How to Write a “Who Am I” Essay: Free Tips With Examples

11 December 2023

last updated

Essay writing is an exciting and challenging academic activity that helps students to develop essential writing skills, such as creative thinking, reflective, and analytical skills. When writing an essay on the topic “Who Am I,” students should understand what is required of them before writing a paper. Ideally, educational departments and tutors provide instructions that dictate the approach that students should take when writing academic texts. In principle, a “Who Am I” essay should reflect the first-person language because this prompt requires learners to tell the audience about themselves. In this respect, writers can use narrative, philosophical, college application, or autobiographical approaches in writing a paper. Hence, learners need to understand how to write a “Who Am I” essay to provide high-quality papers and achieve desired outcomes.

General Guidelines for Writing a “Who I Am” Essay

Essay writing is an academic activity that exposes students to conventions of formal writing and enhances their critical thinking, analytical, and reflective skills. Although there are different types of essays , there are no significant differences in essay structure , essay outline , and applicable academic writing rules. Basically, the only areas where essays seem to be different are essay topics and their content. For example, an argumentative essay advances the writer’s perspective on an issue, while a narrative essay provides the author’s life story. In the former, students intend to persuade the audience by considering specific arguments, and, in the latter, they inform readers about personal experiences with life lessons. Therefore, in writing an essay on the topic “Who Am I,” writers should first understand what is required of them. Ideally, this type of essay asks authors to talk about themselves.

how to write a who am i essay

Differences Between a “Who Am I” Essay and Other Papers

In principle, essays that ask writers to talk about themselves tend to be different from standard formal papers. Basically, one point of difference is that students have to use the first-person language, which is discouraged in formal writing. By considering that a “Who Am I” essay requires learners to talk about themselves, such a paper takes several forms. For example, these structures include formats of narrative, philosophical, college application, and autobiographical papers. Although an essay topic is in a question form, it does not necessarily mean that writers are unsure about themself. In turn, such a format means that they intend to answer this question in a paper by following a particular way to the audience’s benefit.

1. Narrative Format

A narrative essay is one where the writer’s focus is to provide the audience with a life story. Basically, this life story can take many forms, including personal or family experiences. In short, a “Who Am I” essay in a narrative format utilizes personal anecdotes as a means of communication. Moreover, one of the strategies for writing these essays is adopting a “show, not tell” strategy, which means using vivid descriptions rather than informative statements. Therefore, a narrative essay on the topic “Who Am I” should focus on the writer’s personal experiences that help the audience to understand an author. Since a topic is a question, one expectation is that students use personal anecdotes to provide an answer that benefits the audience more than them. When it comes to grading, what matters the most is whether writers have used narratives to educate the audience about who they are.

2. Philosophical Format

Philosophy is a discipline that focuses on unraveling the mysteries of life and nature. As such, a philosophical essay is one in which students engage the audience in a topic of discovery. In this case, one can argue that the essay’s type is informative. Since the topic “Who Am I” denotes an aspect of an investigation, learners who use a philosophical approach focus on telling the audience things about themselves that advance an understanding of human nature. On expectations, the essay’s content should not dwell on the writer’s demographical background or personal experiences but on who an author is in the context of human nature and its strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to grading, what matters is whether writers have applied a philosophical lens to describe themselves. In turn, a good example is unraveling what makes them strong, vulnerable, or weak.

3. College Application Format

College or university application is a type of essay that potential students write to the admissions board or committee of their choice institution. Basically, a “Who Am I” essay for colleges aims to convince and persuade the board or committee that applicants have all that it takes to be a student. To achieve this goal, learners provide essential details that are likely to advance their courses. For example, these details include personal attributes, academic performance (grades), work experiences, and future aspirations. Therefore, the expectation of a college application essay on the topic “Who Am I” is that it should inform the audience what makes writers outstanding and appropriate students for a higher learning admission. When it comes to grading, what matters the most is whether writers have emphatically made a case to college boards of why they are the best candidates for admission.

4. Autobiographical Format

By definition, an autobiography is a life story that captures the subject’s entire life. However, since it is hardly possible to write an individual’s life story – every detail about themselves since they were born – writers focus on what is relevant at any one given time. Therefore, when writing an autobiographical essay on the topic “Who Am I,” the expectation is that students provide details about themselves that help the audience to understand them better. For example, such details include their family lineage, demographical (race, ethnicity, gender, language, and nationality) background, academic credentials, and professional accomplishments. In this case, indicating one’s marital status and life’s philosophy are also crucial details in such an essay. On grading, the thing that matters the most is whether authors have offered a wholesome picture of who they are, from childhood to a present moment.

Essay Structures for “Who Am I” Papers

Academic writing standards require students and researchers to adopt a structure and an outline appropriate for their text when writing any academic paper . Typically, essays assume a three-component structure of introduction, main text (body), and conclusion. Also, when writing an essay on the topic “Who Am I” in narrative, philosophical, college application, or autobiographical forms, a student must use a structure that is appropriate for that paper. Besides a structure and an outline, there are other features that students must consider when writing a “Who Am I” essay in one of the formats.

1. Narrative Outline Format for a “Who Am I” Essay

When writing a narrative essay on the theme “Who Am I,” a student must follow an outline below:

I. Introduction

  • Topic introduction (Significance of a topic).
  • Thesis statement .

II. Body Paragraph(s)

  • Setting or background of an event.
  • People involved.
  • Short anecdote.

III. Conclusion

  • Lesson learned

Essential features. Students must address all the critical features in a “Who Am I” essay as applicable in these three sections. In the introduction, learners must briefly introduce themselves and clearly state a thesis of their papers. In the paper’s body, writers must use several paragraphs to tell the audience about themselves. Since the communication should be in a story form, authors can use each paragraph to tell a personal anecdote that enables the audience to understand them better. Besides, one of the features that writers must capture in the paper’s body is a “show, not tell” method, being an aspect of providing vivid details or descriptions. In turn, the most significant features that students should capture in the conclusion section are a restatement of a thesis sentence and a lesson learned. Also, the audience must see this lesson as a moral of a narrative story.

