Personal Essay: Advice from 2 Professors

Personal Essay: Advice from 2 Professors

A personal essay is one that a learner will need to write about an opinion or personal matter that relates to the pupil.  Personal essays are usually assigned for English classes, as they are writing exercises that can help learners to refine their writing skills by thinking critically about matters that relate to them.

There are many different reasons that a professor might assign a personal article.  In most cases, personal essays are high school assignments, as it is easier for students to write about things that they know (such as themselves) when they are learning how to craft essays.  Personal essays may also be assigned for a college class if a professor wants students to think critically about a particular topic.  

When a student needs to write a personal essay, the professor will usually assign the topic of the report or describe the purpose.  For example, some students may need to describe an event that scared them.  Other students may need to write about a scary topic, such as their opinion on the death penalty for murder.  

To write a personal essay, students need to think critically about a topic so that they can then describe their feelings and opinions in detail throughout the document.  Some personal essays may also require that students describe events that they have been through or their reaction to an event that they have learned about.  

Personal reports should follow the same format as all other reports, except for the fact that they should be first-person and subjective.  

Unlike many other types of academic writing, personal reports should usually be first-person and subjective.  Students should make "I" statements, such as "I think," and "I would like."  The personal essay usually helps to describe a student's point-of-view.  Personal essays also usually incorporate a student's experiences that led to student to have the point-of-view that he or she has.  A personal essay may also describe an event in a student's life.  

Other types of academic writing are usually objective and written in the third-person.  While a point-of-view may be inherently present in other types of writing, the point-of-view is not the focus of the writing, like it is in a personal article.  Also, other types of writing requires that students perform research on a particular topic in advance, whereas a personal essay can usually be written based solely on experiences or existing opinions.  Therefore, personal essays are distinct from other types of academic writings and writing on many levels.

Viewpoint of Author #2

When writing a personal essay for graduate school, your main objective is to simply sell yourself to the application officer.  In other words, you are trying to convince the application officer that you are unique and that you are worthy of being admitted to the school.  In general, there are two different types of personal essays, which are also referred to as personal statements, that you can write when attempting to get into graduate school.  These essays are the general personal essay and the personal article that is written in response to a specific question.

If you are given free reign to write a personal essay on a general topic of your choice, you will have the maximum amount of freedom you could possibly have.  In many cases, applications for law school and medical school ask for a general personal article.

With the personal article that is written to answer a specific question, you will be asked to respond to a question that is personal in nature.  These types of report questions are often found with business and other types of graduate school applications, with the question typically having something to do with the profession.  In addition, some will ask multiple questions.  In the case of the personal article that asks you to respond to a specific question, the key is to make sure you answer the question completely and that you do not veer off into another direction.

Regardless of the type of personal essay you are asked to write, there are several things you should ask yourself before you begin writing.  For example, you should try to determine what characteristics you have that make you distinctive, special, or unique.  Further, you should try to determine what events in your life helped to shape you and make you the person you have become.  By considering these factors, you can develop an angle that will help to set you apart from the other applicants.

You should also consider the reasons that you became interested in this field when trying to shape your response to a personal article.  In addition, you should consider the characteristics and traits that you have that make you particularly well-suited to working in this profession and the insights you have gained while being involved in the field.  Furthermore, consider the many different ways you have increased your knowledge in this field, from classes to workshops, from personal experiences to on-the-job training, your learning has likely been shaped in a number of ways.

When writing personal essays, you might also have the opportunity to discuss your career goals and to explain any discrepancies you may have on your academic record.  For example, if your GRE or LSAT scores were low, but you had great grades, you might mention that you have difficulty taking tests.  You can also mention any obstacles that you have had to overcome while working toward your career goals.

Remember, your personal report should help the application officer gain a much deeper understanding of who you are.  Therefore, it should be very personal in nature.  At the same time, you must make sure that it is grammatically correct, that it has proper punctuation, and that it has a logical flow, as well.

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