How to write a personal experience essay

Writing the Personal Essay

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Writing is the most important skill taught in school because people are called on to use this skill throughout their lives for various reasons. Below is a detailed step-by-step instruction guide on how to write a personal experience essay but can be applied to almost any writing situation. Hopefully this guide will help you recall the writing skills taught in high school. Before we begin, realize that writing is a recursive process, meaning that during the writing of one essay, It will be necessary to backtrack over all steps of the process several times to make sure it is coherent, logical, accurate and presentable. Our writing tells others a great deal about ourselves, such as our beliefs, our priorities, our level of education, and much more. If your writing is to be viewed by others, the impression your words convey is too important to be approached frivolously. Once you’ve gotten a grasp on the writing process you will discover just how beneficial this skill is toward achieving personal success, expressing your feelings and your observations of the world around you.

In this guide you will learn how to generate ideas, how to arrange your ideas, and how ensure your work is presentable to an analytical audience. Don’t forget to check the «Things Needed» box for materials you will use, and read over the tips and warnings so you will know what to expect as you engage in this endeavor.


Step 1

Prepare yourself

First, find a comfortable spot that is quiet and free from disruptions. Some people tend to focus better, or assume a fitting state of mind, if they listen to music that they consider inspirational.

Step 2


With pen in hand and a notebook (or computer) in your lap, write down what ever comes to mind about your topic. Useful tools for this stage are mind maps, idea lists, and free writing. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or structure at this point, you don’t want anything unnecessarily impeding the though process. Be sure to narrow down your ideas so they focus on a specific topic or concept.

Step 3

Write the thesis statment

Look over the information that you’ve gathered through brainstorming. Keep in mind the connections you have made between ideas, and try to create a single compound/complex sentence that can encompass all of your thoughts on your topic, which will be the thesis, or main idea of your essay.

Step 4

Organize details

Go back to your brainstorming material and look for groups of words that can somehow be related to one another and place them in separate groups under the thesis statement. These separate groups of words will more than likely become individual paragraphs once the words are all connected to form coherent sentences.

Step 5

Format paragraphs

Begin fleshing out the separate groups of jumbled words into coherent paragraphs. You’ll begin to have something resembling an essay. Click here to see a diagram of what your trying to achieve. Be sure to add enough details so your reader can see, touch, hear, feel, or even taste if necessary.

Step 6


Now its time to look over your work to ensure that you have placed everything where it needs to be, in proper form, using proper grammar and spelling, and using appropriate transitions between ideas and paragraphs. Your sentences should flow concisely, which may require the removal of unnecessary words and statements.

Step 7

Writing the introduction and conclusion

The thesis statement is the last, but most important, sentence of the introductory paragraph. A good introduction should give a little background related to the topic of the essay. It should also give the reader some clue as to why you’re writing about this topic.

Your conclusion will restate your main idea and give the reader someting else to ponder on a closely related topic.

Step 8


Find a friend, family member, spouse, professor, or school teacher to look over your work for errors and provide advice on how to proceed. Having someone look over your work is very important because your eyes will not be as critical as another person’s. Make all the necessary corrections and consider all the advice you have received before moving on.

Step 9

Present your work

If your work is for school, every aspect, from where the staple is located to listing your resources, have to be placed and formatted perfectly before they will even begin looking at it. See your teacher’s guidelines.

If you are writing for publication, compare the material to their writing guide; publishers rely on consistency. Have fun, and get started on your next essay. Look for future how-to’s covering the writing process in more detail.

Things Needed
• Pen
• Notebook (or computer)
• Writers Handbook
• Dictionary
• Thesaurus
• Quiet place to work
• Open Mind

Tips & Warnings
• Ignore self-doubt about your writing abilities.
• Remember, practice makes perfect.
• Prepare yourself for criticism.
• Let your work lie for a day or two between editing sessions.
• Use your writers manual, thesaurus, and dictionary religiously.
• Avoid repetitiveness.


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