2. Philosophical Outline Format for a “Who Am I” Essay

When writing a philosophical essay on the theme “Who Am I,” students should follow an outline format below:

  • Thesis statement (The question that a writer intends to answer).
  • Clarification of this question.
  • A reason why this question is critical.
  • Answer a question through a topic sentence in one or several paragraphs.
  • Qualify and defend a thesis in one or several paragraphs.
  • Thesis restatement
  • Summary of the main point(s) in the body paragraph(s)

Essential features. In each of the three sections, learners must address crucial elements. Firstly, the introduction must be opened with a thesis statement that introduces a question that an author seeks to answer. Basically, learners should make the audience understand a question and explain its importance to them (writers) and the audience. Then, students can use one or more paragraphs in the body section, depending on their paper’s length. In the case of a one-page paper, there should be only one paragraph that opens with a topic sentence. In turn, this sentence should answer a question that forms the essay’s theme. Moreover, learners need to qualify and defend their thesis. In the conclusion section, writers must restate a thesis and summarize the main points.

3. College Application Outline Format for a “Who Am I” Essay

When writing a college application essay on the theme “Who Am I,” students must follow an outline that helps accomplish their objective- convince the admission committee that they are the best candidates among many applicants. Hence, such an outline should be as follows:

  • Thesis statement.
  • First supporting idea.
  • Second supporting idea.
  • Third supporting idea.
  • Restate a thesis.
  • Reflect on the main ideas.
  • Closing remark.

Essential features. When writing the introduction for a “Who Am I” essay in a college application format, students should provide a hook to grab the attention of the audience. For example, this aspect should be an interesting fact or a quote from a famous personality. Then, another essential feature is contextualizing an essay by stating the purpose of writing concisely. Basically, this statement is what should be a thesis of such a paper. In the main body, learners should use body paragraphs, each introducing a critical idea. However, if a “Who Am I” essay is a one-page document, authors should write specific ideas in a single body paragraph. Also, these ideas are what help writers to strengthen their cases before the admission committee. In turn, such elements can be personal attributes, academic performance, or work experiences. In the conclusion section, learners need to restate a thesis and reflect on the main ideas, closing with a remark that impresses the audience.

4. Autobiographical Outline Format for a “Who Am I” Essay

When writing an autobiographical essay on the theme “Who Am I,” students should follow an outline below:

  • Introduce yourself to the audience.
  • Early years.
  • Future plans.
  • Restate a thesis statement.
  • Tie up all the experiences.

Essential features. Essential elements that students must address in the introduction of a “Who Am I” essay by following an autobiographical format are a hook that grabs the readers’ attention, a brief self-introduction, and a thesis statement. In this case, writers should use several body paragraphs in such a paper. However, if an essay is a one-page document, authors should use one body paragraph. Moreover, components of a body paragraph should be details about the writer’s life, such as childhood, early education, cultural orientation, and aspirations. In the conclusion section, learners need to restate a thesis and tie up all the details about their life addressed in the main text.

Effective Writing Strategies

When writing a “Who Am I” essay in different formats, students should use strategies that guarantee a high-quality product. For example, the first strategy is utilizing transitions to create a natural and logical flow from one paragraph to the next or section to section. In this case, common transitions are “therefore,” “additionally,” “put differently,” “hence,” “thus,” and “however.” Then, another strategy is subjecting an essay to a peer review. Here, writers give the first draft to a friend, tutor, or mentor to read and identify errors and mistakes. Also, if there are any mistakes, students revise and edit their papers to eliminate them. In turn, another strategy is proofreading the final draft to ensure that mistakes are not made during typing, or writers must revise and edit it accordingly.

Example of a Narrative Essay: Who Am I?

I. introduction sample.

Adults say that adolescence is a period of development full of dramatic episodes. For me, it is a stage that saw my childhood friends become a significant influence on my worldview. The topic “Who Am I” focuses on investigating aspects of my life that define how I see myself and how others see me. As such, I can say that I am an individual who loathes social gatherings but is always willing to let my friends push me out of my comfort zone.

II. Example of a Body

For me, friendships are not only social relationships but concepts that define how I view and relate to the world. Since when I was a child, I have never been a person who loves social gatherings. I get irritated quickly when people try to dictate what I should be doing or saying at any particular moment. For example, on one occasion, I caused a violent commotion when a friend tried to make me dance with a stranger in a nightclub. However, life is not that easy. We cannot avoid social interactions. For this reason, I have a few friends who are also introverts but who are willing to push themselves to the edge. As a result, they always come up with plans to take themselves outdoors to, at least, interact with others as human beings.

III. Conclusion Sample

When I look at my life, I can confidently say that I rarely interact with people. However, I always let my friends push me from my comfort zone. In turn, what I have learned so far in life is that close friends fundamentally and significantly influence how individuals see the world around them.

Example of a Philosophical Essay: Who Am I?

Although I am an insignificant player in the theatre of life, I hope to become an influential person one day. Basically, the question “Who Am I” underscores the fact that human nature is complicated, and it takes an entire lifetime for individuals to understand themselves fully. In particular, the essence of this question is that, despite sharing humanity’s title, people from all walks of life express themselves in diverse ways.

On the question “Who Am I,” I can confidently say that I am an individual in the process of “becoming.” For example, when it comes to talking about human beings and the world, the discourse that attracts a significant audience is a discussion about men and women who have made a mark in the world. Moreover, these aspects include war heroes, successful businesspersons, influential political leaders, and controversial personalities. In this case, my contribution to the world stage can only be defined as insignificant. Nonetheless, I do not allow this reality to define my self-concept. I believe that “human life is a journey of a thousand miles,” and even those that we celebrate today are once insignificant personalities. Besides, I believe that a secret is to remain focused on what one desires to be in the coming future. In turn, I have a habit of volunteering in healthcare settings because I would love to become a nurse after college.

Life is like a river that can carry an individual to familiar or strange destinations. In my case, I am hopeful that it will relocate me from a place of insignificance to a place of significance. For this reason, I always remain cheerful, optimistic, and hopeful, and, one day, I will be influential like those we celebrate today.

Example of a College Application Essay: Who Am I?

Ever since I was a child, I have always loved to visit hospitals and other healthcare settings. Also, I believe this is why I love sciences and why I have always performed remarkably well in these subjects. In turn, my present application is an effort toward a realization of my dream to become a healthcare professional.

My healthcare career journey started when I was a child, and all along, I have maintained this pursuit. When you look at my GPA, I have performed remarkably well in sciences, which, I believe, makes a perfect case for a healthcare career. Besides education, I have had opportunities to work closely with medical personnel in diverse settings, including first-aid simulations in community healthcare centers. Moreover, I have volunteered in local hospitals, experiences that I consider to have shaped my perspectives on patient care significantly. In this case, I believe that you should consider my application because I am a self-driven individual who always looks for opportunities in challenges. Hence, my admission into a Bachelor of Nursing Degree will orient me to nuisances of healthcare delivery. With such knowledge, my dream to become a healthcare professional would be within reach. 

