Academic Writing Lessons: What Is A Personal Narrative Essay?

In this post, we will focus on one of the document types which is intimate and formal at the same time. This is no other than the personal narrative essay. In order to answer the question posed in the title, we will review the characteristics of this kind of article first.

Must have featured in a personal narrative essay

  • Objectivity. The descriptions of events and characters (including you) should be precise. You should add accurate terms to outline the features of the beings that appear in the narration.
  • Subjectivity. Provided that you will be describing a person in this academic writing, you will need to focus on the emotions, the personality and the behavior of yourself in relation to other people.
  • Rich adjectives over adjective richness. One common mistake beginners commit when writing is that they believe that adding more is better. Instead of saying “he prepared a very very tasty meal”, you could say “his meal was magnificent”.
  • Strong verbs over weak verbs. The same criterion applies to verbs. “He left the room very quickly” is surpassed by “he rushed to the door”.

What is a personal essay?

In a personal text, you will be describing your experience in the first person. Moreover, you can also recall an event that you witnessed. The possibilities are endless but the central axis in this writing is you – as a person, as a student, etc. You are the main character and you will be leading to the narration. In spite of this perspective, this does not mean that the main premise will be 100% about you; a twist in the plot can be implemented – and should be considered to add richness to the narration.

For instance, your first experiences at school that somehow ends up being shared with a classmate or your first trip abroad from the perspective of your companion – a personal narration from another perspective. Coming up with narration twists is no easy task but is definitely one of the most rewarding efforts in writing.

A solid narrative essay demands this selected picks in order to grow in quality. Instead of writing down the first sentence that comes to your mind, you should reflect on the word choice. Ask yourself the following: is there a more effective/precise way to state the same reality? Keep asking yourself how to pick more impactful terms until you have the text complete.