Everyone knows what a person is, but do you know what personification is? Personification is a type of metaphor and a common literary tool. It is when you assign the qualities of a person to something that isn't human or that isn't even alive, like nature or emotions. There are many reasons for using personification. It can be used as a method of describing something so that others can more easily understand it. It can be used to emphasize a point. It can be used to help paint a picture in your mind. You may in fact use personification without even knowing it.
There is often confusion between personification and anthropomorphism. While personification means giving an object or animal human characteristics to create interesting imagery – as in nursery rhymes like "Hey Diddle Diddle," where "the little dog laughed to see such fun" – anthropomorphism means making an object or animal act and look like they are human, as in Peter Rabbit.
Personification Examples in Literature
Personification is often found in literature and poetry. Some examples include:
"Two Sunflowers Move into the Yellow Room" by Nancy Willard
“Ah, William, we’re weary of weather,”
said the sunflowers, shining with dew.
“Our traveling habits have tired us.
Can you give us a room with a view?”
They arranged themselves at the window
and counted the steps of the sun,
and they both took root in the carpet
where the topaz tortoises run.
In this poem, the sunflowers are talking to the poet William Blake. They are tired of being outside and tell him that they want to be moved. We know that sunflowers cannot be tired or talk so Willard uses personification to give them these attributes.
"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" by William Wordsworth
"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
This poem brings the beauty and tranquility of nature to life. The daffodils are personified as a crowd of people dancing, while Wordsworth floats like a cloud enjoying the show.
Personification can also be found in literature. William Shakespeare uses it throughout Romeo and Juliet. One example is in Act 2 when Friar Lawrence is picking flowers for his various potions. He says:
"The grey-ey'd morn smiles on the frowning night, Check'ring the Eastern clouds with streaks of light."
In describing the morning as smiling at the night he is personifying the morning and establishing a romantic setting for Romeo and Juliet's love to unfold.
50 Ways to Use Personification
The following sentences use the personification technique. See if you can identify which part of the word or phrase is the personification. The answers are below:
|1. The stars danced playfully in the moonlit sky.||26. While making my way to my car, it appeared to smile at me mischievously.|
|2. The run-down house appeared depressed.||27. The car, painted lime green, raced by screaming for attention.|
|3. The first rays of morning tiptoed through the meadow.||28. The butterflies in the meadow seemed to two-step with one another.|
|4. She did not realize that opportunity was knocking at her door.||29. The waffle jumped up out of the toaster.|
|5. He did not realize that his last chance was walking out the door.||30.The popcorn leapt out of the bowl.|
|6. The bees played hide and seek with the flowers as they buzzed from one to another.||31. When the DVD went on sale, it flew off the shelves.|
|7. The wind howled its mighty objection.||32. I tripped because the curb jumped out in front of me.|
|8. The snow swaddled the earth like a mother would her infant child.||33. Time creeps up on you.|
|9. The river swallowed the earth as the water continued to rise higher and higher.||34. The news took me by surprise.|
|10. Time flew and before we knew it, it was time for me to go home.||35. The fire ran wild.|
|11. The ocean waves lashed out at the boat and the storm continued to brew.||36. The thunder clapped angrily in the distance.|
|12. My computer throws a fit every time I try to use it.||37. The tornado ran through town without a care.|
|13. The thunder grumbled like an old man.||38. The door protested as it opened slowly.|
|14. The flowers waltzed in the gentle breeze.||39. The evil tree was lurking in the shadows.|
|15. Her life passed her by.||40. The tree branch moaned as I swung from it.|
|16. The sun glared down at me from the sky.||41. Time marches to the beat of its own drum.|
|17. The moon winked at me through the clouds above.||42. The storm attacked the town with great rage.|
|18. The wind sang through the meadow.||43. My life came screeching to a halt.|
|19. The car was suffering and was in need of some TLC.||44. The baseball screamed all the way into the outfield.|
|20. At precisely 6:30 am my alarm clock sprang to life.||45. The blizzard swallowed the town.|
|21. The window panes were talking as the wind blew through them.||46. The tsunami raced towards the coastline.|
|22. The ocean danced in the moonlight.||47. The avalanche devoured everything in its path.|
|23. The words appeared to leap off of the paper as she read the story.||48. The pistol glared at me from its holster.|
|24. The phone awakened with a mighty ring.||49. The car beckoned me from across the showroom.|
|25. The funeral raced by me in a blur.||50. I could hear Hawaii calling my name.|
Did you identify the personification in the examples above? The human trait assigned to the subject is in bold here. The subject being personified is underlined.
