Writing Personal Essays:
Tap Into Your Unique Voice

Whether it’s an application essay, or an essay for school, writing an important personal essay for the first (or fortieth!) time can be challenging. Every decision feels weighty, from choosing the topic, to sorting out what to include and what to leave out, all the way to adding final touches with confidence.

But what if by learning to write a personal essay, your child gained:

  • Confidence and perspective about their unique strengths

  • Practical skills and strategies to make future essay writing more streamlined and effective

  • The can-do optimism that comes from successfully meeting a challenge head-on

What if during this application season, instead of struggling and worrying, your child gained a greater sense of identity and purpose?

It may sound too good to be true, but I assure you, learning to communicate your heart on the page is a powerful experience.

At Society of Young Inklings, we’ve been helping youth writers move the big ideas from their hearts and their heads onto the page for over ten years. During that time, we’ve worked with many exceptional fifth graders, and have refined a tried-and-true process to help youth master the art of the personal essay.

We’ve crafted that process into a learning experience called Writing Personal Essays: Tap Into Your Unique Voice.


  • Quickly choosing a meaningful topic
  • Breaking a topic into three main ideas
  • Crafting a thesis statement
  • Developing a strong introductory paragraph
  • Shaping a body paragraph
  • Using concrete, well-chosen examples
  • Wrapping up with a memorable conclusion



A mom of a recent fifth-grade Inkling said,

My fifth-grade son is a strong writer, but he struggled to organize essays and worried especially about completing an essay in a test situation in a short amount of time. In his sessions, he practiced choosing ideas, organizing his thoughts, and revising for flow — in a playful way. In fact, he told me, ‘That was surprisingly fun!’ after the first session. Now, he has built his confidence and improved greatly.


The Independent Study course includes:

  • Eight video lessons with hands-on activities that teach youth to choose an idea, structure their essay, and bring it to life with specific, lively language.
  • A step-by-step workbook

The Mentor-Facilitated course includes:

  • The Independent Study course
  • Six weekly 45-minute sessions online via video chat with a mentor