides, it dictates what authors should focus on in body paragraphs. In turn, concluding thoughts are the writer’s words that summarize lessons learned. Hence, each of these components is essential in an essay about yourself.
Step 4: Wrapping Up
After writing the first draft, students begin to write the final draft. But before they start, they should read and reread the first draft to ensure it is free of any grammatical mistakes and other writing errors, such as inconsistent arguments and illogical flow of ideas. For example, if writers identify such mistakes and errors, they should revise and edit an essay about yourself accordingly. In turn, revisions help authors to eliminate inconsistencies in arguments and illogical flow of ideas, while editions help them to fix grammatical mistakes, such as a lack of punctuation or wrong use.
Use exceptional writing services that guarantee original and well-researched papers.
Main Features of Writing All About Me Essay
1️⃣ topic and concluding sentences.
When writing an essay about themselves, students should begin each body paragraph as they would in any other article – start with a topic sentence. Basically, this sentence captures a single idea that writers interrogate in a particular section, meaning that it offers an insight into the paragraph’s content. On the other hand, a concluding sentence is final thoughts about what writers have said in a specific section. Then, rules of academic writing dictate that the concluding sentence links the topic sentence with the thesis statement. In other words, it is the part of a single paragraph that creates sense for readers regarding the topic sentence and its place in the writer’s main argument.
2️⃣ Transition, Peer Review, and Final Draft
Students need to ensure that, as they write an essay about themselves, they create a logical flow of ideas from the beginning paragraph to the end. Basically, such elements may be transition words, like “consequently,” “furthermore,” “nevertheless,” and “hence.” To ensure that students do not miss identifying errors in their essays, they should subject their work to a peer review. For example, this aspect involves giving the first draft to a mentor who reads through it to make sure it is perfect. When mentors are satisfied with the paper’s quality, students start writing the final draft. However, they should also read through it at least twice and subject it to peer review before submitting it to a specific department.
3️⃣ Specific Information
As indicated, writing an essay about yourself differs from a research paper because it does not rely on external research to back up claims and arguments. Instead, writers utilize a personal story to shed light on their experiences and attributes. In this sense, such personal anecdotes are the specific information necessary for an essay about yourself. Moreover, this information is specific to a person provided through reflective writing. Hence, a personal essay that a student writes, which is about yourself, should be exploratory, descriptive, and thoughtful.
Like any other academic text, writing an essay about oneself is often prone to mistakes. For example, some of the common mistakes that writers or students make when writing an essay about yourself include writing about things that do not help readers to have a proper grasp of their personality and using exaggeration. Basically, writing an essay about yourself should enhance the readers’ understanding of authors – their life experiences, attributes, likes and dislikes, and strengths and weaknesses. In turn, exaggeration involves using information that is likely to be untrue to impress readers. To solve the first mistake, writers need to focus on personal anecdotes, as they help to highlight instances of the author’s life that is worth noting. To avoid exaggeration, students should desist from trying to impress and seek to be authentic in their writing.
Example of Writing an Essay About Yourself
My First Year of School by Zac
I walked into the classroom, shaking in terror. The class was full of howler monkeys, but I was not with howler monkeys. I was with a bunch of five and six-year-old kids. I acted as if I was watching a horror movie until I met the super lovely Mr. Keig. Mr. Keig was the best teacher in the universe.
Mr. Keig was like a giant to us, and he still is. At first, I was scared of Mr. Keig, but I found out he was super friendly. He taught me how to read and write. Add and subtract. He even taught me how to make school fun. At the beginning of school, I was horrified by math and reading. I was soon shown that those subjects were not formidable opponents, but I had yet to meet my match.
Writing. I hated writing. I had met my match, my enemy, my formidable opponent. The reason I hated writing was that I wrote slowly. It took too long for me to write, and I was always the last one to finish my newest story. It was also ever boring for me. It was hard to find inspiration or the urge to take a step up. Math and reading, on the other hand, I sped through like Speed Racer. I was still shy, and I only had a few friends in the first couple of weeks of kindergarten. I figured out making friends was not a piece of cake. I eventually made friends. Thank God that problem was over.
Even though we got to play and create our own art, sometimes, school days were dull. Sometimes days felt like they were two million years long. There were other times when I was terrified about a test, and it seemed like the paper was laughing at me, and my pencil was dodging my paper. I was sweating, shaking, and FREAKIN’ out. I eventually pulled it together and got my test done. Relieved, relaxed, and incredibly calmed down. Tranquil and thrilled I was. It felt like I was soaring through the sky a million miles per minute.
