How to write a first person essay

essay-guidelines-4

A first person essay is a type of academic essay written in the first person point of view that presents a significant lesson learned from a writer’s personal experience.

The aim of a first person essay is to establish a bond with the reader. You encourage the reader to accompany you on your personal journey when writing this type of essay.

Step 1: First person essay example

You can see the following first person essay example before we go further into the steps. This will give you an overall idea of what a first person essay is.

When I think of my past life, one of the memories I remember the most vividly is my first day at school. Hook: Engaging first sentence that helps the reader grasp the importance of the event. I have always been a student that loved school and studying; I am what you might consider a nerd. Therefore, I don’t think it’s necessary for me to say how excited I was to start school. Personal information: Information that connects the reader with the writer.

In the weeks leading up to the first school day, I remember checking my stationary my parents had bought me for school every day and admiring them, thinking how excited I was to finally start using them. Opening sentence: Vivid explanation of the past events, creating a more appealing story. I had already learned to read and write before starting elementary school, and I could not wait to see the look on my teacher’s face when I told them, “I already know this stuff!”. Yes, I was an annoying kid. Insights: Insight into the writer’s personality, which creates a more sincere tone. You can ask my childhood friends if you would like to hear someone else’s thoughts on this; I am sure they will tell you the same thing. Concluding sentence: Casual and humorous tone that eases the reader.

You probably expect a happy first day of school story from me right now. Emotional connection: Addressing the reader, therefore strengthening the emotional connection. The truth is far from that. As much as I was a nerd, I was a mamma’s kid. Insights: Further insight into the writer’s personality. So, when my parents dropped me off at school, I started crying my eyes out. Event: Vivid description of the event. I did not want them to leave, but I also wanted to begin my first school day. So, my mother set eyes on a blonde girl that she thought looked like a good kid and made me sit next to her. After starting to chat with my new friend, I slowly eased off and was ready to put on a show. Needless to say, that blonde girl became one of my best friends in elementary school. Feelings: Description of feelings felt by the writer. This helps strengthen the bond between the writer and the reader. Even though it did not go quite according to my plans, I still cherish the memory of my first day at school. Concluding sentence: Concluding sentence of your paragraph which should be memorable and descriptive.

The rest of the school year was much more eventful because, being a crybaby, I started crying even at the slightest of inconvenience. Emotional connection: More insight into the writer’s personality. Adding these details creates an emotional bond with the reader. Naturally, this created a problem for my teacher and classmates, in so much that the deputy headteacher was telling kids to keep quiet, not because it disrupted the class, but because it made me cry. Emphasizing memories: Recounting of more memories in a casual tone. Thinking back to my first school day and generally, my elementary school experience always makes me happy. Therefore, I always have so much fun talking about my school experiences. Final sentence: Your finishing sentences, make sure to make it memorable for your reader.

Step 2: Structure of a first person essay

Structured academic writing or casual personal narratives can both be used in first person essays.

But you should know that the style of first person essays is typically conversational. They combine a mixture of personal anecdotes, an emotional connection, and a clear point of view.

Personal pronouns are highly common in first person essays.

First person pronouns example

Pronouns such as I,” “me,” and “we First person pronouns must be used when writing first person essays. This contrasts with the third person point of view, which uses third person pronouns such as he,” “she,” and “they”. Third person pronouns

Second-person pronouns example

First person essays also contrast with the second-person point of view, which uses second-person pronouns such as you,” and “yours”. Second-person pronouns

Now that we have learned these details in first person essays, we can continue with the steps to write an excellent one.

Step 3: Choosing what experience to share

Almost any topic can be written in a first person essay. But this should not scare you, as we have some tactics for you to easily choose your topic.

First person essay topic examples

For this guide, we’ve chosen the topic of “your first day at school.” Above, you’ll see the example essay. When you’ve worked out what you want to say, move on to the next step: figure out your tone.

Step 4: Define your tone

Before starting your first draft, you should think about your essay’s tone and language (see UK and US English). Your writing style will need to change depending on the purpose of your essay.

