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how-to-write-a-personal-experience-essay September 02, 2019

How to write a personal experience essay? You have everything to improve your results and use our professional experience to become a perfect student. We are here; because we know how to help you reach the academic highs.

You will receive dozens of personal experience essay assignments, so you should know what they mean and how they work. It is a discussion of your personal experiences that does not require any outside sources.

Teachers love this type of academic assignments because it is easy and interesting to share one’s personal opinions and experiences in writing. At the same time, as most people can share a narrative of their lives, few can actually do it in writing. Just a tiny percentage of students can share a coherent story that is easy and fascinating to read. A perfect story will have the following features:

  • create a brilliant and realistic picture of the discussed experience;
  • create a meaningful picture of the event, so that readers can learn a lesson from it;
  • create a picture that flows smoothly and is properly organized.

Writing a personal experience story is a good method for a student to rediscover and revisit the most important events of the past. It is an opportunity to share the most interesting and valuable moments with others. You can choose any of the two perspectives when working on your personal experience story – it is a past perspective (as if you are still there) or a present perspective (as if you are telling it now). You may try to link both perspectives to understand what a lesson your experience has taught you and can teach your readers.

If the event has occurred just recently, it is better to present it from a present perspective. However, if you are sharing something that happened ten or twenty years ago, you can choose a past perspective. In either case, it is important to be consistent. Whatever perspective you choose, just keep to it throughout the entire paper.

Variety of Personal Experience Narrative Essay

Personal Essay Definition

As for the personal essay definition, it is a short essay, which is always autobiographical. That is, you do not write a fiction story. Instead, you create a life story. Sometimes, a personal experience essay is defined as a personal statement. You may go further to share your intimate concerns. You may want to discuss your emotional reactions to the event. At the end, you will tell your readers what you have learned from the event. Discuss the lessons that your readers should take from your story.

A personal experience essay is always personal. You are to choose an event that has had an extremely valuable impact on you. This is one of the most popular forms chosen by teachers when they ask students to share their experiences with others. However, you may want to avoid discussing a personal story. If possible, you can write a personal experience essay sharing your opinion about some specific issue or topic. It is just an option! You are to follow the requirements and instructions provided by your tutor.

You may use different styles when working on a personal experience essay. You may want to focus on the event itself; or you will have to discuss the persons involved. In either case, your goal is to create a powerful and compelling narrative. Include vivid descriptive details. Make your reader shake and cry, smile and fall in love with you!

Do not assume that a personal experience essay is just a one-time occurrence. As you are progressing toward completing your degree, you will need to write more than one personal statement. This is why it is so important to know how to handle this type of task. Choose the style and mode that is suitable for you. Make sure that you follow your professor’s instructions and guidelines!

Purpose of Personal Experience Essay

The purpose of personal experience essay writing is to share something really and fascinating with your readers. This is actually why it can be difficult to write. Sometimes, you may have difficulty compiling different elements of the same event into a cohesive narrative. Some other times, you may have difficulty sharing some intimate details of your story.

Generally, you will need to choose between three different types of personal experience: intimate, academic, and professional. Intimate or personal experiences are the most difficult ones. You will need to tell something that used to be sacred yet maintain the spirit of secrecy in your story. Focus on the most important information. Do not confuse your reader!

How to Format a Personal Experience Essay: Basic Steps

Now you should learn how to format a personal experience essay. In almost all cases, it will be a traditional five-paragraph format. You will start with an introduction, include a three-paragraph body, and end with a conclusion. You will need to include a thesis. In the main body, you will have three paragraphs, each beginning with a topic sentence. Be creative. Be interesting. Be engaging. Include some valuable details to keep your readers glued to your story. In the conclusion, wrap up the argument, restate the thesis, and offer some food for thought.

Personal Essay Writing Process

Personal Essay Writing Process

Your personal essay writing process begins with pre-writing. Here, you will select the event you want to describe in your paper.

  • Introduction: begin with an attention getter, and fascinate your reader.
  • Body: describe the experience in simple past or continuous tense. Make notes about the most valuable experience. Write the first draft of your personal experience essay. Mind grammar, but remember that you will still have a chance to proofread and edit your work at the end. Share your feelings. Include visual details. Share your thoughts. What was the smell, view or environment that you saw there? What did you do? What did others do? Describe the event: what happened? When did it happen? Recall the most important details. Make your reader feel what you felt at that moment.
  • Conclusion: restate the thesis and share the lesson you have learned.
  • Edit and proofread your paper. Submit it.

