Impactful Personal Essays: A Beginner's Guide to Writing

This type of written task can sometimes be impossible to complete without checking out personal essays examples. To every inexperienced student writing such papers results in tons of wasted time and effort. Necessary knowledge for faster completion can be extracted from examples of personal essays. Examine a few of them and find out how text should be structured, composed, and paced.

Famous Personal Essay Examples That Worked

On this website you can find multiple famous personal essay examples pdf by experienced students. Such written pieces are very common not only among students but among authors. Often called “Narrative essays” they convey stories from authors’ experiences. Almost every person has something to tell, right? Browse our narrative story examples and see how others write such pieces.

We know multiple exclusive pieces by famous authors. Here are some of them:

  • C.Lamb – “New Year’s Eve”
  • C.Morley – “On Laziness”
  • M.Twain – “Two Ways of Seeing a River”
  • D.Wallace – “Ticket to the Fair”
  • R.Emerson – “Self Reliance”

Surely, these samples are not the best for students to learn from. For educational purposes better download any example of a personal essay for college, available on this site.

Best Personal Essays of All Time

To learn how such written pieces are done, study at least one example of personal essay closely. The proposed samples are of great quality, informative, creative. Look at some of their benefits.

  • Perfect structuring

Solid foundation, a sturdy outline is visible behind every sentence. Each one is arranged in the best way possible.

  • Comprehensible writing style

Samples feature easily understandable wording, clean sentence construction, comfortable narration pace.

  • Correct language

Texts are academically and grammatically correct. Diligent proofreading eliminated every spelling or grammatical error.

  • Compliant to guidelines

Papers were written according to modern requirements and regulations regarding such essays. Check it yourself!

Good Personal Essay Samples in PDF

Each sample of personal essays can be downloaded as a pdf file. Studying these samples positively affects multiple writers’ characteristics.

  • Thinking critically

Such writing tasks rely on critical thinking. They require writers to assess situations realistically, with attention to detail.

  • Communicating

Study the expression of your own ideas to an audience. Learn how to communicate with each reader on an emotional level.

  • Self-reflection

Ability to assess yourself, look at the main person from the side. Find out what you’re made of and how you feel. Take a reflection essay example and inspire.

  • Thought expression

Skill of converting thoughts into words requires time to master. Get the gist of thoughts presentation with free text samples.

Short Personal Essay Examples

Not every text is long, short personal essays are a thing too. Students usually have trouble squeezing all their thoughts into a very small package. Use proposed samples to learn the composition, structuring, the pacing of such miniature pieces. Getting it right requires either practice or high-quality templates. 

Such tasks are not very common, students are not familiar with the peculiarities of a shortened version. Numerous samples of short academic pieces are available free on this website. Download them as pdf for later use or read them straight from this site. Study these samples carefully to see other differences between short and long essays.

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Free Personal Essay Examples for All Needs

It can be hard to find good personal essays examples on the web. Such valuable information is not announced to the public too often. We believe that every student must have the ability to write such texts with ease. That’s why we’re sharing all examples of personal essay freely, without registration.

In almost every educational institution such academic pieces are widely used. Students are asked for personal writing before applying to college, university, even before job applications. It is crucial to master writing skills as early as possible. The sooner – the better.

For a good start, begin with examining proposed text samples. For example, a personal essay about soccer or a personal failure essay example. Look at how they are structured and their sentence length. Check how detailed they are and how thoughts are expressed Use these samples as guidance and templates.

Personal Essay Examples for High School

Personal essays for high school students are a real pain and we all know it. Yesterday teenagers start facing new challenges never seen before such as finding topics, designing text structure, presenting thoughts incoherent and consistent manner. It is hard to keep the narration clean and coherent at first. How are students supposed to find out how such tasks must be completed?

That’s where personal essay examples for high school students come in handy. Having a sample you can follow, draw inspiration from is priceless. Successful writing techniques, narration tactics can be obtained either from sample works or from time-consuming typing. Not every student has time and diligence to learn these tricks. So, following a pre-existing pattern is helpful.

