Personal Narrative Essay - Writing Guide and Examples (2022)

Contents

  • Personal Narrative Essay Definition
  • How to Write a Personal Narrative Essay
  • Personal Narrative Essay Outline
  • Personal Narrative Essay Examples
  • Personal Narrative Essay Topics
  • Personal Narrative Essay Writing Tips

Essay writing is something that a student can never avoid by any means. Every student must have to write essays at different stages of academic life.

When it comes to writing a personal narrative essay, students love to do it. It is one of the easiest types of essays. This essay does not confine you to a boundary, in fact, it allows you to openly use your thoughts.

Also, in a personal narrative essay, you can write a personal life experience. Even something fictional that you think would entertain the readers.

In a personal narrative essay, you are basically telling the readers about your story. You need vivid language to make things easily understandable for the reader.

Here in this blog, you will find everything that you need to know about a personal narrative essay.

Personal Narrative Essay Definition

A personal narrative essay is also referred to as short storytelling. It depends on the writer what type of story they want to tell to the readers. Moreover, this type of essay can be composed of the personal experience of the writer.

A personal narrative essay is usually written in the first person participle. It helps to depict a clear narrative that’s focused on a specific moment.

High school students are usually assigned to write such essays. This essay type helps them to enhance creative writing skills. Also, they help to provide insight into a student’s personal life.

To write a personal narrative essay, the writer specifies a plot around which the entire essay revolves. It also discusses the characters that have played some part in the story.

Sample Personal Narrative Essay (PDF)

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(Video) How to Write a Personal Narrative

How to Write a Personal Narrative Essay

A personal narrative essay is considered very good when it is expressive, and the reader enjoys your personal narrative. The key to writing an amazing personal narrative is to use sensory details as much as possible. An excellent 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 a personal narrative essay:

  1. 1. Choose the Right Topic

    A good topic can not just make your essay look good, but also it will make the writing process much easier. Since personal narrative essays are written on personal experiences and thoughts, make sure that you choose your most interesting experience.

    Keep in mind that the topic you choose matches the intended audience. It is the reader who decides the scope and success of your essay.

  2. 2. Create an Outline

    Once you have your topic, it is time that you create an outline for your essay. The essay outline is an essential element of an essay. It keeps the whole composition in an organized order.

    Also, it helps the reader through the essay. With the help of an outline, a writer can provide logic for the essay.

  3. 3. Start With a Good Hook

    For any type of essay, a hook statement can be the game-changer. But, particularly for a personal narrative essay, hook sentences are very important.

    Usually, the introduction of the essay starts with this sentence. You may use a famous quotation, verse, or an interesting fact for this purpose. This sentence helps to attain the reader’s attention and persuade the reader to read the entire essay.

  4. 4. Vivid Description

    For a narrative essay, it is a must to be vivid enough to let the reader imagine the whole scene. This is why it is necessary that the reader uses as much descriptive language as possible.

    You must wonder which element is not required for the personal narrative essay? For your information, the element not required for such an essay is the research. Since it is a personal essay and you do not need any reference from any source. And since you do not need references, you do not need to conduct research.

  5. 5. Use Transition Words

    For any essay, be it an argumentative essay, descriptive, or a personal narrative essay. It is very important to have some transition sentences and words. These transition words help to make a logical connection in all parts of the essay.

    In other words, the transition words help to make links between the storyline. You may use transition words like this, however, whereas, therefore, moreover, etc.

  6. 6. Add Emotions

    The purpose of a personal narrative essay is to show the reader what and how you have felt. Hence don't forget to add the emotions, as you have to make the reader know about the feelings. Describe all of the emotions and feelings using very descriptive words.

  7. 7. Be Consistent

    Consistency is the key to writing an essay in a professional way. Make sure that you don't get distracted by any irrelevant details. Stay focused on one single point, and add details related to that specific idea of yours.

    (Video) Writing a personal narrative essay

    Make sure that you inter-link all the events of the story in a regular manner. This will help the reader to relate all the events. Also, use first-person impressions as you are writing a personal narrative.

    You also want to show the reader that you are telling your own story. Make sure that you follow the same participle in the entire essay.

  8. 8. Prove the Significance of Your Experience

    You know that behind every event, there is a reason. Similarly, let your readers know the reason behind your essay and its significance. Also, mention that the story you just told it was so important to share.

    As it is a personal narrative, you don't have to provide evidence to prove the significance of your story. Rather, you have to convey a broader message through your story.

  9. 9. Proofread

    Once you are done with writing your personal narrative essay. It's time that you put a little effort into making it error-free. Proofread the essay more than once and look for minor spelling mistakes and other grammatical mistakes.

