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Writing a personal narrative is probably one of the most enjoyable writing assignments. People, by nature, are very fond of talking about themselves and sharing their experiences as a part of a text, and this is what this type of writing requires of you. Whether you’re a beginner blogger and share your life story with your followers, or you’re a university student and need to write a paper about your career goals, you’ll be faced with writing a personal narrative. That’s why we’ve decided to discuss essential moments and provide you with tips for writing narratives.

1. Personal narrative definition

Let’s start with the important fact that a personal narrative is a type of written work in which the author shares personal experiences from life. The advantage of such a paper is an unlimited list of topics you may talk about. Thanks to this type of essay, you share your feelings with the reader and your biography. Any event you pass by, or a thought that comes to you suddenly, may become the center of your story.

writing a personal narrative
Credit: Jessica Lewis Creative / Pexels

2. The major focus of a personal narrative essay

Personal storytelling focuses on an event and its particular importance to you individually. That is why you are faced with describing the events and conveying your feelings now. Share the conclusions this situation led you to and the received life lesson.

Perhaps this situation has changed your life dramatically, and you want to share it with the readers because you think this insight is important. Your goal is to get the reader into your stories. The authors of a great collection of free personal narrative essays gave us some good ideas on how to develop your experience fascinatingly. The advice is to concentrate not on the event but on its context. Make the people read between the lines so everyone can find a valuable thought for themselves.

The arrangement of personal narrative

Before you start writing a narrative, create a plan. Start with brainstorming and decide on the theme and message. After that, describe the content of the three major sections: the introduction, the body section, and the conclusions. After organizing your thoughts, it’s time to transfer them to paper.

Opening paragraph

The introductory section of a personal narrative paper bears a great responsibility. Since if it does not immediately interest the reader, then he simply will not continue reading your essay. Therefore, your task is to attract the attention and interest of the person. The opening paragraph should lift the veil on what will happen in the body section. The first paragraph is an exposition of the story.

Body paragraph

The body section of your narrative outlines the course of events and the story’s development. According to Shakespeare’s Five-act-structure, after the exposition, head to the following elements:

  • Rising action;
  • Climax;
  • Falling action.

If we adhere to this personal narrative structure, then after the exposition, the reader is taken into the course of events as the development of the situation follows. There is a kind of incandescence, preparation for the climax. The reader should be in some kind of tension and anticipation of the central event. The most intriguing moment is the peak of emotions, so the climax must make the biggest impression. After that, the actions gradually decline.


Conclusions, or in other words, the resolution of a personal narrative, is the section where the story ends. It’s time to sum up the results and talk about the conclusions and insights you managed to get. End with some instructive phrases. You can also refer to the present time and to how the situation has affected you in the long run.

writing a personal narrative
STOCK IMAGE – Credit: Tirachard Kumtanom / Pexels

3. Key features of a strong narrative essay

Understanding the arrangement and general features of personal work will make writing easy. However, you should know some key principles to make your essay flawless. Let’s look at the elements you will find hard to do without.

  • An outline

The first step to writing a quality text is to create a plan. Your thoughts will come to mind chaotically, and you may want to capture each of them on paper. However, it will be difficult for the reader to understand your intention if the form of the presentation is too ornate. It doesn’t matter whether you’re about to write the story of your life or a simple back-to-school essay. You’ll need to get your thoughts structured anyway. To avoid misunderstandings, make and strictly adhere to, a plan. Structured work is always easier to read.

  • Stick to a five-act-arrangement

The system of five acts helps you follow the chronology of events in a personal narrative. Divide the components into the three main sections of your essay, and it will be easier for you to present your idea.

  • Share personal insights

It is much more interesting for the reader to learn about your conclusions and compare them with their own than just to watch the retelling of events. Tell us what the situation has taught you, what thoughts you would like to share, what mistakes you should not make, and what advice you could give the reader.

  • Limit the number of characters

It’s not worth telling how the wife of your neighbor’s friend from upstairs told you a smart thing. Simplify the characters in your story. Too confusing family connections or distant acquaintances will diminish the importance of your conclusion. In addition, this one will also distract the reader. If you study some personal narrative essay examples, you’ll see that authors pay close attention to this characteristic. Think of limiting the number of figures and think over their designations in detail.

  • Spot the punctuation

Review the punctuation rules, as narrative essays often contain quotations and direct speech. Check the grammar rules and be sure not to commit mistakes. Properly presented information always arouses more confidence in the interest of the reader.


We hope that this article is useful to you. We did our best to provide you with the clues to writing a worthy personal narrative essay. And although we all understand that the essential thing for a writer is inspiration and motivation, remember the factors of arrangement and design. Use these components to write quality work.

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