Personal Experience Essay Writing Tips

The simple personal experience essay writing tips will help you in your writing work.

  1. Choose a topic that is compelling and interesting. Choose a story that has some universal moral or truth to communicate to the audience. There are some eternal topics that are always relevant and up-to-date. For example, it is the topic of love or the topic of hatred.
  2. Start with an attention getter. “Hook” your reader. You should fascinate your reader from the first word and line. Do something extraordinary to keep your readers interested!
  3. Develop an outline. When you design an outline, you will identify the most important aspects of your story. Then you will follow the plan as a roadmap to create a powerful story. Think about the way you want to “open” your story. It is not a fictional story. It is something that has happened to you. Therefore, you will need to construct your narrative so that it is intriguing and interesting to read. Lead the reader toward the apex and discuss a resolution of the problem you faced during the story.
  4. Narrow down the focus and subject. You may want to begin with something very general. However, you will need to articulate a specific and meaningful message to your reader.
  5. Do not reveal to your reader what happened to you; show it. Use vivid literary details to create a realistic environment. Your story should feel as if the reader was there, not you. Your readers should feel the way you felt when it was happening to you. Include some tiny descriptions to make the story colorful. Your reader should want to run away with you; your reader should want to enjoy it with you.
  6. Create a conclusion. Here, you will summarize the key message of your narrative, ask questions, and propose some new ways to think about your story. What is the main lesson you have learned?

Now look at the most typical mistakes that learners make when working on a personal experience essay.

  • Poor organization. You may think that writing a personal experience essay is easier than writing a dissertation. However, it does not mean that you should ignore the basics of writing organization and style. Use recommendations for an outline. It will make the whole process easier.
  • Some boring subject. If you choose a wrong topic or a story that lacks any meaning, your personal experience essay will hardly earn you any result. Choose something that can interest your readers.
  • Poor structure. Follow the recommendations above to structure your essay properly. Include the basic components of academic paper writing in your work.
  • Poor or no moral. Your story must share some valuable lesson with your readers. Otherwise, it is not worth discussing it at all.
  • Poor semantics. It is a personal experience narrative, but you are still entitled to use appropriate wording and sentence structure.

Top of Mistakes in Personal Experience Essay Writing

120 Personal Essay Topics

Choose any personal essay topics outlined below or select something else that you believe is meaningful. Think about the following ideas:

  1. How your relationship with significant others developed and influenced your life.
  2. How you met a person who has had a huge impact on your life.
  3. How you experienced an event that you can call a “life changer”.
  4. How you went through some nearly critical experience of event.
  5. How you found yourself in a place that forever attracts you.
  6. What was the best adventure in your life?
  7. A situation of stress and anxiety that you have recently experienced
  8. A serious obstacle that you had to overcome to accomplish your goals and mission
  9. A thing that motivates you no matter what
  10. A period of life that was particularly difficult to you
  11. A fear that you believe keeps you from aspiring to your most sacred goals
  12. A situation when you did something without realizing the consequences
  13. A situation that makes you feel awkward even 20 years later
  14. A situation when you felt particularly close to your significant others
  15. A situation when you felt you wanted to be an animal
  16. A situation when you had to leave your comfort zone
  17. A situation when you could finally devote yourself to a nice thing or pastime
  18. A situation when you could take some time away from work
  19. A situation when your life changed suddenly, in an unpredictable way
  20. A situation when you forgot to say “thank you” to a person that saved you
  21. A situation when you had to make a life-changing decision
  22. A personal experience narrative essay about your encounter with a famous person
  23. A situation when you acted as a hero
  24. A description of the family member who influenced your life in a meaningful way
  25. A lesson that you have learned from teamwork.

