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My Life Story, Essay Example

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The beginning of my life was quite traumatic as my father was killed before I was born during the war in Liberia. My mother raised me as a single parent and sent me to school at the age of five, with the help of the UNHCR. Because of the help of UNHCR, I was able to learn things I would not have learned if they have not been there to support my studies and all the other needs that my mother and I had to get by with. This is why I thank them for their generosity.  After middle school, the only help from the UNHCR was for things such as medication and health supplies, so getting proper education became as an issue for my family. My mother struggled and we worked through the crisis until the American government approved us to come to America in the year 2005; this proved to be one of the best days of my life as it gave me a better sense of seeing the hope that is still there to get me and my family off from struggles that we have to deal with.

The memories of my life have caused me to despise the idea of even writing about it. I have realized since birth that life was not easy, and that it is full of strife that I and my family needed to survive. These experiences did not leave so much of a good thought in me and I think that writing about it even makes the situation harder to contemplate with. Nevertheless, I am hoping I could give a bit of distinction on what life has been for me and how it has created a better person in me through time through this writing.

Let me star by introducing my country of origin. Sierra Leone is a beautiful country in West Africa, with a lot of resources. Most people visit the country in search of diamonds; nevertheless, this resource has been the source of good reputation and war at the same time. This is why Sierra Leone is most known for diamonds and the civil war that last for a decade in the country. This war did not only destroy the country but also the lives of the people who have become alienated in their own nation; finding no protection for their lives because of the oppression they have to deal with from foreign elements who come into exploit the diamond resources of the country.

Before the war, my mom used to tell me how beautiful the country was, how people use to come from other countries to come get education, do good businesses, and how tourism has caused many people from other nations to come over for vacation. When she tells me stories like this, it makes me think more about how much better the country could have been without the war. The last war that lasted for a decade which started in 1989 was prolonged a few more years after that. It is because of these circumstances that I lived at least half of my life under the constraints of war.  It is also for this reason that I am not as interested as others are in sharing their life stories as I see mine as a mere blot of ink that has marked my history pitch black.

Although this is the case, I appreciate the fact that this writing activity might bring me into a deeper realization of my role as part of my country and as a supporter of my friends. I hope to bring better lives to my people, however, doing so requires immense effort and serious thinking which I could accomplish through writing down my experiences and reflecting on them through this activity.

One good thing about living in Sierra Leone is being able to mile with foreigners. Even in the middle of the war years, some white people from America and Europe come to visit the country. They use to bring all the children together, walk around with them, and tell them stories of where they from, and even play with the young ones. It is because of these instances that I realized my desire to get out of my country, learn more from outside in foreign nations and embrace a better option of living that is available for me and my family.

Education in Sierra Leone was one of the best in all African counties. During the British regime, education in the country was clearly effective and designed to help the young ones advance academically. However, in the long run, such system has been affected by the war as well. The poverty-stricken communities are almost choice-less when it comes to the education they could get that they even need to transfer to the city just to be able to get good education. As for myself, I attended nursery, kindergarten, and primary school in Sierra Leone. These days were both the best and worst days of my life. Learning in school was fun, but the journey going to school was harsh due to the war years. The two learning shifts make it hard for us to learn as much as well need. It give us only five hours in school every day which means we have to cover as much activities as needed within the given five hours of learning. I really did not like the morning shift because I have to wake up 6 am in the mooring to get ready for school. But my family used to wake up 5 am in the morning to pray, which makes my mom wake us up at 4 am in the morning. This goes on for a long time, and at some point, I have to get used to it; somehow, this attitude helped us a lot during the war years. Most of the time, the rebels are attack in the morning around 3 to 4 am. Most people are sleeping at this time and it makes it easier for them to accomplish their scrupulous missions during the said times. I remember one night when the rebels attacked and I was getting ready for school. The next thing I heard was a big and loud sound and people are screaming at the same time while they are running and calling their family members names. Most people were saying “Dan day cam o” which means “the rebels are coming”.  It took quite some time for tragic nights to end. For several years, we lived in fear for the coming of the rebels and remaining awake at such an early hour helped me and my family to be alert all the time.

Before the war, everything was much easier to handle. No worries loomed our heads and school was really fun. I remember going to school with my friends, walking and talking about what we going to do, what movies we should watch, what kind of games we should play tonight, and how we are going to study. We wear uniforms to school and only black and white shoes and socks. Like any other student, I did not like taking home works so much. It was such a drag for me to spend so much time learning even after school hours. Nevertheless, I know all these works helped me develop further.

Everything changed when I started studying ‘the American way’. Unlike the structured system in Sierra Leone, I had the chance to learn through particularly understanding what we are reading in class. I am able to realize the connection of my lessons to my personal being. I have learned how to academically survive and become more serious about my studies. I began to enjoy every bit of my education as I know the worth it has on me as I embrace a better life in America for me and my family.

The system of learning in America that I hope would be taken into account by the government in Sierra Leone is the provision of good and free education to students all the way through high school and some community colleges. Education is very important especially for individuals who have had to deal with the pressures of war. People need to realize that they have better hopes in life, and embracing such opportunities through getting good education is necessary. Today, only 50% of the students actually finish school all the way to college. It is because of this that only a few individuals get to find good jobs which further increases the poverty level in the country. I believe that with the attention of the government focused on improving educational provisions for the young ones, the country would be able to accomplish better options of living for the people and

Poverty in Sierra Leone makes it harder for people to live, go to school, have food for their family, have jobs, business, and everything else. We all know Sierra Leone is one of the richest countries in the world when it comes to resources, but yet we are one of the poorest countries in the world today because of the war years. War destroys lives and people living in war stricken countries are stripped off from every possibility of living better lives and embracing better options of being satisfied with what they do. This results to the increase of the number of uneducated individuals and increased violence in the country. Poverty makes it really hard for citizens to rely on the government like most people do in America.

In America, the government has social welfare programs that help citizens until they can make it on their own. If Sierra Leone can establish some of these programs, poverty in the land could be controlled accordingly. It is good to hear though that the country fairs better today that it ever did before when it was still under the war era. People are coping with the changes and are trying to deal with poverty in a much positive manner. I expect that in the coming years, more positive changes will come into place and more people would be given a better chance in life.

No, there is no better place than home. Sure, I have had bad experiences in Sierra Leone, but I also have good memories that remind me of what my country is capable of. Like any other individual who was able to see the good years in Sierra Leone, I would like to bring back the prosperity and peace that the country has. However, to do that, I first need to attend to myself, my personal capacities to improve in life for myself and my family. Once I have achieved such accomplishment, then I can face the possibility of engaging in a more remarkable process of helping my countrymen embrace a better life in Sierra Leone. When I come back to my country, I want to be prepared to help my fellowmen, especially the children in giving them the chance to experience the educational provisions I have received here in the United States.

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Mentor texts

Telling Short, Memorable Stories From Your Life: ‘My Secret Pepsi Plot’

An invitation to students to tell a meaningful story in a limited number of words, with an example from The Times’s Lives column to help.

your life story essay

By Katherine Schulten

Our new Mentor Text series spotlights writing from The Times that students can learn from and emulate.

This entry, like several others we are publishing, focuses on an essay from The Times’s long-running Lives column to consider skills prized in narrative writing. We are starting with this genre to help support students participating in our 2020 Personal Narrative Essay Contest .

Our Personal Narrative Essay Contest is inspired by The New York Times’s Lives column, which ran from 1996 to 2017 and featured “short, powerful stories about meaningful life experiences .”

The editor of the column once posted some advice on “How to Write a Lives Essay” to guide those who submitted to the column annually. Much of that advice applies to our contest as well.

For example, several points boil down to reminders to keep it simple, including tips like:

Don’t try to fit your whole life into one “Lives.”

Don’t try to tell the whole story.

Tell a small story — an evocative, particular moment.

Better to start from something very simple that you think is interesting (an incident, a person) and expand upon it, rather than a large idea that you then have to fit into a short essay. For example, start with “the day the Santa Claus in the mall asked me on a date” rather than “the state of affairs that is dating in an older age bracket.”

This advice is similar to advice often given to high school seniors writing college essays : You have only 650 words to show admissions officers something important, interesting or memorable about who you are and what matters to you. A list of awards you’ve won won’t do it, but an engaging story about making brownies with your stepbrother just might.

As you’ll see when you read the texts below, none of them try to tell the whole story of a life, but, instead, illuminate an important aspect of it through focus on one event or moment. Yet that one focus ripples out, and says so much more.