Applying for a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing is an effort to realize my lifelong dream of becoming a healthcare professional. As you consider my application, I implore you to consider the far I have come in preparation for this career. Thus, given an opportunity to study a program in your college, I will learn to become an effective healthcare professional.

Example of an Autobiographical Essay: Who Am I?

People say that the only way to know an individual is to know a personal heritage. As an African American, I take pride in being part of a race, being so rich in culture, and one that leans on traditions. Talking about “Who Am I,” I can confidently say that I am a child of a world that takes pride in cultural heritage.

I was born about three decades ago in a town famous for its natural beauty. As a whole, the State of Virginia is more rural than urban. Basically, this characteristic has played a significant role in defining my naturalist tendencies. Also, I am a lover of nature. For example, I habitually take walks every evening just to see nature – trees, birds, and butterflies. About education and career, I attended an Ivy League college and have built a career as a legal practitioner. In my family, I have three siblings – one sister and two brothers. In turn, I am yet to marry as my career seems to take all of my time. What I prize the most is the fact that I am an African American young adult with a promising career in a world that seems intolerant to successful individuals of African heritage.

Being a successful African American in a world that seems to prejudice successful people of African heritage is a blessing to me. When I look at my life journey, I can only say that my cultural heritage is among the things I prize the most.

Defining Characteristics of a “Who Am I” Essay

A thesis statement appears in the introduction section of a “Who Am I” essay, thus setting the entire paper’s tone and theme. What follows is a body paragraph that opens with a topic sentence. Moreover, the body paragraph’s content revolves around a topic sentence that advances the essay’s central idea. Then, one of the defining characteristics of examples of “Who Am I” essays for different formats is the use of the first-person language. Basically, this aspect helps writers to “show, not tell.” Also, this aspect is evident in the body paragraph. In a narrative essay, it is an example of the nightclub commotion, and, in a philosophical essay, it is the habit of volunteering in healthcare settings. In a college application essay, the feature is evident in a story about working with medical personnel in first-aid simulations. In an autobiographical essay, it is about evening walks to appreciate nature.

Summing Up on How to Write a “Who Am I” Essay

Essay writing is an exciting and challenging academic exercise for students across all levels of education. Although there are different types of essays, structure and outline formats remain the same: introduction, body, and conclusion. In essence, what students need to understand is the essential features that enrich the content in the introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. When writing an essay on “Who Am I” students need to know that such a paper is different from a standard format. Moreover, the central point of difference is that such an essay requires students to use the first-person language in a paper, which can take formats of narrative, philosophical, college application, or autobiographical essays. In writing such an essay, students must master the following tips:

  • use the first-person language;
  • make use of personal anecdotes;
  • “show, not tell” by providing vivid descriptions;
  • develop a thesis in the introduction;
  • use topic sentences to introduce ideas in a paragraph;
  • observe a maximum length requirement and a minimum length requirement of a “Who Am I” essay by considering a word count.

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Essay rubric: basic guidelines and sample template, persuasive essay rubric: grading template for excellent papers.

Who Am I Essay: Writing Tips and Sample

Your “Who am I?” essay is a paper where you describe yourself as a person. Mention what inspires and motivates you, what you love and don’t love, your goals and wishes, etc.

In this article, you’ll learn how to write this personal essay. (And please don’t miss a ready-made example to understand what to describe in your work!)

How to Write a “Who Am I” Essay

You’re that person who knows you best, but writing about yourself is still challenging:

You read a writing prompt for a college application or scholarship , and you aren’t sure if you understand it in detail. How do you know what exactly to mention in your essay? You can’t find words to describe your nature and skills. How do you know if that particular accomplishment or story from your life is worth including?

Stick with us here for practical tips on writing a “Who Am I” essay, with a free template to follow.

How to start?

Ask any writer, and they will tell you that the hardest part of the writing process is to start it. It’s a kind of writer’s block when you stare at a blank screen and don’t know what to write. Below are several ideas that can help you craft a compelling essay about yourself:

  • Think about one sentence that would describe you best. (A technique some authors use for inspiration: Answer the question, “What would friends write on your grave?” or “What do you want the world to remember about you?” You can start an essay with that phrase.
  • In the introduction, describe yourself in general . (Be truthful and honest.)
  • Discuss one or two of your hobbies. (Choose those you’re most passionate about, those influencing your mood — and maybe your skills — most.)
  •   Highlight your achievements but don’t boast. ( Be reflective by analyzing and evaluating what you’ve achieved.)
  • Add some personality to the essay. (Tell anecdotes, include examples, and be creative to keep readers engaged with your story.)

who-am-i-essay

Short Essay About “Who I Am” Sample

You’re welcome to use the below template from our professional writer for crafting your future “Who am I” essays. Here it goes:

Actionable Tips to Improve Your Paper

Ready to start writing? Consider these helpful tips on crafting a person essay about who I am:

1) Understand your audience

Who will read your essay? Is it a college admission officer who knows nothing about you? Or, maybe it’s your school teacher with some background of who you are? Do you plan to publish your reflection for your social media followers or blog readers?

Depending on the audience, your story may change. Add details about what interests your readers: What would they want to know? Understanding your readers will make your essay more compelling (1). It will be easier for you to engage them and make them emotionally connected to your story.

2) Don’t be afraid to look vulnerable

Allow the readers to see your inner feelings. Sincerity and reflection are the new black, you know. It’s okay to speak about your strengths, weaknesses, or worries to the audience. That’s what differentiates you from other people, thus making you an individual.

Here’s the big secret:

Admission committees appreciate students’ understanding of their weaknesses and areas to grow. Communicate the willingness to change and grow. You’re just a human, after all.

Write about what you want to develop in yourself. Or, tell about life experiences that have changed or influenced you most.

3) Proofread and edit your essay

Once your essay is ready, it’s time to proofread and edit it. Here’s a short checklist of the details to fix if any:

  • Grammar and punctuation mistakes (verb tenses, sentence structure)
  • Spelling errors and inconsistencies in names or terms
  • Incorrect capitalization
  • No logical flow or transitions between paragraphs
  • Excessive wordiness and repetition
  • Biased language
  • Too much passive voice and redundant adverbs
  • Too sophisticated words and phrases that have simpler alternatives

That’s It: Your “Who Am I” Essay Is Ready

In this blog post, we tried to cover all the core details of personal essay writing. Now you know how to start it, what elements to include, and how to craft it for better readability and emotional connection with the audience.

