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Personal Essays

Personal essays are similar to narrative or reaction essays. They allow a student to have his/her say and allow them to vent their opinions about life or about a topic. Personal essays represent what the writer thinks and feels about a topic. Details are important in getting the reader involved. Personal essays let the writer use dialogue, setting, point of view, and characterization as needed. These essays encourage the writer to connect with the reader. While personal essays allow a student to vent about a topic, they should not have a lot of philosophical raging. The first paragraph needs a strong hook to draw the reader into the essay. Most editors will say that if a reader does not get involved in the first paragraph they will not continue reading the essay, book, or magazine.

Sample Paragraph of a Personal Essay:

"Every year about 740,000 dogs and cats abandoned by irresponsible owners are gathered at health centers. Most of them are killed while some of them are sold or given away for experimental use" (Destiny 2004). Pets are abandoned every year because the pet owner is not responsible. This makes me so angry to realize so many pet owners do not carefully consider getting a pet. Many of these abandoned pets should have never been born. If a pet owner would only neuter or spay their dogs so many animals would not go to the city's dog pound. If a pet owner cannot take care of the puppies or kittens they should not have let their pet get pregnant. Many pets are dropped off in the country to either starve or find a new owner. I believe if pet owners were more responsible many of the abandoned pets would not happen.

This is a paragraph of a sample personal essay expressing the feelings of the writer about abandoned pets. A quote is used to hook the reader to continue reading. While a quote is given as evidence, most of the writing is expressing anger toward irresponsible pet owners. This essay expresses the point of view of the writer about abandoned pets making this a personal essay.

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