How to write a First Person Essay and Get a Good Grade

author By Mary Boies

First-person essays are fun essays to write. The reason is that they are usually written in the first-person perspective. In this article, you will discover everything crucial you need to know about first-person essay writing.

First person essay example and guide

By reading this article, you should be able to write any first-person essay confidently. However, if you need assistance writing any first-person essay, you should order it from us. We have competent writers who can write any first-person essay and deliver ASAP.

What is a first-person Essay?

A first-person essay is an academic writing task written from the first-person perspective. A typical first-person essay will involve the author describing a personal experience. This is the reason why first-person essays are also known as personal essays.

Since first-person essays are personal, they are usually written in a casual tone and from the first-person point of view. However, there are occasions when such essays must be written in a formal tone (calling for using citations and references). Nevertheless, as stated, they are often written in a casual tone.

The best first-person essays are those with a casual tone and a solid first-person point of view (POV). A casual tone is a conversational tone or a non-formal tone.

And a solid first-person POV writing is writing that is characterized by the generous use of first-person pronouns, including “I,” “me,” and “we.” It differs from the academic third-person POV writing that is characterized by the use of third-person pronouns such as “her,” “he,” and “them.”

Types of First-person Essays

There are several types of first-person essays in the academic world. The most popular ones include admission essays, reflective essays, scholarship essays, statement of purpose essays, personal narrative essays, and memoirs.

1. Admission essays

An admission essay, a personal statement, is a first-person essay that potential students write when applying for admission at various universities and colleges. Most universities and colleges across the US require potential students to write an admission essay as part of their college application.

They do this better to understand students beyond their academic and extracurricular achievements. As a result, the best college admission essays are often descriptive, honest, introspective, meaningful, engaging, and well-edited.

2. Reflective essays

A reflective essay is a first-person essay in which the author recalls and evaluates an experience. The objective of the evaluation is usually to determine whether an experience yielded any positive or negative change. Professors typically ask students to write reflective essays to encourage critical thinking and promote learning.

Reflective essays can be written in various styles. The most popular style is the conventional introduction-body-conclusion essay writing style. The best reflective essays follow this style. In addition, they are introspective, precise, well-structured, and well-edited.

3. Scholarship essays

A scholarship essay is a first-person essay you write to get a scholarship. Most competitive scholarships require students to submit an essay as part of their application. The scholarship essay submitted is one of the things they use to determine the scholarship winner.

Usually, when scholarship committees ask applicants to write a scholarship essay, they expect the applicants to explain what makes them the most suitable candidates/applicants for the scholarship. Therefore, when you are asked to write one, you should do your best to explain what makes you deserve the scholarship more than anyone else.

The best scholarship essays are those that are honest, direct, useful, and precise. They also happen to be well-edited and well-structured. 

4. Statement of purpose essays

A statement of purpose essay is a first-person essay that graduate schools require applicants to write to assess their suitability for the programs they are applying to. A statement of purpose is also known as a statement of intent. The typical statement of purpose is like a summary of an applicant’s profile, including who they are, what they have done so far, what they hope to achieve, and so on.

When you are asked to write a statement of purpose essay, you should take your time to assess what makes you a good candidate for the program you want to join. You should focus on your relevant academic achievements and what you intend to achieve in the future. The best statement of purpose essays is those that are well-structured, well-edited, and precise.

5. Personal narrative essays

A personal narrative essay is a first-person essay in which the author shares their unique experience. The most successful personal narrative essays are those that have an emotional appeal to the readers. You can create emotional appeal in your personal narrative essay by using vivid descriptions that will help your readers strongly relate to what you are talking about. You can also create emotional appeal in your personal narrative essay by generously using imageries.

The typical personal narrative essay will have three parts: introduction-body-conclusion. In addition, the best ones usually have good descriptions of various settings, events, individuals, etc. Therefore, to write an excellent personal narrative essay, you should focus on providing a detailed and engaging description of whatever you are talking about.

6. Memoirs

A memoir is a first-person essay written to provide a detailed historical account. Memoirs are usually written to share confidential or private knowledge. Retired leaders often write memoirs to give a historical account of their leadership era from their perspective.

You may not be worried about the prospect of being asked to write a memoir as a college student, but it is good to know about this type of first-person essay. It may be helpful to you in the future. Moreover, you can always write a memoir to be strictly read by your family or friends.