Before You Read

Use the sentence starter below to write for a few minutes about whatever comes to mind. You will return to this writing in the “Now Try This” section.

A moment I’ll never forget from my childhood is …

Mentor Text: ‘ My Secret Pepsi Plot ,’ a 2014 Essay From the Lives Column, by Boris Fishman

This essay describes a memory from when the writer was 10 years old and his family had just immigrated from the Soviet Union to Brooklyn. “In the Soviet Union, we were secretly wealthy, but we arrived in Brooklyn as paupers,” he writes.

Somehow, his family ends up with 24 Pepsi-Colas in their refrigerator. The story of what happens next is Mr. Fishman’s short, powerful story:

Around this time I learned that American supermarkets gave back 5 cents for every returned empty. (Some states, like Michigan, its very name like a granite monument, gave you 10 cents.) I decided I would return those cans and give the money to my parents. My secret — a surprise.

Read the essay, focusing on how Mr. Fishman anchors the whole story in this one goal he had at age 10 — to return the Pepsi cans and get money for them.

As you read, you might trace the structure of the story. What does each paragraph do? What does each add to the telling of this small story?

Then, consider these questions:

How do the first two paragraphs set the stage for the story and give some necessary background?

How does telling this story allow the writer to show readers a particular time and place through the eyes of a new immigrant?

How does he pull you into the action, minute by minute, in the three paragraphs that begin “On Saturday afternoon …”?

How is money a theme throughout, in both stated and implied ways? What other ideas recur?

What is the role of the last paragraph?

Now Try This: Find Your Own Short, Powerful Stories

Look back at the writing you did before reading the mentor text. What is strongest about it? Could it become a short essay like the one you just read? If so, what would you need to do to shape it?

What other small stories — or “evocative, particular moments” — from your life might make wonderful short essays?

In a 2010 lesson plan, “ Going Beyond Cliché: How to Write a Great College Essay ,” we suggest students first make a timeline of their lives, or of one period in their lives, brainstorming at least 20 events, big and small, that were significant to them for any reason.

You might try that, or you can brainstorm answers to this list of prompts — or both:

-A time I took a risk: -A time I learned something about myself: -A memory from childhood I think about often: -Something that happened to me that still makes me laugh: -Something very few people know about me: -Something I regret: -A time when I felt rejected: -Something I am really proud of: -Something that changed the way I think or look at the world: -How I am different from most people I know: -Some of my fears: -A time I felt truly satisfied: -A time I failed at something: -An object I own that tells a lot about me:

Once you’ve chosen a topic, you might try to free-write for 10 minutes or so, asking yourself as you go: What was most interesting or memorable about this? What images come to mind when you think about this topic? Do you picture a person, a scene, a place? Do you hear a conversation or a bit of music? Do you smell, taste or feel something?

Finally, if you are still stuck, we have a list of prompts from our site that can inspire narrative writing . Take a look and see if any of them spark ideas for you.

More Mentor Texts for Telling Short, Memorable Stories

While the entire Lives column is devoted to “short, powerful stories,” the pieces we chose below are especially student-friendly in terms of both their subject matter and the way the writers focus on “an evocative, particular moment.” Below each title, an excerpt from the piece.

“ How Ramen Got Me Through Adolescence ,” a 2014 Lives essay, by Veronique Greenwood

When I was in fifth grade, I developed an intense dislike of eating around other people. The cafeteria was a place of foul odors, gelatinous spills, horrific mixtures of chocolate pudding, fruit cocktail and ketchup consumed on dares, and I found myself fasting from breakfast, at about 6 in the morning, until 3:35, when I walked home through the woods from the bus stop. Each step up our hill, a narrow ridge in rural California, I fantasized about the big bowl of ramen I would make myself when I reached the top.

“ Charmed ," a 2015 Lives essay, by Laila Lalami

‘‘Wait,’’ I said. From my pocket I pulled out a brown suede pouch bearing the name of a little jeweler in Rabat, the kind of place you send your friends to and say, tell him I sent you. In the pouch was a necklace with a silver khamsa — a charm in the shape of an open palm.

“ Montana Soccer-Mom Moment ,” a 2010 essay from the Lives column, by Laura Munson

I live in northwest Montana, and I have a teenager, and my teenager plays sports. That means a lot of driving — over-the-Rocky-Mountains-and-back-in-one-day kind of driving. I think about Meriwether Lewis every time I cross the Continental Divide, usually with sleeping soccer players wearing headphones in the back of my Suburban. I want to say, “Can you imagine everything depending on your horse and your ability to dream of an ocean past the mountains?” But it isn’t worth the eye-rolling.

“ All the Single Ladies ," a 2014 essay from the Lives column, by Jen Doll

“Single ladies to the dance floor!” came the cry, a masculine voice urging us forward. Wedding guests parted, creating a narrow path for the train of unmarried women to parade through in their finery. But we single ladies no longer looked so fine as we had that morning. We were worn and tired, sweat beading down our necks, sand crunching unpleasantly in our shoes, which were wearing raw the backs of our heels. We should have been lying down in cool rooms elsewhere, but the wedding was not over. We were 28. We knew what was next.

“ Working the Reunion ,” a 2008 essay from the Lives column, by ZZ Packer

My residential college always hosted the 45th reunion, one of the most well attended, I suppose because you just might not be around for the 50th. To my eyes, these guys were the picture of old money. Although they may have mastered physics or appraised the sharp beauty of “King Lear” in school, at reunions they reminisced about football glories and practical jokes. I sometimes felt less like a Yale co-ed who happened to be black than a black waitress who happened to be bringing them an extra fork. But after their dinner we reunion workers would drink up all the leftover bottles of wine while cleaning the dining hall.

Related Questions for Any Short, Narrative Essay

What is the one small moment or event this piece focuses on? Why do you think the writer might have chosen it?

What do you learn about the writer and his or her world through this moment or event? How? What lines do this well? What is implied rather than stated?

How is the piece structured? What does each paragraph do? How does each contribute to the story?

Look closely at how the writer tells a complete story in a limited number of words. Where, in terms of time and place, does the story begin? Where does it end? How does the writer weave in necessary background even while keeping the action of the story moving forward?

What else do you notice or admire about this essay? What lessons might it have for your own writing?

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  • How to write a narrative essay | Example & tips

How to Write a Narrative Essay | Example & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.

A narrative essay tells a story. In most cases, this is a story about a personal experience you had. This type of essay , along with the descriptive essay , allows you to get personal and creative, unlike most academic writing .

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Table of contents

What is a narrative essay for, choosing a topic, interactive example of a narrative essay, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about narrative essays.

When assigned a narrative essay, you might find yourself wondering: Why does my teacher want to hear this story? Topics for narrative essays can range from the important to the trivial. Usually the point is not so much the story itself, but the way you tell it.

A narrative essay is a way of testing your ability to tell a story in a clear and interesting way. You’re expected to think about where your story begins and ends, and how to convey it with eye-catching language and a satisfying pace.

These skills are quite different from those needed for formal academic writing. For instance, in a narrative essay the use of the first person (“I”) is encouraged, as is the use of figurative language, dialogue, and suspense.

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See an example

your life story essay

Narrative essay assignments vary widely in the amount of direction you’re given about your topic. You may be assigned quite a specific topic or choice of topics to work with.

  • Write a story about your first day of school.
  • Write a story about your favorite holiday destination.

You may also be given prompts that leave you a much wider choice of topic.

  • Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself.
  • Write about an achievement you are proud of. What did you accomplish, and how?

In these cases, you might have to think harder to decide what story you want to tell. The best kind of story for a narrative essay is one you can use to talk about a particular theme or lesson, or that takes a surprising turn somewhere along the way.

For example, a trip where everything went according to plan makes for a less interesting story than one where something unexpected happened that you then had to respond to. Choose an experience that might surprise the reader or teach them something.

Narrative essays in college applications

When applying for college , you might be asked to write a narrative essay that expresses something about your personal qualities.

For example, this application prompt from Common App requires you to respond with a narrative essay.

In this context, choose a story that is not only interesting but also expresses the qualities the prompt is looking for—here, resilience and the ability to learn from failure—and frame the story in a way that emphasizes these qualities.

An example of a short narrative essay, responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” is shown below.

Hover over different parts of the text to see how the structure works.

Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.

Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.

A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.

The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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If you’re not given much guidance on what your narrative essay should be about, consider the context and scope of the assignment. What kind of story is relevant, interesting, and possible to tell within the word count?

