While there are many situations in which you might be called to write a personal essay, the most common reason is for a college admissions application. Writing an essay about your strengths and weaknesses can be daunting, but you can do it.
- Skill level:
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Make a list of your strengths. If you can't think of any, try thinking of a time you succeeded at a task. Ask yourself what strengths you used to make that success happen. Think of as many situations where you succeeded as you can and find the common qualities that allowed you to succeed. List these qualities as your strengths.
Make a list of your weaknesses. Think of a time when you have failed or when a project did not come out as you wished, and examine what personality traits contributed to that failure.
Write the essay in the format requested using your lists as references. Emphasise your strengths, but don't exaggerate them. When writing about your weaknesses, show examples of when a weakness might also be a strength, such as turning in a project late because you are so detail-oriented you didn't want to turn it in before it was perfect (illustrating your desire for excellence). It may also be applicable to provide a short plan for overcoming your weaknesses.
Tips and warnings
- If you have trouble editing your own writing, ask a friend or family member for assistance with spelling and grammar.
- Don't get too caught up in getting everything perfect in your first draft, or you may never write that first draft at all. You can always revise later.
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