What I learned from my year in kindergarten was to face your fears. If you are scared, don’t run away from your worries. Another lesson I learned was not to judge a book by its cover. I assumed the school was going to be extremely hard, and tests were going to be impossible. I assumed wrong. The school (kindergarten) was not as hard as I thought it was going to be. While kindergarten was a bit challenging, I knew I could succeed if I set my mind to it and work hard.
Summing Up on How to Write an Essay About Yourself
Essay writing is an essential activity in a student’s life, as it exposes one to the dynamics of creative writing. When writing such an essay, authors learn how to use personal stories to highlight their positive and negative experiences, including strengths and weaknesses. In essence, such stories replace external evidence that writers use in research essays. Then, the guide to effective writing of such an essay includes several components, including preparation, stage set up, starting the writing process, and wrapping it up. Also, these aspects of writing an essay about yourself allow a person to build own thoughts, organize papers, and perfect academic texts. As a result, perfection involves revising any inconsistent ideas and illogical arguments and revising any grammatical mistakes, such as punctuation errors.
When writing an essay about yourself, a student should master the following tips:
- Be thoughtful, but not fretful. Writers should, through reflection, highlight areas of their lives that provide an insight into their personality. In this case, they should do it without fear of what readers might think about them.
- Keep an essay personal. The majority of the essay’s information should be about an author. For example, such elements involve talking about life experiences, attributes, strengths, and weaknesses. In turn, the use of personal anecdotes is essential in achieving this goal.
- Do not guess what readers want to hear. Students should not seek to impress readers, but they need to inform them.
- Feel free to be creative. Without exaggeration, authors should use personal stories creatively to keep readers interested in essays.
- Tell readers something that they do not already know. The best way to keep readers interested is to use stories that writers have probably never shared publicly. In turn, such stories or experiences inject all about me essays with an aspect of amazement.
- Ask for input from close ones. Students can ask parents, friends, mentors, counselors, coaches, and teachers to provide ideas, as they know about personally.
- Polish a paper about yourself. Essays should not be about the writer’s story only. In turn, it should demonstrate the writer’s proficiency in writing by lacking grammatical mistakes and other notable errors.
To Learn More, Read Relevant Articles
How to start an essay with a quote with examples, how to title an essay: basic guidelines with examples.
- Writing a Winning Essay About Yourself - 10+ Best Tips & Examples
- How to Write an Essay About Yourself: Tips to Consider and Samples
- What Is an Essay About Yourself
Purpose of Personal Writing
Personal essay types.
- Tips on Crafting a Cover Letter
- Admission Essay Sample
- Tips on Writing a Personal Essay
- Personal Essay Sample
- Essay About Yourself Topics
- Bottom Line
Knowing how to write a personal essay is critical in the academic context. Be it a personal narrative essay or an admission paper, a student needs to walk a fine line between focusing on the most remarkable achievements and avoiding overestimations. It may seem that there is nothing easier than discussing your experience. However, when it comes to the writing process, you may discover different writing styles and requirements. Read the article to find out the basics of composing an essay about yourself for various academic purposes.
What Is an Essay About Yourself
An essay about yourself is a piece of writing that describes the writer's meaningful experience. Personal writing focuses on the life situations, challenges or events that have a profound impact on the author . In this type of essay, a story is narrated in the first person. Composing an essay about yourself is a great way to demonstrate your core skills, achievements and preparedness to overcome obstacles. If you want to make sure that your writing stands out, contact our team of academic experts and ask ' write my essay '.
An essay about yourself may be written for a number of purposes. The main objective of a paper about oneself is to share a significant event or tell about a person that has left a lasting impression. This type of essay is commonly used to support your resume or college admission form . In this case, it should provide decent reasons to choose your candidacy over the other applicants. Paper about oneself may also be used to narrate a personal story and, as such, should be written in the form of a personal narrative.
Depending on the intent of a piece, personal essays differ in writing style and tone. Generally, there are two major types of personal writing you may be required to create in the academic context:
- A cover letter . Otherwise known as an admission essay, it is a formal writing piece that introduces a student for internship or admission. A cover letter is commonly used to provide additional information about a candidate for college or university admissions, scholarships, or job interviews.
- A personal essay for high school . A paper about yourself may be a part of a high school assignment or college application. Its purpose is to narrate about a writer and explore valuable experience in a semi-formal manner.
It is essential to distinguish these two types of essays to choose an appropriate tone of voice and writing style . After all, you don't want your paper to sound too conversational if your primary purpose is to craft a cover letter for a scholarship application. In case you are not sure how to write a scholarship essay , we have got you covered.
Refer to the comparison table below to learn more about the main characteristics of each essay type.
