When applying for a college, scholarship or grant you will definitely find a personal essay as a part of the application requirements. It can be assigned in different forms: personal strengths essay, personal strengths and weaknesses, motivation paper, personal achievements essay etc. Despite how it is called, in general, you will need to introduce yourself as a successful and motivated person demonstrating the strong traits of your character. Here are more guidelines for writing a personal essay about strengths and weaknesses.
Stage 1. Check the requirements.
- Before you start writing we recommend that you check the requirements for an essay very carefully in order to avoid future revisions and redoing the paper. In most cases of not following the given requirements the essay is not applicable, which is why one can lose a big amount of points as it is graded as 0.
- Pay attention to the format, which you are asked to use. Usually all the details are indicated – makes sure that you do not skip anything.
- Apart from the format, you may be expected to reveal certain points in your paper: typically they are stated in guidelines. Do your best to elaborate those questions in a creative way.
Stage 2. Necessary preparations before drafting.
- The topic “Personal strength” usually does not require much research if you have some experience in writing. In this case you need to revise your achievements and analyze them.
- The first step of preparation for drafting is brainstorming: write down all possible strong sides of yours. For this, you will have to think what you do better than others.
- After you did brainstorming, make a list of 3 or 5 strongest features. You will need to explain them in details in your paper.
- Make sure that you have evidence to support your statements. For example, if you are writing that you are a reliable person describe the cases, which show that you are so.
Stage 3. Drafting
- If you did your best at preparation stage you must not face any difficulties while completing a draft. In order to make the process even easier complete an outline – it will help to keep your paper well-structured.
- Assure that your points and ideas are clear. Be concise and do not write general reflections about your virtues: the members of committee are willing to see the concrete examples.
- Make sure that you meet the recommended word count: if the essay is much shorter it may be create an impression of incompleteness, but if you exceed the required word count this will show that you are not able to follow the instructions and, maybe, include the points that are not necessary.
Stage 4. Revising.
- When revising your “Personal strengths” essay pay attention to the following points:
- You should state your personal achievements. Do not write a lot about how grateful you are to your teachers, friends and relatives. The reader is willing to learn about you only.
- Make sure that you are not underestimating yourself. Your task is to demonstrate your strengths, do not be too shy to do so.
- Do not exaggerate. Let your manner of writing be objective and neutral.