We hope our 500-word essay example will help you write your perfect story about yourself. If you still have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask our professional writers for help.

References:

  • https://summer.harvard.edu/blog/12-strategies-to-writing-the-perfect-college-essay/
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  • Essay writing
  • Writing tips

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Who Am I — Who Am I: Creative Writing

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Who Am I: Creative Writing

  • Categories: About Myself Who Am I

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Words: 1040 |

Updated: 21 November, 2023

Words: 1040 | Pages: 2 | 6 min read

Table of contents

Prompt examples for the "who am i" essays, "who am i" essay examples.

  • Self-Reflection and Identity Explore the concept of self-reflection and the journey to discovering one's identity. How has self-awareness evolved throughout your life, and what factors have contributed to your understanding of who you are?
  • Emotions and Self-Perception Discuss your emotional landscape and its impact on your self-perception. How do you experience and express emotions? How do they shape your self-image and interactions with others?
  • Self-Esteem and Self-Obsession Examine the dynamics of self-esteem and self-obsession in your life. How has your self-esteem evolved over time, and how does it relate to your self-obsession or self-care? Share personal experiences that illustrate this evolution.
  • Social Interactions and Introversion Reflect on your social interactions and introverted tendencies. How do you navigate social situations, and what happens when you step out of your comfort zone? Discuss the balance between introversion and extroversion in your life.
  • Leadership and Taking Charge Describe your experiences with leadership and taking charge in various situations. How do you approach leadership roles, and what qualities make you effective in these roles? Share examples of when you've assumed leadership and its impact on those around you.

Who am I: Creative Essay

Works cited.

  • Akhtar, S., & Akhtar, F. (2016). A critical study of self-concept and self-esteem. Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 21(7), 15-22.
  • Benson, K. (2007). The power of personality types in career success. Journal of Employment Counseling, 44(3), 98-104.
  • Cassidy, S., & Eachus, P. (2002). Developing the computer user self-efficacy (CUSE) scale: Investigating the relationship between computer self-efficacy, gender and experience with computers. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 26(2), 133-153.
  • Costa, P. T., & McCrae, R. R. (1992). Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) and NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) professional manual. Psychological Assessment Resources.
  • Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2008). Self-determination theory: A macrotheory of human motivation, development, and health. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 49(3), 182-185.
  • Friedman, H. S. (2010). Personality, disease, and self-healing: An integrative perspective. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 16(1), 5-9.
  • Howard, L. W., & Ferris, G. R. (1996). The employment interview context: Social and situational influences on interviewer decisions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26(24), 2153-2174.
  • McAdams, D. P. (1993). The stories we live by: Personal myths and the making of the self. Guilford Press.
  • Swami, V. (2008). The influence of body weight on self-perceptions and partner preferences. Sex Roles, 58(9-10), 651-654.
  • Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1974). Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. Science, 185(4157), 1124-1131.

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who am i paragraph essay

Who Am I Essay

500 words essay on who am i.

The population of the world now is more than a whopping seven billion. In spite of such a massive population, one important fact remains that each person has their own unique personality and individuality. Let us focus on personality and individuality with this who am I essay.

Who am I Essay

                                                                                                                                Who am I Essay

My Inspiration

I am a young boy who is still learning in life. Furthermore, I won’t go deep into revealing personal information, like where I come from, which school I went to, my age, and the identity of my parents. The reason for this is that although these factors represent me, they certainly do not define me.

So, what exactly are the qualities that define me or for that matter anyone else? Well, these qualities are character and persona. As such when writing about oneself, one must stick to talking about one’s character and personality.

I consider myself an ambitious person who has big dreams in life. Moreover, doctors have always been my inspiration and I wanted to become one myself.  Also, my father is a doctor himself so I had the opportunity of observing a doctor closely.

I came to realize that doctors have a really busy life. This I can certainly say with conviction as I have seen my father sacrifice his free time in order to save lives at hospitals. Most noteworthy, my ambition is to become a successful doctor in future and save the lives of people.

My Personality and Beliefs

I am an ambivert person by nature. This means I enjoy socialising with people but not too much. I also prefer to spend time alone as I find comfort in my own company.

This nature of mine has proven to be helpful when it comes to studies. This is because I have the patience to study for long hours.  Moreover, for a subject that is too difficult, I and my friends take part in a group study.

Spending time alone, I have the habit of engaging in activities like reading a book or learning to play a musical instrument. Furthermore, I am a religious person who strongly believes in God. My belief in God certainly boosts my self confidence .

I feel sad that in the modern era, many people don’t believe in God. I, on the other hand, certainly do believe in the existence of a superpower that controls the entire universe. Most noteworthy, my belief in an all-powerful creator has helped me become a better person.

The important thing to remember is that a God-fearing person is likely to be good. The reason for this is that such a person would act righteously due to the belief that God is always watching.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Conclusion of Who am I Essay

‘Who am I’ is an extremely important question that every individual must find an answer to. Furthermore, to find the answer, people must reflect and ponder on themselves and their surroundings. Most noteworthy, those who have the answer to this are able to live a life of happiness and contentment.

FAQs For Who am I Essay

Question 1: What is the meaning of who am I?

Answer 1: The concept of who am I refers to one’s identity. Furthermore, identity is the all-encompassing system of relationships, values, experience, memories, feelings, and thoughts that define who a person really is.

Question 2: What is meant by true self?

Answer 2: True self is also known as real self, original self, or authentic self.  Furthermore, all of these terms refer to the most honest aspect of a person. In other words, true self is an individual’s most authentic version keeping aside all the pretensions, affectations, and masks.

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How to Write "Who am I" Essay | Start to End Guide

How to Write \"Who am I\" Essay | Start to End Guide

Introduction

Here is guide on how you can write a "who am i" essay, 1) write a solid who am i essay introduction, 2)get into details in body paragraphs.

  • Keep your Audience in Mind. 
  • Remember that the essay must be concise, clear, and informative. 
  • The headings and subheadings ought to be succinct, enticing, and still easy to read. 
  • Make sure that the tone of the essay is what sets it apart. 