    This will ensure that you have written an essay like a pro. You can do this yourself or you may ask a friend to do it for you.

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Personal Narrative Essay Outline

Being a student, you must know how important an outline is for an essay. It provides an organization with the whole content.

To create an outline for a personal narrative essay, you need to follow the following traditional method.

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
  3. Conclusion

These three major elements of a narrative essay are further elaborated down below.

Introduction

The introduction is the most important part of essay writing. It is the first impression on the reader and by reading this part, the reader decides the quality of the essay. This part should be the most attention-grabbing part.

Another thing that makes it a significant element in an essay is the thesis statement. The thesis statement is the essence of an essay. It is a sentence or two that explains the whole idea of your essay.

The thesis statement is mentioned somewhere before the last sentence of the introduction.

(Video) Narrative Essay 2020 (Definition, Outline, Tips) | EssayPro

You should also know that the introduction should always end with a transition sentence. This will make a logical connection with the rest of the essay.

Body Paragraphs

After the introduction, the body paragraphs are written. These paragraphs help you to explain the key elements of your personal narrative essay.

In a standard personal narrative essay, there are usually three body paragraphs. These paragraphs help the writer to describe the subject of the essay in all possible aspects.

With the help of these paragraphs, the writer describes their point of view to the readers. To support the essay, the time and place of the event happening are also mentioned. Moreover, these paragraphs have all the information about the characters.

Keep in mind that a body starts with a topic sentence. This sentence is a kind of introductory sentence for that particular paragraph.

Another important thing that you need to keep in mind is the order in which you will be presenting the details. Make sure that you use chronological order for this purpose.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you need to provide the climax of the story. In this section of a personal narrative essay, you should wrap up the whole story. Do it in such a way that you provide a summary of the entire essay.

Make sure that you do not add any new points in this part. It will not give the reader a sense of accomplishment and will leave them in confusion.

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Personal Narrative Essay Examples

Examples help you to understand things better; here are a few well-written narrative essay examples. Read them thoroughly and use them as a guide to writing a good essay yourself.

Personal Narrative Essay 750 words

Personal narrative essays can be long or short. It depends on the writer how they want to elaborate things.

750 Words Personal Narrative Essay (PDF)
(Video) Formatting a Personal Narrative Essay Properly

Personal Narrative Essay Examples for High school Students

Personal narrative essays are often assigned to high school students. If you are a high school student and looking for some good examples, you are exactly where you should be.

Best Summer Memory of My Childhood (PDF)
Near-Death Experience (PDF)

Personal Narrative Essay Examples for College Students

Being a college student, you will get to write personal narrative essays very often. Here are a few examples of well-written personal narrative essays to guide college students.

Climbing a Mountain (PDF)
My First Job (PDF)

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Personal Narrative Essay Topics

It is important to choose a good topic before you start writing. Here are some interesting narrative essay topics you can choose from for your essay.

  • My worst childhood memory
  • My favorite summer activities during vacation.
  • The first time I had a serious argument with my best friend
  • The first time someone broke my heart.
  • Things I could tell myself.
  • How I balance my family life and my professional life.
  • The most important rule in life
  • Teachers who inspired me in my college.
  • Why I love to write a diary
  • My favorite verse.
  • My favorite movie.
  • Personal advice for the youth of today.
  • How I overcame my stage fear.
  • The toughest decision I have ever made.
  • What I regret most

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(Video) Personal Narrative Essay

Personal Narrative Essay Writing Tips

You need to follow a few things in order to start your personal narrative essay in a proper way. Those significant things are as follows:

  1. Think of a memorable event, an unforgettable experience, or any that you want to tell the readers.
  2. Plan your narrative essay. Make yourself clear on the order in which you want to mention all the details.
  3. Start your personal essay with a hook sentence. This will help you to grab the attention of the readers.
  4. Use vivid language so that the reader can imagine the whole scene in mind. Describe the actions, mood, theme, and overall plot.
  5. Make sure that you use descriptive language.
  6. Use proper sentence structure.

Writing a personal narrative essay can be daunting for many students. We have an extensive team of professional writers at CollegeEssay.org. You can ask them, “help me write my narrative essay” and they will help you write your college essay and deliver it right in time.

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FAQs

What are the 5 parts of a personal narrative? ›

Like stories, personal narratives typically include an introduction, a plot, characters, a setting, a climax, and a conclusion.

What are the 5 Steps to a narrative essay? ›

  1. Step 1: Organizing your Thoughts (Brainstorming) Believe it or not, there is almost no topic on which your mind will draw a complete blank. ...
  2. Step 2: Researching your Topic. ...
  3. Step 3: Developing a Thesis Statement.
  4. Step 4: Writing the Introduction. ...
  5. Step 5: Writing the Body of the Essay. ...
  6. Step 6: Writing the Conclusion.

