How To Write an Essay About Yourself Without Sounding Egotistical


Writing a general essay can be difficult for many of us. The whole essay writing process is made even more difficult when the topic of the essay is personal and about yourself! This type of essay challenges you to find the fine line between writing an essay that allows your character to shine without sounding like a pompous windbag who’s in need of a serving of humble pie.

We know this can be hard, so we’re going to help you determine where that line is today. Let’s get right to it with some super helpful tips that will help you figure out how to write an essay about yourself without sounding egotistical.

How to Write an Essay About Yourself Without Sounding Egotistical

Determine what’s expected

First things first, you have to know what the specifics of the essay are so you can get busy writing about yourself. Get your essay instructions out and read them very carefully to ensure you cover all of the bases. You want to look out for:

  • Formatting guidelines: Make sure you format your essay properly and exactly as the directions state. This means that you’ll space it properly, use headers/footers, include a citation page and abide by any writing styles required if the instructions state as much. You’ll make a good first impression if you following formatting directions, so take the extra few minutes to make sure you’ve nailed it.
  • Word limit: Keep an eye out for words like minimum or maximum when reviewing the word requirement. It’s very important to abide by the instructions here as not doing so can lead to a bad grade or your essay getting rejected.
  • Topic: We know the essay is supposed to be about you in some capacity, but there may be more to it. There may be a specific event, influential person, favorite hobby or aspiration you’re supposed to discuss in detail. Try to determine if there are any of these specifications and then you can move on.

Looking for a more in-depth guide? Check it out…



Know your audience

It’s super important that you know your audience before you start brainstorming and start the process of actually writing your essay. You will be able to fine tune the tone of your essay once you know who you are writing for. Make sure you keep this in mind throughout the rest of your essay writing process, since it will likely impact what you choose to include in your story to properly suit who is reading it and why.

Brainstorm a bit and make an outline

Now you can start to have fun with your essay, since all of the technical stuff is out of the way. A good way to get the mental gears turning for any essay is with a good brainstorming session. Spend 10 to 15 minutes jotting down your thoughts and some of the key points you’d like to touch on during your essay.

The main goal is to get your mental juices flowing so you can make the most out of the rest of your essay, so don’t worry too much about things being perfect at this point. There will be plenty of time for that later.

You can take all of your brainstorming ideas and translate that hard work into a kicking outline for your essay. The outline doesn’t have to be too specific to be effective, so again, don’t spend too much time fiddling with it. Keep it simple by writing down the main point of your essay, labeling your main paragraphs in the order you’d like them to go in and plug in any key points you’d like to touch on when writing.

Introduce yourself

How to Write an Essay About Yourself for a JobEvery good essay needs a solid introduction and this is even more important when you’re writing about yourself. You want to engage your reader with some interesting facts about yourself and keep them reading until the very end.

This can be accomplished by talking about who you are and where you’re from. It’s also a good idea to incorporate any other personal information that may be of interest to your reader and will help you transition to the main point of your essay. Just don’t give away too much before you get to the juicy details that will make up the rest of your essay.

It’s definitely ideal to start your essay with strong, descriptive sentences as well. Limit clipped sentences that are overly simplistic because they aren’t really doing anything for your reader. Lackluster sentences can bore your audience and may even encourage them to put your essay down before getting to the good part.

You want to make to the most of your first impression, which can’t really be done with sentences like:

  • “I like books”
  • “I’m from Georgia”

Those are two super simple and relatively uninteresting sentences, but they don’t have to be. They could easily be improved like this:

  • “I thoroughly enjoy reading classic novels from some of the greatest writers in history.”
  • “I embrace my southern roots as a proud Georgia native”

You can see how adding just a bit of flair to those two sentences makes them come alive and shows more character than the previous ones. Make sure you continue to use descriptive sentences throughout your essay to keep your reader interested and to enhance your story telling ability, too.

