Winning Intro Ideas for a Personal Essay

The introduction is arguably one of the most important parts of an essay. It sets the tone for your writing as well as attracts your reader’s interest. But how exactly can you write a good introduction for an essay about yourself?

Well, this article has got some winning tips to help you out.

There are many different instances when you might be required to write a personal essay. It could be for a school requirement or maybe a college or job application.

Whatever the reason is, it’s important to start your essay in an interesting and compelling way. So keep on reading if you want to know how you can do just that.

A person writing on a notebook surrounded by other objects.
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Why Your Essay Intro Matters

Personal essays are an excellent way to introduce yourself. It often talks about significant experiences, your interests, passions, and how they tie into your narrative. This gives readers an insight into who you are. 

But your essay is only as good as its introduction. Without a good introduction, people will most likely skip reading it. It’s the first paragraph of your essay. And as such, it needs to make a good first impression.

Use it to effectively hook the reader’s attention and encourage them to keep reading.

How to Get Started With Your Personal Essay

Take some time to reflect before you begin your writing. It’s best to start with a detailed brainstorming session to organize your thoughts. Try to ask yourself questions like:

  • What are the key issues that you want to address in your writing?
  • What is your most significant achievement?
  • How would your friends or family describe you?
  • Who are the people you admire most and why?
  • What are the five things you are thankful for most?
  • What inspired you in your hobbies or goals?

Winning Intro Ideas for a Personal Essay

Start With a Personal Anecdote

Start your essay by talking about a significant moment in your life. It can be the moment you overcame a hurdle or when you learned something life-changing.

The anecdote should be specific to the topic of your essay. It should give your reader a glimpse into your life to provide them a reason to sympathize with you. 

For Example:

Losing my mother felt like losing my breath. And there wasn’t a day that I wasn’t reminded of her absence. Whether it was the empty chair at the dinner table or my dad not knowing where the coffee filters were. My dad started road biking to ease his grief, and every Saturday, he invited me along. At first, I was not too fond of road biking, especially the stops. With every red light, I would frantically struggle to unclip my bike shoes from the pedals. Sometimes I’d lean the wrong way and fall sideways to the ground. Although frustrated with a bruised ego and scraped knees, I would always get up and try again.

State Basic Facts Yourself

Introduce yourself to readers by sharing a few basic facts about yourself. It can be something as simple as your name, where you’re from, and your interests. Keep in mind what’s interesting all depends on your audience, so it’s best to know your audience first.

For Example:

My name’s Kate, but my friends like to call me Katy. I was originally from Australia, but we moved to the US when I was six. It was hard to fit in at first, but I like to think of myself as a social butterfly. I can fit into any social situation and be friends with most people.

Highlight your talents

A bit of humble bragging is a good idea if you want to write an essay to impress your reader. Try to talk about some of your achievements in life and some of your talents. Let your readers know that you have a lot of value to offer.

My parents used to tell me that from the time I was three years old, I was in love with music. I would usually hang out by the piano in the living room. It was my childhood toy. And by the time I turned five years old, I had done my first ever solo piano recital. At age six, I won my first trophy. I was lucky to have found my passion so early: Music.

Open With an Inspiring Quote

Quotes are often a great way to start your essay. It gives you something to build your introduction on while showing your readers that you have a deeper message to share.

For Examples:

They often say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” And it was only in 2014 that I truly understood what it meant. I had undergone my first heartbreak. To add to that, I was dealing with my college finals. It couldn’t have come at a better time. It felt as if everything was on a downfall. But instead of sulking and throwing away all my plans, I looked at things in a new light. Sure, my heart was broken, but I wasn’t going to let it kill me or my dreams. I marched on in full force, no matter what it took. I worked hard on everything. And when it came to it, my work paid off.

Writing Tips for a Good Introduction For an Essay About Yourself

Writing a good introduction isn’t always easy. You need to put a lot of thought into it if you want to hook your reader. Here are a few writing tips to help you out:

Get to know your audience.

You want your essay intro to appeal to your readers. And to do that, you need to get to know them first. Find out what they’re interested in, so you can incorporate it into your writing. If you’re applying for a college scholarship, get to know the values of the university you’re applying to.

Write in the first person.

It’s your story, so it’s only fitting that you tell it in the first person. This makes your essay feel a lot more personal and genuine, making it easy to build a connection with the reader.

Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable.

Let your strengths, challenges, and personal stories shine through your essay! Scholarship and admissions committees appreciate it when they see how you can improve as a person or how you have grown from your experiences.

Highlight your talents but stay on topic

It’s great to talk about your talents and achievements in your essay. This can help set you apart and leave a good lasting impression. But it’s important to ensure you’re staying on topic. You don’t want to come off to your readers as if you’re showing off. Try to keep your tone informative and not boastful.

Final Words

By writing a good introduction for an essay about yourself, you can easily grab your reader’s attention and move them along with your essay. Remember, it needs to be interesting enough to draw the reader in. Take the time to craft a strong intro because it can make or break your essay.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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