How do I start a narrative essay? ›

The introduction of a narrative essay is the paragraph that begins your story. In the introduction, you describe the setting, introduce the characters, and prepare your audience for the action to come. Of course, the introduction should have a hook and a thesis.

How do you start a personal narrative introduction? ›

Writing a Personal Narrative: Writing an Introduction or Opening for Kids

How many paragraphs is a narrative essay? ›

The narrative essay format and structure are standard. Like other assignments, this type of paper normally follows a 5 paragraph essay outline: one introductory paragraph, followed by three body paragraphs, and the last narrative paragraph is the conclusion.

How do you write a good personal essay? ›

How To: Write Your Personal Essay
  1. Be thoughtful, but not fretful. ...
  2. Keep the “personal” in personal essay. ...
  3. Don't try to guess what the reader wants to hear. ...
  4. Feel free to be funny or creative – but don't overreach. ...
  5. Tell us something we don't already know. ...
  6. Ask for input (but not too much). ...
  7. Edit, proof, polish, and breathe.
11 Sept 2013

How many paragraphs should a personal narrative be? ›

The standard length here is five paragraphs, though your essay can be longer or shorter if still containing all primary sections. These sections are: Introduction.

What are the 7 qualities of personal narrative writing? ›

Instructions
  • clear purpose (why this event is important to you)
  • first person account (help us understand the narrator)
  • opening sentence (question, interesting observation, or summary of purpose)
  • organized facts and events.
  • explanation of need and how addressed.
  • sensory description.

What makes a good personal narrative essay? ›

A good personal narrative essay shows what happened and how you felt. It doesn't tell what happened like a report of events. It follows the writing mantra of “show: don't tell.” It has a lot of vivid description, emotion, and other elements that re-create your story.

What are three key elements of a personal narrative? ›

Usually it's a personal anecdote or experiential piece, and it follows the same pattern as all fiction. Its three elements or "parts" are exposition, or background information, followed by complication, the events of the narrative, and resolution, the story's end.

What is a narrative essay format? ›

The narrative essay format consists of an introduction, a thesis statement, the main body, and a conclusion. The first two are an overview of what your whole text will talk about; the main body will introduce and develop your characters, locations, and dialogues to further sum up the story in the conclusion.

What is the first step to writing a personal narrative? ›

To write a personal narrative, start by choosing a memorable moment, event, or conflict in your life that you want to write about. Then, use your personal narrative to describe your story, going chronologically through the events.

How do you end a narrative essay? ›

Summarize Main Ideas. One of the most common methods for concluding a narrative essay is to write a summary, which includes brief statements of the main points. For a narrative, this does not mean you rewrite the whole story throughout the essay. This would be redundant and deflect from your message.

How do you start a narrative sentence? ›

A good narrative starts with a strong topic sentence that draws the reader in and introduces the tale you're going to tell. For example, you might start your paragraph with "I'll never forget the day I picked out my new puppy." Once you hook your reader, introduce any major characters involved in the tale.

How do you write an introduction for an essay? ›

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order: An opening hook to catch the reader's attention. Relevant background information that the reader needs to know. A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

How do you start a personal essay about yourself? ›

Let's start with some examples of personal essay prompts:
  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Describe a challenge or event that made you who you are today.
  3. What are your short and long-term goals, and how do you plan to achieve them?
  4. Write about a time you failed at something. How did it affect you?
14 Jan 2020

How long should a personal essay be? ›

The primary essay for your college application, often called a personal statement, is typically around 400-600 words. The Common App personal statement — which is used as the primary application essay by more than 800 colleges — must be 250-650 words.

How do you structure an essay? ›

What is the structure of an essay? The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement, a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

What are the 6 elements of a personal narrative? ›

These terms include: plot, characters, point of view, setting, theme, conflict, and style. Understanding how these elements work helps us better analyze narratives and to determine meanings.

Does a personal narrative need an introduction? ›

Introduction: Your personal narrative needs a strong introduction that will serve as an attention-grabbing hook to pique your readers' interest and ensure that they go on to read the rest of your personal narrative.

What are the 3 types of narratives? ›

Types of Narration
  • First Person - In this point of view, a character (typically the protagonist, but not always) is telling the story. ...
  • Second Person - In this point of view, the author uses a narrator to speak to the reader. ...
  • Third Person - In this point of view, an external narrator is telling the story.

What is the structure of a personal narrative essay? ›

A personal narrative essay uses the components of a story: introduction, plot, characters, setting, and conflict. It also uses the components of argument, thesis, and conclusion. In a personal narrative essay, we tell our readers a story to make a larger argument.

