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Useful Examples of Personal Narrative Essays

If you want to share the vicissitudes of your life and your own experience with other people – it’s time to write a personal narrative essay. Your task is to describe the events from your life so that the reader would feel what is happening with each cell of the body. A story about yourself is an efficient way to enhance your writing skills, after which you will find out the true world of autobiographies and memoirs. Look through different tips and examples of personal narrative essays below.

Think Over the Main Positions

Choose a situation. The story should reflect one event from your life. It can be a story of failure, a cardinal change in the worldview, a realization of something important, a childhood memory, or anything else. If it is interesting to write about this, most likely, it will be interesting to read it too. Think about the events of your life that led to a specific result, a consequence, or taught you something.

It does not have to be something significant. Sometimes the simplest of thoughts inspires poetic eloquence. If at the end of the story you write something like “Yes, it was so difficult to spend time with my brother” – you have succeeded. There is nothing grandly grandiose if it carries some moral in itself. Specify the narrator of the story. If you are writing a story for the school, coordinate this aspect with the teacher. Perhaps he or she will ask you to focus only on one person – yourself. Otherwise, you are free to choose the storyteller yourself and decide how much he or she knows.

You can write in the first person, but pretend that the narrator himself knows far from everything, or has a rebel part of the personality – this will add some intrigue to the story. Think over the course of the plot. It is not always necessary to describe everything directly from A to Z. Obviously, it’s worth starting with the first events of the story, but then you can experiment with chronology as you please.

Sentences with memories are a popular technique in the literature. Another way to make a variety in the story is reflection, when you describe the current day, and then send the narrator back to the past. Make a sketch of the situation. This will assist you to structure your thoughts, make the required alterations, and choose the narration style. So far, it is enough to think over the main points of the plot.

At this stage, you will begin to “feel” your work, as you lay down its foundation. Look at the sketch and think what information you want to convey to the readers. How should they feel after reading the story?

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Writing the First Draft Version

Begin the story confidently. The beginning is the most significant section of the paper, it must strain and intrigue the audience.

Do not start with a boring “I.” “I’m going to tell you about the time when I got into an unpleasant situation with my parents” – this is a bad start. Better write something like “I already felt the loop pull on my neck; I knew that it was not worth making a decision so recklessly.” In the story, there should be an entry, the main section, and the conclusion. The basic events should be inserted in the main division and appropriately finish at the end.

The story should somehow influence the audience. It may force the audience to evaluate their moral principles differently, understand another person’s behavior, or simply nudge the thought. Concentrate on this thing in the final section. Apply dialogs. It’s amazing how much you can learn about a person by simply listening to what they say. One way to do this in the story is to build a dialogue. Work on dialogues, where you would reveal the personality of the characters through the manner and style of conversation.

Do not fabricate anything. If someone really does not say something, do not give the character the unsaid words in the story. Maximize the story to reality. Remember about the details of the feelings. Remember to mention all five senses:

  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Sight
  • Touch
  • Sound

Expand the vocabulary. Instead of “good” write “gorgeous,” instead of “sniffed” – “breathed in,” instead of “burning” – “glow.” Vivid phrases create a colorful picture in the imagination.

Use metaphors and comparisons. Confront the events and things among themselves with the assistance of adverbs “how” and “like.” This will assists the audience to better imagine what is going on.

For example, instead of just writing “I was scratched,” write “I hurt my hand and blood streamed from the wound like water from a garden hose.” Describe the situation colorfully.

Put everything together. It is very likely that before you, you have a paraphrase of cheerful, dynamic, emotional, and exciting situations. Rereading them, put everything in order, supplement acents where it’s needed, and remove the data that seem unnecessary to you. Do you see how the story gradually takes shape?

This is only the first draft variant. Some authors are required to write several of them before the story becomes complete. Accurately evaluate your work, try paying attention to inaccuracies, supplement dialogues, images, and regroup some parts. You will burst into a sigh of relief when everything is finally in its place. Online, you can find many examples of personal narrative essays that might help you get an idea about how you need to proceed with your own paper.

Bring the Story to the Ideal

Find an editor, be it a friend or a family member. Ask them to read your story. It will be better if this person has never heard this story before and is not its participant – so they can be disinterested and more unbiased.

Real criticism is important. If the reader cannot understand the plot, he or she must tell you about it. Doubtful parts should be rewritten.

Keep an eye on the progress of the narrative and definition of your thought. Have a break and let the brain rest. Then look at the story with a fresh look to understand what is worth changing or clarifying.

Reread your work and think if there are enough details or maybe there are too many of them. Details revive the story, but slow things down. Make sure that the main turns of the plot are not lost among the details, but are successfully supplemented by them as in examples of personal narrative essays.

Check the grammar, punctuation, and spelling. The most common mistakes are always the hardest to see. If anyone you know is good at spelling, ask them to check the story.

Do not rely on automatic spell check services. They are not able to catch the subtleties of the language and will not correct stylistic errors. Use your own head.

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Additional Tips

  • Ensure that the story is written in a language that the reader understands. Apply phrases and concepts that correspond to the age and level of maturity of your readers.
  • Keep in mind that the story about yourself should not be fiction.
  • Do not apply too pretentious metaphors and comparisons. A good comparison should not divert the reader by its pretentiousness.

Avoiding Mistakes

  • The focus of your essay should be you. Tell about your values, interests, and life experiences. Make sure that the information in the essay cannot be found in other parts of the application, and all ideas confirm aspects of your appeal. Do not waste space on unnecessary information that is not directly related to who you are.
  • Cut out the unnecessary material. Not everything is suitable for an essay. Relationships are too personal. Religion and politics can be dangerous, since in these topics a contradiction is initially laid. If you need to raise these risky questions, you should structure the essay in such a way that you do not offend anyone accidentally. For example, focus on how your faith or political career could help others.
  • Recognize your weaknesses. If you have to tell about negative traits of character, but you write that you do not have them or try to give them veiled advantages, then the audience may lose confidence in your paper.
  • The essay should be emotional. After all, it is about you – a person in whom you are supposedly vitally interested. You will fail the essay unless you prove your positive attitude and an active life position.
  • Do not try to grasp the immensity. Often in an essay about yourself you choose the scale that you are going to cover. The desire to talk about all your strengths can lead to the fact that you will write an example that is devoid of examples and a single line of essay, consisting of three general sentences. Do not be tempted.

Any Essay Consists of Three Parts

Whether it’s GMAT or SAT, it’s all the same. Say what you are going to write about, say it and repeat it again. This is the three steps. This formula and you cannot deviate from it: concept, judgment, and inference. According to examples of personal narrative essays, we can see that it is important to find interrelations. No one needs a grammar, and grammatical errors cannot be considered a serious drawback. Student are not required to have an abundant vocabulary. When you write an essay, give real examples from your life. There is no need to invent anything. For the teacher, it is important to understand if the student knows what he or she should do, whether he or she is able to write an essay.