The word personal essay often conjures feelings of boredom and dread among many people. However, this shouldn’t be the case: personal essays are simply refreshing, more chatty, and friendly than formal essays. Personal essays often provide you with an opportunity to speak directly to your audience about anything that you have experienced in your life—from your love life, death, to how you feel when you walk your dog. Here is an overview of some tips for writing personal essays:
Brainstorm on your life experiences that are life changing, upsetting, stressful, or humorous. If you find that any of the experiences generates an adrenaline rush for writing, it is probably a good place to begin your essay. Keeping journals of pivotal moments of your life can go a long way in helping you capture great ideas that you can use as starting point for writing your personal essays.
To make your essay interesting, start off with a breathtaking bang and get your reader’s immediate attention with the first few sentences or paragraph. You can use anecdotes, quotes, and humor to capture your readers’ attention.
Point of View
You are allowed to use first person active voice in personal essays. In personal essays, you are the narrator and you should do the talking. Although personal essays are more conversational than other forms of essays, never make it sound like a high school life story or diary entry.
Word count requirement will differ between publications. However, one thing is certain: concise writing is usually the hallmark of a great personal essay. So after you’ve written your essay, ensure that you thoroughly edit it to cut the fluff and make each word count.
Connect With Your Readers
Although personal essays are usually personal in nature, your message should be widely recognizable if you care about making a precise connection with your readers. The broader your target audience, the greater your publication chances will be.
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