Personal Narrative Essay
How does it feel putting down your entire life on paper? It’s kind of overwhelming but it is the easiest yet thing to do. Letting your emotions, feelings, dreams, and experiences known to the outside world is the essence of writing a personal narrative essay. The reader is supposed to feel connected to you, as if he or she has known you for ages. Your voice has to be heard in your story. Your pain and excitement has must be felt as well. Vivid description and imagery should be properly inculcated in your work. The writer’s perspective is all that matters. You don’t need any writing talent to talk about something you can relate to, do you?
Format for Writing a Good Personal Narrative Essay
Just like any other essay writing, divide your content into three parts:
- and conclusion.
The introductory part of this essay is very important. It is what will encourage your audience to read further or turn them off completely. A good introduction contains three parts:
- a hook or attention grabber,
- statement providing a link to your main idea,
- and a thesis statement.
Your first statement has to be a catch to the reader’s attention. Putting your work in the form of a story actually makes this easier. Other than beginning with a self-introduction, which is rather boring and predictable in relation to the topic at hand, you could start with a brief narration of an intriguing experience you once had. Capture the audience and reveal your person and character indirectly and creatively. The thesis statement should give a hint of what your subsequent paragraphs will have. Do not give your main story yet. Here is an example of such an introduction:
“My life has been full of different moments, happy, sad, incomprehensible just to mention a few. In everything I have gone through I learn and acquire more skills to survive and take care of what I treasured the most, my child. I must confess life gave me lemons and I made lemonades out of them all”
The main ideas of your writing fall in the body of your essay. The thoughts expressed in the subsequent paragraphs have to build on each other and be based on the thesis statement provided. Your work has to be as descriptive and as detailed as possible. Keep in mind that this kind of essay gives you all the freedom to style and spice your work with metaphors, rhetoric questions and many other expressions. Be precise and stick to one main idea in every paragraph to avoid confusion. Involving dialogue in your writing brings the reader closer to you. It even provides a comprehensive description of the situation. Avoid using too many flashbacks and phrases like “as I said earlier…” They make your work boring and repetitive. Just like any other essay, summary statements should close each paragraph so as to create a smooth transition to the next. A sample of body paragraph could be:
“I lay in the hospital bed, sweating, panting, tears rolling down my chubby cheeks. The doctor’s words were clearer than ever in my mind and trust me they made serious rounds in there. “You have stage 4 cancer”, he said “You need a surgery…” That was even scarier. I looked at the table, get- well- soon cards, flowers, teddy bears were all I could see. On the chair sat my mum, holding my daughter’s sweater. She could not hide her tears. Deep down, I prayed like never before. All I needed was another chance from God to carry my 3 year old baby girl once again. And I believed, oh yes I did, that I was going to come out of that theatre alive and well.”
The last paragraph of an essay is always the conclusion. It is meant to remind your audience of what the whole writing is all about. Your closing statement has to be powerful and invoke the audience’s emotions in every possible way. Highlight the lessons learnt, ambitions, goals and your perspective on life. Summarize your main points in other words and restate your thesis statement differently as well so as to conclude your essay. Leaving your work in suspense is kind of tricky but if applied in the right way, it will definitely make the audience want more of your work thus attracting more marks. Let your story reach the core of your audience’s being. Make it ring in their minds at all times. Reveal yourself to your readers until they feel like they have known you all along.
Efficient writers always outline their work before making their final draft. This ensures a smooth flow of words and ideas. Headings of outlines are indicated by roman numerals and lower case letters or numbers for subheadings. Subheadings include arguments that elaborate the main points indicated by the headings. An example of an outline would be below.
Outline Example for a Personal Narrative Essay
Against all odds
- Appealing sentence.
- Link to main point.
- Thesis statement.
- Cancer diagnosis.
- Surgery outcome.
- Challenges endured.
- Stigma and social issues.
Having followed all given guidelines, expect nothing lesser than the best. Remember, be you to write about you.