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Tips for Writing a Personal Narrative Essay

Writing the Reader-Friendly Essay

❶The persuasive or argumentative essay picks a certain viewpoint and offers support of it with data, statistics, and other evidence.

Writing an Impactful Personal Narrative Essay

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Example of Narrative Writing

Seen from a certain angle, your small failure became a gateway to perseverance and determination. Write about a significant moment. A good personal essay will explore a specific experience that created a sense of conflict in your life. The personal essay can be a way to explore how and why you were challenged or hurt by the experience.

Think of it as a space where you can discuss a significant moment and reflect on its impact on your life. Try to really dig into why you were hurt or compelled to overcome a challenge in this moment in your essay. Remember that moments charged with strong emotion will often be more engaging to readers. Having a strong reaction to a specific moment will allow you to write passionately about it and keep your reader interested in your essay.

Discuss a specific event that triggered an emotional response. You may also explore a specific event in your life that left a lasting impression on you. Often, personal essays act as reflections on an event that occurred in your life and shifted it in some way.

Think of a specific event that is unique and personal to you. The stranger the event, the more likely the essay will be engaging to read. Think about a heavy experience in your life that shaped who you are today. You may also decide to write about a seemingly light topic or event, such as your first ride on a roller coaster, or the first time you went on a cruise with your partner. No matter what event you choose, make sure it is an event that triggered a strong emotional response, ranging from anger to confusion to unabashed joy.

Think of a person in your life that you have difficulty with in some way. You may want to explore a tenuous relationship with a person in your life in your personal essay.

Think about a person you have grown apart from or feel estranged from. You may also choose a person that you have always had a difficult or complicated relationship with and explore why this is in your essay. You may also look at past romantic relationships that failed and consider why they did not succeed or a relationship with a mentor that went sour. This could also be about someone that you're close with. For example, you could write about a moment that tested your relationship with a close friend.

Respond to a current event. Good personal essays consider the specific, such as your experiences, as well as the general, such as a current event or larger issue. You may focus on a current event or topic that you feel passionate about, such as abortion or refugee camps, and consider it from a personal perspective. For example, how does the current event intersect with your own experiences? How can you explore a current social issue or event using your personal thoughts, experiences, and emotions?

For example, you may have an interest in writing about Syrian refugee camps in Europe. You may then focus your personal essay on your own status as a refugee in America and how your experiences a refugee have shaped the person you are now. This will allow you to explore a current event from a personal perspective, rather than simply talk about the current event from a distant, journalistic perspective.

Personal essays are usually formatted in sections, with an introductory section, a body section, and a concluding section. These sections are broken down as follows: It should also have some sort of narrative thesis, which is often the beginning of an important event in the piece or a theme that connects your experience to a universal idea.

Often, this is in the form of your experiences and your reflections on your experiences. You should also note the passage of time in your body sections so the reader is aware of when and how certain events occurred.

The concluding section should include a conclusion to the events and experiences discussed in the essay. You should also have a moral of the story moment, where you reflect on what you learned from your experiences or how your experiences changed your life.

In the past, it was advised to have five paragraphs total, one paragraph for the introductory section, three paragraphs for the body section, and one paragraph for the concluding section. But you can have more or less than five paragraphs for your personal essay as long as you have all three sections. Begin with an engaging opening scene. You should open your personal essay with an introductory section that is engaging and interesting for your reader.

The opening section should introduce the key characters of the essay as well as the central theme or themes of the essay. It should also present the central question or concern in the essay. Start instead with a specific scene that contains the key characters of the essay and allows you discuss the central question or theme.

Doing this will allow you to introduce the reader to the characters and the central conflict right away. For example, if you are writing about your fraught relationship with your mother, you may focus on a specific memory where you both disagreed or clashed. This could be the time you and your mother fought over a seemingly insignificant item, or the time you argued about a family secret.

Try to use an active voice instead of a passive voice as much as possible when you're writing your essay. Write from your unique voice or perspective. Though you are writing a personal essay, you still have the freedom to use a unique writing voice or point of view.