The best kind of story for a narrative essay is one you can use to reflect on a particular theme or lesson, or that takes a surprising turn somewhere along the way.

Don’t worry too much if your topic seems unoriginal. The point of a narrative essay is how you tell the story and the point you make with it, not the subject of the story itself.

Narrative essays are usually assigned as writing exercises at high school or in university composition classes. They may also form part of a university application.

When you are prompted to tell a story about your own life or experiences, a narrative essay is usually the right response.

The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.

Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.

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  • Essay Editor

How to Write a Story About My Life Essay

How to Write a Story About My Life Essay

Your life story is a unique tapestry of experiences, emotions, and milestones. Here's a guide on weaving these elements into a compelling narrative:

How do I write a story about my life essay? Writing about your life is an introspective journey. Reflect on milestones such as: "In 2005, my family embarked on a cross-country move from New York to California. This was not just a physical journey, but an emotional one as we navigated cultural shifts and personal growth."

How do you write a life story example? Narrative snippets can bring your essay to life. Consider: "Amid the aroma of my grandmother's kitchen, where the scent of fresh-baked bread intertwined with stories of her youth in Italy, I realized the importance of preserving family narratives."

How do you write a story essay? For instance: "As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a golden hue over our beach campfire, my friend Sarah started narrating her unexpected escapade in the jungles of Borneo. With every twist and turn, we were gripped, realizing that sometimes life's best stories are unplanned."

What is life simple essay? Life's moments can be captured in simple narratives. Reflect upon: "Last winter, while walking my dog Max, we came across a frozen pond. Watching children gleefully slide across it, I was reminded of life's fleeting moments of joy and the importance of seizing them."

How do you write a short life story about yourself? Begin with defining moments: "When I was ten, I found a wounded bird in our backyard. Nursing it back to health didn't just kindle my love for animals but taught me compassion and patience."

How can I write about myself example? Use varied experiences: "From scaling the rocky terrains of Colorado, immersing myself in the bustling streets of Tokyo, to teaching underprivileged kids in my hometown, each experience has crafted a chapter of my ever-evolving life story."

What is our story? "In college, Lisa and I teamed up for a project on Renaissance art. Not only did we ace it, but our shared admiration for art and culture fostered a bond that turned two classmates into lifelong friends."

How do you start an interesting story example? Set the scene vividly: "It was on a cold, foggy night in London when I stumbled upon an old bookstore. Little did I know, this store harbored secrets that would lead me on a whirlwind adventure."

How do you write a successful story? Use emotions to captivate: "As Maria gazed upon the old photograph, tears welled up in her eyes. It wasn't just an image; it was a time capsule transporting her back to summers spent at her grandparents' cottage."

How do you write an example essay? Support your arguments with real-life instances: "In arguing the importance of community, I often reflect on the time my neighbors came together post a hurricane, showcasing unity and resilience."

What life means to me example? "Life, for me, is a mosaic of memories – from the giggles shared over childhood pranks to the solace found in solitary walks during challenging times."

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What makes a personal life story essay engaging? True stories resonate best. Pouring genuine emotions, raw experiences, and candid reflections into your narrative makes it universally relatable.
  • How can I avoid making my life story essay sound boastful? Maintain a balance. Celebrate achievements, but also shed light on challenges, lessons learned, and moments of vulnerability.
  • What tense should I use when writing my life story? Past tense is often used, but present tense can create immediacy when sharing thoughts.
  • How personal should I get in my life story essay? Authenticity is engaging, but set boundaries on details you share.
  • Is chronological order essential in a life essay? Not necessarily. Chronology provides clarity, but thematic or importance-based sequencing can be impactful.
  • Can I incorporate dialogues in my life story essay? Absolutely! Dialogues make moments come alive and give insights into character dynamics.
  • Should I conclude with a lesson in my life story? Ending with a reflection or lesson provides closure and a takeaway for readers.

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Art is a powerful medium of expression that has evolved through centuries, reflecting the changing landscapes of culture, society, and individual creativity. One fascinating aspect of art is the ability to analyze and compare different styles, periods, or movements. In this comparative analysis art essay, we will delve into the vibrant world of Pop Art, examining its key characteristics, artists, and its influence on the art world. List of Essays * Understanding Comparative Analysis in Art

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How to Tell Your Life Story

Last Updated: February 23, 2022 References

This article was co-authored by Dan Klein . Dan Klein is an improvisation expert and coach who teaches at the Stanford University Department of Theater and Performance Studies as well as at Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Dan has been teaching improvisation, creativity, and storytelling to students and organizations around the world for over 20 years. Dan received his BA from Stanford University in 1991. This article has been viewed 45,953 times.

Writing your life story can seem like a daunting task, especially if you have never told it start to finish before. You may decide to write your life story down on paper to then share with others. Or you may share your story out loud in a performance or a play. Writing your life story effectively takes research, focus, and plotting. Telling your life story may be a good way to work through your past and share life lessons with others.

Telling Your Life Story Effectively

Step 1 Do your research.

  • You should also do research at your local library and online. You may look at articles and books to help you with your research.

Step 2 Create a timeline of your life.

  • Try to be detailed when you write the timeline. Note each age of your life as well as significant events or moments that happened during that time. For example, you may write, “Age 4, Mom and Dad divorced, I was obsessed with Mickey Mouse and watched a lot of television on our living room floor.”

Step 3 Look for themes in your life story.

  • For example, you may have the theme “perseverance” in your life story. You may then write about key events or moments in your life that reflect the theme of perseverance.
  • Or you may realize that it took you several years to embrace the theme of “hard work.” You may then chart how you learned to embrace this theme through different moments in your life.

Step 4 Plot out

  • You can create a plot outline based on a more traditional plot structure, with exposition, an inciting incident, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
  • You can also use the snowflake method to create a plot outline, with a one sentence summary, a one paragraph summary, character synopses, and a spreadsheet of scenes.

Dan Klein

How did you change through the story? Dan Klein, an improv and storytelling teacher, says: "The essential elements of a story include a character that the audience cares about, and something happening in the story that changes the relationships between the characters. It's also really nice if the story ties up at the end by reincorporating something from the beginning."

Step 5 Polish the draft.

  • If you created a performance based life story, you may perform a rough version for friends, family or colleagues and ask them for feedback. You should revise your draft and improve it until you feel it is ready to share with the larger world.

Writing Your Life Story Down

Step 1 Put together an...

  • Many autobiographies are written in first person present tense or first person past tense. They usually cover the entire span of a life.
  • You can read examples of autobiographies to get a better sense of the genre. For example, you may check to see if your favorite celebrity has an autobiography out or search for an autobiography of a famous historical figure.

Step 2 Write a memoir

  • You can write the memoir in first person or third person. They are usually written in past tense so you can reflect on a certain time period or event.
  • You can read examples of memoir to gain a better understanding of the genre, such as Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, In the Wilderness by Kim Barnes, The Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard, and Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt.

Step 3 Create a long...

  • Try using the poetic form to reflect a certain period or event in your life story. For example, you may write in a more playful form, such as the limerick , for poems about your childhood. You may then write in the sonnet form to write about a great love of your life.

Step 4 Write a personal...

  • The personal essay contains an introductory section, a body section and a concluding section. You can then play with the form as you see fit and do not need to adhere to a five paragraph essay form.
  • You can read examples of the personal essay, such as “Shipping Out” by David Foster Wallace, “The White Album” by Joan Didion, and “We Do Abortions Here” by Sallie Tisdale.

Step 5 Hire a ghostwriter

  • You can search for a ghostwriter online through online writing sites or online classifieds. You can also ask writing professors and other professionals to recommend a ghostwriter.

Sharing Your Life Story Out Loud

Step 1 Make a spoken...

  • You can watch spoken word performances online to help get a better sense of the genre, such as “If I should have a daughter…” by Sarah Kay [4] X Research source , “My First Period” by Staceyann Chin [5] X Research source , and “Can we auto-correct humanity?” by Prince Ea. [6] X Research source

Step 2 Create a play...

  • You could then arrange for the play to be performed at your local community center or film yourself performing it and then post it online.

Step 3 Adapt your life...

  • You could then use the screenplay to make a film based on your life. You may rent camera gear, located actors, and shoot the film yourself. Or you may hire a filmmaker to create the film based on your screenplay.

Step 4 Share your life story in casual conversation.

  • For example, you may say, "I was born in Miami, Florida in the 80s, and grew up right by the beach. It was a nice childhood except for that time I got stung by a jellyfish."

Expert Q&A

You might also like.