3) Add a Strong who am I Essay Conclusion

5) recheck all requirements and proofread.

  • Use concise, simple sentences when writing an essay.
  • Your aspirations and passions and how they motivate you. 
  • Write about an instance where hardship helped you grow.
  • How is the quality of your life, as you currently understand it? How does it affect your education, community, and future? Your personal wishes and how they affect you should be addressed.
  • Use an active voice and a clear structure to convey your ideas clearly. 
  • Before beginning, ensure you fully understand the nature of the essay and other requirements.
  • Check your essay's headings and subheadings to make sure you remain firmly focused on the topic.
  • Connect the topic of the essay to your introduction, body, and conclusion.
  •  In a few well-chosen words, the essay title should convey both the entire essay's main idea and its best qualities.
  •  The essay must follow a distinct but simple tone and structure.  As a result, it is preferable to write an outline before beginning. 
  •  Pay close attention to the conclusion because it will summarize the whole essay.
  •  Before submitting your essay, double-check the word count required by the admissions committee.
  •  Do not overdo anything, and keep it real; the simpler, the better. 
  •  Do not use slang, swear words or a lot of informal knowledge.

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Microsoft 365 Life Hacks > Writing > How AI can help proofread and edit your essays

How AI can help proofread and edit your essays

Don’t let little mistakes hold you back from getting a better grade. Learn how you can use AI to help you proofread and edit your essays.

A notebook and a cup of tea

Before submitting your essay, having a second set of eyes to catch any typos or grammatical errors is invaluable. If human help isn’t available, AI can step in to proofread or edit your work, offering instant feedback even under tight deadlines . Take a look at the different ways you can use AI for essay editing.

Ask AI to help you identify typos or grammatical errors

It’s easy for the human mind to skim over obvious typos and grammar errors. AI can help you identify these spelling mistakes and grammar issues so you can put some professional polish on your paper. If you’re aware of a specific issue that you struggle with in your essays, you can ask AI to proofread specifically on those errors. Copy and paste your essay into your favorite AI platform and try one of these prompts:

  • Can you identify any typos in this paper and explain why they are incorrect?
  • I often put commas in the wrong place. Can you identify any incorrect commas in my essay and tell me why they’re incorrect?
  • Can you help me identify any incorrect homophones in my essay?

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Ask AI to help you refine your sentences

Writing clearly is important for all forms of writing, but it’s especially important for academic works. AI can help you edit your essays so that your sentences are easy to understand. Copy and paste your essay into an AI platform and try these prompts to refine its sentences:

  • Can you find passive sentences in my essay and explain how to rewrite them actively?
  • My teacher is a stickler for dangling modifiers . Can you point out any dangling modifiers in my essay?
  • Are there any sentence fragments in my essay?

Ask AI for style guide assistance

If your instructor has asked you to follow a specific style guide , they may deduct points if your essay doesn’t follow it. Try these prompts to get some essay editing help:

  • Can you review if book titles are correctly italicized according to the Chicago Manual of Style, and check for other style-specific issues?
  • My essay is supposed to follow MLA format. Can you identify any parts of my essay that don’t follow MLA format ?
  • How should I format quotes in APA format ?

Ask AI to fact-check your work

AI can help you identify incorrect facts that could impact your final grade. AI can also provide sources that you can use to back up your work. Try these prompts in your preferred AI platform to fact-check your work:

  • Are the biographical facts I included about Jane Austen in my essay correct?
  • Can you make sure all the dates that I listed in my essay are accurate?
  • Can you confirm that the citations in my essay are from peer-reviewed and reputable sources ?

Getting the best proofreading and editing results from AI

When you use AI to proofread an essay, you’ll get better results when you provide it with as much context about the essay as possible. For example, you should include your teacher’s essay instructions so that the AI tool knows what to look for. If the teacher gave you their grading rubric, you should also give it to the AI tool so that it can provide even stronger proofreading and editing recommendations.

While AI can significantly aid in proofreading and editing, remember to use it responsibly, especially in academic settings. If you’re interested in learning more about AI, see if you can use AI to draft an essay for you .

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Should college essays touch on race? Some feel the affirmative action ruling leaves them no choice

When the supreme court ended affirmative action, it left the college essay as one of few places where race can play a role in admissions decisions.

Max Decker, a senior at Lincoln High School, sits for a portrait in the school library where he often worked on writing his college essays, in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

Max Decker, a senior at Lincoln High School, sits for a portrait in the school library where he often worked on writing his college essays, in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

Amanda Loman / AP

Like many students, Max Decker of Portland, Oregon, had drafted a college essay on one topic, only to change direction after the Supreme Court ruling in June.

Decker initially wrote about his love for video games. In a childhood surrounded by constant change, navigating his parents’ divorce, the games he took from place to place on his Nintendo DS were a source of comfort.

But the essay he submitted to colleges focused on the community he found through Word is Bond, a leadership group for young Black men in Portland.

As the only biracial, Jewish kid with divorced parents in a predominantly white, Christian community, Decker wrote he felt like the odd one out. On a trip with Word is Bond to Capitol Hill, he and friends who looked just like him shook hands with lawmakers. The experience, he wrote, changed how he saw himself.

“It’s because I’m different that I provide something precious to the world, not the other way around,” wrote Decker, whose top college choice is Tulane, in New Orleans, because of the region’s diversity.

This year’s senior class is the first in decades to navigate college admissions without affirmative action . The Supreme Court upheld the practice in decisions going back to the 1970s, but this court’s conservative supermajority found it is unconstitutional for colleges to give students extra weight because of their race alone.

Still, the decision left room for race to play an indirect role: Chief Justice John Roberts wrote universities can still consider how an applicant’s life was shaped by their race, “so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability.”

Scores of colleges responded with new essay prompts asking about students’ backgrounds.

FILE - Demonstrators protest outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, in this June 29, 2023 file photo, after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions, saying race cannot be a factor.

FILE - Demonstrators protest outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, in this June 29, 2023 file photo, after the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions, saying race cannot be a factor.

Jose Luis Magana / AP

Writing about feeling more comfortable with being Black

When Darrian Merritt started writing his essay, his first instinct was to write about events that led to him going to live with his grandmother as a child. Those were painful memories, but he thought they might play well at schools like Yale, Stanford and Vanderbilt.

“I feel like the admissions committee might expect a sob story or a tragic story,” said Merritt, a senior in Cleveland. “I wrestled with that a lot.”

