By Stacey Wonder
29 October 2015
Describe Yourself Essay. What’s It All About?
Whether you’re applying to a community college, a four-year college or university, or graduate school, you may be asked to write an essay describing yourself. A “Describe yourself” essay may also be required for applications to extracurricular programs, special experiences, and certain types of employment.
So, where do you begin when describing yourself in writing? Do you talk about your weaknesses, or just your strengths?
Make Preliminary Notes
Before you begin writing the essay properly, take some time to jot down a few thoughts. You don’t have to include everything you write down here in your final draft; this is merely a brainstorming exercise that will give you some material to work with.
First, make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. These can be physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual qualities. While you’re at it, add any special talents or hobbies. If you have any personal heroes, list those names, whether they’re celebrated figures or not. Next, write down any significant experiences you’ve had, such as witnessing the death of a pet or family member, winning an award, traveling, or becoming sick or injured. Add dates to refresh yourself, in case you plan to write a chronological account. Finally, list some adjectives that you think other people might use to describe you, as well as words you’d use to describe yourself.
Pick a Format
Some institutions will give you details on how to compose your essay. In the absence of such instructions, it’s always safe to go with a standard five-paragraph essay. This consists of an opening paragraph, three solid paragraphs, and a conclusion.
Don’t Be Too Negative
While it’s fine to mention rough times or personal weaknesses, some things are better left unsaid. A run-in with the law or a battle with a serious mental illness is generally not the kinds of things you want to talk about in your essay. Always try to use negative characteristics or events to highlight your good points. For example, if one of your parents abandoned your family and you had to become a caretaker to your younger siblings, you can talk about how that experience made you more mature, responsible, and compassionate. But focus more on the outcome than the bad experience. The more skilled you are as a writer, the better you’ll do at turning negatives into positives.
Whether or not you have the option to give your composition a title, you’ll want your first sentence to reel the reader in. You could mention something that other people say about you, refer to a favorite quote, or make a joke that shows your personality.
Write a Thesis Statement
A thesis statement, which also belongs in your introduction, is different from a hook or a headline. The thesis is your overall description of what you’re writing about. Here are some examples:
- “__________ was the most significant experience of my life.”
- “The three values that best define me are __________, __________, and __________.”
- “My lifelong dream has been to __________.”
- “If there’s one thing I regret, it’s __________.”
- “If I can accomplish these three things before I die, I will have lived a good life:”
Compose Three Distinct Paragraphs
There are several ways you can arrange your essay. You might write one paragraph about each of your most important values, memories, or goals. Or you could devote one paragraph to describing yourself physically, one to describing yourself psychologically, and one to describing yourself socially. Again, the construction of the essay may be part of the assignment, so be sure to follow any instructions you receive.
In your closing paragraph, sum up the basic point or points you want the reader to remember about you. What did you strive to say in the body of the paper? Recap it here by saying something like, “Whatever happens, I know I will have my __________, __________, and __________ to guide me.”
Finally, remember that this is not a research paper or book report. Keep the tone casual, and make sure it sounds like the real you. If you’re naturally a serious intellectual, that’s fine. But if you’re a clown, it won’t serve you well to write a stuffy-sounding paper.
Tags: college essay
Question/Prompt: Write 3 paragraphs introducing yourself to the class. Each paragraph needs to be 5 sentences and should follow the structure provided below:
Paragraph 1: Share where you are from, your family dynamics (i.e. married, single, grandparent, children), and your hobbies.
Paragraph 2: Let us know what year you are in college, your possible major, your career goals/aspirations and why you think an online format to your college education will work well for you. List at least 3 strategies you have used for studying and/or time management in the past and describe whether or not you felt they were effective.
Paragraph 3: Reflect on God's working in your life to bring you to Christian University and also share your salvation testimony (if you have one).
Hello my name is Amber. I am 21 years old, and a single mother of two precious little boys. I am from a small town called Beaufort,South Carolina. I have a passion for working with children of various ages. I have been in Childcare for 4 years and I am certified in CRP and First Aid. I also have my credentials in Early Childhood Development which was once my major.
This will be my first year here at this University. My major will be Medical Office Assistant. I have many goals that I would like to achieve, to name a few are finishing college, becoming an successful Medical Office Assistant, and becoming a better person. A online format will work well for me because I am currently unable to attend classes on classes on campus due to various reasons. The 3 strategies that i have used for studying are reviewing my notes everyday, make diagrams, and preparing a self test. All of these strategies have been very effective for me.
When I was 8 years old my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent surgery and had the cancer cells removed. When i was 13 years old my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer, and many other types of cancers. She wasn't expected to live past 1 year because there was no more treatment for her. My mother began to become very ill and unable to walk anymore, which caused her to have to be wheelchair bound. I had to take on the role of being her care taker along with my older sister help who was barley around. my father also wasn't in my life The reason why i choose this as my salvation testimony is because my mom wasn't expected to live past a year but she passed away when i was 19 years old. I believe that God kept my mom around long enough to see me graduate high school because i never lost faith in her. This was a lot for a teenager to have to deal with but it all has made me the strong young lady I am today!
I'll note where I make changes to your first two paragraphs:
Paragraph 1: Hello, my name is Amber. I am 21 years old and a single mother of two precious little boys. I am from a small town called Beaufort, South Carolina. I have a passion for working with children of various ages. I have been in childcare for four years and I am certified in CPR and First Aid. I also have my credentials in early childhood development, which was once my major.
Paragraph 2: This will be my first year at the university. I anticipate majoring in the program for Medical Office AssistantI have many goals. Some important ones include finishing college, obtaining a job as a medical office assistant, and becoming a better person.Online classes, in particular, will provide considerable benefit because they are convenient and compatible with my current commitments and obligations. Three strategies I have used to success in my studying are making diagrams, reviewing notes regularly, and preparing self-assessments. These strategies have proven effective for me in helping to facilitate learning and promoting steady progress.
Paragraph 1: Consider varying your sentence structure. Note the beginning of each sentence (I). "Working with children of various ages" is another way of saying working with children...
"Various ages" does not enhance your description in any meaningful way. It would help to be more specific with what you mean in this sentence. For example: I enjoy working with children and being involved in helping their development. You have been in childcare for four years. The reader probably assumes this means you've worked in a childcare setting for the last four years. I assume you mean Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). I'm not sure whether CPR is well known enough not to require the customary introduction of what it stands for. I'm not sure if first aid can be capitalized in its own right. On to the last sentence. What credentials do you have in early childhood development? Does it help to mention that it was your major at some point? Is it correctly implied that you did not complete the major? If so, is this something helpful to portray?
Paragraph 2: Becoming a better person is a vague goal. I reworded the sentence about why an online format would be helpful to you. Instead of describing online classes as necessary due to restrictions and limitations, describing the benefit of online classes with positive adjectives that allude to broad, overarching advantages, helps beef up the tone and encompass a range of scenarios without spelling any of them out explicitly.