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Essay About Yourself: Tell an A+ Story

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Written by
Dr. Alex Freedman
  • Icon Calendar 22 June 2024
  • Icon Page 4305 words
  • Icon Clock 20 min read

Essays are essential in demonstrating student’s proficiency in producing academic texts. Basically, this proficiency includes writing creatively and without notable mistakes and errors. By considering writing essays about themselves, students should follow the same approach that they use when doing other types of documents, including research papers. To effectively introduce yourself in writing, authors start with a compelling fact or story that highlights their key attributes and sets a particular tone for the rest of their narratives. In essence, people should focus on preparation, stage set up, writing process, and perfecting their compositions. Moreover, these steps are essential in ensuring a writer’s essay is of high quality. In turn, such papers on yourself do not rely on external research to strengthen the main arguments but include personal anecdotes to make them authentic and original. Hence, students need to learn how to write an essay about yourself correctly and introduce a high-quality story to their readers.

General Guidelines

Essay writing is one of the activities that students engage in to develop their creative skills. In this case, learners are assigned papers about themselves to encourage self-reflection, develop personal narrative skills, and help educators to gain a deeper understanding of their students’ backgrounds and perspectives. Unlike a research paper, an essay that a student writes about yourself does not rely on external research. Basically, one can argue that this type of article is exploratory. Moreover, this composition explores a writer’s life across different settings, such as school life, home life, and social life. While such compositions may differ from a research document in content, they follow the same structure: introduction, body, and conclusion. Besides, a standard research paper utilizes external research to make it relevant, but a personal essay that a student writes about yourself uses only personal experiences to create relevance. In other words, since such a piece explores a student’s life, it is only prudent for a person to include one or several stories that give readers a glimpse into his or her personality.

How to write an essay about yourself

What Is an Essay About Yourself and Its Purpose

According to its definition, an essay about yourself, often referred to as a personal or autobiographical paper, is a narrative where authors explore and reflect upon their own life experiences, thoughts, and feelings. The primary purpose of writing an essay about yourself is to provide more insights into writers’ identities, backgrounds, and significant life moments that shaped their characters and worldviews (Tipler, 2024). This type of composition is commonly used in educational settings for various assignments, college applications, or scholarship submissions, as it helps admission communities and readers to understand applicants beyond their academic achievements and test scores. Beyond academic or professional settings, complting such papers also serves as a valid tool for self-reflection and self-analysis, allowing authors to examine their own growth, challenges, and achievements (Danvas, 2018). Hence, an essay about yourself is both a self-expressive exercise and a means of communication, being a way to express one’s inner world. In terms of pages and words, a typical length of an essay about yourself varies significantly depending on academic levels and specific assignment requirements, and general guidelines are:

High School


  • Pages: 1-2 pages
  • Words: 300-600 words
  • Comment: High school essays are typically shorter and simpler, focusing on a brief overview of personal experiences and reflections.

College:


  • Pages: 2-3 pages
  • Words: 600-900 words
  • Comment: College essays tend to be more detailed, exploring personal experiences in greater depth and often relating them to the applicant’s future goals and aspirations.

University:


  • Pages: 3-5 pages
  • Words: 900-1500 words
  • Comment: University-level essays require more comprehensive reflection and analysis of personal experiences, often incorporating a more sophisticated narrative structure and deeper insights.

Master’s:


  • Pages: 5-7 pages
  • Words: 1500-2100 words
  • Comment: Essays at the master’s level are more extensive and analytical, expecting a thorough exploration of personal and professional experiences, demonstrating how these aspects have prepared a particular writer for advanced studies.

Ph.D.:


  • Pages: 7-10 pages
  • Words: 2100-3000 words
  • Comment: Ph.D. essays are the most detailed and in-depth papers, requiring a rigorous and reflective examination of a writer’s academic and professional journey, including specific achievements, challenges, and future research interests.

