Tips on Writing a Personal Growth Essay

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Writing this kind of essays might be tricky, because from one side you are asked to write about your personal stuff, and from another side, you have to do it academically correct, which sometimes seems almost impossible. You have to keep a balance between some emotional personal stories and the structure, requirements, syllabus, etc. Here are some rules you can follow in order to make your personal growth essay worth your professor’s attention and the highest mark. Of course, some of these rules might seem obvious, but some things are worth repeating.

Rule #1. Don’t mix the terms

Very often students mix the following terms: personal growth, self-cognition and self-fulfillment (self-actualization):

  • Self-knowledge or self-cognition is the cognition of the self, “I/me,” in its peculiarity, the conditions and modes of reactions customary for it, in the dispositions and abilities, mistakes and weaknesses, forces and boundaries of one’s self. It is often seen as the first step of personal growth or self-development.
  • Personal growth, self-development is a constant improvement of oneself, one’s personal qualities, skills and knowledge. Self-development is an essential criterion for success.
  • Self-realization is the application of oneself, of one’s personality with a whole set of qualities, skills, etc. in something.

Rule #2. Avoid cliches

There some standards phrases and ideas for every story, there are standard descriptions, such as “beautiful like a sunset,” “light like a butterfly,” etc. If you want to receive good marks for your essay and not to provoke professor’s yawning and instant irritation — avoid using such combinations. They truly don’t make your writing better, and they just show you don’t care too much and don’t want to spend extra five minutes to come up with a more sophisticated, fresh and original phrase.

Rule #3. Make use of paradox thinking

Essays are often based on paradox and this type of essay is not an exception. Surprise the reader with a non-standard story, interesting idea. You should make your reader hooked from the very beginning. Of course, your professor is obligated to finish reading your essay even if it is killingly boring, but why not to make a difference. Even if you need to brighten a story a bit — do it, just stay realistic.

Rule #4. Use the principles of storytelling

Read more about storytelling, write down the major principles and use them for your essay. It doesn’t work for all kinds of essays, but a paper on personal growth literally asks for it. Such story requires several peaks of tension, several major key points, and of course bright and engaging, better if unexpected, conclusion.

Rule #5. Imagine you will present your essay at TED conference

Read what you have written so far aloud and pretend that you are giving a speech at TED or TEDx conference. Of course, the format of the speech is different, but you can make it work for your essay. If you lack breath just in the middle of the sentence, it means it is too long; you have to cut it. If you can’t read some words or combinations of words from the first time, it means you use too complicated vocabulary for this kind of task, and you should find more simple and lively alternatives.

Rule #6. Don’t write like a “drama queen”

Personal growth is an engaging, emotional issue, but, please, restrain from adding too much drama to your writing. No one is truly interested in the full scale of your emotions regarding the issue, so make sure you give more facts than the description of your emotional background. Don’t let yourself get carried away, keep the story dynamic and not too dramatic.

Rule #7. Adjust the truth

We don’t suppose you lie to your readers or your professor. However, the stories of personal growth might be a little too long, or too personal for an essay. Sometimes you have to skip some parts in order to keep the narration solid and worth reading.

Don’t procrastinate too much; it is better to start custom essay writing right away and spoil several drafts, than to “write” an essay in your head for a week and later come up with one mediocre final draft. Grab these tips and start creating your masterpiece on personal growth!


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