Non-fiction is the creation of documentary (based on documents and facts) works of art, demonstrating real events, objects, and persons. One of the types of creative non-fiction literature is a personal essay. It is a great opportunity to share interesting and unique moments of your life with other people.

Very often, the candidates entering the university or college have the task of writing creative nonfiction essays. Admission commissions always want to see interesting and talented candidates. They are trying to assemble a team (probably everyone would like to collect such a team) from a vast group of smart, motivated, innovative, unique personalities who can bring something interesting to the multi-layer community of the school. They need people who are integral, able to find a common language with others, and who can diversify life on campus in every way. In addition, they need stable, self-assured applicants who have already achieved something in their lives.


Before you write your own text, you need to study some successful creative nonfiction examples created by famous writers. Many authors, in addition to fiction, often write memoirs, where they talk about their lives.

When you begin working on your essay, make a list of the most significant events in your life. Which of them really changed you, made you who you are now? Did you grow up abroad and learn several languages? Does your cultural environment favorably distinguish you from others? Perhaps you have an inherent flaw that made you stronger, or maybe you are a master of Thai cuisine, a marathon runner or a pianist. Do you have an unusual interest that fills your life with meaning? After highlighting unique events, mark those of them that helped you find your way in life, the things which helped to understand the values and prioritize. Ask yourself wheyher they present you as an emotionally unstable, unreliable, and ambiguous person? If the answer is positive, such events are suitable in the psychotherapist's office, but not in the admission committee. However, if they made your essay stronger and wiser, be sure to include them.

The creative nonfiction essays, like other kinds of written works, have their own traditions of writing. They vary depending on the objectives or educational institutions but more or less coincide in the structure and methodology of writing.


    As mentioned earlier, the choice of the topic plays a crucial role in the process of creating a paper. You need to choose not just a story from your life, but the situation that will reflect your essence and personal qualities. For example, if you are concerned with the issue of social injustice, describe the incident where you helped a classmate who was a victim of peer ridicule, or vice versa, write about how someone helped you.

    One of the first things in creative nonfiction essays writing is the presentation of the reasons of writing a paper. Think about why this topic is interesting to you and should be interesting to the reader.

    The next point is the short-term and long-term plans associated with the development of the topic of the essay. Particular attention should be paid to the advantages and disadvantages of the theme. You should answer the question ‘who is ready to solve this task and what qualities should a person have to achieve the goal specified in the essay?’ These questions can be rearranged in any order.


    Creative nonfiction essays shoul be based on the uniqueness of the author's personality. Such a paper is an individual work and does not tolerate co-authorship. The author of the essay is always visible in his or her style, dynamics and originality of the goal.


    Never write about the events that did not happen to you in real life. Lies are very easy to uncover. If you are writing an essay for a college, a teacher or a member of the admissions committee can ask you a question that will be unexpected for you and will puzzle you. Do not think that your life is too boring, sometimes even everyday things can have a lot of sense, just look at situations from different sides, analyze them and draw conclusions.


    The use of quotations is very appropriate in a personal essay. However, be attentive, remember that aphorisms should only supplement your thought. Do not copy someone else's text and other people's ideas. Be yourself, and your paper will be original and interesting.


    Funny additions will also look very good against the background of your story. Of course, it depends on the choice of the topic. If you are writing about some tragic events, jokes will be inappropriate. However, if you are describing, for example, the story that happened to you and your best friend during a summer camp vacation, a nice event from childhood will make your essay more creative.


    A personal essay should have a purpose; it should not be just retelling of some events. Your story must have the essence, teach people something, and carry moral values. You need to analyze the situation and tell about what you understood for yourself at the end of the paper. You do not have to write about it directly; you can make a hint and readers will understand what you mean. As you can see, a creative nonfiction essay is a very interesting and cognitive activity. Just try to write your own paper, it is not difficult at all.

Tips, Tricks, How To