Write About Yourself

  • ↑ http://createyourlifestory.com/podcast/telling-your-stor/
  • ↑ http://www.allprodad.com/10-ways-to-tell-your-life-story/
  • ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0snNB1yS3IE
  • ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGk3-OJX7KE
  • ↑ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRl8EIhrQjQ

About This Article

Dan Klein

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your life story essay

How to write your life story: 7 tips to start

Aspiring autobiographers often mail us asking, ‘how can I write my own story?’ Try these 7 life writing tips to start:

  • Post author By Jordan
  • 62 Comments on How to write your life story: 7 tips to start

your life story essay

Aspiring autobiographers often mail us asking, ‘how can I write my own personal story?’

How can I craft a compelling narrative?’ It can seem like a daunting task writing and researching your life experiences.

It can be a challenging writing project, but a valuable and creative one. It’s a chance to organise the narrative arc of your life, key impactful moments in your life, reappraise where you’ve been and where you’re going. You’ll also see what life lessons you have experienced and can share that with readers. It can be a rewarding creative writing project. 

There are several book genres to consider when writing a life story: autobiography (a whole sweep of a life), memoir (which tends to focus on a theme, or a particular time in one’s history), or an essay collection. 

Try these seven life writing tips to start:

1. Decide whether you’ll write non-fiction or fictionalize

There are many ways to approach life writing. You could follow a non-fiction approach and set down dates, facts and memories as close to events as they occurred as possible.

Another option is to fictionalize and blur the line between fact and fiction. This approach to life writing may be useful if you want to:

  • Protect your identity or those of others while writing about trauma or difficult subject matter
  • Experiment with elements of fiction and a playful approach even if you are wanting to write it as a nonfiction book of real-life events. 

Hedi Lampert, one of our writing coaches, takes this approach in her fictionalized memoir, My Life with my Aunt. Although it’s based on a true story, there are many fictionalised elements in it.

Although you might go with a non-fiction approach, add all the elements of fiction that you need to. For example, include strong characters (build them up in the reader’s mind), flesh out the supporting cast, include description, use the five senses as much as possible, include dialogue, and so on. 

Example of experimental life writing: Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes

The French theorist Roland Barthes begins his memoirs with a preface that reads:

It must all be considered as if spoken by a character in a novel. Roland Barthes,  Roland Barthes  (1977).

Barthes proceeds to give the reader fragments written in the third person , alternating with captioned photographs from his youth. For example, in one fragment titled ‘Arrogance’ he writes:

He has no affection for proclamations of victory. Troubled by the humiliations of others, whenever a victory appears somewhere, he wants to go somewhere else . Barthes,  Roland Barthes ,  p. 46.

Describing himself in the third person, Barthes gives the reader insights into his views and values, as an ordinary autobiography might . Yet in their fragmentary, third-person presentation (without narrative), they become like brief, philosophical musings, rather than a traditional linear ‘story’ with character development. The memoir is told very much in the voice of a theorist and scholar of language.

How to write your story - quote by Mary Karr | Now Novel

2. Choose an approach to time

Time is an interesting element to conside r when deciding how to write your life story.

For example, will your book cover birth to the present day? Or a few weeks or months spanning either side of a momentous life event?

First-person narrators in fiction give us examples of narrative approaches to time we can also adopt in writing about our lives.

For example, the title character of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield begins his story by describing the setting for his birth:

To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. Charles Dickens,  David Copperfield  (1850), p. 5 (1992 Wordsworth Editions).

After detailing the day and time of his birth, David goes into closer setting detail:

I was born at Blunderstone, in Suffolk, or ‘thereby,’ as they say in Scotland. I was a posthumous child. My father’s eyes had closed upon the light of this world six months, when mine opened on it. Dickens,  David Copperfield,  p. 6.

This approach to time gives a linear sense of the way a life progresses, from childhood. It’s a common narrative approach in many bildungsromans (coming-of-age stories).

You can also, however, experiment with time in writing your life story.

You could start with a significant event that happened later in adulthood, for example, and circle back to past scenes that illuminate backstory and help the reader to understand what led up to later events.

As you plan how you’ll write  time in your life story, ask, ‘What would provide the strongest dramatic effect?’

Begin Your Story with Confidence

Delve into your life story with our Kickstart Your Novel course. Over six weeks, gain the clarity and direction needed to start writing compellingly about your experiences.

Now Novel published writer

3. Do what you need to set aside any fear

Many writers feel daunted when embarking on a new project. This is often particularly acute when writing about more personal experiences or real life where you don’t have the protective veil of fictional characters.

When the acclaimed biographer of Virginia Woolf, Hermione Lee, was asked whether fear is a useful emotion for a biographer, she replied:

The fear has to be channeled somehow into the energy of the work. While you’re doing it, I think you have to feel that she is yours and you alone understand her. But in order to arrive at that feeling you have to deal with, and master, your apprehension. Hermione Lee, interview in ‘Hermione Lee, The Art of Biography No. 4’ for The Paris Review, available here . 

Lee goes on to describe how the biographer Richard Homes coped with this feeling. He said:

I get to my desk every morning and I hear these little voices saying, ‘He doesn’t know what he’s doing!’ and I raise my arm and I just sweep , I sweep them off the desk.’

Find your own way to silence any fear, be it changing key figures’ names or even fictionalizing your life entirely.

Personal Guidance on Your Journey

Writing your life story is a journey of discovery and reflection. Navigate it with an expert by your side. Our private coaching offers personalized feedback, encouragement, and the critical insights needed to transform your personal experiences into a captivating narrative. Let us help you tell your story with authenticity and emotional depth.

Now Novel writer

4. Summarize significant events to cover

Any one person’s life is a massive archive or trove of significant experiences and memories. As Hermione Lee says, the immensity of this ‘source material’ can feel overwhelming.

As a preparatory step in deciding how to write your life story, summarize key events you want to include. Try to write just two lines for each incident or scene you’re thinking of including (you can create and organize scene summaries in our Scene Builder tool ). This will help you plot the key points of your life story, and may even help you with arranging the story thematically. If not already apparent, the narrative arc of your story will become apparent.

You’ll also see what life lessons you have experienced and can share that with readers. Remember you don’t have to write your entire life story from year dot.

Another important point is to remember to describe in detail. Sometimes when we are writing from memory or the ‘mind’s eye’, because the landscape in our recollections is familiar to us, we sometimes don’t describe things. We might say, ‘We lived in that house for ten years.’ We can see the house, because it’s so deep in our memory, but the reader can’t. Describe the house: ‘It had redbrick and a red tiled roof and small windows that let in hardly any light.’ That tells the reader a lot more than ‘that house’.

At the heart of great life writing (as with great fiction), there’s often a main internal conflict and/or an external conflict. A key tension or experience the autobiographer confronts. Tweet This

For example:

  • A moment of awakening or discovery of purpose
  • Family or personal trauma
  • Career or financial difficulties: retrenchment, having to sell your home 
  • Relationship troubles
  • A breakup or divorce 
  • Birth of a child
  • Death of someone significant

What core experience (or group of experiences) will your story frame?

5. Allow your authentic voice

As in fiction, in life writing the voice of the memoir author helps to create a distinct sense of character.

The acclaimed memoirist and poet Mary Karr gives excellent advice to aspiring life-writers on voice in her book The Art of Memoir (2015). Writes Karr:

Each great memoir lives or dies based 100 percent on voice. It’s the delivery system for the author’s experience—the big bandwidth cable that carries in lustrous clarity every pixel of someone’s inner and outer experiences. Mary Karr,  The Art of Memoir  (2015), p. 35.

Karr cautions against covering up aspects of your own voice to appear more palatable a person to readers. She says:

The voice should permit a range of emotional tones – too wise-ass, and it denies pathos; too pathetic, and it’s shrill. It sets and varies distance from both the material and the reader – from cool and diffident to high-strung and close. The writer doesn’t choose these styles so much as he’s born to them, based on who he is and how he experienced the past. Karr, p. 36.

Infographic on how to write your life story | Now Novel

6. Avoid telling the truth in oversimplified terms

In Karr’s chapter, ‘The Truth Contract Twixt Writer and Reader’, she discusses the value of telling the truth (rather than ‘pumping yourself up’ for your audience):

How does telling the truth help a reader’s experience, though? Let’s say you had an awful childhood – tortured and mocked and starved every day – hit hard with belts and hoses, etc. You could write a repetitive, duller-than-a-rubber-knife misery memoir. But would that be “true”? And true to how you keep it boxed up now, or to lived experience back then? Back then, those same abusers probably fed you something, or you’d have died. Karr, p. 2.

