When and how to write an essay about yourself without using I
Writing personal essays is a common task you will find in colleges and in the corporate world. Whether you are writing a cover letter for your dream job or an admission essay for a scholarship, the rules to follow are just too many. However, one of the fundamental principles is on the usage of ‘I’ in your essays. When are you supposed to make personal reference using first person pronoun? Does using ‘I’ in your personal essay weaken your argument? Are there rules on how to write an essay about yourself without using I?
This guide will take you rules, instructions, tips and secrets, which you should have at your fingertips when crafting personal pieces. Take your time and partake of this free knowledge that will turn around your writing.
Canons of how to write an essay about yourself without using I
The cardinal rules dictate that you make minimal reference to yourself within the confines of academic writing. In most cases, using direct reference to yourself makes your essay less objective. You sound biased!
At all times, let the facts and your thoughtful argument to speak for you. However, this can be a daunting task, where you are describing yourself as the best candidate for the position. In case you always write essay, giving personal opinions, you may have to adjust.
What to do when writing an essay about yourself without using I
RULE 1: Use second person pronoun. Consider “he,” “she,” “him,” “her,” “they” and “them,” instead of using ‘I’ in your essay. Besides, use the names of authors or titles of different publications to make your argument. For starters, you may need a list of personal pronouns for your reference to tease your memory as you try rephrasing a statement.
RULE 2: Use ‘this writer’ or ‘this author’ – Another way of mastering how to write an essay about yourself without using I is to refer to yourself using ‘this writer’ or ‘this author.’ Employ this rule if it is necessary for you to refer to yourself. This may sound as forced usage in everyday English, but it is permissible in academic writing.
RULE 3: Refer to sections of your essay. You do not want to sound subjective and repel objective readers of your essay. To overcome, say something like ‘this essay will describe the life of …’ and not ‘I will describe the life of…’
RULE 4: Make direct statements. Do not explain ideas that reflect your opinion. For example, readers will take you for granted if you state a fact and add your opinion. Instead say, ‘A and B imply C’ and not ‘I believe A and B show C.’
RULE 5: Use passive voice. Make a strong argument about yourself by using the passive voice. For instance, instead of “I think that …” say “Smith opines that …”
How to use “I” in an essay about yourself
The presence of ‘I’ in your academic essay can be degusting to the reader. No one wants to read a piece that is all about ‘Me, Myself and I’. Such write-ups, whether personal essays or not, lack the gist to pique your audience.
However, this does not completely criminalize the use of ‘I’ when writing personalized texts. In this section, you will find some of the accepted ways of how to write an essay about yourself without using I.
Case 1: When the essay prompt says, ‘in your own opinion’. Writing personal opinions are a common assignment you will encounter. In situations where the essay prompt directly wants your opinion, without any reference, then I can be hard to avoid ‘I.’
Case 2: When writing reaction papers – A reaction paper allows you to bring out personalized opinion and feelings, which a text, movie or speech evokes. In this case, it will be appropriate to use I in your essay.
Case 3: For assertiveness. The use of I will add value to your essay when you want to emphasize agency. You want to show that your opinion is unique or your incredible contribution to a particular project.
Case 3: You want to be clear. When writing an essay about yourself, you want every idea and statement to be clear. You want the reader to understand your essay without a second thought. For example if it is a cover letter, you want the HR manager to get a clear image of who you are without confusing with any other applicant for the same position.
Case 4: Claiming Authority – Imagine writing about a discovery you have just made. You may have to use I in your essay to position yourself in the text. This is equally important when developing your ethos to win the readers’ confidence in you as a respectable person in the field or topic.
These four scenarios show that the rules on how to write an essay about yourself without using I may not apply in every situation. Are you wondering how a personal essay that does not use I looks like? Well, below is an excerpt from a well-written essay that will help you digest the tips we have covered so far.
Example: Essay about yourself
Jack Bauer is the head of operations at ABC Airline. He oversees the daily running of the airline and ensures that the firm maintains a lead in the industry.
Bauer has a wealth of experience, having worked for various airlines since graduating with a First class degree in Economics from Yale University.
He has transformed different companies. For example, in 2014, Bauer was hired to rescue XYZ air, which was on its knees.
Besides his busy schedule, Bauer finds time to play golf and take his family out on holiday.
Synthesis of the above example
This is a perfect example of how you can write about yourself without the use of I. Notably, the writer talks about his current position, describes his career path, mentioning his skills in breathing life in dying organizations. He also captures his interests.
You too can write an excellent personal essay without sounding subjective. Simply follow the steps outlined above. What’s more, we still have more tips on how to write an essay about yourself without using I. Keep reading…
Hidden truth of how to write an essay about yourself without using I
In this section, you will find hints to help you describe yourself in a better and professional way.
Hint 1: – Use the third person. A great personal bio is always in the third person. You are writing about yourself but pretend that you are describing someone else. Write your full name and embark on painting the image of the person like family friend, character in a movie, etc.
In the above example, the writer says: Jack Bauer is the head of operations at ABC Airline. This sounds better other than the writer saying ‘I am Jack Bauer…’
Hint 2: Capture your position. Bring out your current position, including your job description. As you do this, remember the purpose of your bio. If you do everything, paint yourself as a jack of all trade, listing some of your duties. There is nothing to hide because mastering how to write an essay about yourself without using I, starts with accepting who you are.
Hint 3: List your achievements. Your personal bio is a time to describe your potential. What have you achieved? If you have won any accolades, you have a perfect chance to tell the world. Also, talk about your educational background by tying your position with your qualifications. This will affirm your suitability to hold the office.
Hint 4: Go personal. A personal bio, unlike any other form of essay about yourself allows you to meander through your life and tell the world your identity. A personal bio is never that cold as many of you put it. There is no harm in saying the name of your pet in your bio notes.
! Word of caution – Do not over share. Gauge what you say, lest it harms your credibility in future. Telling the world about your worst addictions and cravings should not be part of your bio notes.
Hint 5: Keep it brief and sweet. Personal bios are never long essays. They range from a few sentences to a few paragraphs. Keep the flesh of your life to your book.
With these guidelines on how to write an essay about yourself without using I, you have all you need to sell yourself using personal essays. Go for the best.
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