How to Write a Personal Narrative Essay - Samples & Outline
A personal narrative essay is about writing about your personal experience or telling a story from your point of view. Whereas in a simple narrative essay, you can also write fictional stories.
Personal narrative essays are short stories about you. It tells the reader about what happened and how you felt at that moment. Learn to write an impressive personal narrative essay through our step-by-step guide.
What Is a Personal Narrative Essay
A personal narrative essay is a kind of short story. The only difference is; the short story could be real or fictional. Whereas, a personal narrative essay is about the writer's personal experience. It is usually written in the first person, and it has a clear narrative that’s focused on a specific moment.
It has a specific plot around which the whole story revolves. It also includes all the characters that have played some part in the story. It provides all sensory details of the event and the sequence of how the events occurred in the story.
The professors usually ask high school students to write these kinds of essays more than any other essay type. As they invoke creative writing skills, they also provide insight into a student’s personal life.
Elements of Personal Narrative Essay
A personal narrative essay has three essential elements: theme, character, and dialogue.
It has a specific theme around which the whole story revolves.
Characters play a significant role in personal narrative essays. Characters are the people who act, behave, and perform in the story.
Settings are the time and place of events happening. In other words, it is when and where the event has occurred.
Personal Narrative Essay Outline
The personal narrative essay outline is similar to the narrative essay outline. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. The basic outline is as follow:
- 1. Introduction
- Hook statement
- The essence of the story
- Thesis statement
- 2. Body
- Sensory description
- Complete details of the event, i.e. the time and place of the event happening
- Full description of characters that act behave, and play in the story
- 3. Conclusion
- Wrap up the whole story
- Restate the thesis statement
- Provide climax
How to Write a Personal Narrative Essay?
An excellent personal narrative essay doesn't tell what happened. Instead, it shows what happened precisely and how you have felt at that moment.
Here is how you can write your essay:
1. Choose the topic
The first and foremost thing is to choose a topic for your story. As these essays are about your personal experience, the topic should be something you are extremely passionate about.
2. Create an Outline
Once you have decided on the topic and the story that you want to tell, draft an outline of it. The outline will help you recall the event and follow the actual sequence of the event. It will also help you organize your story.
3. Start With a Good Hook
As you are going to narrate a personal story, start with an eye-catching hook. It will help you get the reader's attention. A captivating dialogue could be used as a hook statement. Other than that, a quote or an anecdote can also be a hook statement.
4. Vivid Description
As it is told above, the purpose of a personal narrative essay is to show rather than tell. Hence try to engage the five senses of the reader with a vivid description of your story. Paint an image in the reader's mind and take him to the actual happening of the event.
5. Use Transition words
Usage of transition words helps you make links between the storyline. Use words like; however, therefore, moreover, etc.
6. Focus on Important Moments
Your story has a lot of moments, but not all of them have the same importance. Choose the most important moments of your story and keep focused on them. Zoom into them and provide more details and descriptions of those moments.
7. Add Emotions
Don't forget to add the emotions, as you have to make the reader feel what you have felt. Describe all the feelings in detail to show the reader how you have felt at different moments during your story.
8. Be Consistent
Be consistent with your story; don't distract from irrelevant details. Stick to the one-story and avoid any inconsistent pattern in your story. If you add details of multiple events, the reader will get confused and will soon lose interest.
9. Prove the Significance of Your Experience
As it is a personal narrative, you don't have to provide evidence to prove your story’s significance. Rather, you have to convey a broader message through your story. You have to tell the reader what you have learned or how that particular moment changed your life.
Personal Narrative Essay Topics
While you choose a personal narrative or narrative essay topic, focus on the things you are passionately ambitious about. Here are some amazing topic ideas for you:
- My first pizza order
- A backyard in my grandma's house
- My first day at school
- When I entered the Disney land
- The day my little sister was born
- The moment I lost my father
- My best friend’s engagement ceremony
- A day at Jurassic park
- My first visit to Huawei
- Sunday a fun day
- A day at the beach
- My first Japanese pastry
- My first attempt at baking
- A moment that changed my life
- The most amazing memory of my childhood
Personal Narrative Essay Examples
Here are some amazing narrative essay examples to help you know how you should structure and organize your essay:
Personal Narrative Essay for High School
Personal Narrative Essay for College
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