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How to Write an Engaging Personal Narrative Essay?

When you are assigned to compose a personal narrative essay, you can finally get that feeling of non-academic freedom. Yes, this type of college writing is different from all that boring research papers and book reviews your teachers tell you to do. There is no research needed! No background reading, no analysis! A personal narrative is a paper about you and everything that interests you. Personally. Sounds fun, right? However, chances are that you will get stuck from the very beginning. How do you write something like that? And how can you make it really great? Well, no worries. We will reveal all secrets of engaging personal narrative writing right now.

What is a personal narrative essay?

A personal narrative can be anything. The only common thing for all papers of that kind is that it has to be about you and your experience. You are encouraged to tell a story about your life and share some thoughts and reflections with your readers. This type of writing is more like creative or literary text rather than an academic one. As you may know, all academic papers strive to objectivity and forbid writers to use too much emotional appeal. Instead, a personal narrative is all about subjectivity and emotions.

What is a purpose of a personal narrative?

Generally, the main purpose of a personal narrative is to reveal some topic by means of your personal experience and build an emotional connection with your audience. Your aim is to evoke feeling in your readers. Make them laugh, cry, disappoint, get scared, motivated, inspired, etc. Write a story and become the main character yourself. In most cases, when assigning personal narrative essays, professors give students some hints to follow. For example, you may get a topic that sounds like “tell about the most complicated decision you have ever made” or “talk about a situation that have changed your perception of your values”. Your task is to think about the topic and come up with a story that fits as an illustration. Write about something really meaningful to you.

How to write a personal narrative essay?

  • Step 1: Structuring your narration

Despite the fact that this a personal essay, you still need to keep up with a clear structure. It means that you have to think about the main points of your paper and bring them in order. Try composing a brief outline to make sure that you include every important element of the story. In your first paragraph you should present the main essence of the work. The body paragraphs need to have a logical flow and include both the description of an event and your personal point of view about it. Make sure that you tie everything to the main topic your professor gave you. In the end, you have to restate the point of the paper and sum up the experience described before. You may tell about the important lesson you have learned or describe the idea that came to your mind.

  • Step 2: Main point

It is very important. You should focus on the main point and reassure that your story coincides with this point all the time. The details and additional facts are welcomed, but try to avoid anything that is not related to the main theme. Also, take care to make your readers understand the central idea clearly.

  • Step 3: Dialogues and anecdotes

Write joyful stories and be funny. All in all, this is your chance to escape from all that academic seriousness and write in your own voice. You will have to include some dialogues in your work, so don’t forget to format them properly. When adding the words of a character, make sure to put the quotation marks like this: “It raining outside,” said Joe.

  • Step 4: Be energetic

To reach your audience with an emotional appeal, be lively and active. Add emotional sentences, descriptions, and your personal thoughts about things you write about.An essay that doesn’t require any correct answers and in-depth reading may seem too simple to you. However, as you can see from this guide, a personal narrative essay has its own peculiarities and challenges. These tips will help you create a winning personal narrative, so follow them and happy creative writing to you!