1. The starsdanced playfully in the moonlit sky.
26. While making my way to my car, itsmiled at me mischievously.
2. The run-down house appeared depressed.
27. The car, painted lime green, raced by screaming for attention.
3. The first rays of morningtiptoed through the meadow.
28. The butterflies in the meadow seemed to two-step with one another.
4. She did not realize that opportunitywas knocking at her door.
29. The wafflejumped up out of the toaster.
5. He did not realize that his last chancewas walking out the door.
30. The popcornleapt out of the bowl.
6. The beesplayed hide and seek with the flowers as they buzzed from one to another.
31. When the DVD went on sale, it flew off the shelves.
7. The windhowled its mighty objection.
32. I tripped because the curb jumped out in front of me.
8. The snow swaddled the earth like a mother would her infant child.
33. Timecreeps up on you.
9. The riverswallowed the earth as the water continued to rise higher and higher.
34. The newstook me by surprise.
10. Time flew and before we knew it, it was time for me to go home.
35. The fireran wild.
11. The ocean waves lashed out at the boat and the storm continued to brew.
36. The thunder clapped angrily in the distance.
12. My computer throws a fit every time I try to use it.
37. The tornadoran through town without a care.
13. The thunder grumbled like an old man.
38. The doorprotested as it opened slowly.
14. The flowerswaltzed in the gentle breeze.
39. The evil treewas lurking in the shadows.
15. Her life passed her by.
40. The tree branchmoaned as I swung from it.
16. The sunglared down at me from the sky.
41. Timemarches to the beat of its own drum.
17. The moonwinked at me through the clouds above.
42. The stormattacked the town with great rage.
18. The wind sang through the meadow.
43. My life came screeching to a halt.
19. The carwas suffering and was in need of some TLC.
44. The baseball screamed all the way into the outfield.
20. At precisely 6:30 am my alarm clocksprang to life.
45. The blizzardswallowed the town.
21. The window paneswere talking as the wind blew through them.
46. The tsunamiraced towards the coastline.
22. The oceandanced in the moonlight.
47. The avalanchedevoured everything in its path.
23. The wordsleapt off of the paper as she read the story.
48. The pistolglared at me from its holster.
24. The phoneawakened with a mighty ring.
49. The carbeckoned me from across the showroom.
25. The funeralraced by me in a blur.
50. I could hear Hawaii calling my name.
Purpose of Personification
As seen by the examples above, personification is used to assign human qualities to things that are not human, but it does not make them behave like a human. The purpose of this figurative language is to bring inanimate things to life to better explain them. Writers often use personification to make their writing more vivid and to have the reader understand the object or animal in a better way.
Do you have a good example to share? Add your example here.comments powered by
Examples of Personification
By YourDictionaryEveryone knows what a person is, but do you know what personification is? Personification is a type of metaphor and a common literary tool. It is when you assign the qualities of a person to something that isn't human or that isn't even alive, like nature or emotions. There are many reasons for using personification. It can be used as a method of describing something so that others can more easily understand it. It can be used to emphasize a point. It can be used to help paint a picture in your mind. You may in fact use personification without even knowing it.
You’ve probably come across a term personal statement while you were reading the list of requirements your college application has to meet in order to be taken into consideration. What’s more, personal statement as well as the statement of purpose is the essential part of your application.
While it’s understandable that you want to get everything done as soon as possible, you should still take some time and focus on each step of the process to avoid common pitfalls. When you know what to include and how to write the application essay it gets easier to complete it.
Personal Statement Definition
Due to the fact that personal statement is not like other documents you need for college admission, it’s easy to struggle with understanding its primary objective. That’s why it’s necessary to define the term first. Statement of purpose, or personal statement, is a paper or document wherein a student is meant to give concrete evidence of his/her promise as a member of the academic community and depict an image of their personality to the committee.
The personal statement goes by many names including application essay, admission essay, personal essay, reflective essay, and narrative essay. Regardless of the term provided in the application materials, your goal is to represent your full potential, describe hopes, goals, and talents that make you a perfect fit for that college. When writing the statement of purpose, it is necessary to demonstrate how your values, non-traditional educational background, and other factors have influenced the academic career.
There is no one size fits all rule for personal statements. Every student can use their own unique approach to show what makes them ideal for some particular institution.
Types of College Statements
In writing, there is no such thing as one, generic form of anything and personal statement isn’t the exception. We can divide these statements into two forms:
- The general or comprehensive personal statement – gives a student the maximum freedom regarding the things they want to write. Also referred to as the open topic essay, this type of a statement only has formatting rules you have to follow, everything else is up to you. You just have to create a perfect way to represent yourself and start writing;
- The response to a specific question – unlike the above-mentioned type of a statement of purpose, this form requires students to answer adequately to a certain question in order to demonstrate their knowledge, expertise, skills, and plans for the future We can also divide personal statements based on the programs, undergraduate and college graduate.
