“How can I write my narrative essay about yourself, if I don’t even know where to start?” This is probably one of the most common problems students face during their studies. Whether it comes to a college application essay or a school paper, writing an essay about yourself is indeed among the hardest assignments for many. After all, there are so many important things you need to consider in order to make your story not only interesting but also useful for the reader. However, even though writing such a paper is a challenging task, you still have to learn how to do it right. The fact is that the ability to write about yourself is required not only for school or college years – you will need it when applying for a job or writing a cover letter. That is why to learn the basics of writing an autobiographical essay is crucial. Moreover, if you know some specific rules and guidelines on how to write an essay about yourself, this task will appear to be not so embarrassing. To help you with that, we have gathered the following tips and tricks that are guaranteed to help you with college essay about yourself!
Tips on how to write a biographical essay about yourself
Introduce yourself and your story.
A good introduction is important for any paper, especially when it comes to the autobiographical essay. After all, no one will read your story if it doesn’t grab the attention from the very first sentence. This is where you need an eye-catching hook, which means that to start your paper with the words ‘My name is Ann’ or something like that is definitely not enough.
Since it takes only several seconds for a person to form an impression, you should do your best to make this impression as positive as possible. One proven way to start an essay about yourself is to begin with a meaningful or significant incident that made a huge impact on your life. Just add several sound details, and your reader will want to keep reading your story. Another good way is to begin with a shocking statement able to make the reader curious about how you have come to such a conclusion.
Finally, you need to introduce yourself so that even those who don’t know you personally could understand who you are, what your talents and interests are, what difficulties you have faced, why you are writing about this particular incident, and so on. Moreover, don’t forget that your essay should be meaningful and useful for the reader, so make sure the purpose of your writing is clearly stated in the first paragraph. After all, any academic paper should have a thesis statement, even if it comes to a small 500-word essay about yourself.
Narrow your topic.
The main difficulty with writing an autobiographical essay is that this task is rather vague and not always understandable to the students, which often results in a failed attempt to describe each and every event from one’s life. In fact, there is nothing surprising about that, as it is quite easy to get lost in all those stories you are trying to write about. That is why it is so important not only to choose a really good topic for your essay but also to narrow it down to a manageable size. Here are some tips on how to do it right:
- Think about the purpose for your writing. Why are you writing this essay? What is your primary aim? Do you have a specific question or prompt to answer?
- Determine your audience. To have a good understanding of your audience is required not only for meeting the expectations of your reader but also for adopting the appropriate tone of voice.
- Write down all the ideas for your essay. These may include a unique life experience, a significant moment in your life, an unforgettable journey, a favorite childhood memory, a tragedy that changed everything in your life, etc.
- Choose the story that describes you best. Look at the list of your ideas and think which story/event/moment had the biggest impact on your personality. Choose the one considering the purpose of your writing and your audience’s expectations.
- Narrow the chosen idea down to a specific topic. Think about how you want to describe it and what details to include in order to bring your story to life.
- Create an outline. Once you know what to write about, create an outline for your autobiographical essay. It will show you the right direction in writing and help you logically organize your thoughts.
Stay focused on the chosen topic.
After you have chosen the topic and introduced it, you need to tell the reader what actually happened. Therefore, if you want your story to be interesting, you have to stay focused on it. Another important thing is to show that you are not a robot, which means that you should include in your writing as much vivid details, emotions, and feelings related to your story as possible. Consider the following writing tips that may come in handy:
- Don’t simplify your ideas. Your personality and your life are not simple, so never try to make them look so in your writing.
- Show your story instead of telling it. Make the reader feel the same as you do. Show them your development as a personality by including relevant to your story examples.
- Don’t include any unnecessary details. Keep your story straightforward and to the point.
- Emotions do matter. If you want your essay to be memorable, you need to share your emotions and thoughts with the reader instead of simply listing the facts.
- Write in academic English. Since this type of essay is an academic paper, you need to write it in academic English without using any slang or jargon.
- Keep your story organized and logical. It is always recommended to write in chronological order so that your reader could better understand what happened.
- Be humble. Use more humble language to write about your achievements or personal traits. This will show yourself to advantage.
Connect all the details.
Your conclusion should connect all the details of your story. Moreover, it should be no less interesting than the body paragraphs and no less memorable than the introduction part. The best way to conclude the essay about yourself is to demonstrate any positive changes that continue into today. Besides, you have to show why the described moment/event/situation is important to you and what lessons you learned from it. Finally, keep in mind that you also need to restate your thesis and remind the reader about the main point of your writing.
These simple yet effective tips can help you write a good autobiographical essay. Just be yourself and tell the truth! However, it doesn’t mean that you should not be creative, because you should. Even though you are writing an academic paper, you still can write it in your own voice and with a creative writing mindset. After all, nobody can tell your story better than you!