Personal Narrative Essay

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As a student, you are probably all too familiar with having to write an essay as your school or coursework assignment. Most of the time, especially for your first few essays, you are probably given guidelines to follow, and all you really need to do is research the given topic and come up with an essay based on the topic and the guidelines.

As you grow older, these essays get longer and longer, and even more annoying to write. The amount of time needed to write these essays multiply and at the end of the day, you most probably find yourself sitting as a melancholic students behind a desk for hours on end trying to write a single essay. Essays can be anything from 250 words to thirty pages based on what is being written about and what your teacher requires from you. You could be given anything from a couple of days to a semester to put together the assignment, but no matter how many words you have to write, getting an essay written gives the same nightmarish feeling that several other assignments give, every time.

When it comes to pleasing your professor enough to get a good essay written, you are most probably required to adhere strongly to the guidelines given, which, in truth are not much different from guidelines given several other essays. What you would probably receive to serve as a guide are instructions on the word limit, the writing style you ought to use, and sometimes the topic with a few guides on the research material to use. In some situations, if the paper is a research paper, you can have consultations with your professor and anyone else who may be placed over you to oversee your writing.

Even with all these, sometimes the pressure of having these essays written weighs heavily on students, resulting in them rather choosing to outsource these essays to essay writing companies which can get these assignments completed for a fee.

Such is the university life, little sleep and countless assignments. However, even with all this, you can still ace your essays and come up with excellent marks if you follow what needs to be done to get consistently better at writing essays. The list is not long, but practice always makes perfect, they say.

Essay Types

You have probably been required to write different essays with different fanciful names, and you have probably wondered to yourself, ‘What is a narrative essay'?

There are four main types of essays, and this categorization is mainly as a result of the aim of the essay you happen to be writing. Based on the main objectives that answer questions like why the essay is being written and to whom the essay is being addressed, these four types of essays turned out to be the ones with the most diversified answer to the question ‘why'. The essay types are the following:

  • Narrative essay
  • Descriptive essay
  • Expository essay
  • Persuasive essay

Each of them have a different reason for being written and a different style of writing peculiar to the essay. The reason for the essay shows up strongly in how the essay is worded making for four very different essay writing techniques.

  1. Narrative essay

This type of essay is the main focus of this article. A narrative essay is one that tells a story or tells of an event. These kinds of essays rely heavily on the writer's story telling skills and his ability to transform the reader into a world that exists only as a result of the writer's own words. Creating the necessary atmosphere with which to send your readers on that journey by your words is the narrative essay writer's main task. The writer is simply to report as accurately and vividly as possible. Yes, some narrative essays can be fictitious, but that makes them simply a narrative, especially with the absence of a thesis statement.

When telling of events that might have taken place, it is the narrative essay writer's duty to make the narration as believable and authentic as possible, resulting in the readers being interested in the essay from start to finish, especially in the case of personal narrative essays.

  1. Descriptive essays

Descriptive essays are very close in style to narrative essays, only that the main emphasis of having the essay written is to create a vivid picture, in the mind of the reader, of whatever is being described. This stops being a simple story being told, but a vivid painting being made of a a person, an object or even a mood that the reader automatically can recognize this object of description if he is to meet it anywhere.

Descriptive essays use string descriptive languages especially adjectives, adjectival phrases, and even metaphors to attempt to create this picture. It is, in truth, not very easy if you do not already have a string command over the English language and a good vocabulary bank, because, yes, there is always a better way to describe what you have probably written.

  1. Expository essays
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These essays deal with simply facts. Main ideas thrown into the mix for the final decision to be made by the writer. These ideas and facts most of the time are for certain theories and ideas that may be unfamiliar to the reader. A good expository essay therefore schools the reader on the topic, resulting in the reader having a clear understanding of the topic at hand at the end of the day.

Expository essays are not to reflect the writer's bias or sway the reader towards any particular point of idea. The expository essays are mainly for writer to let the writer in on all the options, leaving the final decision for the reader to make his own inferences based on the information that has been provided him. Critical and analytical essays are a good example of expository essays, requiring a lot of research to finally result in the reader understanding the topic as a whole.

  1. Persuasive essay

Such essays are written mainly to tell the readers what the writer has in mind about a particular issue and to draw the reader in to see things from the writer's view point. These essays usually end up requiring very good argumentative writing skills coupled with a examples and strong points to make the reader believe what the writer is saying.

