Admission, application and entrance essays: writing, editing, proofreading

Top 5 ideas for a personal essay

It’s hard to come with any ideas for a personal essay because it’s about you. In short, you should just write about yourself, follow a typical essay structure and format, and keep everything relevant to an academic setting. That’s all there really is to a personal essay. As far as what to write about exactly, let’s touch on those briefly.

  • Strengths
  • Talents
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Why do you want to be here?
  • What can you offer?

These are the five areas you want to touch on and should work as the five general ideas you can work with in your personal essay. If there some sort of topic question presented, address that.


This is an important area to focus on. You want to write about your personal strength or your character. What makes you a good candidate, potential student, potential employee, etc. Don’t put something vague such as “I am honest, smart, artistic…” elaborate on it. This is something you’ll need to do with everything in this essay: elaborate.


What can you do exactly? What talents or skills do you have? This will be written in a manner similar to your strengths. Again, you want to elaborate.

Extracurricular Activities

If you’ve done some extracurricular activities such as charity, sports, academic bowl, newspaper club, etc. Add this and be very specific about what your role was—especially if you were in any sort of leadership position.

Why Do You Want To Be Here?

Don’t say “Ever since I was a child, I’ve wanted to attend this school/work here.” Instead bring up what they do and how it appeals to you. If it’s a school comment on how it can help you improve your skills and better prepare you for the work marketplace. If it’s a place of employment bring up how you want to test yourself in a competitive work environment or something of that nature.

What Do You Have To Offer?

This is basically asking “What can you do for our institution?” or “What can you bring to the table?” and “Why should we consider you for whatever?” This is the main question that you’ll really want to sell yourself to the institution. The whole essay is mainly about selling yourself and making yourself appealing.

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