Eventually he abandoned the idea and aimed for an essay that would stand out for its positivity.

Merritt wrote about a summer camp where he started to feel more comfortable in his own skin. He described embracing his personality and defying his tendency to please others. But the essay also reflects on his feelings of not being “Black enough” and getting made fun of for listening to “white people music.”

Related: Oregon colleges, universities weigh potential outcomes of US Supreme Court decision on affirmative action

Essay about how to embrace natural hair

When Hillary Amofa started writing her college essay, she told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. About being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana and growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. About hardship and struggle.

Then she deleted it all.

“I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18-year-old senior at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago. “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.”

Amofa was just starting to think about her essay when the court issued its decision, and it left her with a wave of questions. Could she still write about her race? Could she be penalized for it? She wanted to tell colleges about her heritage but she didn’t want to be defined by it.

In English class, Amofa and her classmates read sample essays that all seemed to focus on some trauma or hardship. It left her with the impression she had to write about her life’s hardest moments to show how far she’d come. But she and some classmates wondered if their lives had been hard enough to catch the attention of admissions offices.

Hillary Amofa, laughs as she participates in a team building game with members of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. "I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping," said the 18 year-old senior, "And I'm just like, this doesn't really say anything about me as a person."

Hillary Amofa, laughs as she participates in a team building game with members of the Lincoln Park High School step team after school Friday, March 8, 2024, in Chicago. When she started writing her college essay, Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. She wrote about being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana, about growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. She described hardship and struggle. Then she deleted it all. "I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping," said the 18 year-old senior, "And I'm just like, this doesn't really say anything about me as a person."

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Amofa used to think affirmative action was only a factor at schools like Harvard and Yale. After the court’s ruling, she was surprised to find that race was taken into account even at public universities she was applying to.

Now, without affirmative action, she wondered if mostly white schools will become even whiter.

It’s been on her mind as she chooses between Indiana University and the University of Dayton, both of which have relatively few Black students. When she was one of the only Black students in her grade school, she could fall back on her family and Ghanaian friends at church. At college, she worries about loneliness.

“That’s what I’m nervous about,” she said. “Going and just feeling so isolated, even though I’m constantly around people.”

Related: Some Oregon universities, politicians disappointed in Supreme Court decision on affirmative action

The first drafts of her essay didn’t tell colleges about who she is now, she said.

Her final essay describes how she came to embrace her natural hair. She wrote about going to a mostly white grade school where classmates made jokes about her afro.

Over time, she ignored their insults and found beauty in the styles worn by women in her life. She now runs a business doing braids and other hairstyles in her neighborhood.

“Criticism will persist,” she wrote “but it loses its power when you know there’s a crown on your head!”

Ma reported from Portland, Oregon.

The Associated Press’ education coverage receives financial support from multiple private foundations. AP is solely responsible for all content. Find AP’s standards for working with philanthropies, a list of supporters and funded coverage areas at AP.org .

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Should college essays touch on race? Some feel the affirmative action ruling leaves them no choice

CHICAGO — When she started writing her college essay, Hillary Amofa told the story she thought admissions offices wanted to hear. About being the daughter of immigrants from Ghana and growing up in a small apartment in Chicago. About hardship and struggle.

Then she deleted it all.

“I would just find myself kind of trauma-dumping,” said the 18-year-old senior at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago. “And I’m just like, this doesn’t really say anything about me as a person.”

When the Supreme Court ended affirmative action in higher education, it left the college essay as one of few places where race can play a role in admissions decisions. For many students of color, instantly more was riding on the already high-stakes writing assignment. Some say they felt pressure to exploit their hardships as they competed for a spot on campus.

Amofa was just starting to think about her essay when the court issued its decision, and it left her with a wave of questions. Could she still write about her race? Could she be penalized for it? She wanted to tell colleges about her heritage but she didn’t want to be defined by it.

In English class, Amofa and her classmates read sample essays that all seemed to focus on some trauma or hardship. It left her with the impression she had to write about her life’s hardest moments to show how far she’d come. But she and some of her classmates wondered if their lives had been hard enough to catch the attention of admissions offices.

“For a lot of students, there’s a feeling of, like, having to go through something so horrible to feel worthy of going to school, which is kind of sad,” said Amofa, the daughter of a hospital technician and an Uber driver.

This year’s senior class is the first in decades to navigate college admissions without affirmative action . The Supreme Court upheld the practice in decisions going back to the 1970s, but this court’s conservative supermajority found it is unconstitutional for colleges to give students extra weight because of their race alone.

Still, the decision left room for race to play an indirect role: Chief Justice John Roberts wrote universities can still consider how an applicant’s life was shaped by their race, “so long as that discussion is concretely tied to a quality of character or unique ability.”

“A benefit to a student who overcame racial discrimination, for example, must be tied to that student’s courage and determination,” he wrote.

Scores of colleges responded with new essay prompts asking about students’ backgrounds. Brown University asked applicants how “an aspect of your growing up has inspired or challenged you.” Rice University asked students how their perspectives were shaped by their “background, experiences, upbringing, and/or racial identity.”

WONDERING IF SCHOOLS 'EXPECT A SOB STORY'

When Darrian Merritt started writing his essay, he knew the stakes were higher than ever because of the court’s decision. His first instinct was to write about events that led to him going to live with his grandmother as a child.

Those were painful memories, but he thought they might play well at schools like Yale, Stanford and Vanderbilt.

“I feel like the admissions committee might expect a sob story or a tragic story,” said Merritt, a senior in Cleveland. “And if you don’t provide that, then maybe they’re not going to feel like you went through enough to deserve having a spot at the university. I wrestled with that a lot.”

He wrote drafts focusing on his childhood, but it never amounted to more than a collection of memories. Eventually he abandoned the idea and aimed for an essay that would stand out for its positivity.

Merritt wrote about a summer camp where he started to feel more comfortable in his own skin. He described embracing his personality and defying his tendency to please others. The essay had humor — it centered on a water gun fight where he had victory in sight but, in a comedic twist, slipped and fell. But the essay also reflects on his feelings of not being “Black enough” and getting made fun of for listening to “white people music.”

“I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to write this for me, and we’re just going to see how it goes,’” he said. “It just felt real, and it felt like an honest story.”

The essay describes a breakthrough as he learned “to take ownership of myself and my future by sharing my true personality with the people I encounter. ... I realized that the first chapter of my own story had just been written.”

