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. To maximize its impact, the essay should:
- Be written to have an emotional impact on the reader
- Include a lot of references to sensory perceptions and emotions
- Use vivid details and imagery
Structure of the Essay
- The opening of the essay needs to let the reader know the essence of what you will be describing and your point of view.
- The body of the story needs to give the reader a very clear idea of what happened and how you (the author) feel about that. The story can be told chronologically or the facts may be grouped by importance or type.
- The final paragraph needs to wrap up and state the point of the story, whether it is a lesson, an idea, or just a learning experience.
Writing the Essay
Writing a good narrative essay requires you to include interesting information in an engaging way. Here are some tips:
- Record yourself telling the story. That will help your organize your story and make the writing flow.
- Include anecdotes and dialogue in the essay.
- Use transitory words to connect sentences like: therefore, however, or for example.
- Vary the structure of your sentences to make the writing more interesting. Try adding some compound, complex, or interrogative sentences.
- Make the words lively, descriptive, exciting, active, emotional, and precise.
Example of Narrative Writing
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.
“It was the middle of springtime and across from my house where the incident took place. There was a lake there in which my brother and I loved to explore from time to time. The humidity and water drops where reminiscent of a fully functional sauna. The onslaught of heat and burning glow of the sun was relentless.”
Types of Essays
An essay is a short piece of writing which is either analytical or speculative. Most essays are written from the author’s point of view.
The word “essay” began to be used in 1588 when Michel de Montaigne published a book called Essais and the word represents a short work written on a particular subject.
There are many kinds of essays, and following is a short explanation of a few of them.
Persuasive or Argumentative Essay
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.
Persuasive essays need to have logical and clear reasoning supported by facts and arguments.
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: how, what, why, when, and where. They can be written about any subject; a place, person, animal, event, thing, or memory. The writer will share with the reader what he feels and perceives.
The tone should be sensory in nature so the reader can almost see, smell, taste, hear, and feel what the author experienced.
A narrative essay tells a story that has a point to be made. The reader may receive an idea or a lesson from the essay. The story is told using sensory details and emotional language.
A narrative essay usually reflects something of a personal nature so many times it becomes a personal narrative essay.
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Tips for Writing a Personal Narrative Essay
By YourDictionaryWriting 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.
YOUR TASK: To choose a significant event from your life and write a narrative essay of approximately 500-1000 words.
The main purpose of this assignment is to give you an opportunity to write about a personal experience in order to get to know and understand yourself better. During the process, you will learn ways to articulate personal experience to inform and entertain others.
Narrative provides human interest, spark our curiosity, and draw us close to the storyteller. In addition, narratives can create a sense of shared history, linking people together. They can provide entertainment as most people enjoy a thrilling movie or an intriguing book. Narratives can also provide psychological healing; reading or listening to the narrative of someone who faced a life crisis similar to one you are experiencing can help you through the crisis, as well as also help the writer deal with the crisis. They can also provide insight -- narratives can help you discover values, explore options, and examine motives.
For this essay you will need to write about one specific experience that changed how you acted, thought, or felt. Use your experience as a springboard for reflection. Your purpose is not to merely tell an interesting story but to show your readers the importance and influence the experience has had on you.
Characteristics of a narrative:
· Narratives convey action and details
· Narratives present a conflict and create tension
· Narratives sequence events
· Narratives use dialogue
· Narratives are told from a point of view
Your essay should include:
s paper, you will need to have the following:
- In the personal essay, your main character is yourself, so try to give your readers a sense of who you are through your voice, actions, level of awareness, and description. The characters in a good story are believable and interesting; they come alive for the readers.
- Dialogue: Show, don’t tell. Include vivid and meaningful dialogue between you and other or with yourself! (No, you’re not crazy.)
- In every narrative, events are ordered in some way. While you cannot alter the events that happened in your experience, as a writer, you need to decide which events to portray and in what order to present them. Remember, sequencing of events need not be chronological. Remember "Shame."