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How Do I Write a Personal Development Essay?

Dan Cavallari
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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An employer or instructor may require you to write a personal development essay that describes a particular pattern or event in your life that has allowed you to develop or change in some way. Writing such an essay does not have to be difficult, but you will need to do a bit of brainstorming and preparation. It helps to develop a clear focus for your personal development essay so you know exactly what topic you want to cover. Once you have a topic in mind, you can brainstorm general ideas you want to discuss in relation to that topic.

After you brainstorm general ideas, you will need to begin writing the personal development essay by following a specific format. The best way to remember the proper essay format is the simple statement: say what you're going to say, say it, then say what you said. In other words, your first paragraph should prepare the reader for the general topic as well as the specific thesis statement. The next several paragraphs should explain your broad points. Then, your last paragraph should sum up your arguments deftly and clearly.

The first paragraph of your personal development essay is the most important one because you will need to grab your reader's attention and draw them into the essay. You can do this by creating an image or telling a story, then transitioning that story into your thesis statement, or specific argument or topic that you will be covering in the rest of the essay. Your thesis statement is usually the last sentence in the first paragraph, and it should be fairly specific. An example might be:

"Raising a child has given me the tools to be a more caring person because I have learned how to focus more on the needs of others."

Notice that the statement gives a specific reason how raising a child has improved the person's life. Specific examples are always good to include in a thesis statement for your personal development essay.

Remember to take note of the question that was asked of you, if one was given. Employers and teachers often ask specific questions in regard to personal development, and it helps to underline key words in the question so you can ensure you answer the question thoroughly. You may even want to include those keywords somewhere in your essay to indicate you have addressed the specific parts of a question.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dan Cavallari
By Dan Cavallari , Former Writer
Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.

Discussion Comments

By Talentryto — On Feb 22, 2014

I had feelings of accomplishment after I had to write a personal development essay in college Heavanet. I was dreading the idea of writing it, but once I began, the words seemed to come to me very easily. After I was finished writing and read my essay, I felt that was the first time I realized how I had grown personally on many levels.

By Heavanet — On Feb 21, 2014

I think that this is the easiest type of essay to write because you are the subject. Simply choose an area in your life in which you have grown, and begin by writing an outline about the points you want to make. When it all comes together, not only will you have a personal development essay, but you will also be proud to see your accomplishments in writing .

Dan Cavallari

Dan Cavallari

Former Writer

Dan Cavallari, a talented writer, editor, and project manager, crafts high-quality, engaging, and informative content for various outlets and brands. With a degree in English and certifications in project management, he brings his passion for storytelling and project management expertise to his work, launching and growing successful media projects. His ability to understand and communicate complex topics effectively makes him a valuable asset to any content creation team.
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