Personal Essay Topics and Ideas to Brainstorm.jpg

Personal Experience Essay Topics

Choose any personal experience essay ideas below

  1. How you were a team leader
  2. How you went to karaoke for the first time in your life
  3. How you participated in a competition
  4. Your essay about personal experience in sports
  5. How you read a book about a person who was so much like you
  6. Personal experience essay examples about your parents and their role in your life
  7. How you went on a school trip with your classmates
  8. How you imagined yourself a super hero
  9. How you read a book about some astonishing event or a super hero
  10. A reflective essay on personal experience from your visit to a sacred place
  11. Who is that popular personality that you wish you could meet in your real life?
  12. Who is that neighbor that you wish you could have everywhere you live?
  13. Describe a family tradition that you hate most in life
  14. What was the most life-threatening situation you have ever encountered?
  15. Do you believe in technologies?
  16. How your parents think you are doing professionally
  17. Describe your personal experience with a movie or a cartoon
  18. What is a personal essay? Describe your most colorful academic writing experience
  19. A situation when you saved your friend from trouble
  20. The most memorable “thank you” in your life
  21. A place where you want to live
  22. The most tragic experience that has taught you a lifelong lesson
  23. The most annoying behavior
  24. The most desirable behavior
  25. Where do you feel most comfortable within your house?
  26. Is there any family story that travels from generation to generation?
  27. What is a place of your dream?
  28. What was the most annoying situation in your life?
  29. Can you see how you are similar to your parents? Do you see any difference?
  30. Explore the time when you could finally devote yourself to your studies.
  31. What do you think is the most beautiful place in the world?
  32. Can you remember the most pleasant and emotionally rich experience you had with your friends?
  33. A personal narrative essay about the coolest student in your group
  34. A personal essay about yourself
  35. Describe a world without technologies
  36. Any personal experience that changed my life
  37. Do you want to become a President of the world just for a few hours?
  38. What was your loved movie or show when you were an adolescent?
  39. How did TV influence you during childhood?
  40. What would you say if you were to write a personal experience essay about love?
  41. What if you lived 100 years ago? Would you feel happy or would you be disappointed?
  42. Write a personal reflection essay about the most astonishing or shocking thing you ever watched with your bare eyes.
  43. What about money? What does it mean to you?
  44. Write a personal response essay about a situation when the only thing you wanted was to die.
  45. Is there anything that is on your mind 24 hours a day?
  46. Look back into the history – what do you think was the best time of life for humans?
  47. What role do social media play in your life?
  48. Is there anything that you think has taught you the most serious lesson in life?
  49. If you cannot do anything – will you invite someone who can or will you try to do it on your own?
  50. What is the first book you want to read to your growing child?
  51. Is there anything you cannot resist under any circumstances?
  52. Did you ever have an online date? How did that feel?
  53. Describe a historic event you wish you could observe with your own eyes or even participate in
  54. What is the most intimate topic you have ever discussed with any of your friends?
  55. Is there anything you have accomplished that makes you proud of yourself?
  56. Create a personal essay outline for the following: is there anything you wish you could invent?
  57. Remember a situation when a kiss changed your ideas about the world

Personal Essay Ideas

  1. Write a personal goals essay to improve your professional and career results
  2. Is there an actor or an artist you would love to communicate with?
  3. Is there any man or political leader you believe is the greatest in history?
  4. Medicine: write a nursing personal essay about your experience as a patient
  5. Was there any case when you gained something from a troubling situation?
  6. A personal failure essay about something you wish never ever happened to you
  7. Describe a personal code of ethics essay.
  8. What was the most impressive journey in your life?
  9. A personal values essay discussing the values and principles you follow in life
  10. A personal philosophy essay to teach your fellow classmates the basics of ethics and morality
  11. Who was the greatest defender in your life?
  12. Who was the greatest betrayer in your life?
  13. A personal challenges essay – how you overcame the biggest obstacle in your life
  14. What can distract you from the most engaging thing in your life?
  15. What TV character do you resemble?
  16. Imagine that you have just won a billion – what would you do with it?
  17. Good intentions guiding you to hell
  18. Imagine your life without anyone – is it a dream or a reality you wish to avoid by all means?
  19. Will you intervene if you believe that others pursuing a noble cause, or will you pass by?
  20. Do you believe in mobile applications? Do they help?
  21. What is your most favorite song? Why?
  22. Do you have a dream to organize a celebrity party?
  23. What about poetry? Does it work with you?

Argumentative Topics for Personal Essay Writing

  1. Will you help your children with homework?
  2. Would you attend an art exhibition with your parents?
  3. What is the best thing to do when you need to learn something by heart?
  4. If you were to share a life lesson with a child, what would it be?
  5. What is your method to achieve inner stability and coherence?
  6. Is there any job you would love to have even if it did not pay well?
  7. Are you a hero?
  8. Why do you think your parents are special?
  9. When was the last time you felt like in heaven?
  10. Why do you think you will be happy in life?
  11. What is your biggest fear?
  12. What would you do if you had to pay a million to save your life?
  13. Describe the person you would choose for your personal growth essay.
  14. Describe a situation when you failed to meet someone else’s expectations
  15. What is your most sacred and touching memory?

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