College Personal Statement
College graduate personal statements usually involve questions a student has to answer throughout the essay. This type of admission essay is considered more demanding and advanced. The reason why you’re more likely to write the response to a specific question is simple – the graduate applicant is expected to have a certain level of independent thinking.
By the time they graduate, students develop critical thinking skills and they get more experience in life. As a result, you also have a clear idea of what you want to study further and how a certain program can help you achieve that goal.
Bearing in mind that most graduate programs include some form of financial aid wherein a student has to return for research work or teaching, the applicant has to demonstrate he/she is capable of that work. This explains why a vast majority of personal statements for graduate students focus on applicants’ academic and professional interests rather than vague subjects.
Undergraduate Personal Statement
Application essays for undergraduate students usually fall into the category of general or comprehensive statements. You have the liberty to write a statement that shows your motivation, inspiration, and other factors that make you an ideal candidate.
Why do undergraduate students write open topic essays instead of a response to a certain question? At this point, a student is eager to learn, start a new chapter in life, and finally step into the adulthood. That being said, the applicant doesn’t really have any idea of what will come after college.
For students who want to enroll in the underground program, the focus is on demonstrating how he/she has explored interests and world around them. They talk about their passions and desires while demonstrating how they relate to other people, forms opinions, and show a glimpse of their personality.
Writing a Personal Statement
Thousands of thoughts go through our mind on a daily basis, but when we’re supposed to sit down and start writing it’s difficult to think of something usable. The problem becomes even worse when the text you have to write can make or break your chances of getting your application accepted. No need to despair! With a few simple tips and tricks, you can create your personal statement easier than you thought.
Guidelines for Writing Personal Statement
The personal statement isn’t something you should do just to “get it over with”, this type of essay requires a lot of thinking and analyzing. You have to evaluate your own hopes, dreams, passion, motivation, academic success, or even high school education (if you’re just about to enroll into the college) and many other things before you determine what and how to write.
To make this process easier for you, follow the guidelines listed below:
- Take a few moments to think of information you want to include (or how to answer a specific question);
- Create a draft without focusing on word count and character length, just write whatever comes to your mind;
- Don’t rush, take your time. You don’t have to complete your personal statement in an hour or a day;
- Consider a dictionary your best friend, it will help you avoid overusing some words. Plus, your personal statement should also demonstrate vocabulary skills;
- Focus on your strengths, but mention specific examples rather than making it look like you’re bragging;
- Don’t compare your personal statement to someone else’s. Two people have different experiences and views of the world around them;
- Read it out loud to see whether it seems right.
Structure and Format of Personal Statement
The secret to a high-quality personal statement is in the format. Let’s take a look at the outline you should follow:
At the very beginning of the admission essay, start by briefly introducing yourself, interests and motivations. This is a short paragraph that acts like a hook, it catches a reader’s attention and makes them interested in you and your personality.
Academic interests and achievements
Regardless of whether you’re undergraduate or graduate student, there’s always something you can write about your education so far. Don’t exaggerate anything, focus on facts and show your interests, achievements, or plans you have for your academic life.
Graduate students can also include a description of specific classes they’ve taken and professors they’ve had.
If your task is to write an open topic essay, then it’s useful to dedicate a paragraph to background experiences which aren’t directly related to academic life but have made a major influence on your life and education in general.
This isn’t about hobbies and other stuff. Instead, you should focus on extracurricular activities associated with your field. For example, you can list projects where you participated, volunteer work, and other activities you joined outside the school, but greatly contribute to your choice of the study program, college, etc.
Publications or other Professional Accomplishments
In this paragraph, students can briefly mention publications where their works were published. This is primarily reserved for graduate students who have already participated in some academic researches.
Why You’ve Chosen the Specific College/Program
It’s always useful to describe why you’ve chosen the specific college or program and if you haven’t done it somewhere above, now is a good time to add this info.
Conclude your personal statement with a strong paragraph where you’ll summarize your greatest strengths that make you a perfect person for the specific program.
How to write a good Personal Statement
You know the basic guidelines and format for your statement of purpose, but to write a great essay, you should also follow these tips:
- Write in an enthusiastic, concise, and natural style;
- Try not to overdo it with humor, your admission officer may not have the same sense of humor so it won’t accomplish anything;
- Think about the message you want to convey and work your way to it;
- Avoid general commentary;
- Use examples;
- Be careful with controversial comments and expression, try to avoid them;
- After you’ve written the first draft, start editing and proofreading to ensure your personal statement meets required word count.
What to include in a Personal Statement
To impress the committee, your personal statement should:
- Explain why you want to study the course;
- Provide evidence to demonstrate that not only you meet all the criteria, but also that you took the time to research the course or profession;
- Outline how you’ve pursued the interest in a chosen subject beyond the current syllabus;
- Depict why you chose that particular college for your academic education;
- Reflect on your experiences and explain what you’ve learned from them and how they helped you develop interest in a certain subject;
- Demonstrate transferable skills;
- Show that you are a critical thinker;
- Mention the long-term goals.
