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Writing A Personal Narrative Essay: The Top 5 Essential Tips

Personal narrative essays can be one of the most fun to write because it allows you to cultivate your own voice as a writer and to write about something that is important to you. Typically in a narrative essay you’ll be writing about something that happened to you in the past from your own point of view. Follow these top 5 essential tips to help you write an excellent personal narrative essay.

  1. Pick a good topic to write about
  2. This is always one of the hardest things to decide on for any paper, and is especially important for a narrative assignment. A good way to pick a topic is to think about the most important or interesting things that have happened to you, and choose one to write about. It should be something that is meaningful to you and will be meaningful to other people as well.

  3. Decide what the tone of the paper should be
  4. The tone of the paper should generally match the thing you are writing about. So if you are writing about something that is sad, the tone of your essay will be sad; or if you are writing about something inspiring, the tone should be inspiring. The most important aspect of the essay’s tone is that it will determine what language you use.

  5. Establish the setting
  6. Because personal narrative essays are generally about things that have happened in the past, it is important to establish the setting for your reader. They should have a good idea of where and when it is taking place, and approximately how old the narrator is. You can either do this explicitly or you can use other ways to tell your reader without coming out and saying it.

  7. Make sure your reader knows as much as you do
  8. With this kind of paper, about something that you are so intimately familiar with, it can be easy to assume that your reader knows as much as you do. When in doubt, it is best explicitly tell your reader what is going on than to assume that they understand.

  9. Use descriptive language
  10. To make your paper more interesting, try to use descriptive language to allow your reader to experience it rather than just hear about it. For instance, if you are writing about something that happened at night, don’t just say it is at night, describe what the night is like.

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