Research work in these kinds of essays is inevitable, especially good research in order to bring forward facts which cannot be disputed. Writers use different techniques including using words which can emotionally draw the reader just to argue out his point. A great example of these essays would be an essay or speech written by the first speaker in a debate on the motion he is to defend or be against.

Persuasive essay writing should however be built strongly on facts and then supported by emotions, and not the other way round, for any writer to have a strong case in his writing.

Writing a Personal Narrative Essay

There are several chances that you have probably been asked to write a autobiographical narrative essay which can also be termed as a personal narrative essay. Most probably, you have graduated from the stage of asking ‘what is a narrative essay' but you are probably confused about what a personal narrative essay is all about.

A narrative essay, on its own is a story or a report on an event. A personal narrative essay therefore, is so named if the subject of the essay has to do with the author of the essay themselves. Thereby causing them to back memory lane and bring out those events which played important roles in the development of the writer, resulting in their ideologies and outlook on life today.

Personal narrative essays may be required from several people for several reasons. These reasons include, but are not limited to application essays for schools and universities, and personal statements used for application into law or medical school. Another option would be having such essays written to apply for a job.

When writing personal narrative essays, there are some things you have to have in consideration. These essays are usually requested from individuals to give the readers a sense of understanding on the kind of person the writer is. Since that is the main aim of the request of the essay, choosing to be authentic is the number one way to ace such an essay. Authenticity, creativity and honesty are the hallmarks of good personal essays.

Features to Include in Your Personal Narrative Essay

Take your narrative essay as if you are writing a story on an event that took place in your life. Based on that idea, you can begin building your personal narrative essay. You could divide your writing process into three phases:

  • Planning the essay
  • Writing the essay
  • Reviewing the essay

During each phase there is something very important you ought to do, and each of these play a vital role in determining the result of the essay you are writing.

  • Planning the essay

Now would be the best time to go down memory lane and dredge up some experiences you feel might relate directly, or maybe indirectly, to the topic of interest. Choosing your experience is very crucial because it dictates the total flow of your essay. Here are some points to help you to choose your experience.

  1. Pick an experience that had an influence on your life, resulting in your current philosophy and mindset.
  2. Choose an experience that follows a chronological order
  3. Choose an experience which makes it easy for you to talk about within the stipulated word limit
  4. Choose an experience that you are passionate about.
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  • Writing the essay

Writing your autobiographical narrative essay is not much different from putting together a story. You need certain features in order to make your story enjoyable.

  1. You need a plot- Putting together a good plot requires that you plan well. The plot can dictate how your essay begins, how it climaxes and how it ends. Within that same plot, you can decide how you will introduce the event that occurred and whether or not to add other features that make a story worth reading. These features are:
  • The setting of your essay- Use descriptive words to give a clear idea where the story begins and you as the writer were as the story unfolds. The setting is very vital to the plot.
  • Introducing characters- No story is complete without characters. Find a good way to bring in characters each with their own peculiarity. Your narrative essay could have one character or several characters. Just make sure that their addition into your story helps your writing.
  1. You need a sequence and order- When writing you should follow the basic introduction, body, conclusion outline of a story. Choose an exciting hook for your introduction, together with a good personal statement giving an idea to readers about what the story entails. Have your body reveal several points of the essay. It is better to have each point explained in its own paragraph. Let your writing follow a chronological order. Your conclusion should have a moral or main point which summarizes the entire story.
  1. You should determine the voice you want to use for the story. Choose a voice that is best suited for the story. If you want to be funny, witty, or even somber, find a good way to weave your story with consistency.
  1. Choose a tense- Your Essay should be written in the first person and also in the past tense.
  • Concluding the essay

After writing, make sure you read your essay several times before you hand it in. Get rid of grammatical errors, change all phrases and sentences that you feel may be misread or misconstrued. get different grammar and plagiarism checkers to do the final checks and make your essay ready to be handed in.

When writing a narrative essay, you should learn the tips and ideas that make the essay what it is. Hopefully these tips are helpful in resulting in your first ever perfect personal narrative essay. Take the time to follow these tips thoroughly and ask for help if you need it. You will be glad you did!

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