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A personal essay is a kind of writing where you write down your own perspective about a personal life or an event you took part in. The events that you write are based on the topic provided. The writer gets the main ideas of the essays from their personal life. This forms the framework of the entire essay. People may see it as a way of interviewing the writer about their life while others may conclude what the personality constitutes and abilities of the writers depending on how they have laid down their main ideas in the essay. A personal essays stands out from other formal papers in the context and number of paragraphs they are expected to write. It is strictly written in the first person pronouns and the structure should take a maximum of five paragraphs. Writers struggle addressing their ideas with ‘I’ language; a problem which cuts across all personal essay authors. This is what a personal essay constitutes.


Different authors have different opinions on the parts of a personal essay. Usually the essay has an introductory paragraph where the writer says what their essay is all about in a nutshell. Most importantly, this paragraph includes the main thesis. The number of points that a writer uses vary and so do the number of paragraphs. Another crucial part is the conclusion which summarizes or recaps what the writer was writing about in the entire excerpt. The parts should follow each other in a defined order while the ideas should flow logically from the start to the end. It helps the reader connect the whole story.


There is no binding rule on the length of the personal essay. The length of the essay may vary from one to four but it depends on the instructions given by the facilitator or the personal requirements of the writer. However, in instances where there are no clear instructions on the essay length it advisable for the writer to write in brief but check on the quality of the details they have provided. There should be no traces of repetition of ideas or points within the main body of the excerpt.


The style of the personal essay is not entirely objective. This is because of the nature of the essay. Writer uses the first person in their composition giving clear and true chronology of events in their life. Wherever there is lack of objectivity in the style of writing doesn’t mean that the writer has digressed from what is expected of them. The reader must know that the writer of the essay has the freedom to explain how certain events in their lives unfolded but keeping the rules of the game in mind. The style is also enhanced by active voice rather than a passive voice. The former brings out interest and confidence of the writer.


Personal essays are formatted using the Modern Language Association type of formatting but it’s upon the writer to choose the best formatting method that suits their review process. The lines should be double spaced while the margins should be 1 inch long all around the pages of the essay. The type of font used should strictly be Times News Romans size 12.


Some of the pitfalls that face these kinds of essays include lack of focus and consciousness when a writer decides to write about something else other than their personal life. They end up writing irrelevant points. The problem of repetition is also evident when writers try to expand points unnecessarily.

They also fail to honour the interest of their target audience at times. 

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