Writing A Personal Essay In Apa Style

PERSONAL WRITING

Personal writing is subjective(based on personal opinions or feelings rather than facts or evidence). When you write personal papers, the content of your writing is based on your own observation, experience, or opinion. Writing assignments that ask you to state your opinion about an issue, to document what you observed, to relate a subject to your own life, to share a story, or to provide a description of a person, place, object, or event are considered personal papers. Personal opinion and narrative essays fall into this category, as do some reflective papers. If you have ever written a paper about what you did on your summer vacation or given your opinion about an issue, you have written a personal paper. Personal writing asks what you think about a subject or what you observed or experienced.

In personal papers, you are the speaker, so you use the pronouns, I, me, my, mine, we, or our. These pronouns are known as first–person pronouns, so this type of writing is said to be from a first–person point of view. In personal papers, you are also speaking directly to your readers, so the use of the pronouns you or your, which are called second–person pronouns, is also permitted. In personal writing, you must state your position or opinion on an issue and support your point of view with reasons, examples, personal anecdotes(a short, personal story about an incident or an event), illustrations, or stories. Below is an example of a paragraph from a personal paper about growing vegetables.

I learned to grow a vegetable garden when I was a young child. Every spring, my mother and I would work together to prepare the vegetable beds. Then, I would plant the seeds according to the directions on the back of each vegetable seed package. I would look forward to checking the garden each day. When the seeds began to sprout, I always thought it was magical.

APA Essay Checklist for Students

The American Psychological Association (APA) is one of the largest scientific and professional associations in the United States, and it has created a set of citation rules and formatting guidelines for scholarly writing to ensure a professional standard of academic integrity.

To create an essay that follows APA style, you need to focus on two things:

  • In-text citations, which show where you found your sources that you are quoting, summarizing, or paraphrasing.
  • Formatting visual elements, (such as titles, headings, page numbers, graphs, and charts, etc.), which organizes the essay for readability.
Here's an APA checklist for your formatted essay, with embedded links to the AWC's resources:

Additional Help

For more help with APA style and formatting, here are some additional resources:

  • APA Template
    This is a template that you can edit to help you format your paper properly according to Ashford's APA standards.
  • In-Text Citation Guide
    This webpage goes over how to do citations within the body of your paper or assignment.
  • An Overview of APA Key Elements
    This webpage is a checklist of all of the key elements of APA 6th ed. style that are required for student papers at Ashford University.
  • Reference List Entry Models
    This guide contains examples of references in APA style by type.
  • APA Style Aid
    The APA Style Aid offers examples of in-text citations, reference page entries, and block quoting.
  • Purdue OWL
    A great resource for general help about APA formatting

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