If you’re writing an argumentative or persuasive essay, you may want to use a calculated and rational first person viewpoint.

This will persuade the reader to agree with your key argument. If you’re writing a reflective essay, you may want to use satire to keep the reader entertained.

You should ask yourself these questions to see if your tone is appropriate:

If your answers to these questions are “yes,” you are probably doing a good job.

Step 5: Create an outline

It’s time to make a brief outline now that you’ve selected your topic and decided on the right tone. The outline will help you get your thoughts organized. It will also help you with the order of your headings in the writing process.

Your first person essay should follow the traditional introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion essay structure unless stated otherwise.

Example of a first person essay outline

  1. Introduction
    1. Hook
    2. Personal information

  2. Body paragraph 1
    1. Opening sentence
    2. Insights
    3. Concluding sentence

  3. Body paragraph 2
    1. Emotional connection
    2. Insights
    3. Event
    4. Feelings
    5. Concluding sentence

  4. Conclusion
    1. Emotional connection
    2. Emphasizing memories
    3. Final sentence

You can ask yourself these questions while creating your outline:

Step 6: Write your first draft

Now, let’s get to writing. The first draft of your essay is an important step toward creating a well-thought-out and concentrated academic essay.

First person essay introduction first draft example

Introduction (Hook, Personal information)

I was always attracted by the stars in the night sky as a youngster. They appeared to be tiny pinpricks of light, far away and enigmatic. My passion in astronomy only grew as I grew older, and I began to spend countless hours studying the stars and planets. I didn't realize the enormous power of a telescope until I was in college. I could see aspects of the world that I had never dreamed conceivable with such a little tool. I've been studying the stars as an amateur astronomer for almost a decade. I've always been captivated by the universe's beauty and complexity, and I feel is no greater thrill than learning something new about our surroundings.

Things to consider

Step 7: Revise your draft and finish writing

It’s time to revise your essay after you’ve finished your draft. This is your chance to check if you have a strong point of view and your writing is clear.

First person essay introduction final draft example

Introduction (Hook, Personal information)

I was always attracted by the stars The stars always attracted me in the night sky as a youngster. They appeared to be tiny pinpricks of light, far away and enigmatic. My passion in astronomy only for astronomy grew as I grew older, and I began to spend spent countless hours studying the stars and planets. I didn't realize only realized the enormous power of a telescope until once I was in college. I could see aspects of the world that I had never dreamed of conceivable with such a little tool. I've been studying studied the stars as an amateur astronomer for almost a decade. I've always been captivated by the universe's beauty and complexity, and I feel and there is no greater incredible thrill than learning something new about our surroundings.

Important things to consider while revising

Additionally, make sure you can say yes to these questions when proofreading your essay:
After all, write in-depth, be honest, and discuss feelings in your first person essay, and your reader will be captivated.
Ibrahim Akturk
Ibrahim Akturk
Content editor at Tamara Research. Translation major, huge coffee and baking nerd. Addicted to good music and great articles.

Recently on Tamara Blog

daily-newspaper
Asena Kocakusak

How to write a horror story

This article will guide you on how to write a horror story. You will learn how to plan your setting, characters, and outline and see examples of exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. 

Read More »
pen-written-page
Asena Kocakusak

How to write a story

Learn how to write a story with our guide on the steps of story writing and see examples of exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

Read More »
Education concept. Student studying and brainstorming campus con
Asena Kocakusak

How to structure an essay

Learn how to structure an essay with our comprehensive guide. We also give tips on writing a solid thesis statement and supporting your arguments with evidence.

Read More »
essay-guidelines-4
Asena Kocakusak

How to write a hook sentence

Learn how to write a hook sentence that will grab your reader’s attention and keep them interested in your essay. Discover the steps and types with examples.

Read More »
How to write a first person essay
Fatih Gul

Essay Topic Ideas

Get inspiration for your essay with our list of essay topic ideas, from persuasive and argumentative to narrative and research essay topics.

Read More »