Now that you are familiar with the peculiarities of each type of paper, it's time to learn how to write an essay about yourself for different academic purposes.
Tips on Crafting a Cover Letter
01. Split up the question into subtopics. Whether it's a college essay or a scholarship paper, you most likely will be given the main question that needs to be answered in your paper. Try to divide the main topic into subtopics and then address them one by one. Assuming you need to write an essay about your achievements, then you will need to cover the following related subtopics:
- Brief background information on your accomplishment
- Your experience that influenced your achievements
- The challenges you had to overcome to achieve your goals
- Your valuable takeaways
02. Create an Outline. A well-structured outline will allow you to remain focused on the main objective. An outline should comprise all subtopics related to the subject matter. Once you've got the main prompt subject divided into smaller sections, it's time to organize them logically. You can use a standard five paragraph essay structure.
03. Describe an education-related experience. Describing your first wedding ceremony is not the best idea. Highlight the insights you've gained at school, college, or other educational institutions. If you have a specific person who has inspired you to enter a target college or choose a particular domain, you may create a reflective paragraph to integrate such information.
04. Start an essay with a captivating opening line. Even though the essay about you should be focused on your achievements and professional skills, do not start your writing with meaningless phrases. Use statistics and interesting facts to begin your paper. Another great way to start an essay about yourself is to put an intriguing question that requires an answer in the end.
05. Show your goals and ambitions. If you are writing a paper about yourself as a part of your admission, describe your skills and university goals. Give an admission officer an overall idea of your strengths, and explain how you can apply your knowledge at that particular college or university.
06. Format your paper. An essay about yourself doesn't require an additional abstract or reference page. However, you need to format your essay properly. Check the writing requirements to ensure that you are using the right font, size, margins, intervals and borders. In other words, a paper about your professional experience should look organized and structured.
07. Revise the paper. A finished draft is only half the battle. Once an essay about yourself is done, double-check it for grammar, spelling, or punctuation mistakes . You may download a grammar checker or use the tools available online to make sure that your essay is error-free. Also remember that your writing should be 100% original.
Admission Essay Sample
Do not hesitate to refer to the sample of an excellent admission essay attached below.
Tips on Writing a Personal Essay
01. Choose a meaningful event to narrate. Tell a memorable story that has a significant impact on you. This type of writing aims to discuss a life situation that leads to the broader idea. Generally, a personal essay for school focuses on challenges, failures, outstanding achievements, or life lessons.
02. Focus on a real-life story. Whether it's a student or a teacher, your reader would like to learn about the actual things you have gone through. Don't write about situations or events that have never taken place in your real life. You should be as sincere as possible.
03. Develop your essay around a single topic. The primary purpose of personal non-fiction writing is to address a separate issue at a time. Do not list all your achievements, as you would do in a scholarship essay. Try to focus on a single challenge or life situation that has shaped your perspective.
04. Outline your essay. Having a structured essay outline helps to stay on track. A typical personal essay for the high school includes an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Start with a brief overview of a life experience significant to you, and then cover all related points in the body part. Conclude your paper with a summary, and remember to highlight a takeaway.
05. It's all about a great introduction. An introductory part should be powerful to make your reader want to read the rest of the essay. Forget about general phrases like "My name is..." or "Everybody loves..". When you compose an essay about your life, you don't have to sound trivial. Start your paper with a fascinating fact from your life or an intriguing question.
06. Avoid sensitive topics. Writing a piece that reflects your experience should not hurt the feelings of other students or teachers. The taboo topics you want to avoid when crafting your personal paper include gender, racial, political, and religious issues. It is recommended to focus on commonly accepted things, even if you want to share your thoughts on tough times in your life.
07. Proofread your paper. Students often ignore this step, and by doing so compromise the quality. Even a single mistake can confuse or even bother your readers. Remember to check your writing for grammar and stylistic errors.
Personal Essay Sample
Below you can find an excellent sample of a personal essay for high school. Feel free to use it as a reference as you write an essay about yourself.
Essay About Yourself Topics
Now that you are familiar with all tips and tricks on how to write an essay about yourself, it's time to select a great topic. Below is a list of the top essay topic ideas compiled by our expert writers.
- Tell about your most significant achievement.
- Discuss your biggest failure and how it has influenced you?
- Tell about the challenges you had to overcome.
- What makes you a perfect candidate for this scholarship?
- How do you see yourself in 5 years?
Before crafting an essay about yourself, a writer should identify the primary purpose of writing . If it's a part of a school assignment, it's advised to stick to the semi-formal style and explore a single event. A cover letter or a scholarship essay, instead, should be written in a formal manner and focus on the skills that will make you shine through.
