09 Nov The Well-Hidden Secret on How to Write an Autobiographical Essay!
There are many scholarship applications across the world which requires you to turn in an autobiographical essay. If you have not written anything like this before, there is no need to panic. That is exactly what were are here to discuss today – how to write an autobiographical essay in the most concise and effective manner possible?
Keep in mind that the prompts for such an application are usually indirect. i.e. it will say something like “Tell us something interesting about yourself” or “Can you narrate any story from your own personal life?”.
That is the cue for you to sit down and think about how you are going to write a quality autobiographical essay. There are several key things to consider here so buckle up.
When it comes to writing about yourself, it is expected that you will do so in a manner that is organic, believable and interesting enough. As such, the approach to writing is a big deal. You cannot go in without any sort of plan.
The most basic tip on how to write an autobiographical essay is to have a basic idea about each of the things mentioned below:
- Choosing a Convincing/Intriguing Story
There is no doubt regarding the fact that you must have had tons of experiences in your life, some good some bad. The key is to select one from amongst all of them, such that it feels stimulating for the person reading it all while giving an idea about the type of person you are. Sounds like a real pain right? Well, it definitely can be.
An important thing to keep in mind here is to try and write something unique, avoiding clichés like your story about a college trip, how you became student president and stuff like that. It can be something personal. As long as it brings out the individual flavour in you, it counts. Think about how you became the person you are today, what choices you made and why you made them. That is always a good starting point.
- Capturing Attention
A common idea about how to write an autobiographical essay that you will find is capturing the reader’s attention. While it is a prosaic advice to give when writing anything, it still holds true. No matter what topic you write on, you need to make sure that you have the reader’s interest from the first line.
There are plenty of ways to do this. For instance, you can instantly dive deep into the ‘main’ thing that you want to talk about, thus wasting no time whatsoever. Or you can also be a bit unconventional and write the entire thing from a third person point of view. Whatever it may be, as long as it is engrossing enough, it will do.
- A Robust and Informative Body
If you truly want to know how to write an autobiographical essay that is good, you must master the parts of the essay other than the intro as well. The meat of your essay is comprised of the body, where you will narrate the interesting parts of your story in great detail. Do not write anything irrelevant in this phase, because this is the part where most readers either gain or lose their interest completely.
Every sentence must lead up to a point you are trying to make. No beating about the bush is allowed. Also try and focus on how the experience you are writing about made you grow as a person and why you chose this incident to write on to begin with. Don’t do this directly, instead just put nods and hints which point to what you are trying to say.
- Well Rounded Conclusion
An often overlooked advice on how to write an autobiographical essay is the nature of your conclusion. It is as they say; all’s well that ends well. This applies here too. If you can end everything on a high note, even if the rest of the essay was mediocre, the conclusion can make up for it. After all, the ending is what remains in the person’s memory the longest. Hence, its importance is immeasurable.
A good way of handling things is to tie in your conclusion with the opening of the essay. This makes things feel more organic and the reader can reflect on everything that he or she just read. It adds to the cohesion and makes the whole thing feel like an incident that happened, rather than something you made up.
Some Tips to Follow
Now that you have the basic knowledge about how to write an autobiographical essay nailed down, you need to focus on putting it into practice. It can be harder than it seems, especially if it is your first time. So make things a bit more methodical and hopefully simpler, here are some tips that you may adopt for yourself:
- It is natural for students to try and use vocabulary that makes them seem intellectual. However, it is always a good idea to go for something you are comfortable with. Sure, it is a good idea to learn something new but the point is, don’t overdo it. It shows.
- Try making your sentences concise in nature. If there is something you can explain in 5 words rather than 8, then go for it. Longer sentences while necessary in some scenarios give the reader the feeling of dragging on. So avoid it.
- It is also an unsaid rule of thumb that active voice is preferred over passive voice. It gives your writing a bit of flair and vigour that otherwise may be missing. While not applicable in all cases, it is definitely something you should at least keep in mind.
- Last but not the least, please don’t blatantly lie on your essay. Don’t come up with something incredibly ridiculous in hopes of invoking a reaction from the reader. Honesty is always the best policy in things like these.
Maintain a sense of sophistication in your essay is what the objective of your writing should be. However, sometimes writing simply can prove to be the most complex thing. If you want to condense all the tips on how to write an autobiographical essay into one, then it would be this: Keep things short and keep things simple.