A RULING PROMPTS PIVOTS ON ESSAY TOPICS

Like many students, Max Decker of Portland, Oregon, had drafted a college essay on one topic, only to change direction after the Supreme Court ruling in June.

Decker initially wrote about his love for video games. In a childhood surrounded by constant change, navigating his parents’ divorce, the games he took from place to place on his Nintendo DS were a source of comfort.

But the essay he submitted to colleges focused on the community he found through Word is Bond, a leadership group for young Black men in Portland.

As the only biracial, Jewish kid with divorced parents in a predominantly white, Christian community, Decker wrote he constantly felt like the odd one out. On a trip with Word is Bond to Capitol Hill, he and friends who looked just like him shook hands with lawmakers. The experience, he wrote, changed how he saw himself.

“It’s because I’m different that I provide something precious to the world, not the other way around,” he wrote.

As a first-generation college student, Decker thought about the subtle ways his peers seemed to know more about navigating the admissions process . They made sure to get into advanced classes at the start of high school, and they knew how to secure glowing letters of recommendation.

If writing about race would give him a slight edge and show admissions officers a fuller picture of his achievements, he wanted to take that small advantage.

His first memory about race, Decker said, was when he went to get a haircut in elementary school and the barber made rude comments about his curly hair. Until recently, the insecurity that moment created led him to keep his hair buzzed short.

Through Word is Bond, Decker said he found a space to explore his identity as a Black man. It was one of the first times he was surrounded by Black peers and saw Black role models. It filled him with a sense of pride in his identity. No more buzzcut.

The pressure to write about race involved a tradeoff with other important things in his life, Decker said. That included his passion for journalism, like the piece he wrote on efforts to revive a once-thriving Black neighborhood in Portland. In the end, he squeezed in 100 characters about his journalism under the application’s activities section.

“My final essay, it felt true to myself. But the difference between that and my other essay was the fact that it wasn’t the truth that I necessarily wanted to share,” said Decker, whose top college choice is Tulane, in New Orleans, because of the region’s diversity. “It felt like I just had to limit the truth I was sharing to what I feel like the world is expecting of me.”

SPELLING OUT THE IMPACT OF RACE

Before the Supreme Court ruling, it seemed a given to Imani Laird that colleges would consider the ways that race had touched her life. But now, she felt like she had to spell it out.

As she started her essay, she reflected on how she had faced bias or felt overlooked as a Black student in predominantly white spaces.

There was the year in math class when the teacher kept calling her by the name of another Black student. There were the comments that she’d have an easier time getting into college because she was Black .

“I didn’t have it easier because of my race,” said Laird, a senior at Newton South High School in the Boston suburbs who was accepted at Wellesley and Howard University, and is waiting to hear from several Ivy League colleges. “I had stuff I had to overcome.”

In her final essays, she wrote about her grandfather, who served in the military but was denied access to GI Bill benefits because of his race.

She described how discrimination fueled her ambition to excel and pursue a career in public policy.

“So, I never settled for mediocrity,” she wrote. “Regardless of the subject, my goal in class was not just to participate but to excel. Beyond academics, I wanted to excel while remembering what started this motivation in the first place.”

WILL SCHOOLS LOSE RACIAL DIVERSITY?

Amofa used to think affirmative action was only a factor at schools like Harvard and Yale. After the court’s ruling, she was surprised to find that race was taken into account even at some public universities she was applying to.

Now, without affirmative action, she wondered if mostly white schools will become even whiter.

It’s been on her mind as she chooses between Indiana University and the University of Dayton, both of which have relatively few Black students. When she was one of the only Black students in her grade school, she could fall back on her family and Ghanaian friends at church. At college, she worries about loneliness.

“That’s what I’m nervous about,” she said. “Going and just feeling so isolated, even though I’m constantly around people.”

The first drafts of her essay focused on growing up in a low-income family, sharing a bedroom with her brother and grandmother. But it didn’t tell colleges about who she is now, she said.

Her final essay tells how she came to embrace her natural hair . She wrote about going to a mostly white grade school where classmates made jokes about her afro. When her grandmother sent her back with braids or cornrows, they made fun of those too.

Over time, she ignored their insults and found beauty in the styles worn by women in her life. She now runs a business doing braids and other hairstyles in her neighborhood.

“I stopped seeing myself through the lens of the European traditional beauty standards and started seeing myself through the lens that I created,” Amofa wrote.

“Criticism will persist, but it loses its power when you know there’s a crown on your head!”

Ma reported from Portland, Oregon.

The Associated Press’ education coverage receives financial support from multiple private foundations. AP is solely responsible for all content. Find AP’s standards for working with philanthropies, a list of supporters and funded coverage areas at AP.org .

who am i paragraph essay

Is a robot writing your kids’ essays? We asked educators to weigh in on the growing role of AI in classrooms.

Educators weigh in on the growing role of ai and chatgpt in classrooms..

Kara Baskin talked to several educators about what kind of AI use they’re seeing in classrooms and how they’re monitoring it.

Remember writing essays in high school? Chances are you had to look up stuff in an encyclopedia — an actual one, not Wikipedia — or else connect to AOL via a modem bigger than your parents’ Taurus station wagon.

Now, of course, there’s artificial intelligence. According to new research from Pew, about 1 in 5 US teens who’ve heard of ChatGPT have used it for schoolwork. Kids in upper grades are more apt to have used the chatbot: About a quarter of 11th- and 12th-graders who know about ChatGPT have tried it.

For the uninitiated, ChatGPT arrived on the scene in late 2022, and educators continue to grapple with the ethics surrounding its growing popularity. Essentially, it generates free, human-like responses based on commands. (I’m sure this sentence will look antiquated in about six months, like when people described the internet as the “information superhighway.”)

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I used ChatGPT to plug in this prompt: “Write an essay on ‘The Scarlet Letter.’” Within moments, ChatGPT created an essay as thorough as anything I’d labored over in AP English.

Is this cheating? Is it just part of our strange new world? I talked to several educators about what they’re seeing in classrooms and how they’re monitoring it. Before you berate your child over how you wrote essays with a No. 2 pencil, here are some things to consider.

Adapting to new technology isn’t immoral. “We have to recalibrate our sense of what’s acceptable. There was a time when every teacher said: ‘Oh, it’s cheating to use Wikipedia.’ And guess what? We got used to it, we decided it’s reputable enough, and we cite Wikipedia all the time,” says Noah Giansiracusa, an associate math professor at Bentley University who hosts the podcast “ AI in Academia: Navigating the Future .”

