Skip Nav

10+ Writing Tips and Tricks on How to Write an Essay about Yourself

If you want to come off as confident…

❶I was working in a convenience store trying to make ends meet as a single mother, but I just knew that there was something more out there for me

If you’re afraid of bragging...

Tips for a Stellar College Application Essay
Telling Your Story to Colleges
How Do You Start an Essay about Yourself

When writing an essay about yourself for college admission, you should tell the college admission board officers what makes you more than a set of test scores and grades. Since a personal essay is a requirement for most college admissions, it is important that you know how to package and present yourself to the college admission board to merit admission.

This essay allows you an opportunity to give the college admission board the best first impression possible. It gives you a chance to demonstrate to the admission board how fit you are for the college that you are applying for. Colleges are striving to ensure a dynamic population of their students. Writing a great personal essay will enable you to turn the competition for admission in your favor when the admission decides not to concentrate on high school achievements.

You can write a good essay about yourself only when you know what you are expected to include in the essay. In most cases, personal essay assignments for college have guidelines that students are required to follow while writing essays. For instance, apart from your academic achievements, an assignment for an essay about yourself may require you to expound on your interest in community service. If you do not understand what such an essay assignment requires you to do, you might concentrate on yourself only and fail to address the aspect of personal interest in community service.

Thus, you will end up not addressing your essay prompt properly or fully. Since you are writing an essay about yourself, there are many things that you can tell your readers. However, it is important that you determine which approach is the best for starting your essay. For instance, you can start your essay with an anecdote. This is one of the best ways of starting a personal essay for college admission. Remember that admission officers will most probably spend a little time reviewing the stories that are presented by different applicants.

A good anecdote can be pivotal in engaging the officers from the beginning of your essay. Instead of striving to develop a catchy, gimmicky first line, start with an anecdote that enables you to share your experience with the readers.

This will enable you to grab the attention of the readers naturally and involve them. Strive to use the introduction to reveal your character and personality to the reader. Instead of telling readers about your life in general, select a topic and give readers details of yourself through that topic. Avoid general topics because these are common to almost everyone. Instead, choose a topic that you find unique, interesting and captivating to provide a description of your personality and life to your readers.

The details that you include in your personal essay should be determined by the instructions or guidelines provided by the instructor or the college that you are applying for.

Choose specific details that suit the topic of your essay. Make sure that you present yourself as a unique applicant by providing vital and relevant details. However, make sure that what you include in your essay is what is important to you and not to the readers.

At this step of a guide on how to write an essay about yourself for college, you need to ask yourself this question; if I am allowed a 10 minutes opportunity, what would I say?

Remember that in most cases, college admission boards look for quality and authenticity of thoughts. Theoretically, you can choose any topic but what determines the success of your personal essay is how you demonstrate your thinking, logic and the ability to hold the attention of your readers. While writing an essay about yourself, have the prompt and the topic that you choose in mind. These should be the pillars that give your essay a focus.

For instance, you can choose a topic on how you overcame an obstacle in your childhood and how that experience changed your life. You can also include different themes in your essay such as life lessons, failures, and successes. Are you being funny as you talk? Trying to shock, surprise, or astound your audience? The way you most naturally tell your story is the way you should write it.

After you've done this storyteller exercise, write down the salient points of what you learned. What is the story your essay will tell? What is the point about your life, point of view, or personality it will make? What tone will you tell it with? Sketch out a detailed outline so that you can start filling in the pieces as we work through how to write the introductory sections. The former builds expectations and evokes curiosity, and the latter stimulates the imagination and creates a connection with the author.

In both cases, you hit your goal of greater reader engagement. The experience of coming out is raw and emotional, and the issue of LGBTQ rights is an important facet of modern life. This three-word sentence immediately sums up an enormous background of the personal and political. Wolf, my fourth-grade band teacher, as he lifted the heavy tuba and put it into my arms. This sentence conjures up a funny image—we can immediately picture the larger adult standing next to a little kid holding a giant tuba.

It also does a little play on words: I live alone—I always have since elementary school. Kevin Zevallos '16 for Connecticut College. This opener definitely makes us want to know more. Why was he alone? Where were the protective grown-ups who surround most kids? How on earth could a little kid of years old survive on his own? I have old hands. What are "old" hands? How has having these hands affected the author? There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre.

