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How to Write a Personal Essay: A Step-by-Step Guide

It can often seem like there’s no winning with your professors when it comes to essays, but trust us when we say the problem isn’t that what you’ve written is bad; it just isn’t what your professor wanted.

Let’s go into personal essays today, which are essentially what the label itself says; a write-up that talks about the writer’s personal feelings, experiences, or circumstances. It is based on individualistic issues and often merely builds upon a certain theme. This affords a lot more creative licence to the writers, which is different from other essays in that they do not usually have to follow strict formatting guidelines or give references.

It can feel overwhelming to students, however, so we’ve compiled a guide of exact steps for you to follow.

Step 1: Carefully go through your prompt and/or guidelines

While personal essays offer more freedom to their authors in terms of content and style, your professor might impose some restrictions in terms of what they want to hear in the essay or might simply give you a prompt that you’ll need to form your essay around. It’s imperative that you go through these thoroughly and get an exact idea of what you can or cannot do. Make a list, if needed.

Step 2: Ideate

Once you have the requirements down, start jotting down ideas and points that you want to include. Think about experiences you have had in life, funny anecdotes, things you’ve read that may have inspired you; basically make a mind map of the content that you might include in your essay.

Write down every idea that comes to mind and don’t discount anything. If you find yourself struggling, it will help to look at sample essays on similar or different topics just to get a feel of what the content should look like.

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Step 3: Make an outline

Now is the time to compile your ideas into one point-by-point narrative. Divide your essay into three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. Then, divide your body of content into further parts depending on your word count and theme. You might have to go through a few different outlines before you decide on one, but don’t skip this part as this is where you give your essay a proper structure—and this is definitely a major aspect of what will make up your final grade.

Step 4: Let your pen flow

Finally, it’s time for the main part of creating your personal essay. This is where your prompt, ideas, and outline all come together. This is the hard part for some students but with your outline in hand, all you have to do is expand on the points you have already written down. Don’t worry if you find yourself struggling at this stage, however; that’s where we come in as one of the best essay writing services for students.

Step 5: Edit, edit, edit

As perhaps the most important part of the whole process, this will make or break your essay. Set your essay aside for a little while, then edit once, twice, thrice … until you are sure your essay is as free of errors and as crisp as it can get. If you find it hard to be strict with your own writing, don’t worry! A lot of students (and even professional writers!) face that problem. You might find it helpful to use high school and college essay editing services like ours, which help students turn in the best form of their works that’s possible.

And there we go! A step-by-step guide of exactly what you need to do to write an amazing personal essay. Good luck!



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