What Karr’s words strike at is that the ‘truth’ is often something more complex than what makes us look good (or others look bad).

One of the important lessons in learning how to write your life story is how to portray people not simply as heroes and villains. Indeed, to rather show the bits of life between people’s better and worse choices that flesh out more complex portraits, with more colours (and more shades of grey). As Karr says:

It’s the disparities in your childhood, your life between ass-whippings, that throws past pain into stark relief for a reader. Karr, p. 2.

Your Life, Your Story

Ready to write your life story but not sure where to start? Sign up for a Now Novel account. Brainstorm your story idea, create compelling character profiles, and share your work for community feedback. Begin crafting your life narrative today.

7. Get help pulling your life story into shape

Writing memoir or a fictionalized autobiography is challenging because you are dealing not only with the standard elements of story (conflict, narrative, voice and more) but also personal areas. Some of these may be more challenging to revisit (or capture in prose) than others.

Due to the many challenges involved (including the challenge of subjectivity), don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Karr writes about sending people she’s included in memoirs manuscript drafts to ensure embellishment does not disservice the person or the story. Beta readers may provide valuable input, more so if they were bystanders or active participants in the events you describe.

You can also get help from a writing coach who will help you begin weaving personal experience and anecdote into a better, fuller story.

Related Posts:

  • How to write a biography: 7 life-writing ideas
  • How to write memoir: 9 ideas for a vivid slice of life
  • How do you write a dystopian story? 5 tips
  • Tags how to start writing a memoir

your life story essay

Jordan is a writer, editor, community manager and product developer. He received his BA Honours in English Literature and his undergraduate in English Literature and Music from the University of Cape Town.

62 replies on “How to write your life story: 7 tips to start”

am 15 yrs old I’m writing my own story.Thanks

Hi Desmond, good luck writing your story. Thank you for reading our articles!

Hello. I enjoyed reading your tips, in fact I am copying them off for reference if that is ok. I began the memoir/life story before and lost all my data with computer failure. Dumb me, lesson learned to back things up on a couple of flash drives so that doesn’t happen again. So, I am beginning again, after reading your notes here that may have been a blessing in disguise as I have learned so much reading your article. Thank you for publishing this, it will be invaluable as I begin again!! 🙂

Hi Jenny, thank you for reading! Please do feel free to copy anything for reference. I’m so sorry to hear about your data loss, that is frustrating. Glad you’re creating backups this time around, though. Have a creative, inspired 2021, from all of us at Now Novel.

Good day I don’t have a comment but I would love to write my life story as I know it could you help me on this matter thank you.

Hi Catherine, thank you for sharing that. Go for it! I would say start by creating a list of life events you feel would be important to include. Look within them for a good starting point, is there a specific, pivotal event out of which the rest of your life story could unfold in narrative?

If you share a little more about what aspect of your life is compelling you to write (you can email us at [email protected] ) I’m sure we can provide more detailed, specific help.

Hi Jordan, am happy that this morning i came across your article, the artcle mae a good start of writing my own life story. i have been thinking on how to start for a while but now i see my path. Thanks.

Hi Joyce, I’m happy to hear that this article was helpful and you can see the path ahead. I hope you make great progress and discover many moments of excitement and revelation as you proceed.

[…] https://www.nownovel.com/blog/how-to-write-your-life-story/ […]

Hand written my not finished book of 350 A4 Pages

Hi Freda, that sounds like an epic, impressive to have written it by hand. Good luck with what remains of the process.

Hi, my son gave me an empty book pages cover with my childhood pictures.I started some lines. Actually I was searching a writer about my Sisters life story which is very interesting. You’re Tips are good.

Hi Cloty, that sounds a lovely gesture on your son’s part. It’s interesting that you’d like to write your sister’s life story, is there a reason you’d prefer to write about her life rather than your own? Good luck with it, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed our articles.

Very good guide lines

Thank you, Cloty!

I’ve given a lot of thought to writing my story, and haven’t been sure how to get started. I’ve finally been doing some digging, and came across this article. My experience to date is blogging, so a book seems intimidating, but broken down like this it’s a little less scary. I think I’ll create an account here, see what else you have to offer!

Hi Tara, thank you for sharing that. Being a blogger you already have some good writing experience, I’m sure. That is the trick, breaking it down into manageable, less daunting tasks. Please do, and thanks for reading our blog!

Hello Jordan. I am writing a life story but specifically the love interests and most memorable experiences. Your tips have been so helpful. My main problem is that I don’t know whether to write separate chapters for each or separate short stories for each because the timelines overlap a lot. Please help.

Hi Lindo, I’m so glad to hear that you’ve found the Now Novel blog helpful. It depends whether you have a running narrative thread (if the individual love stories add up to a specific outcome or growth or other arc) or each is more fragmentary/discontinuous (despite the timeline overlap).

If the latter, I would suggest short stories as if there’s no narrative end-point (for example, a new learning or insight these love interests and experiences lead to), then each might be more self-contained. Sending the stories as a collection to an editor would likely help, as this would firstly polish the individual pieces but an evaluation could also give insights into how to connect them all together.

I hope this is helpful, keep going!

Hello and thank you. I enjoyed reading your article. I am considering writing my life story however I am not sure of whether I would like to write an actual tell all/novel/biography-book or if I would actually like to write a screenplay instead. A lot of your methods can be translated the same way when writing a screenplay. I would eventually like my story to become a movie. Should I write the book 1st or just go straight to the screenplay? Which is a better route?

Hi Tony, thank you for your interesting question. Many screenplays are based on novels or biographies and I think it helps to write in book-from first, since you then have the shape of the story down, the research (if needed) and other elements such as characterization in place. From there you could whittle and carve the best possible use of mise en scene , dialogue etc. out of what you have. It would be an interesting way to build a sound framework for a tauter screenplay in other words, I’d say.

I need to write my life stories but is confused. I know it can change someone’s life or journey . I have been saying this for 20 years or more ….why am I not doing it ? ….

Hi Dawn, thank you for sharing that. All I will say is: Start! 🙂 And thank you for reading our blog.

I want to write my life stories very interesting, but some negative idea comes to my mind. That is my story is not so much important, i am not knowen person any field of work,…etc. But now i get clues ,so i am initate to write my own autobiography.

Hi Zenenbe, I’m glad you’re writing regardless of those doubts. It’s natural to have doubts, but there are stories worth telling and sharing in every life – whether the teller is famous/well-known or not ?. Good luck!

Your tips are very helpful. I have started entering short stories competitions (written in first person)for practice! Now starting on Fictional/factual life story and find Tip 1 and 3 helpful to give my characters fictional names and feel comfortable also using 3rd person i.e.she. Also more confident about introducing fictional events into my story to make it more compelling for the reader while still being authentic.

Hi Lyn, I’m glad you found this helpful. It’s great you’re entering short story competitions, that’s great practice. Absolutely, many non-fiction authors embellish for the sake of story. Good luck with your contest entries!

Wonderful article. Just wanted to let you know of a new service that helps you in putting together your life story. https://www.huminz.com/ It makes writing your story fun. And then brings your story to life

Hi Etan, thank you and thanks for sharing your web app for memoir-writing, it looks interesting.

It’s been long overdue, I’m 54 yrs old now. I finally have come to terms in writing an autobiography of myself. Life experiences I have encountered from my 1st memory as a child. At the age of 4yrs old, the year was 1971 Christmas Eve. First memory to my life awaken by the Jaws of life. My mind has been a camera through every moment in my life. What would be read on the publisher end, would be so intrigued to see all the drama, hardships. Caught up in how I survived my dilemmas, with all to be said, physically be right their with me. So consumed from your start of my life to relive my nightmare. Totally lost on how I still have so much compassion & love till this day. Never a dull moment adventure ,trauma, abuse, raped, child molesters. I’m ready to bring it all to an end to start a life I was expected to do as child in middle school. Looking forward to replaying the camera that has consumed my eyes & life experiences. Not sure where I will have to submit my book when I have achieved my story.

Hi Kathleen, thank you for sharing that. It’s never too late to share one’s life story (and from the subject matter you mentioned, I’m sure your courage in telling your story could greatly help others who’ve been through similar life experiences). I’m glad you’re looking forward to the process – go for it. Once you have a first draft you could think about submission (for now I’d say focus on the task at hand which is getting the first version of your story down).

