Of the thousands of personal essays I’ve read over the past 20 years, one of my favorite introductions is from an application to law school, and it opens thus:
Sample essays for professional school—written by students applying for business, law, or medical school—are abundant online, and they also can be highly specialized. Many medical schools require two separate applications: one directly to the target school itself and one through the , both of which usually require essays. Both law and business schools also often require multiple essays of their applicants, with questions ranging from details about your personal background to questions asking you to write an essay exploring a controversial issue. Therefore, I provide just a few samples of professional essays here in the pdf link below, referring you to online sites in the “Self-Study” box below for further study and targeted samples.
This opening, taking from a sample essay in the book, by Mark Allen Stewart, isn’t just effective because of its cleverness. It’s also efficient in detail, humorous and surprising in delivery, focused in theme, universal in appeal, and even moralistic in meaning. This writer is concerned with justice, even at an early age when decisions of right and wrong could be reduced to the distribution of donuts. Obviously, the paragraph that follows the opening discusses justice at a more advanced level, and gradually this law school applicant addresses social issues such as poverty, nationalism, and prejudice, and he emphasizes his passion to address them through law. As he later sums up near the close of his essay, “My identity rests on these convictions”—and we believe him.
Do tie yourself to the college. Be specific about what this particular school can do for you. Your essay can have different slants for different colleges.
[tags: Personal Narrative Essays]
This example shows just how much can be accomplished in even a short personal essay by the introduction alone. It also demonstrates that stylistic creativity is not always about flashy word choice or complex sentencing—sometimes the best style is the most artfully simplistic, the most pithy. Whatever else readers think of the content of a personal essay, if they can take delight in the style, they are more likely to assess the writer as worthy of being read and re-read, and thus more likely to plop the application into the acceptance pile.
[tags: Free Personal Narrative Writing]
After you have written the first, second, or third draft, there are another set of evaluative questions that you can work through to help you revise your essay.
Here are top 40 personal narrative essay topics for high school:
When using quoted speech, don't let a voice talk for very long in your essay; it will take over and start to sound weird. Only the greatest writers can handle speech effectively over a long period of time. Keep the speech elements brief which is how speech is in real life, after all. We're not allowed to say much before we're interrupted by others or by something else going on. Also, don't try to duplicate the speech of real life, the way people really talk. Tape record a dinner conversation some evening, when people don't know you're doing it, and you'll probably hear something quite unpleasant, something that should never be written down. Use conventional spelling, and don't leave out letters or try to recreate in spelling what you hear people say (He dozn't do nuthin'!); your readers will become more aware of your clever spelling than they are of what's going on in your essay.