Here’s some more good info…


Find your focus

It’s time to jump right into the heart of your essay now that you’ve laid a bit of the ground work in your introduction. Here you’re going to pick one specific topic to focus on. Don’t be afraid to go deep into your writing as long as your word limit permits it.

The sky is the limit if your instructions don’t require you to write about any specific, predetermined topic . You can write about something you are particularly interested in, an important life event or even your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle if you’re so inclined.

Do try to resist the urge to branch out in too many directions when writing your essay, though. We know you’re super fascinating and all, but keep the focus on one thing so you don’t lose your reader. After all, losing your reader’s attention could be a real bummer if you have a much needed job, good grade or scholarship on line.

How to Write an Essay AboutYourself for a ScholarshipMake it personal and tell a story

It’s a given that the essay you’re writing is going to be personal to a certain extent since it is specifically about you or some facet of your life/character. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to offer up goods, though. You’re going to want to take the extra time and care to make your essay as personal as possible by telling a story rich in detail and character.

You merely introduced yourself at the beginning of your essay, so now is your chance to let your audience in further as you expose a side of yourself previously unseen. Share pieces of yourself and your life story to drive the focus of your essay home in an attempt to leave a lasting impression on your reader. Personalize your writing by adding real details, feelings and descriptions, too.

Your goal is to take your reader on a journey through your personal experiences, thoughts or hopes for your future. This journey may very well require you to venture into uncharted territory and that can be a great thing for your essay. So, don’t shy away from revealing sensitive or complex issues as long as the things you write about are appropriate for your audience.

Ultimately we want you to remember that your writing will be exponentially better if you provide rich details that will paint an interesting picture of who you are and what you’ve experienced. It’s your life and your story, so embrace it and let your words do their job.

Stay humble

Probably an overlooked, but super important part of writing an essay about yourself is the necessity to keep things genuine, humble and to avoid coming across as egotistical. Not much will have your reader reaching for a barf bag faster than you coming across as a boastful, self-absorbed jerk.

Now we do realize that you’re supposed to talk about yourself and your achievements when writing a personal essay. However, you don’t have to kick it up a notch by bragging about how awesome you are, how perfect you are and how you’re pretty certain you fit the bill for the perfect human specimen. All of those things may be true, but remember that a little (or a lot) of humility can go a really long way.

End strong

It’s important to maintain your awesome writing momentum all the way until the very end of your personal essay. We know this can be kind of difficult as you try to wrap things up, try to bring all of your important points home in a way that makes sense and leaves some sort of mark on your reader.

An effective way to end your essay on a strong note starts with wrapping up your personal story at just the right time. Try to avoid cutting the story off too abruptly and leaving things hanging. The last thing you want your reader to be thinking is “That’s it? Where’s the rest?” Instead of chopping it off abruptly, try to consciously wrap it up with a lesson you learned or by detailing something you overcame or accomplished.

You can also end things by briefly summarizing the important points you made throughout your essay, but be careful not to simply recap exactly what you’ve already said. Interject new ideas and make sure you wrap things up with a thought or question that will make your reader remember you or at very least make them think. You’ll really end things on a high note if you can manage both of these things.

Don’t forget to edit

Editing is never fun no matter how great your writing skills are. However, it is an extremely important part of the writing process and the integrity of your essay essentially depends on it. You want your reader to take you seriously and solely focus on the content you’ve provided them. This will be nearly impossible if your writing is loaded with typos, grammatical errors or spelling blunders.

The best way to save yourself the embarrassment of turning in a hot mess of an essay is to proofread out loud, revise and then proofread out loud again. This process will help you catch most of your mistakes, even the ones lurking between the lines.

You can even go the extra mile and have someone else take a gander at your essay. It can’t hurt to have an extra set of eyes and opinions comb through your writing to ensure everything is in tiptop shape. We know it’s hard to take criticism, but try not to see any feedback as a person slight against you. Instead, look at it as a way to improve your essay and even your writing skills as a whole.

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