Format

SectionContent DescriptionHigh SchoolCollegeUniversityMaster’sPh.D.
IntroductionBrief introduction to yourself1 paragraph (50-100 words)1 paragraph (75-150 words)1 paragraph (100-200 words)1 paragraph (100-200 words)1 paragraph (100-200 words)
A hook to engage readers
Thesis statement summarizing main points
BackgroundBasic personal information about yourself1 paragraph (50-100 words)1-2 paragraphs (100-200 words)2 paragraphs (200-300 words)2 paragraphs (200-300 words)2-3 paragraphs (200-400 words)
Family background
Early life experiences
EducationAcademic journey1 paragraph (50-100 words)2 paragraphs (100-200 words)2-3 paragraphs (200-400 words)2-3 paragraphs (200-400 words)2-3 paragraphs (200-400 words)
Key achievements and challenges
Influence of education on personal growth
Significant ExperiencesImportant life events1 paragraph (50-100 words)2 paragraphs (100-200 words)2-3 paragraphs (200-400 words)2-3 paragraphs (200-400 words)2-3 paragraphs (200-400 words)
Major accomplishments
Lessons learned about yourself
Personal Values and BeliefsCore values and principles1 paragraph (50-100 words)1-2 paragraphs (100-200 words)2 paragraphs (200-300 words)2 paragraphs (200-300 words)2-3 paragraphs (200-300 words)
Influence on life choices and actions
Goals and AspirationsShort-term and long-term goals1 paragraph (50-100 words)2 paragraphs (100-200 words)2-3 paragraphs (200-400 words)2-3 paragraphs (200-400 words)2-3 paragraphs (200-400 words)
How personal experiences have shaped these goals
ConclusionSummarize key points about youreself1 paragraph (50-100 words)1 paragraph (75-150 words)1 paragraph (100-200 words)1 paragraph (100-200 words)1 paragraph (100-200 words)
Reflect on how experiences have shaped you
Closing thoughts about yourself

Note: Numbers of paragraphs and words provided in a table above reflect a minimum for writing a good essay about yourself for any academic level. As such, some sections can be added, deleted, or combined depending on assignment instructions, including other length requirements.

Writing an Essay About Yourself: A Step-by-Step Guide

To start an essay about yourself, writers begin with an engaging introduction that captures a reader’s attention and includes a thesis statement summarizing the main points they will cover. In this case, a typical hook effect in an essay about yourself is a compelling opening statement designed to grab a reader’s attention and encourage people to continue reading (Sawyer, 2016). Moreover, a fascinating introduction sentence for a paper about yourself should capture a reader’s attention with a surprising fact, unique experience, or provocative statement that sets an engaging tone for an entire narrative. On the other hand, the strategy of writing academic texts is almost the same, regardless of the kind of the type of text (Duarte, 2019). In particular, whether an academic assignment involves a research essay, report, thesis paper, dissertation, or personal story, writers must engage in some activities that are similar across these types of works. Basically, these activities include preparation, stage set up, writing process, and a final wrap up. In turn, some examples of sentence starters for beginning an essay about yourself are:

  • From my young age, I have always been captivated by the world of [specific interest], and this passion has shaped many aspects of my life, including … .
  • One of the most transformative experiences I have had was when I [describe the event], which taught me the importance of … .
  • Growing up in [your hometown], I was surrounded by [describe environment], which instilled in me a deep appreciation for … .
  • My family has always placed a strong emphasis on [value or tradition], and this has significantly influenced my belief in … .
  • I believe my greatest strength is my ability to [specific skill or trait], which has helped me to overcome challenges, such as … .
  • A significant challenge I faced was [describe this challenge], and it profoundly impacted my personal growth by teaching me … .
  • Throughout my academic journey, I have developed a passion for [subject or field], which has inspired me to pursue … .
  • My cultural background, being [describe your background], has deeply influenced my perspective on [specific topic], allowing me to … .
  • A significant experience that taught me a real life lesson was when I [describe the experience], leading me to understand the value of … .
  • Looking ahead, my goals include pursuing a career in [field], where I hope to contribute to [specific aspiration or impact], driven by my experiences in … .

Step 1: Preparation

Preparation is the first step in making an essay of any type. Basically, this stage has several components, including defining a specific topic, preparing ideas, and considering a target audience (Cho et al., 2021). To write an essay about yourself, authors choose an engaging topic, create an outline, start with a captivating introduction, develop detailed body paragraphs, and conclude with a summary and reflection on their personal growth. Concerning a specific topic, a person who writes about yourself can use an instructor’s theme or choose one if none is provided (Sawyer, 2016). In the latter case, authors should settle for a topic that interests them, one that they can find information to back up claims and arguments easily. When it comes to writing all about me essay, students should choose topics that allow them to capture a broad perspective about their lives. In preparation for ideas, students need to reflect on their lives, including positive and negative experiences and strengths and weaknesses (Tipler, 2024). In particular, to write about your achievements and qualities, authors highlight specific accomplishments and the skills or attributes that enabled them to succeed, illustrating their impact and significance. About a target audience, they should write with specific expectations of instructors in mind.

