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.