“There’s a calibration period where a technology is new and untested. It’s good to be cautious and to treat it with trepidation. Then, over time, the norms kind of adapt,” he says — just like new-fangled graphing calculators or the internet in days of yore.

“I think the current conversation around AI should not be centered on an issue with plagiarism. It should be centered on how AI will alter methods for learning and expressing oneself. ‘Catching’ students who use fully AI-generated products ... implies a ‘gotcha’ atmosphere,” says Jim Nagle, a history teacher at Bedford High School. “Since AI is already a huge part of our day-to-day lives, it’s no surprise our students are making it a part of their academic tool kit. Teachers and students should be at the forefront of discussions about responsible and ethical use.”

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Teachers and parents could use AI to think about education at a higher level. Really, learning is about more than regurgitating information — or it should be, anyway. But regurgitation is what AI does best.

“If our system is just for students to write a bunch of essays and then grade the results? Something’s missing. We need to really talk about their purpose and what they’re getting out of this, and maybe think about different forms of assignments and grading,” Giansiracusa says.

After all, while AI aggregates and organizes ideas, the quality of its responses depends on the users’ prompts. Instead of recoiling from it, use it as a conversation-starter.

“What parents and teachers can do is to start the conversation with kids: ‘What are we trying to learn here? Is it even something that ChatGPT could answer? Why did your assignment not convince you that you need to do this thinking on your own when a tool can do it for you?’” says Houman Harouni , a lecturer on education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Harouni urges parents to read an essay written by ChatGPT alongside their student. Was it good? What could be done better? Did it feel like a short cut?

“What they’re going to remember is that you had that conversation with them; that someone thought, at some point in their lives, that taking a shortcut is not the best way ... especially if you do it with the tool right in front of you, because you have something real to talk about,” he says.

Harouni hopes teachers think about its implications, too. Consider math: So much grunt work has been eliminated by calculators and computers. Yet kids are still tested as in days of old, when perhaps they could expand their learning to be assessed in ways that are more personal and human-centric, leaving the rote stuff to AI.

“We could take this moment of confusion and loss of certainty seriously, at least in some small pockets, and start thinking about what a different kind of school would look like. Five years from now, we might have the beginnings of some very interesting exploration. Five years from now, you and I might be talking about schools wherein teaching and learning is happening in a very self-directed way, in a way that’s more based on … igniting the kid’s interest and seeing where they go and supporting them to go deeper and to go wider,” Harouni says.

Teachers have the chance to offer assignments with more intentionality.

“Really think about the purpose of the assignments. Don’t just think of the outcome and the deliverable: ‘I need a student to produce a document.’ Why are we getting students to write? Why are we doing all these things in the first place? If teachers are more mindful, and maybe parents can also be more mindful, I think it pushes us away from this dangerous trap of thinking about in terms of ‘cheating,’ which, to me, is a really slippery path,” Giansiracusa says.

AI can boost confidence and reduce procrastination. Sometimes, a robot can do something better than a human, such as writing a dreaded resume and cover letter. And that’s OK; it’s useful, even.

“Often, students avoid applying to internships because they’re just overwhelmed at the thought of writing a cover letter, or they’re afraid their resume isn’t good enough. I think that tools like this can help them feel more confident. They may be more likely to do it sooner and have more organized and better applications,” says Kristin Casasanto, director of post-graduate planning at Olin College of Engineering.

Casasanto says that AI is also useful for de-stressing during interview prep.

“Students can use generative AI to plug in a job description and say, ‘Come up with a list of interview questions based on the job description,’ which will give them an idea of what may be asked, and they can even then say, ‘Here’s my resume. Give me answers to these questions based on my skills and experience.’ They’re going to really build their confidence around that,” Casasanto says.

Plus, when students use AI for basics, it frees up more time to meet with career counselors about substantive issues.

“It will help us as far as scalability. … Career services staff can then utilize our personal time in much more meaningful ways with students,” Casasanto says.

We need to remember: These kids grew up during a pandemic. We can’t expect kids to resist technology when they’ve been forced to learn in new ways since COVID hit.

“Now we’re seeing pandemic-era high school students come into college. They’ve been channeled through Google Classroom their whole career,” says Katherine Jewell, a history professor at Fitchburg State University.

“They need to have technology management and information literacy built into the curriculum,” Jewell says.

Jewell recently graded a paper on the history of college sports. It was obvious which papers were written by AI: They didn’t address the question. In her syllabus, Jewell defines plagiarism as “any attempt by a student to represent the work of another, including computers, as their own.”

This means that AI qualifies, but she also has an open mind, given students’ circumstances.

“My students want to do the right thing, for the most part. They don’t want to get away with stuff. I understand why they turned to these tools; I really do. I try to reassure them that I’m here to help them learn systems. I’m focusing much more on the learning process. I incentivize them to improve, and I acknowledge: ‘You don’t know how to do this the first time out of the gate,’” Jewell says. “I try to incentivize them so that they’re improving their confidence in their abilities, so they don’t feel the need to turn to these tools.”

Understand the forces that make kids resort to AI in the first place . Clubs, sports, homework: Kids are busy and under pressure. Why not do what’s easy?

“Kids are so overscheduled in their day-to-day lives. I think there’s so much enormous pressure on these kids, whether it’s self-inflicted, parent-inflicted, or school-culture inflicted. It’s on them to maximize their schedule. They’ve learned that AI can be a way to take an assignment that would take five hours and cut it down to one,” says a teacher at a competitive high school outside Boston who asked to remain anonymous.

Recently, this teacher says, “I got papers back that were just so robotic and so cold. I had to tell [students]: ‘I understand that you tried to use a tool to help you. I’m not going to penalize you, but what I am going to penalize you for is that you didn’t actually answer the prompt.”

Afterward, more students felt safe to come forward to say they’d used AI. This teacher hopes that age restrictions become implemented for these programs, similar to apps such as Snapchat. Educationally and developmentally, they say, high-schoolers are still finding their voice — a voice that could be easily thwarted by a robot.

“Part of high school writing is to figure out who you are, and what is your voice as a writer. And I think, developmentally, that takes all of high school to figure out,” they say.

And AI can’t replicate voice and personality — for now, at least.

Kara Baskin can be reached at [email protected] . Follow her @kcbaskin .

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