 Structure and Format of a First-Person Essay

You are not required to follow any specific format when penning a first-person essay. Instead, you need to write it just like a standard format essay. In other words, ensure your essay has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion.

1. Introduction

Your essay must have a proper introduction paragraph. An introduction paragraph is a paragraph that introduces the readers to what the essay is all about. It is what readers will first read and decide whether to continue reading the rest of your essay. Thus, if you want your essay to be read, you must get the introduction right.

The recommended way to start an essay introduction is to begin with an attention-grabbing sentence. This could be a fact related to the topic or a statistic. By starting your essay with an attention-grabbing sentence, you significantly increase the chances of readers deciding to read more.

After the attention-grabbing sentence, you must include background information on what you will discuss. This information will help your readers know what your essay is about early on.

2. Body

The typical essay has a body. It is in the body that all the important details are shared. Therefore, do not overshare in the introduction when writing a first-person essay. Instead, share your important points or descriptions in the body of your essay.

The best way to write the body of your first-person essay is first to choose the most important points to talk about in your essay. After doing this, you are supposed to write about each point in a different paragraph. Doing this will make your work structured and easier to understand.

The best way to write body paragraphs is, to begin with, a topic sentence that sort of declares what the writer is about to write. You should then follow this with supporting evidence to prove your point. Lastly, you should finish your body paragraph with a closing sentence that summarizes the main point in the paragraph and provides a smooth transition to the next paragraph.

3. Conclusion

At the end of your first-person essay, you must offer a conclusion for the first-person essay to be complete. The conclusion should restate the thesis of your essay and its main points. And it should end with a closing sentence that wraps up your entire essay.

Steps for Writing a First-Person Essay

If you have been asked to write a first-person essay, you should simply follow the steps below to write an excellent first-person essay of any type.

1. Choose a topic

The first thing you need to do before you start writing a first-person essay is to choose a topic. Selecting a topic sounds like an easy thing to do, but it can be a bit difficult. This is because of two things. One, it is difficult for most people to decide what to write about quickly. Two, there is usually much pressure to choose a topic that will interest the readers.

While it is somewhat challenging to choose a topic, it can be done. You simply need to brainstorm and write down as many topics as possible and then eliminate the dull ones until you settle on a topic that you know will interest your readers.

2. Choose and stick to an essay tone

Once you choose a topic for your essay, you must choose a tone and maintain that tone throughout your essay. For example, if you choose a friendly or casual tone, you should stick to it throughout your essay.

Choosing a tone and sticking to it will make your essay sound consistent and connected. You will also give your essay a nice flow.

3. Create an outline

Once you have chosen a topic and chosen a tone for your essay, you should create an outline. The good news about creating an outline for a first-person essay is that you do not have to spend much time doing research online or in a library. The bad news is that you will have to brainstorm to create a rough sketch for your essay.

The easiest way to brainstorm to create a rough sketch for your essay is to write down the topic on a piece of paper and create a list of all the important points relevant to the topic. Make sure your list is as exhaustive as it can be. After doing this, you should identify the most relevant points to the topic and then arrange them chronologically.

Remember, a first-person essay is almost always about you telling a story. Therefore, make sure your points tell a story. And not just any story but an interesting one. Thus, after identifying the relevant points and arranging them chronologically, brainstorm and note down all the interesting details you could use to support them. It is these details that will help to make your story as enjoyable as possible.

3. Write your first draft

After creating your outline, the next thing to do is to write your first draft. Writing the first draft after creating a comprehensive outline is much easier. Consequently, simply follow the outline you created in the previous step to writing your first draft. You already arranged the most relevant points chronologically, so you shouldn’t find it challenging to write your first draft.

When writing this first draft, remember that it should be a good story. In other words, ensure your first draft is as chronological as possible. This will give it a nice flow and make it look consistent. When writing the first draft, you will surely remember new points or details about your story. Feel free to add the most useful and interesting ones.

4. Edit your essay

After writing your first draft, you should embark on editing it. The first thing you need to edit is the flow. Make sure your first draft has a nice flow. To do this, you will need to read it. Do this slowly and carefully to find any gaps or points of confusion in your draft. If you find them, edit them to give your story a nice flow.

The second thing you need to edit is the tone. Make sure the draft has a consistent tone throughout. Of course, ensure it is also in first-person narrative from the first paragraph to the last. The third thing you need to edit is the structure. Ensure your essay has a good structure with three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.