What should you not do in a personal narrative? ›

Here are eight common mistakes you should avoid when writing a personal essay:
  • Using essay to vent. ...
  • Clearing your throat on the page. ...
  • Writing long… ...
  • Overlooking day-to-day life as essay fodder. ...
  • Using lazy language. ...
  • Being afraid of dialogue. ...
  • Holding back. ...
  • Taking rejection personally.
27 Aug 2019

What are examples of personal writing? ›

Examples of Personal Essays
  • An Apology for Idlers, by Robert Louis Stevenson.
  • On Laziness, by Christopher Morley.
  • Coney Island at Night, by James Huneker.
  • New Year's Eve, by Charles Lamb.
  • How It Feels to Be Colored Me, by Zora Neale Hurston.
  • My Wood, by E.M. Forster.
  • Two Ways of Seeing a River, by Mark Twain.
11 Jan 2019

How long is a personal narrative essay? ›

Review the narrative to make sure it is not too long, as personal narratives are usually short, no more than one to five pages long.

What makes a good personal essay? ›

There are a few main ingredients most successful personal essays include a compelling hook, engaging story, interesting characters, immersive setting, and meaningful point. Compelling hook. A personal essay is a story.

What is a personal essay format? ›

A personal essay format looks like a structure of most standard five-paragraph essays. You start with an introduction, then craft a three-paragraph body telling your story, and finally wrap up the piece with a conclusion. Doesn't seem difficult, right?

How do you start a personal essay about yourself? ›

Let's start with some examples of personal essay prompts:
  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Describe a challenge or event that made you who you are today.
  3. What are your short and long-term goals, and how do you plan to achieve them?
  4. Write about a time you failed at something. How did it affect you?
14 Jan 2020

What format should I use for a personal essay? ›

A general rule of thumb you might follow is to submit a 2-3 page statement, double-spaced, with 1-inch margins, in 12-pt. Times New Roman font. While there are no set rules about length or format, this is typically considered appropriate and sufficient.

How many paragraphs is an essay? ›

No rule says an essay needs to have a certain number of paragraphs, but an essay must be at least three paragraphs. Many people say an essay should be five paragraphs, but it's an extremely limiting rule, and unless you've been instructed to write a five-paragraph essay, there's no reason to stick to it.

What is the best title for essay? ›

Titles should be descriptive and provocative. Effective essay titles should reflect the purpose and tone of your essay. For example, if you are writing about a serious topic such as assisted suicide, you would not want your title to be humorous. It is often a good idea to write your title later in the writing process.

What are the 5 parts of a essay? ›

As a result, such a paper has 5 parts of an essay: the introduction, writer's arguments, counter arguments, refutation, and conclusion.

Does a personal narrative need an introduction? ›

Introduction: Your personal narrative needs a strong introduction that will serve as an attention-grabbing hook to pique your readers' interest and ensure that they go on to read the rest of your personal narrative.

How do you end a narrative essay? ›

Summarize Main Ideas. One of the most common methods for concluding a narrative essay is to write a summary, which includes brief statements of the main points. For a narrative, this does not mean you rewrite the whole story throughout the essay. This would be redundant and deflect from your message.

How do you write a strong personal essay? ›

How To: Write Your Personal Essay
  1. Be thoughtful, but not fretful. ...
  2. Keep the “personal” in personal essay. ...
  3. Don't try to guess what the reader wants to hear. ...
  4. Feel free to be funny or creative – but don't overreach. ...
  5. Tell us something we don't already know. ...
  6. Ask for input (but not too much). ...
  7. Edit, proof, polish, and breathe.
11 Sept 2013

What is the main purpose of personal essay writing? ›

The purpose of a personal essay is to introduce the reader to whom the writer is by narrating an event that shaped the writer or had a significant impact on the writer's life. In the case of an application, the essay also serves to show the reader the reasons they should accept or hire the applicant.

How do you write a good introduction? ›

It should begin by providing your reader a general understanding of the overall topic. The middle of the introduction should narrow down the topic so your reader understands the relevance of the topic and what you plan to accomplish in your paper.

Videos

1. Writing a Personal Narrative: Brainstorming a Story for Kids
(Teaching Without Frills)
2. How to write a Personal Narrative Essay
(Arden Reading Academy)
3. Personal Narrative - Introduction
(Mr. S - Upper Elementary)
4. How to Write a Narrative Essay
(missZaazzy)
5. How To Write PERSONAL ESSAY | Personal Narrative Essay | Step by Step Explanation | Tips and Tricks
(Global Assignment Help Australia)
6. Narrative Essay Structure | 2021 Update (Definition, Outline, Tips & Examples)
(EssayPro)

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