Like other writing genres, personal essays are often more successful when the writer uses a writing voice that entertains and informs the reader.

This means using word choice, syntax, and tone to create an engaging narrative voice in the essay. Or, the writing voice may be more reflective and internal, where you question your own assumptions and thoughts about the subject of the essay. You may decide to write in the present tense to make the story feel immediate, or past tense, which will allow you to reflect more on specific events or moments.

Include vivid sensory descriptions in your essay to help the reader connect with your unique perspective. Describing touch, smell, taste, sight, and sound can help the reader invest in your story and feel like they're there with you.

Develop the characters so they are well-rounded and detailed. Be sure to describe your characters with sensory detail and physical detail. Even though you are pulling from your real life experiences in your essay, you should still consider storytelling elements like plot and character.

Using these elements in your essay will keep your reader engaged and help your essay to flow smoothly. However, you should limit dialogue to only a few lines a page, as too much dialogue can start to veer away from personal essay and more toward fiction. Include plot in your essay. You should also have a sense of plot in your essay, where a sequence of events or moments add up to a realization or moment of conflict at the end of the piece.

In general, it's a good idea to write the events in your essay in chronological order so it's easy for the reader to follow along. The plot points should act as supporting evidence for the central question or issue of the essay. Focus on uncovering a deeper truth.

This means thinking about the deeper meanings that are at the core of your personal experiences. Try to discuss your experiences with honesty and curiosity, where you are trying to uncover a hidden truth or a truth you did not know was there at the time.

Often, the best personal essays will try to expose a truth that is uncomfortable or difficult for the writer to discuss. Be wary of experiences that are familiar and filled with pathos that a reader may have experienced before.

If you are writing about the sudden death of a loved one, for example, it may feel important and deep to you. But the reader will likely know what to expect of an essay about a dead loved one, and may not relate to your essay because they did not know the loved one like you did. This could lead to the uncovering of a deeper truth and a stronger personal essay. Writing an engaging personal narrative essay requires you to focus on both the key points of information to be conveyed as well as the many details which make the narrative essay interesting.

A personal narrative essay is about a personal experience, so it is usually written in the first person. To maximize its impact, the essay should:. Writing a good narrative essay requires you to include interesting information in an engaging way.

Here are some tips:. Here is an example of writing used in a personal narrative essay. Notice the tone and words that set the mood. You can almost feel the heat and humidity. An essay is a short piece of writing which is either analytical or speculative. The persuasive or argumentative essay picks a certain viewpoint and offers support of it with data, statistics, and other evidence. Its purpose is to make the reader agree with the proofs and conclusions.

In other words, the reader should share the viewpoint of the writer. A comparison essay will compare two things and point out their similarities and differences. The writer needs to find as many similarities and differences as possible so he will need to do some research. It does not matter in what order the facts are presented, as long as they are easy to understand by the reader.

Descriptive essays answer the questions: They can be written about any subject; a place, person, animal, event, thing, or memory.

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In personal writing, you must state your position or opinion on an issue and support your point of view with reasons, examples, personal anecdotes (a short, personal story about an incident or an event), illustrations, or stories. Below is an example of a paragraph from a .

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Personal writing paper in coursework of holiday writing paper writing a short research paper Know your point & start with the main points of view. Preston, s. H. Smith as an illustration, in conclusion, taken together avoid ending sentences with and, but, because or so.

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Writing an engaging personal narrative essay requires you to focus on both the key points of information to be conveyed as well as the many details which make the narrative essay interesting.. Writing an Impactful Personal Narrative Essay. A personal narrative essay is about a personal experience, so it is usually written in the first person. The personal essay thesis statement in the introduction section ties the main ideas of the essay and guides the writing as the statement summarizes the main points, and the readers then understand what the writing is about.

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Celebrate the art of letter writing with unique custom stationery featuring Paper Source exclusive designs with your choice of colored envelopes. Choose a style that suits your personal taste, from classic to playful to modern. Your essay isn't private, it's personal. This means you must write with an audience in mind. Dinty W. Moore shares tips on how to write a reader-friendly essay.