How To Write Essays About Yourself

The main question of all students who have to write a reflective or personal essay is whether it is possible to come up with such type of academic paper without sounding too egotistical. From one side, it might seem that there is nothing easier than writing about yourself. From time to time, even personal essays should stick to specific rules. For instance, the writing style is an obligatory condition.

In this article, I will try to reveal the basics of writing an essay about yourself so that you may use these tips in your academic life.

Tricks and Tips on How to Write a Personal Essay

We have gathered several life hints that can help every student to prepare for writing an essay on yourself. First of all, you should try to focus on your personal life experience. People would like to learn about the things you have gone through instead of some imaginative things.

Second, you should describe an experience which is related to your education. Describing your first wedding ceremony or gig with the music band is not the best idea. It is better to dedicate time to the things you've learned from school, college, or other educational institutions. If you have a specific person who inspired you to enter target college or work in the certain field, reflect this role model.

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Even though the essay about you should be focused on your name and deeds, do not start writing with the trivial phrases introducing yourself. It is still better to put an intriguing question which requires an answer in the end or begin with an interesting fact/quote/joke.

Third, let your family read the final draft once you are finished with your writing. Sometimes, you know yourself worse than people around you so that you can trust them.

Finally, try to avoid sensitive subjects like:

  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Political situation
  • Race and nationality
  • Income level

How Do You Start an Essay about Yourself

As a rule, an essay about yourself contains up to 400 words. Although you can think that there is no specific topic for such type of paper, sometimes tutors assign particular subjects to discuss.

For example, you may be asked to write where you picture yourself in five or more years. It is your chance to prove that high school or even college education is not enough.

You should start telling personal things. However, use the great words you know to explain why you deserve the place in the target educational institution or company. Avoid making up a story; you should be as sincere as possible. Come up with the story describing the challenges you faced as a surgeon's assistant. Tell about the personal struggles you have gone through to accomplish your internship as a bank cashier. Provide the background of your sports achievements.

However, whatever you decide to recall, make sure it has a connection with your future profession. You can include an interesting part related to your hobbies, but don't go much into details.

On the whole, make sure to highlight your:

  • Educational background
  • Work background
  • Skills and knowledge
  • Life goals
  • Hobbies

For the affordable price, you can get an eye-catching introduction of any reflective essay.


10 Simple Tips on How to Write a Personal Essay

  1. Choosing the best topic

Go to the section with great topic ideas to discover new and time-tested examples.

  1. Formatting your paper

When writing an essay on yourself, you don't need to add abstract or reference page. The structure of personal statement is much easier. At the same time, you have to mind your:

  • Font
  • Its size
  • Margins
  • Intervals
  • Borders

In other words, a paper dedicated to your life should look accurate and structured.

  1. Manage your time

Any academic paper has a deadline. A paper describing yourself has a strict deadline as well. It is better to start writing as soon as you are assigned the task. Thus, you will have more time to proofread and edit your draft. By the way, you should involve several drafts.

  1. Get your family involved

No, I am not telling you to use your family members as writing guides or something. It is better to get professional writing assistance from the corresponding service. I mean that recalling the stories related to your family or personal experience is a good way to appeal to the heart of your readers. You may share a story of your family member who used to cope with the serious disease. When you work on the paper about yourself, it is important to stay sincere and honest. So, if you have some really good life stories to share, feel free to do it.

  1. Find inspiration

If you have no idea what an essay depicting your person should include, you may get inspired by another person. It's okay if you don't have a rich experience or amazing story to share with your audience. Find people who were once students like you or describe the fate of your friends. You may also find ideas from the:

  • News
  • Books
  • Magazines/newspapers
  • Internet blogs
  • Social networks

Find more inspiration after reading these ways to make your college essay great!

  1. Focus on the needs of university

If you are writing a paper about yourself as a part of your admission, describe your personal skills and university goals equally. Give them an overall idea of what you can do well, and describe how you can contribute your knowledge to the prosperity of that particular college or university. In order to sound less egotistical in the essay about yourself, please look through this advice.