I find the article really useful.Thank you so much for the enlightenment. I have more than twice in my lifetime thought of sharing my life story through a book,but have often felt like it was a load of work to do so. But reading through your article and also reading through the comment section,I feel like its the right time.Thank you so much for being an inspiration especially with me as a beginner.

Hi Mere, it’s a pleasure, thank you for reading our blog and for sharing that. Writing is a lot of work, but it’s rewarding work I’d say. I hope you enjoy the process. Feel free to join our writing groups where you can chat to others at a similar stage of the journey.

That is nice,and thanks for that

Ok,I need your help more

Hi Mary, thank you for reading our blog and a Happy New Year to you. What would you like help with? Please feel free to mail us any questions at help at now novel dot com.

Hi , i wanted to write my life story, how to start?? Any help?

Hi Hana, thank you for sharing your question. I would start by brainstorming a list of key/significant events in your life you want to include, as these you can then plan scenes and scene structure around; once you know what experiences in your life you want to tell most. As a guiding principle, I’d suggest brainstorming incidents that are:

  • Emotionally impactful – wins, losses, trials, turning points
  • Illustrative – of where you’re from, who you are, what you value and have learned or overcome

This is a loose starting point but I would say is a good preparatory process for sifting through memories and ideas and finding topics and subtopics to organize your life story around. I hope this helps!

Thank you sir Jordan for sharing these tips. I am planning to write my life story. However, I’ll write a story because of the problems and negative things that happened to me in the past and I’m a little bit shame about my experiences but I want to make a story that can inspire many and motivate them. I also ask on how to start writing. Is there any chapter? and how to divide some events of your life into writing a story.

Hi Joash, it’s a pleasure, and thank you for sharing this. Life-writing can be hard because of this – that there are often traumas and painful experiences one wants to write about but there is often fear attached as sometimes society tells us these areas are taboo; that we aren’t allowed to talk about them.

A writing teacher gave a writing circle I belonged to great advice once – ‘turn the family portraits to the wall’ (in other words, banish silencing figures and, ‘What would uncle so-and-so say?’ from your writing space, if possible). You can edit for sensitivity/intensity in the passages that are uncomfortable later if necessary, but the first draft is for telling yourself the story, and nobody else’s potentially shaming perspectives matter at this stage.

There are many places to start. One of the classic autobiographical starting points is when you were born (what year, place, era, political moment). I would suggest reading a few biographies and taking notes on the opening to see the many possibilities. Ask whether the beginning is effective, what information the author focuses on, whether they start with a description, a statement, or something else. A great biographer to read is Hermione Lee – she has written many acclaimed biographies of famous writers and artists.

THANKYOU FOR SHARING,SIR JORDAN

It’s a pleasure, Gladys! No need for honorary titles 😊 just ‘Jordan’ is fine. Thank you for reading our blog.

Hi Jordon it’s nice we can communicate with you and take ideas from you I want to start writing and I’m so pleased to know you !

Hi Randa, thank you for reaching out and for reading our blog – it’s good to meet you.

I have been mulling over writing my life story and being asked by many to do so, however, have no clue where to start. I could not write using my own name as the need for my protection for others is immense. What would you suggest?

Thank you for reading this article and for your question. I would suggest changing names if necessary and writing under your own name. You could also change a few fundamental details in the story arcs of the others you wish to protect (and make it so-called creative non-fiction) so as to further obscure their identity or the possibility of readers connecting the story back to the real people involved. If it is possible, you could also ask anyone who features whom you personally know for their permission to be included as a character in your memoir. If they wish to remain anonymous, then changing their name (and some details as suggested above) would help to protect their privacy.

I hope this helps.

Hi Jordan, have been difficulties on to start my life story,what is the best title for the story do i need to mention names.

Hi Gristone, it’s difficult to advise on a title not knowing anything about the scope or subject matter of your memoir. My suggestion would be to look at the memoir and autobiography titles currently selling well and study titles for ideas – where do the titles draw from? The person’s vocation or profession, a specific aspect of their personality, a specific life experience or struggle they overcame?

If you mean mentioning names in your title, not necessarily. It could be descriptive or it could be more straight-up, e.g. ‘[Name}: [Descriptive phrase]’. I hope this helps.

I been searching and collect some ideas how to start my life story which i think can give inspiration , for those who lost hope in life.

Thank you Jordan for this write-up. I plan to write the story of my life and I needed a guide as to how to start.

Hi Ogbu, it’s my pleasure. I hope it was helpful and wish you a good experience in writing your life story. Let me know if you have any further questions.

My book I have been working on for many years has been my life story of more trauma that seems unreal I started from birth of what I read from mom’s and grandma’s diaries in their words then what I remembered. From birth to 15 . Childhood secrets to motherhood at 16 domestic violence and drug abuse. Marriage 25 years of escaping after 9 attempts divorced never free. Stauked violated for years. Gas lighting still to this day and I am 59 years old soon. With the knowledge I know things I would have done differently and want to pass on that to anyone it may help. The name of my book is Broken -Post Vietnam untold stories of a military family what happened after the war. It’s a story of molestation, shame , guilt ,PTSD a lifetime of struggle . A mentally wounded father. And generational mentally wounded family. Most dysfunctional family hidden behind closed doors

Hi Patricia, I’m truly sorry to hear that you’ve been through such traumatic experiences and I commend you for wanting to help others through writing your life story. It’s important as a society we talk about these things and don’t just sweep them under the rug, but it is brave to confront them and bring them to light (and healing, I hope) too. Best of luck with your story. It sounds particularly interesting in that it touches on what it’s like being in a military family, as I know people who had similar experiences in military families. War is traumatizing on multiple levels and its deleterious impact is far-reaching.

hi Jordan, I have always been a bit of a story teller, all through my life in fact. I never really attended school but after my children I decided to go to college as part of an access course into nursing. one of the modules was English at A Level equivalent. I achieved a B in my written work But an A* in my Oral exam. I know this doesn’t make me a writer and I’m certainly not a reader but I can tell a good story, especially if its something factual happening in my life. I have got to an age in my life where I have lived so much love, loss, happiness and drama, not to mention how different things were back when I was a child to society today and I would like to reflect the stages of my life and how I feel emotionally and mentally. I would like to write my life story fictionally but based on true life events and experiences. This is to protect my identity and that of all the people involved due to the content. I don’t want to do it all in one book, 58 years of living my life couldn’t possibly be captured in one go. please can you advise me on where to start

Hi Lucy, Thanks for getting in touch. The article offers great tips for starting out, but one idea is to start by writing short stories inspired by the different stages in your life. You should reflect on any memories that stand out to you, the key points in your life story, then incorporate the details and the emotions that they evoke. If you need more advice, we can recommend our coach Hedi Lampert who has recently made more slots available in her schedule for new clients.

thank you Jordan for this article honestly it helps me so much and i have a lot to learn from it i am 16 and i am trying to write my life story cause i need to talk about a lot of things about like my trauma , absent father , strict mom that give me no freedom and always controlling , being pressure since 9th grade to get a scholarship and till now i am in 11th going to 12th still be pressure trying to be the perfect daughter , sacrifice happiness and mental health in order to get all A’s and whenever something happened to me i am the only that is always there for myself , whenever i cry i wipe my own tears and it has now get to the point i keep telling myself very soon i will old enough to live my life but every time i try to write the story i don’t know where to start from but reading this article just boost my knowledge and one things that bothered me is fear , i don’t know but every time i try to write something i always have fear or even before i started writing i will just start cry for no reason i think maybe cause i am not ready to write then i will give my self time but the same things will repeat it self so my fear and emotions is always holding me back and i don’t know why that happen but every time fear and emotions hold me back so i have now decided how will write it no matter what even though i will end up with red eyes from crying but i will not let my fear take over me , thank you so much for taking time to read this i will love to hear back

Dear Tee Tee, Thanks for writing in. I’m sorry to hear that it’s difficult for you to write your story. This can be something that stops you from starting. I think it’s useful to begin your story, as this is something you want to write about. If you’re not sure where to start, perhaps start by writing some ideas, an outline of what you’d like to write? Or, you could place ideas/themes that you would like to explore, eg: absent father as one theme, strict mother, another theme, and write some ideas of what you’d like to explore in relation to these themes. Hope these ideas resonate with you. Feel free to write in with any further questions.

I am 16 years old and I am starting to write a story about my life and this reading really helped me learn the steps on how to write it and the examples helped to! Thank you for making this reading. It has helped me so much!!

Hello Nevaeh,

That’s so wonderful to hear! Enjoy the writing process!

