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Do you want to get a good grade on your personal experience essay? Testing agencies and instructors encounter a lot of essays like these, so you should invest your time to write an excellent one and to get a high score.
There are lots of assignments about personal experiences you can easily access. They are given so frequently because anyone should be able to write an essay about their personal experiences on a particular topic. It does not require too many resources, research or additional information, and people can write winning essays relating to events of crucial importance in their personal life with ease. Experienced people can promptly notice the differences between telling a simple story about yourself and writing an excellent essay based on your personal experiences. The following things will make you understand what the difference between a good and an excellent essay is:
In this article, we shall provide all the information you need to write an excellent personal experience essay!
When you’re writing an essay about your personal experiences or relationships, you’re doing more than simple paperwork. First of all, you’re discovering what certain things from your past mean, but you’re also sharing your old experiences with other people. Writing about past experiences will make you see the events from two different points of view: you’ll see the events relating to the present time and then you’ll see the events relating to the perspective you had at the time of the event. The period of time that has passed between these two perspectives will make you understand the importance of the event or the relationship.
The time that has passed from the event until the present time is very significant for you. It helps you understand the significance of the memory, and it can change your future actions depending on what you have learned from that particular event.
Depending on how recent the event is, you will see things differently. If the event or the relationship happened recently, you have fresh memories of that specific experience. When we’re talking about an event that happened a long time ago, you will think about that experience, you will analyze it, and you will try to remember the most meaningful details. Most of the people reflect on their reactions and try to remember exactly what that specific event meant for them at that time. In most of the cases, when you’re sharing past experiences you have to make a decision: to share your current perspective or to share the things as you saw them in the past.
“At the end of 8th grade, [my best friend said] she never wanted to be my friend again. I was devastated and terribly depressed all summer… Forty years later, I realize… that made me finally reach out to develop new friends. [They] encouraged me to develop my life-long interest in speech, theater, and writing. That experience of rejection gave me a lifelong compassion for others.” – Virginia Lynne.
When you’re trying to choose a personal event from your past for an essay you’re usually trying to pick the best topic. Probably any significant experience from your life can make for a good topic for an essay. More than that, you should not think just about a single event because you can also pick a recurring event, a place that is important to you, a person that made you change your behavior and thinking or somebody who played a significant role in your life. An excellent way to find relevant and engaging topics for your personal experience essay is to brainstorm and consider the following things:
Decide what the meaning of an event or person was for you, and it will help you to determine whether or not the topic that you are thinking to pick is a good one for an essay. The next five questions will help you decide whether the topic you’re thinking about is a good option or not. Try to write down the answers and make sure you include as many details as possible. It will definitely help you pick a great topic. Here are the questions:
An excellent essay should be well-organized. The following writing techniques will help you professionally organize your personal essays. These are simple and effective strategies that every writer can use. Most of them are presented in books and movies, so you can easily access all of them. These strategies are no secret or hard to use, and all you have to do now is to include them in your paperwork.
The most obvious way to tell your story is by relating the events in chronological order. All you need to do is to share your experiences in the order they happened. Other organizing techniques use this method to share the central parts of the event. In the following lines you’ll see three essential characteristics of the chronological organizing strategy:
An excellent example of a chronological organization strategy of this type of essay is the Anne Dillard’s story, “Handed My Own Life.”
If you want an easy way to structure and organize your essays, then you should try the expectations unfulfilled strategy. It works best when there is a big difference between your expectations and what actually happened in the course of that event. Similar to the expectation unfulfilled is the “Expectations Fulfilled” organizing strategy. It is not so widely used because it is usually a less engaging idea, but there are situations when it could be a great idea to use the “Expectations Fulfilled” organization. There could be an exception, and the “Expectations Fulfilled” strategy could work great if you will present a situation when the results were obviously surpassing your expectations in a good way. If you want to discover a good example of this kind of organization, you should check the Rick Bragg’s story, “100 Miles an Hour, Upside Down and Sideways”. Here are a few characteristics of the Expectations Unfulfilled organization strategy:
Plenty of movies use frame story in the beginning and conclusion, so it should be something familiar to you. Here is an excellent example of a frame story organization. The movie starts with the frame of Carl enjoying the scrapbook Ellie made especially for him about their lives and dreams. Then the scene switches to the present time, and it relates the adventures of Carl and Russell. At the end of the movie, we see the same frame when Carl looks at the last page of the scrapbook. It makes him understand that the real adventure was the journey of his relationship with Ellie.
A flashback frame can be another way of frame organizing strategy. It usually starts in the middle of the action, or after the action is over and you have to present a flashback of a previous memory.
An excellent example of this type of frame is The Notebook movie where a man spends time with his wife who lives with Alzheimer syndrome and uses this frame to retell their love story.
If you use a frame, it will be easier for you to present what the story means to you, especially if you pick the present time to remember the past actions, stories or events. An important thing that you should keep in mind is that the frame should not be a random one. Make sure you relate to an event, a discussion or something that gives you a flashback and remember a particular situation vividly.
The name of this strategy reflects exactly how the essay is structured: your story is revolving around what happens inside your mind compared to what happens in the event. It is more engaging if you can present the action as a conflict between what happens in your mind versus what happens in reality. This contrast between your thoughts and reality will captivate the readers.
A relevant example of this type of organization would be a wedding. It is usually an event full of happiness, but the conflict from the bride’s mind takes the control. She’s wondering if marrying that man is the right decision because this choice could affect her for life.
An internal and external conflict happens in the mind of a child who’s celebrating his birthday with his friends and his divorced parents. It is usually an event full of happiness, but the kid’s party is destroyed because he’s able to feel the tension between his divorced parents who are forced to stay together in the same room again.
You can use some of these organization strategies together, and your essay will definitely stand out. If you’re looking for an essay like this, where multiple strategies are combined, you should check Jean Brandt’s essay, “Calling Home.” Brandt uses a frame, but also internal and external conflicts to organize her essay.
You can use an everyday, small experience and turn it into an excellent essay that explains how you learned a valuable lesson about yourself, exactly as Brandt did in her essay. When you’re trying to find a topic for an essay, you should think about the turning points in your life. It doesn’t necessarily need to be an event of major significance in your life. It can be an experience that made you think different and learn something new about life or about yourself. The event does not have to be dramatic, but you should present how that event changed your perspective on certain things.
Most students prefer the chronological organization strategy, but if you want to make your essay shine, you should try to use one of the other methods presented. Remember this:
In many cases, there is a specific scene, object or repetitive event on which you want to focus. An excellent way to arrange your essay is to use repetition that includes a specific scene, object or event. An excellent example of this is the “On Being a Real Westerner” by Tobias Wolff. There is used a metaphor to organize the entire essay. Try to remember the following characteristics of this type of organization:
In general, you should try to keep the focus on a single memory you have with that person, but you can definitely expand the focus to even two or three major events that are related to the same person. Here are a few characteristics of this type of essay:
Explaining broadly what that person means to you is too much to include in a single essay. This is why you have to choose just one or two main activities or events that are representative. The entire essay, the description, and all the stories should focus on these main activities that you decided to share.
Here are some suggestions of organizing strategies that you can use for essays about both events and people. Check them and pick the ones that you like the most:
If you still feel that a personal experience essay is too challenging for you, no worries! Our team of professional writers will gladly take it off your hands and provide you with a creative, original, and informative essay!