5. Proofread your essay

After ensuring your essay has a nice flow, a consistent tone, and a good structure, you should proofread it. The purpose of doing this is to eliminate all the grammar errors, typos, and other writing mistakes. And the best way to do it is to read your essay aloud.

Reading your essay aloud will help you catch writing errors and mistakes. However, you should also proofread your essay using an online editor such as to catch all the writing errors you may have missed.

After proofreading your essay, it will be crisp and ready for submission.

Topic ideas for a first-person essay

Below are some topic ideas for first-person essays. Since there are several distinct types of first-person essays, the ideas below may not be relevant to some types of first-person essays. However, the list below should give you a good idea of common first-person essay topics.

  1. A story about losing a friend
  2. A story about your first foreign trip
  3. A story about the best thing that happened to you
  4. A dangerous experience that happened to you
  5. A high school friend you will never forget
  6. A story about how you learned a new skill
  7. The most embarrassing thing that happened to you
  8. The first time you cooked your own meal
  9. The first time you did something heroic
  10. The first time you helped someone in need
  11. Your first job
  12. The most fun you’ve ever had
  13. The scariest thing that ever happened to you
  14. A day you will never forget
  15. The biggest life lesson you have learned
  16. How you met your best friend
  17. Your first time driving a car
  18. Your first time, feel depressed and lost
  19. A story from a vacation trip
  20. Your cultural identity

Sample Outline of a First-person Essay

Below is a sample outline of a first-person essay. Use it to create your first-person essay outline when you need to write a first-person essay.

1. Introduction

  1. Attention-grabbing sentence
  2. Background info
  3. Thesis statement
  4. Body Paragraph 1
  5. First major point
  6. Evidence
  7. Closing sentence

2. Body Paragraph 2

  1. Second major point
  2. Evidence
  3. Closing sentence

3. Body Paragraph 3

  1. Third major point
  2. Evidence
  3. Closing sentence

4. Conclusion

  1. Thesis restatement
  2. Summary of major points
  3. Concluding statement

Example of a first-person essay

My First Job

Your first job is like your first kiss; you never really forget it, no matter how many more you get in the future. My first job will always be remarkable because of the money it gave me and how useful it made me feel. About two weeks after my 17th birthday, my mother asked me if I could consider taking a job at a small family restaurant as a cleaner. I agreed.

I could say no if I wanted to, but I didn’t. My mother was a single mother working two jobs to care for my three younger siblings and me. She always came back home tired and exhausted every single day. I had always wanted to help her, and as soon as the opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it with my two hands. My mother had heard about the cleaner job from a close friend; hence she hoped I could do it to earn money for our family.

Once I agreed, I went to the restaurant the next day. I took the train and arrived at about seven in the morning. The restaurant was already packed at this time, with the workers running around serving breakfast. I asked to speak to someone about the cleaning job, and I was soon at the back office getting instructions about the job. Apparently, I was the first to show genuine interest in taking the job. For the first three days, the other staff showed me around, and after that, I started cleaning the restaurant daily at $8 an hour.

Now $8 an hour may seem like little money to most people, but to me, it meant the world! It was money I didn’t have. And within the first week, I had made a little over $400. I felt very proud about this when I got my first check. It made me forget how tired I was becoming from working every day. It also made me happy because it meant my mom didn’t have to work as hard as she did before. Moreover, within a month of working at the restaurant, I had accumulated over $250 in savings, which I was very proud of. The little savings I had accumulated somehow made me feel more financially secure.

Every weekend after work was like a victory parade for me. The moment I handed over half my pay to my mother made me feel so helpful around the house. I could do anything I wanted with the remaining half of the pay. I used quite a fraction of this weekly to buy snacks for my siblings. This made me feel nice and even more useful around the house.

After about three months of work, my mom got a promotion at one of her places of work. It meant I no longer needed to work at the restaurant. But I still went to work there anyway. I did it because of the money and how useful it made me feel. I continued working at the restaurant for about five more months before joining college.

Final Thoughts!

First-person essays are essays written from the first-person perspective. There are several first-person perspective essays, including personal narrative essays, scholarship essays, admission essays, memoirs, etc.

In this post, you learned everything crucial about first-person essays. If you need help writing any first-person essay, you should contact us. We’ve got writers ready to write any type of first-person essay for you.

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