Personal Essays for Graduate School

At this stage, personal essay for graduate school samples stay rarely used. Not every student knows about freely available paper samples in pdf format on this website. However, students in Grad-schools are in trouble as colleagues from high schools.

Maybe for graduate schoolers completing written assignments with high scores isn’t a priority, but it is time-saving. Copying proposed samples indirectly greatly reduces time spent on the task while maintaining a somewhat coherent narrative. It is needed to study provided files. Students must find an individual approach to telling the story, sharing ideas, conveying the message.

Personal Essay Examples for College

If you want to learn how to write the best personal essays for college, download free article examples! We offer multiple examples of personal essays for college students. A wide selection of academic pieces allows you to select the best one for an exact situation. All topics are advanced, vocabulary is variative.

With each year writing great personal essays for college undergraduates becomes more challenging. Demands grow higher, topics become harder. Being a top-tier student just with existing skills is not possible. A new set of abilities must be developed to successfully pass forward. That’s why you should study proposed examples of narrative scholarly pieces closely.

What Is a Personal Essay: Definition

Here’s the personal writing definition: It is a nonfiction narrative story based on the author's experience. Students are asked to describe significant life events, situations that impacted them, etc. Real-life experience is the best source of topics for such scholarly pieces. Description of abstract situations or problems seems easier than reflecting on private life.

By reading the definition of personal essay the main idea is understood easily. Take intimate situations, present them, add hidden messages, done! In reality, it’s not entirely that simple. Competent writing is possible only if certain steps were performed. That includes creating a solid structure, finding appropriate wording, pacing the narrative, formulating the main idea. To see how this is done, check out free paper exemplars on this website.

Personal Essay Structure

Many students tend to ignore creating a structure of a personal essay. Despite being crucial, its importance is often understated by teachers. Not every mentor can explain how texts must be structured, so such an important aspect gets overlooked. Skipping this stage results in incoherent narration, poor transitions between sections, low text quality.

To get a general understanding of a correct structure, look at the presented exemplars below. Check how each step is described, why texts are divided into sections this way. Use the following samples to write unique, competently structured, coherent scholarly pieces. Deploy imagination, creative thinking, reasoning techniques to create something original.

Personal Essays Outline Examples

No student aiming at high grades should ignore designing an outline for a personal essay. Creating a detailed structure allows for better transitioning, more detailed reasoning. Coherent narration and strong emotional effects are added in too. To properly structure your text, use a provided sample as the basis and add custom layers to it. Follow it to achieve an ultimate quality of a written task.

Here’s an example of personal essay outline for college students.


  • Stating the direction
  • Thesis statement
  • Subject importance

Body section 1

  • Showcased aspect of the story
  • Details, description
  • Effect of it

Body section 2 and 3

  • Showcased aspect of the story
  • Details, description
  • Effect of it


  • Revisiting the topic
  • Repeating thesis statement
  • Presenting the main idea in form of a summary

Personal Essay Introduction Examples

In every personal essay introduction is mandatory. An author can’t jump straight to the point without a proper setup. In such essays, the beginning must present a described situation. If you’re showcasing a place or a person, it’s necessary to show how you’re connected to it. Despite being short, the intro bears a lot of useful information. It presents background information needed to successfully tell a story.

Besides that, including thesis statement is needed. Serving as a hook it makes readers interested, invested. Next chapter explores such statements in detail. Now, check how an introduction is written properly in our proposed sample below.

Personal essay introduction example

Just as the Chinese proverb says, “a journey of thousands of miles starts with a single step.” It is  a saying that became so real to me after scoring my first A grade in sixth grade with no support. The tremendous improvement came after a single step away from my comfort zone. I had to deny myself all sought enjoyment, such as sacrificing my sleep. Every single night I ensured my homework was comprehensively done, and revised the previous notes properly. This hard work concealed my former disabilities and proved my capability to my beloved parents. I have always learnt to be independent, and never let failure overwhelm me. The motivation for the hard work came from what had happened in the previous levels where learning disabilities were my drawback. Every student was miles away from me in regards to class performance, which brought my isolation from them and led me to take an individualized educational plan.

