Practising To Write A Personal Essay
Remember when you started the school year in second grade? I’m betting my money on the fact that the first essay writing assignment you were given was “What Do I want To Be When I Grow Up”. It’s amazing to see the amount of passion kids put in such essays, describing their perfect job and role model with such fascinations. You may have come a long way from second grade, but the personal essay is still a fairly common assignment, it’s just that the guidelines for writing it are now a little more nuanced.
Such essays are also often referred to as college admissions essays, which is perhaps proof of how important they can be in a student’s life. However, to be able to write a good college admissions essay, one must practice writing a personal essay that is unforced and free of someone else’s topic restrictions. There are a lot of thoughts that go through our brain even when we’re not consciously thinking, such as when we are riding the Tube to dance class or watching television over the weekend. I suggest that you start writing down these thoughts, articulating the ideas that swim around in your head all days. What I’m advising here is not therapy, but rather to develop comfort with expressing oneself in a way that devoid of self-consciousness or superficiality.
Start by picking a personal essay topic, one that has always held your interest. It doesn’t have to be very intellectual. Suppose you have always loved watching Formula One racing. Try to describe what draws you to it, why you enjoy the following the sport and how it has changed your worldview. For instance, “Watching the sport has driven home the truth of the adage, ‘There is no I in team”; a driver, no matter how talented, is only as good as the people who work behind the scenes to ensure that his car and race strategy perform optimally. Moreover, when you see the lead car malfunction just a few meters from the finish line, you realize that Luck plays a huge role in success, yet one must strive to do one’s best always.”
In a sense, this essay type is a blend of a descriptive essay and a narrative essay, click for source since you have to vividly recreate an experience in a story-teller like fashion.
One tip for engaging the reader is to think about how your personal essay can resonate with him/her. Introduce a character if you have to. For instance, “My friend Thomas always dreaded the gym class. He was tall, gawky and had awful hand-eye coordination. Ironically, today he plays the meanest game of squash in the neighbourhood. He shrugs now when he remembers the gawky phase, ‘I guess people were always telling me that I couldn’t do it and so I never tried, until Coach Smith came along.’.”
Once you get this type of essay down pat, acing dinner party conversations will be a breeze.