Great article, which I will share with my writers’ group. I am about two thirds of the way through the first volume of my memoir and conisdering submitting it to an agent with a proposal. I will get it read and edited by a mentor before I go ahead.

Thanks for your comment John! It’s wonderful that you’re writing a memoir. Good luck with it all!

Thanks so much John. Good luck with your memoir!

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Narrative Essay Writing

Personal Narrative Essay

Cathy A.

Personal Narrative Essay - Easy Guide & Examples

16 min read

Published on: Apr 18, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

personal narrative essay

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A personal narrative essay can be a fun way to share your life story with friends and family. However, most students have no idea how to write a personal narrative essay. 

This can be a challenge. On top of that, it's one of the most common assignments in school.

Is this something that you are also dealing with? Fortunately, you don't have to worry anymore! We are here to simplify the process for you.

This guide will walk you through the process of writing a personal narrative essay step by step. Plus, you can find plenty of examples here to help you get started and avoid common writing mistakes. 

So what are you waiting for, take a step forward to make your essay shine!

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Personal Narrative Essay Definition

What is a Personal Narrative Essay? 

A personal narrative essay is also referred to as short storytelling. It depends on the writer's type of story they want to tell the readers. This type of essay can be composed of the personal experience of the writer. 

A personal narrative essay is usually written in the first person participle. It helps to depict a clear narrative that’s focused on a specific moment.

Usually, high school students are usually assigned to write such essays. Writing these essays helps them to enhance creative writing skills. Also, they help to provide insight into a student’s personal life. 

To write a personal narrative essay, the writer specifies a plot around which the entire essay revolves. Moreover, the plot should also discuss the characters that have played some part in the story.

Sample Personal Narrative Essay (PDF)

How to Start a Personal Narrative Essay?  

The personal narrative essay requires a balance between objectivity and subjectivity. To write about an event or situation with significance, you must first identify what's important to share with the readers.

As with other types of writing - there are some guidelines you need to follow some guidelines. These are;

1. Choose the Right Topic 

A good topic can not just make your essay look good, but also it will make the writing process much easier. Since personal narrative essays are written on personal experiences and thoughts, make sure you choose your most interesting experience. 

Keep in mind that the topic you choose matches the intended audience. It is the reader who decides the scope and success of your essay.

2. Choose a Theme 

You can also choose a theme for your essay. This will help you focus on what you want to say. You can use your personal experiences to explore the theme in depth.  For example, if you choose the theme of love, you could talk about your experience of love with your sister(s).  Alternatively, you can start writing out the story and see if any ideas might relate to a bigger theme. When you are writing, pay attention to any ideas that keep coming up. See if they might be related to a bigger topic.

3. Create a Thesis Statement 

The thesis statement is the most important sentence and tells the reader what your essay will be about.  

In a personal narrative essay, the thesis statement can briefly explore the story's events. Or it can tell the reader about the moral or lesson learned through personal experience. The thesis statement can also present the main theme of the essay. 

For example, if you are writing an essay about your personal experience as a refugee. You may have a thesis statement that presents the theme of freedom.

Check out more thesis statement examples to learn how to write one!

4. Create an Outline 

Once you have your topic, it is time that you create an outline for your essay. The essay outline is an essential element of an essay. It keeps the whole composition in an organized order. 

Also, it helps the reader through the essay. With the help of an outline, a writer can provide logic for the essay. 

Personal Narrative Essay Outline

Being a student, you must know how important an outline is for an essay. It provides an organization with the whole content.

To create an outline for a personal narrative essay, you need to follow the following traditional method.

Introduction

These three major elements of a  narrative essay  are further elaborated down below.

The introduction is the most important part of essay writing. It is the first impression on the reader; by reading this part, the reader decides the quality of the essay. This part should be the most attention-grabbing part. 

It should have an attention-grabbing hook and some background information about the topic. Moreover, it should include the thesis statement, which explains the main idea of your essay.

Keep in mind that the essay introduction should always end with a transition sentence. This will make a logical connection with the rest of the essay. 

Personal Narrative Introduction Example

Body Paragraphs 

After the introduction, the body paragraphs are written. These paragraphs help you to explain the key elements of your personal narrative essay. 

In a standard personal narrative essay, there are usually three body paragraphs. These paragraphs help the writer to describe the subject of the essay in all possible aspects. 

With the help of these paragraphs, the writer describes their point of view to the readers. To support the essay, the time and place of the event happening are also mentioned. Moreover, these paragraphs have all the information about the characters. 

Keep in mind that a body starts with a topic sentence . This sentence is a kind of introductory sentence for that particular paragraph.

Another important thing you need to keep in mind is the order in which you will present the details. Make sure that you use chronological order for this purpose. 

Personal Narrative Body Example

In conclusion, you need to provide the climax of the story. 

In this section of a personal narrative essay, you should wrap up the whole story. Do it in such a way that you provide a summary of the entire essay. 

Your conclusion should be just as impactful as your introduction. End with a memorable sentence or thought that leaves the reader with a lasting impression. You can summarize the main points of your essay or reflect on the significance of the experience in your life.

Make sure that you do not add any new points in this part. It will not give the reader a sense of accomplishment and will leave them in confusion. 

Personal Narrative Conclusion Example

How to Write a Personal Narrative Essay

A personal narrative essay is considered very good when it is expressive, and the reader enjoys your personal narrative. The key to writing an amazing personal narrative is to use sensory details as much as possible.

An excellent narrative essay doesn't tell what happened. Instead, it shows what happened precisely and how you have felt at that moment.

Here is how you can write a personal narrative essay:

  • Start With a Good Hook 

For any type of essay , a hook statement can be a game-changer. But, particularly for a personal narrative essay, hook sentences are very important. 

Usually, the introduction of the essay starts with this sentence. You may use a famous quotation, verse, or an interesting fact for this purpose. This sentence helps to attain the reader’s attention and persuade the reader to read the entire essay. 

  • Vivid Description 

For a narrative essay, it is a must to be vivid enough to let the reader imagine the whole scene. This is why it is necessary that the writer uses as much descriptive language as possible. 

For instance, if you are writing about a visit to the beach, you can describe how the sun felt on your face. On top of that, making use of strong verbs and adjectives will also help to provide an engaging experience for readers.  

  • Use Transition Words 

For any essay, be it an argumentative essay , descriptive essay , or personal narrative essay. It is very important to have some transition sentences and words. These transition words help to make a logical connection in all parts of the essay. 

In other words, the transition words help to make links between the storyline. You may use transition words like this, however, whereas, therefore, moreover, etc.

  • Add Emotions 

The purpose of a personal narrative essay is to show the reader what and how you have felt. Hence don't forget to add the emotions, as you have to make the reader know about the feelings. 

Describe all of the emotions and feelings using very descriptive words. 

  • Be Consistent 

Consistency is the key to writing an essay in a professional way. Make sure that you don't get distracted by any irrelevant details. 

Stay focused on one single point, and add details related to your specific idea.  Make sure that you inter-link all the events of the story in a regular manner. This will help the reader to relate all the events. Also, use first-person impressions as you are writing a personal narrative. 

You also want to show the reader that you are telling your own story. Make sure that you follow the same participle in the entire essay. 

  • Prove the Significance of Your Experience 

You know that behind every event, there is a reason. Similarly, let your readers know the reason behind your essay and its significance. 

Also, mention that the story you just told was important to share. 

As it is a personal narrative, you don't have to provide evidence to prove the significance of your story. Rather, you have to convey a broader message through your story. 

  • Use Dialogue

Dialogue is an excellent way to bring life to your story and make it more engaging. It can reveal the character’s personalities and add a touch of realism to the essay. 

When you use dialogue, make sure to punctuate it correctly and indicate who is speaking.

  • Show, Don't Tell

When writing a personal narrative essay, avoid summarizing events and simply telling the story. Instead, use sensory details to help the reader experience the story with you. 

Describe what you saw, heard, felt, tasted, and smelled to bring the story to life.

  • Reflect on the Experience

Reflection is an important part of any personal narrative essay. It is an opportunity for you to reflect on the experience you are writing about and what it means to you. Take the time to think about what you learned from the experience and how it has shaped you as a person.

Once you are done with writing your personal narrative essay. It's time that you put a little effort into making it error-free. Proofread the essay more than once and look for minor spelling mistakes and other grammatical mistakes. 

This will ensure that you have written an essay like a pro. You can do this yourself or you may ask a friend to do it for you.

To understand better how to write a personal narrative essay, take a few moments to watch the video below!