Thesis Statement for Personal Essay

Read examples of thesis statements for personal essays before writing. Familiarize yourself with how it’s done, what thoughts are included. Look how this section interacts and connects with the introduction. Check the transition, used wording and structuring. 

A thesis is often considered to be a hook, trapping readers' attention. One sentence must grab it, invest people into reading further. It is very hard to nail it on the first try, so be prepared to spend some time on it. Use personal essay thesis statement examples as guidance for mastering this task. Research how these statements are written, what tactics are used to grab attention. Then, try replicating it in your custom work, maintaining complete paper uniqueness.

Thesis statement example for personal essay

I decided to engage with intense book reading, doing this with valid wishes that my hard work would not be in vain and that one time in the future it would bear fruits.

Personal Essay Body Paragraph Examples

For correct writing of these sections, read personal paragraph examples first. These parts must be meat, bearing all the data. The main story is told within these paragraphs. All the action happens there. Authors must show it all, without skipping details. A carefully crafted, well-thought-out body is the core of your work.

Look through our examples below. Use them to inspire creativity and write unique custom articles from scratch. Download various samples and look at how they are structured depending on a topic. Check narration techniques used to convey a story. Examine the connection between an outline and these paragraphs, the outline's effect on transitions. If nothing helps – just rewrite the closest paragraphs to match customer needs.

Examples of personal essay body paragraphs

Despite being the only Latina student in my school, I redirected the positive sensation into a force of strength that drove me to shine in academics. Materially and emotionally, my culture was vital just like any other in the school. I took part in appreciating all matters that pertained to culture in our school. The other cultures were equally important. Charity begins at home; I always embraced my relatives and helped whenever necessary anytime we visited them on weekends and we enjoyed sweet stories while dining and in the kitchen, which strongly strengthened our bond as a family.

Without the community around me, the success could not have been achieved. I participated fully in various community activities. My interest in sciences propelled my community work service since sciences and the environment are inseparable. These activities contributed greatly to the choice of my future medical career. Giving back to the community was my philosophy and the driving force towards a medical career, which involves service to humanity. Therefore, helping my community has always been part of life. For several years I did a volunteer nursing job in town. My role in the job was helping the community with creative and interactive projects.

Personal Essay Conclusion Examples

In a personal essay conclusion bears significant importance. It is the shortest section, has almost no unique data, yet drives students crazy. Writing such parts shouldn’t be problematic. Conclude by giving the story a happy ending. Remind readers what it started from and show how it ends. Shortly repeat the data from body sections.

Describe the impact of this story on you. Restate your thesis statement in a conclusive way. Show the main idea, key message. Either indirectly or directly write it, so readers have a complete understanding. Keep it consistent and clean. Give all the answers needed to successfully close the topic.

Personal essay conclusion example

Volunteering at the nursing home helped me to grow in humility, patience, and empathy. The whole process changed my misconceptions about the nursing home. I learnt not to base my judgment on heresy, but through experiences, engagements, and dialogue. I made up my mind to spend time with residents and share the joy together with them. This commitment makes me the happiest lady, just as I am up to date.

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How to Write a Personal Essay for College

Writing a personal essay is difficult even for experienced students. Completing such an assignment with high grades requires deep knowledge, advanced writing skills, determination. To make it easier, some actions must be taken beforehand. To make it less stressful and more delightful, follow these rules. 

  1. Create an essay outline. Begin with constructing an outline. It serves as a backbone of an article, holding thoughts together. Above you can see an example. Crafting a structure provides more stable narration, smoother transitions between chapters, and overall better readability.
  2. Start with your intro. Every text should have an introductory part. Check out good personal essay examples on this site. Examine them to see how an introduction must be written. Look at sentences, their order, size, and structuring. Try repeating our proposed thesis statement.
  3. Fill your body paragraphs. You can write as many body sections as needed. Each section is supposed to be dedicated to particular aspects of a story. Keep it consistent, don’t jump in time. Steadily and promptly describe the situation in detail.
  4. Be specific. Keep information reliable and relevant to the topic. Personal essay examples about yourself show that staying on-point is required throughout. Add details that matter to a story or deepen the experience.
  5. Include a conclusion. Text without a summary is incomplete. Writers must repeat a thesis statement. It is important to give a satisfactory finale. Say your main message directly or hint at it.

