Writing an essay about your life can be a great way to reflect on your experiences, values, and personal growth, especially if you know where to start. So, whether you’re writing a college application or an autobiographical essay, this tutorial is perfect for you!
I’m Constance, and I will show you how to write an essay about your life in five simple steps. I will give you tips, and we’ll write an example of such an essay, too!
Step 1. Plan your word count.
Planning the word count for each paragraph in your essay is a great way to organize your thoughts. As a result, it will help write any essay much quicker and simpler.
Here are three elements you must include in your essay:
- The introductory paragraph
- Three body paragraphs
- The concluding paragraph
For example, you can follow the diagram below to distribute 300 words across the five paragraphs in a 300-word essay:
Step 2. Determine the main idea and three supporting points.
Before you write the paragraphs, you must choose a main idea that you will use as the basis of your essay.
To do this, you can consider three things in your life that you want to highlight in your essay. Then, think about why you want to talk about them. Do these three things play a significant role in your life? Do they positively or negatively affect your life?
Whatever it is, you must choose only one main idea that will overarch the three things you want to highlight in the body paragraphs. It will be your essay’s thesis.
For example, we can use this as our sample essay’s thesis: “My family, education, and personal experiences have shaped me into a responsible and interesting person.”
Next, you’ll divide the thesis using the Power of Three to keep your ideas flowing.
The Power of Three is a three-part structure that divides your thesis into three supporting points. It helps you produce your essay’s body paragraphs.
Why three? Because three is the perfect number — it’s not too many, not too few. And it always works!
For example, we could use these three supporting points for our essay:
- My family plays an important role in my life.
- My education has been a key to my personal growth.
- My personal experiences have enriched my life in many ways.
Note that although they are all related to the main idea, “My family, education, and personal experiences have shaped me into a responsible and interesting person,” they are distinct.
Excellent! Now we’re ready for step three.
Step 3. Write the introductory paragraph.
After you get a general idea of what you want to write in your essay using the thesis and three supporting points, you can write the introductory paragraph. Here are what you need to include:
The first sentence (introduction) should catch your readers’ attention and make them want to know about your life. The rest of the paragraph will be your thesis and the three supporting points.
Here’s an example:
“Our lives are shaped by various influences that help us become who we are today. My family, education, and personal experiences have shaped me into a responsible and interesting person. My family has always provided me with invaluable guidance and support. My education has given me the skills and knowledge to pursue my passions and interests. And my personal experiences enriched my life with lessons that have molded the person I am now.”
Following the diagram above, our introductory paragraph proceeds from a general statement to more specific points, from the introduction to the thesis and its three supporting ideas.
Step 4. Write the body paragraphs.
Now that you have an introductory paragraph, you can write the body paragraphs, which will expand each supporting point into a paragraph. Here’s a diagram you can follow:
When writing a body paragraph, you will start with a topic sentence, which summarizes the entire paragraph. Then, you will explain your point and illustrate it using example/s.
“My family plays an important role in my life. They have always been there for me, providing guidance and support. I have also learned from their experiences and gained valuable insights. One example of this is when I decided to pursue a career change. I was feeling anxious and overwhelmed, but my parents and siblings were there to listen to me and give me sound advice. They helped me weigh the pros and cons and encouraged me to follow my calling.”
Note how the topic sentence gives context to the entire paragraph and briefly summarizes it. The rest explains it and illustrates the point using an example.
“My education has been a key to my personal growth. It has helped me develop skills and qualities that opened doors to opportunities. It has not only enhanced my knowledge but also helped me become a more confident and responsible individual. Pursuing professional teaching units has been a crucial part of my growth. It has helped me develop my communication and critical thinking skills and gain a deeper understanding of teaching methodologies. It has also boosted my self-esteem and empowered me to continue achieving my goal of becoming an educator.”
“My personal experiences have enriched my life in many ways. They have made me more well-rounded and given me a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment in life. For example, volunteering has taught me the importance of giving back and has helped me develop empathy and compassion for others. I remember volunteering for various projects our church has conducted, such as educational, feeding, and gift-giving programs. Through my interactions with numerous people, I gained an understanding of the struggles they faced, and it motivated me to give back to my community in more meaningful ways.”
Note how paragraphs 1 and 2 also follow the diagram’s structured outline, which proceeds from general to specific.
Finally, we’re ready for the final step in writing an essay.
Step 5. Write the concluding paragraph.
Paraphrasing your introductory paragraph is the simplest way to write an essay’s concluding paragraph. It’s also a time-proven technique, so it’s always effective!
Let’s see how it works for our sample essay:
“Different factors influence our lives and help form who we are now. My family, education, and personal experiences have molded me into a responsible and interesting individual. My family constantly gives me priceless love and support. My education equips me and enables me to open doors to opportunities. And my personal experiences have imparted insights and lessons that shaped the person I am today.”
As I mentioned, our concluding paragraph only restated the points in the introductory paragraph but was worded differently.
And we’re done! I hope you learned a lot from this tutorial. Now go ahead and write your essay about your life!