  1. Avoid using complex words

Don't type the words you don't know - your Word will most probably fix all your grammar mistakes, but you need to know what every word means when you use it in the essay about yourself. Choose synonyms to make your text richer, but replace difficult terms with simpler words.

  1. It's all about great introduction

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. Use statistics and interesting facts to begin your paper. Various quotations might also work. It's just important to choose citations that are related to your story somehow. You may read more about composing powerful introduction and other parts of this article.

  1. Keep away from sensitive subjects

Writing a paper that reflects yourself should not hurt the feelings of other students, tutors, or people around. The worst topics you might find for your personal paper involve gender, racial, political, and religious issues. It is recommended to make your essay more positive even if you prefer to recall a hard time of your life.

  1. Always revise the paper and double-check the grammar

A finished draft is only half the battle. Download grammar checker or use online checkers to have a text free of grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors. You should also get anti-plagiarism software to find out whether your content is 100% original.

College Essay Examples about Yourself

We have discussed so far how to start a essay about yourself and the overall structure recommendations. Here we go with the top topic ideas for the personal essay. If you want to avoid difficult argumentative essay topics, you may find some great ideas on this blog. Choose one of them:

  • My early days at school
  • How I survived my college years
  • My first work experience
  • Looking through the mirror
  • Homecoming
  • How my friends influenced my interests
  • The art of telling lies
  • Learning English (a good topic for international students)
  • The impact of my brother on my life

You can search for more topic examples as well as personal essay samples here.


One more thing: in case you still have some doubts regarding the quality of your paper, you may contact a professional online writing service and order a full job written from scratch.

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Tell me about yourself.

Whether you hear these words as you introduce yourself to a new group of people or read them on an essay assignment, they can be intimidating.

In general, we’re taught not to brag, but how can you write about yourself without at least doing a little bit of bragging? And what exactly are you supposed to tell about yourself—your whole life story, your hobbies, your accomplishments, or something else?

Many students often find that personal essays are the most difficult to write because there’s no evidence to back up your claims as there are in analytical essays. And there’s no way to tell what the person reading your essay is looking for.

But stick with me. I’m here to show you how to take the stress out of the situation, so you can write an essay about yourself that you can feel proud of.

How to Choose a Topic for an Essay About Yourself

In a general sense, you are the topic for this particular essay. But writing about yourself shouldn’t be just a list of all the information you have about yourself—it should be much more narrative.

In The Story Is True: The Art and Meaning of Telling Stories, author Bruce Jackson really drives this point home in the following passage:

The stories people tell about themselves and their lives always occur after the fact. Life itself has no narrative. It is serial and multiple: a million things happening at once, and then another million things happening at once, forever and ever. Narrative is one of the ways we apply order to that unimaginable overabundance of information. The process begins with exclusion of almost everything. In that regard, stories are like photographs. A decision about what a photograph will be is simultaneously a decision about what a photograph will not be; stories, which tell about and describe a finite number of things, simultaneously do not tell or describe everything else.

So the question is, what do you choose to include and exclude from your personal essay?

If you’re having trouble deciding, you probably fall into one of two camps. You either have so many experiences or accomplishments that you can’t choose just one, or you think you have lived such a boring life that you can’t think of anything at all.

Let’s tackle these issues one at a time.

When you have too many ideas

Most personal narrative essay prompts will include something beyond “write about yourself.”

Typically, a prompt will relate to interests, accomplishments, relationships, or experiences that have impacted your life in a major way. This helps narrow the field of topics down a little bit, but you still may have a hard time just choosing one.

So start by brainstorming and writing down all your ideas. Then, go through and eliminate the ones that don’t fit the topic well, as well as ones where you would struggle to meet the word count.

Here comes the hard part. Start eliminating topics that you’re not passionate about. Do that over and over until you’re left with just one. Passion pushes your personality to the forefront of your writing.

And because the essay is about you, you definitely want your personality to show.

When you don’t have any ideas

This was always my problem when I was writing about myself. I live a pretty mundane and monotonous life. This was even more the case when I was in school. So I get it.

But just because your life feels boring doesn’t mean that it is boring.

So think about what makes you tick. What do you do for fun? Who are your favorite people to hang out with? What makes you who you are?

