personal essay in apa format

personal essay in apa format

Writing a personal essay in APA format within a 1000-word limit involves sharing your personal experiences or insights while still adhering to the APA guidelines for formatting and citations. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you write a personal essay:

1. Choose a Personal Topic:

  • Select a personal experience or reflection that you want to share in your essay.

2. Pre-writing and Brainstorming:

  • Reflect on your chosen topic, jot down notes, and brainstorm ideas.

3. Create an Outline:

  • Develop an outline for your essay. For a 1000-word essay, consider the following structure:

I. Introduction (Approx. 100 words):

  • Start with an engaging hook to draw in the reader.
  • Provide context or background information about your personal experience.
  • State the main theme or message you want to convey.

II. Body (Approx. 800 words):

  • Organize the body of your essay into several paragraphs, each discussing a different aspect of your personal experience.
  • Include personal anecdotes, reflections, or specific examples that relate to your topic.
  • Consider incorporating any relevant research or literature if applicable.

III. Conclusion (Approx. 100 words):

  • Summarize the main points or insights from your personal experience.
  • Reflect on the significance of your experience and how it has affected you.
  • Restate the main message or takeaway from your essay.

4. Write the Essay:


  • Start with a captivating hook or statement.
  • Introduce your personal experience and its relevance.
  • Clearly state the main message or reflection you want to convey.


  • Follow your outline, dedicating one paragraph to each aspect or reflection.
  • Be honest and introspective in your writing.
  • Use descriptive language to engage the reader and paint a vivid picture of your experience.


  • Summarize the main insights or lessons you’ve gained from your personal experience.
  • Reflect on how this experience has shaped you or influenced your perspective.
  • Leave the reader with a final thought or reflection related to your essay’s theme.

5. Format in APA Style:

  • Use 12-point Times New Roman font.
  • Double-space the entire essay.
  • Set 1-inch margins on all sides.
  • Include a running head (page header) with the title on the top left of each page.
  • Number pages on the top right.
  • Format headings in bold and title case (Level 1: Centered, Level 2: Flush Left).
  • Include a title page with the essay title, your name, institution, and author note (if required).
  • Create a References page only if you’ve cited external sources.

6. Proofread and Revise:

  • Carefully proofread your essay for grammar, punctuation, and clarity.
  • Ensure that your citations and references (if any) are correctly formatted in APA style.
  • Edit for conciseness and coherence.

7. Word Count:

  • Keep track of your word count to ensure you stay within the 1000-word limit.

8. Final Review:

  • Review your essay one final time to make sure it meets all APA format requirements and effectively conveys your personal experience or reflection.

By following these steps, you can create a personal essay in APA format that effectively shares your personal insights and experiences while adhering to the necessary formatting guidelines.

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