How To Write A First Person Essay: What Do You Mean By The First-Person Essay? The first-person essay means an essay that should be written in first-person, mainly using phrases or words like me, mine, my, I, etc. It means one should write this kind of essay as if he/she has had the experienced of the stories or the topics discussed or explained in the piece. The first-person essay lets the readers imagine and experience the uniqueness of the information mentioned in the essay. It affects the reader’s mind; it starts to make them think about how one particular incident changed the life of the writer forever.
To make this happen, it is a must that the writer writes the essay in first-person. Writing the same essay in a third person will never have the same effect on the readers. No matter how great the story is. The writer’s sole aim here is to engage the readers in the development and make them believe that they are present in that particular situation.
This is what the first-person essay is all about. Further, in the essay, I will be discussing the types of First-person essays.
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Types Of The First-Person Essay
- Personal Narrative Essay: This type of the first-person essay generally deals with sharing the writer’s unique experience. The story that the writer is narrating in the essay must have an emotional impact on the readers. In order to do so, the writer has to use such descriptions that will enable the readers to relate to the situation. Another essential aspect of narrative writing is the use of various imageries. The must be able to help the readers imagine the details of the surroundings, scenario. To impact this on the readers, the narrator must keep in mind the intrinsic information and mention it while describing a particular scene and its importance.
- Reflective Essays/Memoirs: Reflective essays refer to the essays in which the writer tests their real-life experiences. It helps them understand whether that experience has brought a positive or an adverse change. It helps them to understand their personal growth, identify their fears, and understand themselves better. To determine the difference in the lives of the writer, one can write a reflective essay. In most cases, reflective essays are written in first-person so that it is easier to recreate the experiences that took place. Talking about the format of the reflective essay, it entirely depends on the audience. For example, writing a reflective essay for a college and writing a reflective essay for a job will have different materials in it. It will also cover various topics and other aspects of individual growth.
- Memoirs: Memoirs are usually historical accounts or essays written from personal knowledge or experience. It should have been reported in first-person as it involves the sharing of confidential or private information of a person. Memoirs don’t require or have to have a broad audience. The writer may write a memoir only for a limited group of people like the writer’s family or friends. It is completely upon the writer with whom he/she wants to share the memoir.
- Personal Statements: It is a written description of the writer’s achievements, interests, academics, etc. it is mainly associated with job applications, college applications, applications for further studies, etc. As its statements are mostly applications, it must be in first-person. When the essay is written in the third or second person, it would absolutely make no sense.
Format Of A First-Person Essay
There is no specified or distinct format for writing a first-person essay. It thus follows the basic rules of an essay. It mainly consists of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion that the writer will have to write in first-person.
Introduction: the essay must have a proper introduction. This is the part that will decide whether the readers will be reading the essay or not. So, the writer needs to have a substantial and impactful introduction.
The introduction paragraph should introduce the topic and give the readers the slightest idea about the essay. It should be crisp yet exciting, grabbing the attention of the readers.
Body: The body of the essay deals with all the descriptions, essential points, and stories of the essay. The body consists of All the crucial elements, turns of events. It is the longest part of the essay. To make sure that the body is written with facts and theories, making it an exciting piece, the writer should continuously keep the body’s content in check.
The writer should write the climax in this part of the essay.
Conclusion: this marks the end of the essay. After the climax, in this section of the essay discusses the post climatic part of the essay. It brings all the points together, joining all the loose ends. This leaves the readers with a sense of completeness and a proper ending.
Writing The First-Person Essay In Five Steps
In the case of writing a first-person essay, it might turn out to be a hassle. But in order to avoid such hassle, one can follow the following steps to write a perfect essay in a hassle-free manner.
Select a Topic: Choosing a topic may seem to be a very confusing task. It is also the most crucial task that must be accomplished with efficiency. This is the most important work of the writer as the essay will be revolving around this topic. It has a vast impact on the readers. If the chosen topic is not up to the mark, the readers will find it too dull. If the topic’s selection is appropriately made then, the essay will be a complete hit.
The Essay’s Voice Must Be Considered: it is a must to consider the voice of the essay throughout. The writer shall always ensure that he/she is writing the entire essay in first-person. One should never mix up the voices or the tense while writing an essay.
If the writer is writing an argumentative essay, the essay will be written in first-person in such a manner that the main point of the argument is conveyed to the readers. On the other hand, if a writer is writing a reflective essay, there should be some humor in the story order to entertain the readers and engage them with the essay. The ultimate aim here is to maintain the essay’s tone so the reader feels connected with the first-person narrative.
Make a Rough Outline: Once the topic is chosen and the choice of the tone of the essay is made, the next step is to make a rough sketch of the story’s plot. The stories, places, and people who will be a part of the essay should be jotted down on a piece of paper. The list should be made according to their occurrence in the essay. Which character comes after which incident, what happens in which place, etc.
The job of the writer here is to make sure that the story is following a trail, and it should not sound abrupt at all. To put in words that will make the readers feel the situation, it will make them think that they are facing the situation and not that they are reading an essay. Writing all these down in points will help the writer to a great extent.
Write a Draft: After all of the previous steps are complete, it is time to start writing. In this context, one thing to keep in mind is that one should not make it boring, repeating the same points. It should have heavy emotions, candidness, and a few personal references. In first-person writing, the writer is the main protagonist, so he/she should make sure that there is an essence of their personality being reflected in the essay.
Edit: Last but not least, the job of the essay is editing. After roughly writing the essay, one should always go back to the start and re-read the essay. Make all the necessary changes and make the writing crisp yet to the point. There are a few tips that the writer has to ensure in the end. The writer needs to make sure that the essay is not too long as if it is so, the readers will lose interest.
One will also have to make the required grammar changes, make sure that the tenses are correct, etc. after all of this is complete, the essay will be ready for submission to the concerned party.
These are a few effective steps mentioned in the above paragraph that has a vast impact on the writers.
FAQ’s On How To Write A First-Person Essay
Is it okay to use first-person in an essay?
It is definitely okay to use or write an essay in first-person. In the majority of the cases, the first-person essay must be written. In essays like an application for college, jobs, only first-person should be used; in these cases, using second-person to write an essay is absolutely inappropriate and makes no sense.
What can be an example of a first-person essay?
A first-person essay can be of several types and variety. It could be a job application, a written application for studying purpose, essays sharing real-life stories, incidents, personal account of a person, autobiography of a renounced person, and several other topics that fall under this category.
These are only a few examples of first-person essays. First-person essays can be written to serve many other purposes as well. A well-known example of the first-person essay is ‘The diary of a young girl’ written by Anne Frank. She was a thirteen-year-old girl who shows the view of World War II and the Jewish people’s suffering.