Don't write long introductions and conclusions for your personal essay

In actual fact the best advice when writing your personal essay is - don't write anything which is long. Brevity is the soul of wit. Remember that you are one of many students who will be writing a personal essay to try and win a place at a particular college or university. You are in a competition. Your personal essay is not marked in isolation. You are being compared with hundreds if not thousands of other applicants. There are a number of things you can do to make your personal essay a winning one. The first step is to ensure that you are not long winded.

Let's look at the two components in the heading of this article -- the introduction and conclusion. The role of each is quite specific. In the introduction you need to establish yourself, you need to make a bold statement as to the type of student, the type of person you are. You want to excite the reader and encourage them to continue reading the rest of your personal essay. As far as the conclusion goes, you want to briefly wrap up what you have already written. You want to, in a nutshell, state everything which you have stated before.

What is the secret of a good introduction and conclusion?

Well brevity has already been mentioned and needs to be mentioned again. Develop your skills as a proofreader and editor. Once you have completed your personal essay, concentrate on each section by itself. You certainly need an overview to see that the entire essay flows and each paragraph leads on to the next. But for the purpose of fine tuning your personal essay, work on both the introduction and conclusion as a separate piece of work.

The questions you need to ask yourself regarding the introduction are as follows.

  • Does the reader get a good idea of the type of person I am?
  • Have I told them enough about myself in as few words as possible?

The questions you need to ask yourself regarding the conclusion are as follows.

  • Have I mentioned all the main points I have made in my previous paragraphs?
  • Have I done so in as few words as possible?

There is no point in writing a very brief introduction or conclusion if they do not contain the necessary information. By giving truthful answers to the questions above, you ensure that you have provided enough information. Of course you need to check that it is interesting, well written and without spelling or grammatical errors. But as far as the amount of information goes, you are far better off erring on the side of not enough rather than too much.

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