Who wanted to go for a walk? And why was this person being prevented from going? Look at how much specificity this sentence packs in less than 20 words. Each noun and adjective is chosen for its ability to convey yet another detail. Maybe it's because I live in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, where Brett Favre draws more of a crowd on Sunday than any religious service, cheese is a staple food, it's sub-zero during global warming, current "fashions" come three years after they've hit it big with the rest of the world, and where all children by the age of ten can use a gauge like it's their job.

Riley Smith '12 for Hamilton College. This sentence manages to hit every stereotype about Wisconsin held by outsiders—football, cheese, polar winters, backwardness, and guns—and this piling on gives us a good sense of place while also creating enough hyperbole to be funny. At the same time, the sentence raises the tantalizing question: High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of , two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of miles per hour.

David Lodge, Changing Places. To avoid falling into generalities with this one, make sure you're really creating an argument or debate with your counterintuitive sentence. If string theory is really true, then the entire world is made up of strings, and I cannot tie a single one. This sentence hints that the rest of the essay will continue playing with linked, albeit not typically connected, concepts.

In just six words, this sentence upends everything we think we know about what happens to human beings. Is this person about to declare herself to be totally selfish and uncaring about the less fortunate? We want to know the story that would lead someone to this kind of conclusion.

So many amazing details here. Why is the Colonel being executed? What does "discovering" ice entail? How does he go from ice-discoverer to military commander of some sort to someone condemned to capital punishment? To work well, your question should be especially specific, come out of left field, or pose a surprising hypothetical.

How does an agnostic Jew living in the Diaspora connect to Israel? This is a thorny opening, raising questions about the difference between being an ethnic Jew and practicing the religion of Judaism, and the obligations of Jews who live outside of Israel to those who live in Israel and vice versa.

There's a lot of meat to this question, setting up a philosophically interesting, politically important, and personally meaningful essay. While traveling through the daily path of life, have you ever stumbled upon a hidden pocket of the universe? The lesson you learned should be slightly surprising not necessarily intuitive and something that someone else might disagree with. Perhaps it wasn't wise to chew and swallow a handful of sand the day I was given my first sandbox, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

The reader wants to know more. All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina. Did he draw the right conclusion here? How did he come to this realization? And let your first sentences soar like the Wright Brothers' first airplane!

This is the place in your essay where you go from small to big—from the life experience you describe in detail to the bigger point this experience illustrates about your world and yourself. Typically, the pivot sentence will come at the end of your introductory section, about halfway through the essay.

I say sentence, but this section could be more than one sentence though ideally no longer than two or three. So how do you make the turn? This is called signposting, and it's a great way to keep readers updated on where they are in the flow of the essay and your argument. Here are three ways to do this, with real-life examples from college essays published by colleges. In this pivot, you gesture out from the specific experience you describe to the overarching realization you had during it.

Think of helper phrases such as "that was the moment I realized" and "never again would I. Suddenly, two things simultaneously clicked. One was the lock on the door. I actually succeeded in springing it. Stephen '19 for Johns Hopkins University. This is a pretty great pivot, neatly connecting the story Stephen's been telling about having to break into a car on a volunteering trip and his general reliance on his own resourcefulness and ability to roll with whatever life throws at him.

Student Loan Consolidation is the Same as Login Don't have any account? Invalid Username or Password.

College Raptor's Rankings are here! Click to see the best colleges. College Raptor's Hidden Gems released! Click to view this year's lists.

Tricks and Tips on How to Write a Personal Essay

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Get insightful tips on how to write an effective college application essay and set yourself apart from other applicants.

Privacy FAQs

How to Write a Pivot Sentence in Your College Essay This is the place in your essay where you go from small to big—from the life experience you describe in detail to the bigger point this experience illustrates about your world and yourself.

About Our Ads

An essay about yourself for college can be defined as an essay that you write to present personal feelings and thoughts in college. This is a common essay at college level and it can be a requirement for college application or admission. How to Write About Yourself in Your College Essay (Without Bragging) by Phoebe Bain When writing your college essays, think of yourself as the pen. The best way to make yourself more competitive in the essay portion of your application is to write an essay that describes exactly who you are on a day-to-day basis rather than talking.

Cookie Info

personal statement, admission essay, application essay. We offer custom writing and editing services to assist in developing your personal statement for college, graduate school, law, and medical school. Part of the college application, it is a short essay that asks you to tell the admissions department about yourself. While that sounds simple, it can be tough to figure out what to write about and.