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smile1's avatar

How can I figure out my topic for my Personal Essay, or Personal Statement...?

Asked by smile1 (493points) September 16th, 2010

I am to write about an experience, or something that has made me who I am, and has perhaps influenced me in someway, or made me have an opinion about something.

It is almost like the Personal Statement required for the application to many colleges.

Any ideas? Or ideas on how I can figure out an idea on my own?

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8 Answers

muppetish's avatar

You can figure it out on your own by thinking of an experience that had some impact on making you who you are and / or influenced you in some way, and / or made you have an opinion about something. It’s a fairly standard, blanket question used by most colleges for personal statements. They leave them open-ended in this manner so that every potential applicant can tailor the essay to something relevant to who they are: hence, it is a personal statement.

If your essay is intended for a college / university application, try and tie in some relevancy to the qualities a good student should exhibit or something related to your intended course of study. The school is trying to get a feel for who you are outside of the other documents they will collect from you.

weeveeship's avatar

Brainstorm significant events in your life and how that shows your personality.

wundayatta's avatar

Next time you’re talking with someone new, pay attention to the stories you tell. Those are the important stories about who you are.

Jeruba's avatar

Or back into it and consider what you would like to reveal about yourself: what your goals are, what you are committed to, where you get your motivation, etc. Then think about the experiences that brought those aspects of your personality into focus.

For example, suppose you had an experience that brought you close to an awareness of injustice in the world, and now you want to study law to help put things right; or suppose you used to be shy until you joined a theatre group and gained confidence through being in front of an audience; or suppose you were called upon to take a major share of responsibility in your family at a young age, and now you have to deal with the consequences of having grown up too fast.

You don’t have to try to tell everything. It’s better if you don’t write a whole autobiography. Pick some theme or episode or personal trait or ambition or passion that you have, and just write about that one thing.

Dewey420's avatar

Or you can just bullshit.

…I saved three families and a cat one time.

kess's avatar

Write about one single thing only,
the tendency is to get blocked up try to write it all.

Now when you know that one thing to write about , do not leave out the seemingly insignificant details ( unless your are too long of course).
this is what the readers enjoy thye most anyway.

speak especially about the how and the why and the whats about your mind processes at those time.

Trust me you will have too much to write which i think is good..

hobbitsubculture's avatar

Brainstorm. Write down every single thing you can think of, even if it seems stupid at first. Maybe there are people who have helped you become who you are. Family, friends, teachers, coaches, friends, or role models. Write down any person you can think of.

What about books, movies, articles, games, or other forms of media? Did Siddhartha change your life, or an essay about something you have a passion for? Even if it’s just World of Warcraft or something, write it down.

And what about activities? Do you write or draw, play sports? Any particular moments that stand out? How about places you’ve been, sights you’ve seen?

You get the picture. Just keep coming up with questions, writing down anything you can think of, until something pops out at you.

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