Step 2: Setting Up the Stage

After preparation, the next step in academic paper writing is to set up the stage. Basically, components of this step include making notes, creating an essay outline, and creating an annotated bibliography (Sawyer, 2016). In this case, a student should make notes when reflecting on his or her own experiences. For example, to start a narrative essay about yourself, writers begin with an engaging anecdote or vivid description that sets a particular scene and introduces the main themes of their stories (Danvas, 2018). In this case, a good personal anecdote comes into play. Then, authors should use a personal account, highlighting a positive or negative experience and areas of strength or weakness. When it comes to creating an outline, students should use academic standards of essay outlines – introduction, body, and conclusion (Tipler, 2024). Although it is unnecessary to write down these headings, authors must ensure that those reading all about me essays can identify where each of these sections begins and ends. In turn, there is no need for an annotated bibliography since no external research is required.

Step 3: Writing Process

After preparing and setting up the stage, students start organizing their essays about themselves. Basically, components of this step include making a first draft, ensuring an entire paper captures everything that authors intend to share with readers, has a thesis statement, includes necessary body sections, and captures the writer’s concluding thoughts. In this case, first drafts are essential because they allow people to have an opportunity to perfect their papers through revisions and editions (Sawyer, 2016). Then, a central thesis statement is a writer’s guide. Besides, it dictates what authors should focus on in essay body parts. Further on, to start a paragraph about yourself, writers begin with a specific detail or experience that highlights a key aspect of their personalities or backgrounds (Tipler, 2024). When writing about yourself, authors focus on their backgrounds, experiences, strengths, values, and goals to provide a comprehensive picture of who you are. In turn, concluding thoughts are the writer’s words that summarize lessons learned. Hence, each of these components is essential in an essay about yourself.

Step 4: Wrapping Up

After completing a first version of a paper, students begin to write a final draft. However, before they start, they should read and reread their first drafts to ensure their documents are free of any grammatical mistakes and other errors, such as inconsistent arguments and illogical flow of ideas. For example, if writers identify such mistakes and errors, they should revise and edit an essay about yourself accordingly (Danvas, 2018). In turn, revisions help authors to eliminate inconsistencies in arguments and illogical flow of ideas, while editions help them to fix grammatical mistakes, such as a lack of punctuation or wrong use.

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All About Me Characteristics for Essays

CharacteristicDescription
BackgroundDetails about your birthplace, family, and upbringing.
Cultural BackgroundYour ethnic, cultural, or religious background and how it has influenced your perspective.
EducationInformation about your academic journey, achievements, and favorite subjects.
PersonalityDescriptions of your temperament, traits, and how you interact with others (e.g., friendly, introverted).
Interests and HobbiesActivities you enjoy doing in your free time and why they are important to you.
Values and BeliefsCore principles or rules that guide your actions and decisions (e.g., honesty, compassion).
StrengthsAreas where you excel and feel confident (e.g., problem-solving, creativity).
WeaknessesAreas about yourself where you feel challenged and are working to improve (e.g., time management).
Goals and AspirationsShort-term and long-term directions or objectives you aim to achieve in life and career.
Significant ExperiencesKey events or moments that have had a major impact on your life and personal growth.
Role Models and InfluencesPeople who have inspired you and why they are important to your development.
AchievementsNotable accomplishments in various areas of your life (e.g., academic, athletic, artistic).
ChallengesDifficult situations you have faced and how you managed to overcome them.
Skills and TalentsSpecific abilities and talents you possess about yourself (e.g., musical ability, sports skills).
Work ExperienceJobs or volunteer work you have done and what you learned from these experiences.
PassionsDeeply held interests that you are very enthusiastic about and spend significant time on.
Favorite MemoriesPositive or impactful memories that have stayed with you over the years.
Life PhilosophyYour overall approach to life and how you view the world.
Health and FitnessYour lifestyle choices related to physical and mental health.
Social RelationshipsYour relationships with friends, family, and others, and how they shape your life.
Travel ExperiencesPlaces you have visited and how travel has broadened your horizons about yourself.
MotivationsYour sources of motivation and how they help you to move further.
InspirationsYour sources of inspiration and how they influence your life.
Future PlansWhat you hope to achieve and experience in a future life or career.
Personal GrowthAreas about yourself where you have grown or are striving to grow personally and professionally.

