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Tips for College Students: How to Write a Paper in First Person 

When writing a first person paper you’re going to be using words like I, me, and my. The first person is when one speaks about one’s self. You are likely to write this kind of paper when asked to write about your summer vacation or perhaps another experience that you had. Papers like this can be tricky because people tend to get used to writing more along the lines of research and usually are taught not to include the word I or personal opinions in papers. It will be a different experience but it is basically a simple principle.

What to do

  • Write in detail
  • Be honest
  • Talk about emotions

Write in Detail

Be as detailed as possible when writing a first person paper. You are no longer dealing with facts and research, this is now personal. You may have been there and saw everything clearly but the reader wasn’t. you have to make it seem like the reader was there. Allow yourself to paint them a detailed picture of every aspect of the story. You want them to feel as if they saw what you saw.

Be Honest

When writing a personal story about something that you have experienced it is important to be honest. Do not try to change the story to be more exciting or make up plot twists, that is what fiction is for. This assignment is to tell your audience what happened and the way that it happened, nothing more. It is meant to be the truth about the event in question not the most fascinating version that you can come up with.

Talk About Emotions

When telling a story about a personal experience it is just as important to tell the reader what you felt as it is to tell them what you saw or experienced. How you felt at each step, when it is relevant, can make or break the paper. If you are telling a sad story, allow the reader to feel what you felt. Good authorship is being able to relay all relevant information to the story.

All of these elements are important and will help make a better paper. How you write is more important than what you write about. If you write with feeling and truth than the reader gets a true sense of the story. Most college professors are looking for papers that stand out. They want papers that can tell the whole story and really make them feel as if they were there. Storytelling is as much about giving the reader an experience as it is describing one.

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