Planning and writing a personal essay

A personal essay is just that, it's personal. For some people that's one of the easiest types of essays to write. In fact anyone who is taking a course in creative writing 101, will often be told that to get started you should write about something you know. Make it personal. But there are two aspects to the creation of a personal essay -- the planning and the writing.

Tips for a great plan

Get your research right. Even though the topic is something which is likely to be close to your heart and certainly in your mind, more research is always valuable. And the best place to find research is in everyday publications such as magazines, newspapers or TV discussion programs. No need to go in search of exotic or hard-to-find texts. The information for your personal essay research is very close at hand.

Brainstorming is a great idea to create your plan. The plan for brainstorming is to have no plan but rather to just simply write down any words, feelings, opinions or ideas which come into your head related to your particular topic. Don’t worry about spelling and punctuation and neat and tidy handwriting, just get the words down. From this seemingly crazy collection of ideas will come some strong points for your personal essay.

Your opening sentence should be a killer. It should grab the attention of the reader and encourage them to keep reading. They should be asking themselves about what is likely to be coming next. Some people think that a great way to start is to use a quotation or an anecdote and build from there.

The writing should flow from the plan

The more detailed you make your plan, the more information you include in your plan, the easier it is to do the actual writing. You need to decide on the tone or attitude of your writing. Is it designed to be friendly and relaxed? Whatever, it should reflect your personality. Remember this is a personal essay and your personal feelings and emotions and opinions should shine through.

Remember that you are not arguing or analysing a point or points in his essay. You will have a single theme or motif which flows through your personal essay and this can be referred to as you go along. The person reading your personal essay should be captured not only by your writing but by your personality.

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