Now that you know what to include in your personal statement, here are some things you should leave out of it:
- Don’t copy and paste your old personal statement;
- Too personal and irrelevant information;
- Over-used clichés;
- Random lists;
- Unproven claims;
- Vague expressions;
- Negative comments or excuses.
Personal Statement Examples
It’s all about practice and proper topic selection (if you have the liberty to do so). The more you write this type of essay, the easier it will be to create it for your college admission. Below, you can see examples of personal statement essays for both graduate and undergraduate students.
Personal Statement for College Examples
- What are the reasons you wish to pursue the graduate program and how does it relate to your career goals?
- What are your qualifications for admission?
- How do you see your career in five years from now?
- What are the experiences in your academic life that shaped your interests in the graduate program?
- What are the greatest challenges your profession faces right now and how will this graduate program help you overcome them?
In movies, a teenage girl carrying around a journal is cliché or means that she has something to hide. In my life having a journal means so much more. Writing an entry puts my bottled emotions into words.
There was this one specific day in school, I was having a rollercoaster of emotions. My boredom slowly turned into anger that’s when I pulled out my journal. During that one sitting, I wrote six poems. I looked back at my writing and I was proud of myself, proud that I turn my negative emotions into something creative and positive. From that day on I always carried around that journal from essays to poems, even if I didn’t write in it knowing that I could anytime I needed gave me a sense of security. It seems to give me power over my emotions. However ever since I started carrying my journal I noticed in school whenever I would take it out people would stare trying to catch a glimpse of my words. Before I used to conceal and hide my pedophile that I wrote in my journal, but now I handed them my book I haven’t told them to write a page. I was not only becoming more creative in my writing but I was the coming more confident. I can say I’ve changed my mindset thinking if having a journal impact of me like this it could help someone else. I saw people face light up when I handed them my book to write in they felt special. Soon my journal became a gallery of peoples emotions.
People trusted me with their thoughts and they express them through drawings, poems, songs, or even essays. So many people were inspired by my journal they started journaling. It showed me how journaling is almost therapeutic. I was happier and what use to be writing only sometimes became and the everyday thing even my vocabulary was growing. Having this hardcover book with me made me feel like I could be anything and everything I wanted I was able to put out my thoughts and understand them and it felt so good.
Journaling impacted my life so much I’m thinking of majoring in Media and Communications hearing people’s thoughts including my own and putting them out for the world to hear them. The world is just a big diary ready to be made a mark on. Writing eventually turns into saying how you feel and I want to be that journal to people. I want to understand people’s emotions and share them.
And that’s why I’m so into journaling just knowing whenever my feelings feel like they’re getting to be too much documenting them and expressing them not only internally but on paper. I never knew one simple experience can change how I feel about my future. I believe in it because I think it works and it keeps me sane. Journaling may be cliché but the things within those pages are far from that.
Undergraduate Personal Statement Examples
- Discuss accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked personal growth and a new understanding of yourself and others.
- Recount a time when you faced a challenge or setback.
- How did it affect you and what did you learn from it?
- Describe a problem you solved or an issue you would like to solve.
- A person who inspires you.
- What do you want to accomplish in life?
Sample Personal Statement
We live in the 21st century, in the era of the internet and media. It is safe to say that media is the most powerful entity on the planet. Education is vital for every individual as it shapes our views of the world and prepares us for a career that comes after. I wish to combine media and education in order to fulfill my ambition to become a journalist. Although media is a force to be reckoned with, we witness the rise of low-quality journalists who focus on clickbait posts and reports. I want to use the platform to raise awareness of important issues and give my contribution to society.
Experience is everything, and despite the fact I am not a person who spent years working as a journalist, my education has given me a solid foundation where I can build my career. Throughout my high school education, I have worked as an editor of school papers and website. Not only did I report current events, but I also strived to address common concerns of my fellow students, spark debates which contributed to major changes that improved the learning experience and atmosphere among students.
Thanks to my strong work ethic, reaching any deadline is not a problem and my curiosity motivates me to learn more. Reasons I want to enroll in this program are numerous. Based on my research, it was easy to conclude this is the program that will help me become the journalist I really want to be. The program will help me improve writing skills, master the art of journalism, and grow on a personal and professional level.
Personal Statement Editing and Writing Service
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Things You Will Improve Through Personal Statement
- Writing skills, because you’ll know what mistakes to avoid
- Your chances of getting an acceptance letter
- Professionally looking personal statement that will impress every admission officer
- Peace of mind