For me, I might write about my love of jazz and how that alienated me when I was younger, but how I found inspiration through it—and a pretty awesome social group.

The hardest topics to write about if you’re in this category are probably those relating to your accomplishments. If you aren’t involved in sports or haven’t made the honor roll, it doesn’t mean you haven’t accomplished anything.

In fact, even if you are involved in sports or on the honor roll, I would still encourage you to take this advice: think about the most difficult time in your life and write about what you did to overcome it.

Personal achievements still count even if you didn’t get a trophy. They make for a better essay.

Hardships and relationships are what give people their character. Use that. Write about it.

Figuring out what to write about is only half the battle, though. The other half is figuring out how to write about it.

Structuring and Writing an Essay About Yourself

Personal narrative essays are a lot different than pretty much any other essay out there.

Not only do you have to rely on your own anecdotes instead of contextual evidence from literature or articles, but you also have much more freedom in the structure and flow of things.

That freedom can be intimidating to some. It makes figuring out the structure pretty difficult. But like with any essay, an outline can help. Here’s one using the jazz example from above:

  1. Introduction
    1. “Thesis”
      1. Music is my inspiration, and jazz shattered the rules of any music I had heard before.
  2. Isolation
    1. Most sixth graders didn’t understand. Got picked on, and other kids broke my CDs. (Yes, this was before iPods and smartphones.)
  3. Solace in music
    1. Love of jazz didn’t waver; it strengthened.
    2. Found my passion in playing jazz piano and pursuing a career teaching others about jazz history.
  4. Social group
    1. Adults appreciate jazz a lot more. In college, I found tons of people interested in the genre.
    2. Could have conversations about the merits of different subgenres. Heightened my creativity.
  5. Conclusion
    1. Lesson: What makes you an outsider at a young age could end up being what brings you closer to people as an adult.

I included three body sections in my outline, but you can go for more or fewer depending on your topic.

Notice I wrote “thesis” in quotations in the introduction section. That’s because a thesis statement for an essay about yourself is quite different than a thesis statement on a literary topic.

For a personal essay, you don’t want to give too much away at first. You’re not giving the reader a preview—you’re setting up the narrative.

Your introduction should be captivating, drawing the reader in. There are several ways to do this, but the thing to remember is that you should be descriptive. The phrase show, don’t tell rings true here.

Saying, “I’ve loved jazz since I was in the sixth grade and continue to love it to this day,” is telling.

On the other hand, starting off like this would be showing:

The moment I heard Louis’s trumpet, I was hooked. It broke all the rules I had ever known about music. It was liberating. Thrilling. And I could not get enough of it. Jazz became the only music I listened to from 11 to 15 years old. Other kids may not have understood, but jazz spoke to something in my soul, something inextinguishable.

The key is to create a good hook to draw readers into your narrative right away.

Once you get into the body paragraphs, keep the momentum going. Describe the feelings you had, the sights, smells, and sounds of your experience.

Like the introduction to an essay about yourself, the conclusion can take many forms. Sometimes, like in my example, it will be a lesson you learned from your experience. Other times, it will just be what feels like the natural end to the story.

If you’re writing about something you’re still dealing with today, you can write about how it will affect you in the future.

For example, if your essay is about how you were bullied, you can end by saying that you now know how to spot bullying behavior and will stick up for people in the same situation.

Tying up your essay with a lesson is a personal preference of mine because it allows you to make your essay more relevant. Lessons don’t just apply to you—many people can learn from them.

Still Not Totally Confident?

That’s okay. No one is always 100% confident about their writing.

But that’s what Kibin’s team of editors is here for. Once you have the first draft of your essay done, a Kibin editor will take a look and make suggestions about everything from grammar and spelling to tone and flow.

Writing an essay about yourself can be difficult. But if it’s a difficult topic or one you’re passionate about, it can also be incredibly rewarding. Here are a few examples you can use for inspiration:

Want a deeper look at a few narrative essays? Read 2 Narrative Essay Examples That Tell Fascinating Stories.

Good luck with your essay!

Psst... 98% of Kibin users report better grades! Get inspiration from over 500,000 example essays.

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