In order to present tips for writing a personal narrative essay, an explanation of an essay and different kinds of essays is needed. Following is a brief summary of several types of essays and tips for writing a narrative composition.
An essay is a short piece of writing which is either analytical or speculative. Most essays are written from the author’s point of view. The word “essay” began to be used in 1588 when Michel de Montaigne published a book called Essais and the word represents a short work written on a particular subject. There are many kinds of essays, and following is a short explanation of a few of them.
The persuasive or argumentative essay picks a certain viewpoint and offers support of it with data, statistics, and other evidence. Its purpose is to make the reader agree with the proofs and conclusions. In other words, the reader should share the viewpoint of the writer. Persuasive essays need to have logical and clear reasoning supported by facts and arguments.
A comparison essay will compare two things and point out their similarities and differences. The writer needs to find as many similarities and differences as possible so he will need to do some research. It does not matter in what order the facts are presented, as long as they are easy to understand by the reader.
Descriptive essays answer the questions: how, what, why, when, and where. They can be written about any subject; a place, person, animal, event, thing, or memory. The writer will share with the reader what he feels and perceives. The tone should be sensory in nature so the reader can almost see, smell, taste, hear, and feel what the author experienced.
A narrative essay tells a story that has a point to be made. The reader may receive an idea or a lesson from the essay. The story is told using sensory details and emotional language. A narrative essay usually reflects something of a personal nature so many times it becomes a personal narrative essay.
Tips for Writing a Personal Narrative Essay
Since a personal narrative essay is about a personal experience, it is usually written in the first person. It is supposed to have an emotional impact on the reader and needs a lot of references to sensory perceptions and emotions using vivid details and imagery. The opening of the essay needs to let the reader know the essence of what you will be describing and your point of view.
One of the tips for writing a personal narrative essay is to record yourself telling the story. That will help your organize your story and make the writing flow.
The body of the story needs to give the reader a very clear idea of what happened and how the author feels about that. The story can be told chronologically or the facts may be grouped by importance or type.
The final paragraph needs to wrap up and state the point of the story, whether it is a lesson, an idea, or just a learning experience.
It is perfectly alright to have anecdotes and dialogue in the essay.
Use transitory words to connect sentences like: therefore, however, or for example.
Vary the structure of your sentences to make the writing more interesting. Try adding some compound, complex, or interrogative sentences.
The last of the tips for writing a personal narrative essay is make the words lively, descriptive, exciting, active, emotional, and precise.
Example of Narrative Writing
Here is an example of writing used in a personal narrative essay. Notice the tone and words that set the mood. You can almost feel the heat and humidity.
“It was the middle of springtime and across from my house where the incident took place. There was a lake there in which my brother and I loved to explore from time to time. The humidity and water drops where reminiscent of a fully functional sauna. The onslaught of heat and burning glow of the sun was relentless.”
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