Do not know what to do with your title page? It is easier than you could even think. Use our APA title page generator with ease.

What Are Essential Elements of a Personal Essay?

To write a correct personal essay about yourself, it’s needed to follow rules. Such rules include maintaining some important parts present in the final text. Check out proposed paper samples and see how each one of them is implemented. Following these “rules” makes good personal essays for every student. We listed the necessary elements that must exist in your work. Think of how you can safely infuse them into the scholarly piece you’re creating. In case of trouble – use paper samples as guidance.

  • Compelling hook

Grab the reader's attention at the start and hold it until the final words. It can be a catchy opening line, provocation, piece of humor. Showing some dramatism in your story can also hook the reader.

  • Engaging story

Such assignments are all about the initial story. Choose one that is interesting to read. Try to make readers feel what you felt, convey your emotions through text.

  • Interesting characters

Every story has main and side characters. If a protagonist is bleak, there must be some hero to add colors. Think about how your characters can be portrayed interestingly, vibrantly.

  • Immersive setting

Described location and time must be kept saturated with details. A reader must travel into the author’s non-fiction world seamlessly. Add sensory details, feelings, and immerse readers! To get some ideas, look through our descriptive writing examples.

  • Meaningful point

Writing a story is not enough to earn high grades. Great pieces often have a message, hidden or visible. What is the idea of this particular story? Try delivering a message, understandable yet complex.

Tips for Writing a Personal Essay

To further elevate the skill of writing personal essays, using some tricks is advised. Read proposed tips, try to implement some in your writing process. Tips are targeted at time-saving, increasing overall paper quality.

  1. Decide on the subject. Topic must be interesting and relatable to a targeted audience.
  2. Create an outline. Structure the scholarly piece so it stays consistent throughout.
  3. Study personal writing essay examples. Look how other students completed such a task, make notes.
  4. Start with a hook. One statement must grab attention right from the start.
  5. Be descriptive and detailed. Fill text with small details, add depth to the setting.
  6. Stay critical. Never lose focus, stay on point, be consistent at all times.
  7. Convey a message. Think of an idea you’d like to convey. Only after that start writing.
  8. Proofread. After writing, eliminate spelling, grammatical errors.
  9. Check for plagiarism. Optional action, but checking originality score is useful.

Good Personal Essay Topics for College Students

To create a memorable scholarly piece, start with browsing through topics for personal essays. Select the one interesting for you and your targeted audience or make a custom one. Here are the best personal essay topics.

  • How you overcame the biggest fear.
  • The best day of childhood.
  • First encounter with a wild animal.
  • Places you never go to.
  • How you avoided being bullied.
  • Influence of the wrong choice on life.
  • Your own experience with the butterfly effect.
  • First set of wheels.
  • When you experienced a tragic loss.
  • Becoming friends with an enemy.

Read also:

It can be hard to come up with personal essay topic ideas. Use the ones below as inspiration. Look in your past to find an interesting moment. There are plenty of such situations in life. Don’t get too private. Keep it neutral, partially intimate, captivating. Then think of an idea for such a topic and start writing!


FAQ About Personal Essays

1. Are your personal essay examples free?

As it comes from a name, free personal essays are free to download, share, and read. Each sample text was donated by students, feel free to use them. No registration, subscription, hidden payment, or donation option. Everything is free-of-charge, forever. Knowledge must be available to any teacher, student, or professor.

2. How to start a personal essay?

The best way to start a personal essay is with a strong hook. The writer must interest readers with the first sentence and make them care and invest. There is a detailed explanation of a proper beginning above with helpful examples.

3. How long is a personal essay?

Each educational institution has unique rules regarding writing personal essay pieces. Size regulations should be either mentioned by teachers or published on a website. If there’s no option to check them, look at the proposed free paper samples.

4. What are the 4 types of personal essay?

Here are the main types of personal essay: secrets of life, special moments, a person, family, and relationship mysteries. Each type is different in structure, narration style, and pace. The level of sincerity also varies from 1% to 100%. The difference between these types is minimal and can be neglected.


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