Ok, you decide to go to college and want to get a scholarship. This is not only a bunch of money that can cover your educational expenses but also a recognition as one of the best candidates. But here’s an obstacle on your way – an essay. That is why you’re reading this text, aren’t you? If so, time...
Understanding the basics of writing a personal essay is essential for any student who wants to succeed at college admission. In 99% cases, the applicants enter the colleges of their dreams thanks to a well-crafted admission paper, and a brilliant personal essay is all you need to stand out from the ...
Reflective writing requires analytical skills. You should not just narrate a story or retell the plot of a book. You should be able to explain why it is important, how it influenced you or helped you grow. This essay type is rather personal. Thus, you should take your time to pick a topic that is in...
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How to Write an Essay About Yourself
Writing an essay about yourself is no easy feat — although you may know yourself better than anyone, it can be tough to get the perspective needed to write about yourself in essay form. Despite its challenges, writing essays about yourself is one of the most crucial skills in the college application process, and we have some key tricks to make it easier. Keep on reading to learn about some of our best techniques to write about yourself naturally!
- Outline your experiences
Ask friends and family for input
- Don’t be too humble…
- Let your personality shine!
Read more: How to start a scholarship essay (with examples)
Outline your impactful experiences
Before you dig into prompts, try writing out a bullet-point list of meaningful experiences you’ve had. Underneath each bullet point, reflect on what they might demonstrate. Here’s an example:
- Working as part of a team
- Learning to balance school and work responsibilities
- Honing communication skills
- Developing writing skills
- Fostering a passion for my school community
- Learning to meet deadlines and balance responsibilities
- Learning to balance school and volunteer responsibilities
- Gaining an attention to detail
This is a little different than a typical resume — rather than focusing on your specific duties, try to focus on how the experience shaped your character. If you notice a lot of overlap between the experiences, that’s perfect! You can point out these recurring themes to make for an effective essay with a strong overarching point. Making lists like this early on in your writing stage can be helpful, and you may find yourself coming back to consult the list for many future essays.
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When writing about yourself, it is important to reflect on your strengths, and who is better to do that than a supportive team of family and friends?
Consulting family and friends is a great way to learn about strengths that you might not even know you had. Your friends choose to hang out with you for a reason, and they often notice your good qualities that you take for granted. Having your friends point these out can be useful for an essay, as well as a general pick-me-up!
And if you’re looking for a perfect anecdote to answer a prompt like “How have you demonstrated a commitment to your community ,” who better to remember your past acts of kindness than your parents?
Is it okay to ask friends and family to read my essay and offer feedback?
Some students may be wondering, is it okay to ask for additional help from friends and family? And the short answer is: absolutely. Additional essay reviewers can offer valuable feedback as you write your essay. With this said, students should make sure that they are maintaining their own voice in the essay. Outside reviewers should not be rewriting the essay or having a heavy hand in changing the written voice.
Don’t miss: How to respond to the Common App essay prompts
Don’t be too humble
There is a time and a place for humility. But don’t worry if you feel like your essay is verging on the braggadocios. These essays are an opportunity to showcase your best qualities, and you should not be worried about putting your best foot forward and telling the reader all the reasons why they should be impressed by you.
What makes these essays effective is that they both include your relevant experiences and demonstrate why they are so significant. You may feel as though you are making mountains out of molehills, but it’s important to emphasize the importance of your experiences. This is the main objective of writing about yourself.
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Let your personality come through
Most essays written about yourself will be written in first-person. This provides a perfect opportunity to add some flair to your writing. While your first priority is to include impactful examples and communicate your points effectively, it is also important to leave a lasting impression on the reader.
If you see an opportunity to show off your sense of humor or use a more personal tone, don’t be afraid to do it. As long as your remarks are appropriate, on-topic, and not too frequent, they can help put you ahead of the pack.
Recommended: How does an admissions officer read your application and essays?
A great trick for becoming comfortable writing essays about yourself is to try keeping a journal. Journaling helps eliminate the pressure of writing an essay while helping you become comfortable writing about yourself in an informal setting. Spending 10 or 15 minutes every night writing about your day, or answering some informal prompts can help you to get more in touch with yourself and jog your memory about past events that could be useful for an essay.
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Next steps for students
Now you’ve learned about the goals and techniques for writing an essay about yourself. Your next step should be to focus on making your writing effective and efficient. Make sure that your conclusion ties everything together impactfully . And once you’ve finished your draft, ask family members, friends, or college counselors to read over it and provide suggestions. Good luck, writers!
Related: Overview of common scholarship essay prompts
Frequently asked questions about how to write an essay about yourself
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