Main Features of Writing All About Me Essay

1️⃣ Topic and Concluding Sentences


To start all about me essay, writers begin with a captivating opening that highlights a unique aspect of their personalities, an intriguing anecdote, or a meaningful life event to immediately engage readers. Moreover, students should begin each body section as they would do in any other article – start with a topic sentence (Sawyer, 2016). Basically, this sentence captures a single idea that people interrogate in a particular essay section, meaning that it offers an insight into a paragraph’s content. On the other hand, a concluding sentence is a final thought about what writers have said in a specific section (Sawyer, 2016). Finally, standard academic rules for essays dictate that a concluding sentence links a single topic sentence with a central thesis statement. In other words, it is the part of a single paragraph that creates sense for readers regarding a topic sentence and its place in an author’s main argument.

2️⃣ Transition, Peer Review, and Final Draft

To write all about me essay, authors introduce themselves with a compelling opening, organize their personal experiences, achievements, and values in well-structured paragraphs, and conclude with reflections on their growth and aspirations. Essentially, people need to ensure that, as they talk about themselves, they create a logical flow of ideas from the beginning paragraph to the end (Faccio et al., 2019). Such elements may be transition words, like “consequently,” “furthermore,” “nevertheless,” and “hence.” To ensure that students do not miss identifying errors in their essays, they should subject their works to a peer review. For example, this aspect involves giving ta first draft to a mentor who reads through it to make sure it is perfect (Sawyer, 2016). When mentors are satisfied with a paper’s quality, students start writing a final draft. However, they should also read through it at least twice and subject it to peer review before submitting it to a specific department.

3️⃣ Specific Information

As indicated, writing an essay about yourself differs from a research paper because it does not rely on external research to back up claims and arguments. Instead, authors utilize a personal story to shed light on their experiences and attributes (Tipler, 2024). In this sense, such personal anecdotes are the specific information necessary for an essay about yourself. Further on, to write about your challenges and mistakes, authors focus on describing a specific situation, how they addressed it, and the lessons they learned from this experience (Tipler, 2024). Basically, this information is specific to a person provided through reflective writing. Hence, a personal essay that a student writes, which is about yourself, should be exploratory, descriptive, and thoughtful.

Common Mistakes

Like any other academic text, writing an essay about oneself is often prone to mistakes. For example, some of the common mistakes that writers or students make when doing an essay about yourself include writing about things that do not help readers to have a proper grasp of their personality and using exaggeration (Tipler, 2024). Basically, making a paper about yourself should enhance the readers’ understanding of authors – their life experiences, attributes, likes and dislikes, and strengths and weaknesses. In turn, exaggeration involves using information that is likely to be untrue to impress readers. For instance, authors need to focus on personal anecdotes, as they help to highlight instances of an author’s life that is worth noting (Danvas, 2018). To avoid exaggeration, students must desist from trying to impress and seek to be authentic in their essays. Finally, people should avoid the next common mistakes:

  • Lack of focus: Jumping between unrelated topics without a clear narrative.
  • Being too vague: Providing general statements without specific examples.
  • Overly formal or informal tone: Writing about yourself in a tone that is too stiff or too casual.
  • Ignoring a target audience: Failing to consider who will be reading your essay.
  • Focusing too much on negatives: Overemphasizing failures or challenges without showing how you overcame them.
  • Excessive self-praise: Coming across as arrogant by excessively highlighting achievements.
  • Lack of reflection: Simply listing events without reflecting on their significance.
  • Poor structure: Writing an essay about yourself without a clear introduction, body, and conclusion.
  • Grammar and spelling errors: Submitting an essay with numerous grammatical mistakes and typos.
  • Overuse of clichés: Relying on clichés and overused phrases.

Example of an Essay About Yourself

My First Year of School by Zac

I walked into the classroom, shaking in terror. The class was full of howler monkeys, but I was not with howler monkeys. I was with a bunch of five and six-year-old kids. I acted as if I was watching a horror movie until I met the super lovely Mr. Keig. Mr. Keig was the best teacher in the universe.

Mr. Keig was like a giant to us, and he still is. At first, I was scared of Mr. Keig, but I found out he was super friendly. He taught me how to read and write. Add and subtract. He even taught me how to make school fun. At the beginning of school, I was horrified by math and reading. I was soon shown that those subjects were not formidable opponents, but I had yet to meet my match.

