A personal experience essay might seem to be one of the easiest and most exciting assignments. Indeed, this task does not require research. All you need to do is to search your memories, choose the most exciting of them and write an A+ paper about it. Still, this task is not as easy as it might seem. Let’s check this quick guide on the main secrets of revealing your best memories in high quality personal experience essays.
Personal experience essay: memories
When selecting a memory to include in an essay on personal experience, you should consider the following criteria:
- Does it convey something unique about you?
- Can it be interesting for your audience?
- Has this experience affected your personality?
After you have selected the most appropriate experiences, you might want to brainstorm the chosen topic. Close your eyes and try to remember how you felt. Then open your eyes and write down what you recollected.
Personal experience essay: narration strategies
When writing your personal experience essays, you can consider different narration strategies:
- Chronological order. Describe and talk about the various events in the order in which they occurred.
- Importance. Order events according to their significance (start with the most significant event and end with the least significant one; or, start with the least significant event and end with the most significant one as the climax).
- Twisted ending. This narration strategy is widely used in modern movies (The Sixth Sense and Inception, for example). An unexpected turn at the end of the plot makes you reconsider the entire story. A significant detail explains everything you could not understand about the plot lines. For example, you might use the memory of a bad hair day, but tell the actual reason for your unhappiness only at the end of the story. Alternatively, you might write about misunderstanding (an overheard conversation or a misinterpreted phrase) and reveal all the secrets at the end.
Personal experience essay format
Here are the main recommendations to improve your personal narrative essay:
- Feel free to use first person singular or plural (I, we);
- use Past Indefinite or Past Continuous to write about your memories;
- give preference to active verbs;
- include verbs to describe your senses: hear, see, smell, and feel;
- discuss your personal feelings, emotions and associations;
- include a hook to capture the readers’ attention in the introduction (a joke, a small talk or a striking fact).
Personal experience essay prompts
If you have difficulties choosing a topic for your essay on personal experience, here are some prompts for you:
- write about an important conversation that changed the course of your life;
- tell about a person who influenced your life views;
- write about your first love;
- write about a serious conflict with your friend (parents or relatives);
- discuss an exciting travel or vacation;
- tell about a cultural experience.
A personal experience essay sample
Here is an extract from a good essay on personal experience:
After I made a few self-portraits on top of the Eiffel Tower, I decided to enjoy the picturesque view from more than 200 meters height. The wind was blowing into my face and brought some words to my ears. Surprisingly, these were the words of two American tourists. One of them compared the view from the Eiffel Tower to the view from the Statue of Liberty. I decided to come closer and join in the conversation…
So, you are welcome to use this guide to write a high quality essay about personal experience, enjoy the writing process and get an excellent grade for it.