Identifying your strong and weak sides is exceptionally important if you want to know your abilities, be able to improve yourself and become more successful. An essay about strengths and weaknesses is quite common for colleges and universities and is typically used for application, assessing students, and as a task for psychology or sociology class. This kind of essay is rather similar to other ones but has its peculiarities which must be noted.
Rule 1. Be Specific
- When you are asked to explain your strong and weak points you are expected to write about concrete facts that really take place. This is why try to be as truthful as possible and not to exaggerate.
- Avoid generalizing. Personal essay is not a reflective genre. This is why you should not tell how good you are in general. Write about specific points which make you good such as bravery, curiosity, creativity, for example.
Rule 2. Use Arguments
- The personal essay can be considered a type of argumentative writing. This is why you are supposed to give reasons for your position.
- In order to prove your points, provide the reader with arguments supporting them with facts and examples. If you are stating that you are a hardworking person, find a real-life story that proves it.
- Pay more attention to the qualities which you already possess, not those ones that you desire to acquire. Your wish of perfection is highly appreciated but, indeed, the reader is expecting to see who you are at the moment.
Rule 3. Selecting Strong Qualities
- It is important to know the right way of choosing strong features of yours. Here is a brief scheme of determining the personal strengths:
- Brainstorm and write down all possible good characteristics. If you do not know what you are special about, just think of things that you are better at than others. Do not underestimate yourself as your task is to evaluate your strong sides successfully.
- Choose 5 features from your brainstorming list which are the strongest or most special. If you have some rare hobbies or know how to be effective in useful activities, be sure to indicate them.
- After you select your strongest qualities, find the examples to prove that you really possess them. Remember that you have to write the essay, not to state the points in the list. This is why make sure that your writing is logical and coherent.
Rule 4. Identifying Weak Sides
- The principle of selecting your weaknesses is similar to how you were determining your strong sides: brainstorm, make a descending list of 5 points starting with the biggest weakness of yours, and find the arguments and evidence to support your statements. Do not leave just bare facts.
- Do not exaggerate: write about those features only which you really have.
- Concentrate on a point that you want and know how to improve your weak sides and turn them into the strong ones instead. This will characterize you as a person that is willing to change him- or herself for the better.
What to Season Your Essay With?
Let us assume that you have already made those two lists: one with your strengths and the other one with your weaknesses. Also, you might have already remembered a few suitable stories to illustrate some of them in your paper. However, if you still think that you need something else to make your writing much more captivating and original, have a look at some ideas listed below. Yet, after you finish, make sure that the essay is not overloaded with creativity, but remains thoughtful and moving.
- Definitely, you can cite somebody very famous and respected, or a few lines from his/her magnum opus. However, you should remember that each text requires appropriate citations and not those just lifted out of the context.
- If you have some poetry skills, you can add a few nicely rhymed lines to your essay or, maybe, turn the whole text into a poem. Yet, before you set your fantasy free, you should better consult your teacher or instructor and ask them whether they can agree to check an assignment completed in such way or not.
- If you prefer to stick to scientific data and would like to add some of them into your essay, you can take some psychology test which could check either your strengths or weaknesses therefore revealing what kind of person you are. In case you decide to do it before starting your work on the assignment, make sure that the test you have chosen is valid and approved by scientists. So, a few sentences of your essay can be devoted to its results.
- Fresh your paper with synonyms, original comparisons and metaphors. In order to see how suitable this or that figure of speech is, ask the tolerant person you trust to read the sentence in which you use it. If he or she sees nothing strange or absurd in the way your creativity has worked, then you can leave your word combination as it is.