Writing. I hated writing. I had met my match, my enemy, my formidable opponent. The reason I hated writing was that I wrote slowly.  It took too long for me to write, and I was always the last one to finish my newest story. It was also ever boring for me. It was hard to find inspiration or the urge to take a step up. Math and reading, on the other hand, I sped through like Speed Racer. I was still shy, and I only had a few friends in the first couple of weeks of kindergarten. I figured out making friends was not a piece of cake. I eventually made friends. Thank God that problem was over.

Even though we got to play and create our own art, sometimes, school days were dull. Sometimes days felt like they were two million years long. There were other times when I was terrified about a test, and it seemed like the paper was laughing at me, and my pencil was dodging my paper. I was sweating, shaking, and FREAKIN’ out. I eventually pulled it together and got my test done. Relieved, relaxed, and incredibly calmed down. Tranquil and thrilled I was. It felt like I was soaring through the sky a million miles per minute.

What I learned from my year in kindergarten was to face your fears.  If you are scared, don’t run away from your worries. Another lesson I learned was not to judge a book by its cover. I assumed the school was going to be extremely hard, and tests were going to be impossible. I assumed wrong. The school (kindergarten) was not as hard as I thought it was going to be. While kindergarten was a bit challenging, I knew I could succeed if I set my mind to it and worked hard.

Tips

Writing an essay about yourself involves selecting a meaningful topic and preparing an outline. In this case, writers start with an engaging introduction that includes a thesis statement. Then, they develop body paragraphs that provide detailed insights into their experiences, strengths, and reflections, ensuring a logical flow. Finally, people conclude with a typical summary of key points and a reflection on personal growth. However, they should avoid common mistakes, such as a lack of focus, excessive self-praise, and insufficient reflection (Danvas, 2018). Besides, to make a cliché topic unique, authors incorporate their personal experiences and perspectives to provide a fresh and individualized angle. In the end, they should revise and edit their papers thoroughly to ensure clarity and correctness. Hence, when writing an essay about yourself, a student should master the following tips:

  • Be thoughtful, but not fretful. Writers should, through reflection, highlight areas of their lives that provide an insight into their personality. In this case, they should do it without fear of what readers might think about them.
  • Keep an essay personal. The majority of a composition’s information should be about an author. Basically, such elements involve talking about life experiences, attributes, strengths, and weaknesses. In turn, the use of personal anecdotes is essential in achieving this goal.
  • Do not guess what readers want to hear. Students should not seek to impress readers, but they need to inform them.
  • Feel free to be creative. Without exaggeration, authors should use personal stories creatively to keep readers interested in reading entire essays.
  • Tell readers something that they do not already know. The best way to keep readers interested is to use stories that people have probably never shared publicly. In turn, such stories or experiences inject all about me essays with an aspect of amazement.
  • Ask for input from close ones. Students can ask parents, friends, mentors, counselors, coaches, and teachers to provide ideas, as they know about personally.
  • Polish a paper about yourself. Essays should not be about a writer’s story only. In turn, it should demonstrate a writer’s proficiency in writing by lacking grammatical mistakes and other notable errors.

Summing Up

Essay about yourself writing is an essential activity in a student’s life, as it exposes one to the dynamics of creative aspects. When doing such a composition, authors learn how to use personal stories to highlight their positive and negative experiences, including strengths and weaknesses. In essence, these stories must replace external evidence that writers use in documents. Then, the guide to effective organizing of such a paper includes several components, including preparation, stage set up, starting the writing process, and wrapping it up. In turn, these aspects of writing an essay about yourself allow a person to build her own thoughts, organize documents properly, and perfect academic texts. As a result, perfection involves revising any inconsistent ideas and illogical arguments and fixing any grammatical mistakes, such as punctuation errors.

References

Cho, M., Kim, Y.-S. G., & Olson, C. B. (2021). Does perspective taking matter for writing? Perspective taking in source-based analytical writing of secondary students. Reading and Writing, 34(8), 2081–2101. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-021-10136-7

Danvas, K. (2018). How to write an essay: Ultimate guide to best essay writing techniques that work. Independently Published.

Duarte, F. (2019). My theory of writing. WRIT: Journal of First-Year Writing, 2(2), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.25035/writ.02.02.01

Faccio, E., Turco, F., & Iudici, A. (2019). Self-writing as a tool for change: The effectiveness of a psychotherapy using diary. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 22(2), 256–264. https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2019.378

Sawyer, E. (2016). College essay essentials: A step-by-step guide to writing a successful college admission essay. Sourcebooks, Inc.

Tipler, E. (2024). Write yourself in: The definitive guide to writing successful college admissions essays. Simon and Schuster.

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