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Free Personal Narrative Essay Examples

Examples help you to understand things better; here are a few well-written  narrative essay examples . Read them thoroughly and use them as a guide to writing a good essay yourself.

Personal Narrative Essay 750 words

Personal narrative essays can be long or short. It depends on the writer how they want to elaborate things.

750 Words Personal Narrative Essay (PDF)

Personal Narrative Essay Examples for High School Students

Personal narrative essays are often assigned to high school students. If you are a high school student and looking for some good examples, you are exactly where you should be.

Best Summer Memory of My Childhood (PDF)

Near-Death Experience (PDF)

Personal Narrative Essay Examples for College Students

Being a college student, you will often get to write personal narrative essays. Here are a few examples of well-written personal narrative essays to guide college students.

Climbing a Mountain (PDF)

My First Job (PDF)

Want to get a better understanding? Dive into the wide collection of our narrative essay examples !

Personal Narrative Essay Topics

It is important to choose a good topic before you start writing. Here are some interesting  narrative essay topics  you can choose from for your essay.

  • My worst childhood memory
  • My favorite summer activities during vacation.
  • The first time I had a serious argument with my best friend
  • The first time someone broke my heart.
  • Things I could tell myself.
  • How I balance my family life and my professional life.
  • The most important rule in life
  • Teachers who inspired me in my college.
  • Why I love to write a diary
  • My favorite New York Times Article.
  • My favorite movie.
  • Personal advice for the youth of today.
  • How I overcame my stage fear.
  • The toughest decision I have ever made.
  • What I regret most

Need some inspiration to craft your essay? Our expansive list of narrative essay topics will provide you with plenty of ideas!

Personal Narrative Essay Writing Tips

You need to follow a few things in order to start your personal narrative essay in a proper way. Those significant things are as follows:

  • Think of a memorable event, an unforgettable experience, or any that you want to tell the readers.
  • Plan your narrative essay. Make yourself clear on the order in which you want to mention all the details.
  • Start your personal essay with a hook sentence. This will help you to grab the attention of the readers.
  • Use vivid language so that the reader can imagine the whole scene in mind. Describe the actions, mood, theme, and overall plot.
  • Make sure that you use descriptive language.
  • Use proper sentence structure.

In conclusion,

writing a personal narrative essay can be daunting for many students.

So, step into the world of professional essay writing with our specialized narrative essay writing service . We're committed to crafting compelling stories that capture and engage.

For added convenience and innovation, don't forget to check out our essay writer online , an AI tool designed to refine and elevate your writing experience. Join us today and transform your writing journey!

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

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your life story essay

College Essays That Worked: See Examples

Experts say a good college essay features a student's voice and personality.

Wide shot of diligent young woman sitting on the living room floor, studying for university and writing homework in her notebook.

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Students should know themselves and write authoritatively so they can share a sense of their lives with admissions officers.

Many college applications require a personal essay, which can be daunting for students to write.

But a few simple tips, some introspection and insight into what admissions officers are looking for can help ease the pressure. U.S. News has compiled several college essay examples that helped students get into school. Shared by admissions staff or referenced from admissions websites, these essays stand out, they say, because the student voices shine, helping the school get to know the applicants.

"Students can get caught in the trap of overthinking it and write the essay that's going to impress the admissions committee," says Andrew Strickler, dean of admission and financial aid at Connecticut College . "The best essays, the ones that really pop, are the ones that come across as authentic and you really hear the student's voice."

The essay gives schools a feel for how a student writes, but it's the content of the essay that matters most, admissions professionals say. In other words, while it's important to showcase sound grammar and writing, it's even more important to showcase your character and personality.

"I care more about their stories than if it is a perfect five paragraph essay," David Graves, interim director of admissions at the University of Georgia , wrote in an email.

Many schools give students a wide range of topics to choose from, which experts say can be beneficial in helping students find their voice.

While you want your voice to be apparent, it's wise to be aware of your tone, says Allen Koh, CEO of Cardinal Education, an admissions consulting company that works with students to craft and revise their college essays. The goal of the essay is to make a strong case for why you’re different from all the other applicants, not necessarily why you’re better, he adds.

"You have to pass the genuine likability test. Sometimes kids are so busy trying to brag or tell their story that they’re forgetting they have to sound like a likable person. That’s a very simple test, but it’s really important."

Good essays tend to be "positively emotional," he says. It's best to avoid using sarcasm because it tends to fail on college essays.

Any humor used "really has to be a very positive, witty humor, not sarcastic," which he says can be hard to pick up on in an essay.

The Perils of Using AI for Essays

Choosing the right tone can be a challenge for many students, but admissions pros encourage them not to take shortcuts to completing their essay.

Though some college professors have embraced artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT in their classrooms, Strickler says he's begun to stress in recent talks with high school audiences the importance of original work and avoiding the use of AI tools like ChatGPT to craft college essays. While it might produce a technically well-written essay and save time, your unique voice will be stripped away, and it may leave a bad impression on admissions offices as well as prevent them from truly getting to know you, he says.

Instead, Graves says, start early and take time to write it yourself, then "actually read it out loud to someone ... to listen to the rhythm and words as they are 'read.'"

Each spring on his admissions blog , Graves shares an enrolling student's essay and why it was strong. The essay excerpted below, shared with the permission of the University of Georgia, uses descriptive word choice and gives the admissions office deep insight into the student's life, their love for writing and their connection to their family, Graves says.

It was chosen as an example "to show our applicant pool how to express themselves through similes, sensory language (words that capture the senses of the reader), and emotion," Graves wrote on the blog.

Here's how the essay opened:

If you asked me what object I’d save in a burning fire, I’d save my notebook. My notebook isn’t just any notebook, it’s bubble gum pink with purple tie dye swirls, and has gold coil binding it together. But more importantly, it’s the key that unlocked my superpower, sending me soaring into the sky, flying high above any problems that could ever catch me. However, my notebook is simply the key. My real power rests in the depths of my mind, in my passion for writing. But to know how my powers came to be (not from a spider or a special rock), I must travel back to the first spark.
Four years ago, I wrote my first 6-word memoir in my eighth-grade rhetoric class. Inspired by my father’s recently diagnosed terminal illness, I wrote “Take his words, don’t take him”. It was as if all the energy of my powers surged into six meaningful words meant to honor the man that I would soon lose to a villain known as ALS. This was the first time I felt my writing. Three years ago, my dad’s disease severely progressed. The ALS seized his ability to speak and locked it in a tower with no key. The only way we could communicate was with an old spiral notebook. ...

The essay counted down each year ("three years ago," "two years ago," etc.) and concluded with this paragraph:

One month ago, I needed my powers more than ever before. I needed them to convey who I truly am for the chance at the future of my dreams as a writer. Except this time, I didn’t need the key because my powers grew into fruition. Instead, I opened my laptop only to type out one sentence… “If you asked me what object to save in a burning fire, I’d save my notebook.”

This style of storytelling, which shows not just the triumph at the end but also the conflict, struggle and evolution in between, makes for great essays, Koh says.

"The student also used an intriguing timeline (counting down years and month) to tell their story, and showed how she had grown," Graves says.

This next essay, by an anonymous writer and shared on Connecticut College 's admissions page , "manages to capture multiple aspects of the writer's personality, while not becoming overly cluttered or confusing," writes Susanna Matthews, associate director of admission at the school.

Every person who truly knows me believes that I was born in the wrong century. They call me "an old soul" because I'm a collector, attracted to books, antiques, vinyl records and anything from the 80's. But they also think I am unique in other ways. I believe it is because of the meaningful connections to my two languages and two cultures.
When we moved into our first American house, I was excited to decorate my new room. The first thing I knew I needed was a place to organize my most cherished possessions I have collected throughout my life. I searched and finally found a bookshelf with twenty-five thick sections that I could build and organize alphabetically ... Each shelf holds important objects from different parts of my life. ...
These books are a strong connection to my Brazilian heritage. They also remind me of the time when I was growing up in Brazil, as a member of a large Italian-Brazilian family.

The writer continues on, describing the types of books on each shelf, from Harry Potter to books used to learn English. They describe the bottom of the bookshelf housing some of their most prized possessions, like an old typewriter their grandfather gave them. They wonder about the words it has crafted and stories it has told.

As I grab my favorite Elvis vinyl to play, I can only wonder about the next chapter of my life. I look forward to adding new books, new friends, and a wide variety of experiences to my bookshelf.

"By placing one subject (the bookshelf) at the center of the piece, it lends some flexibility to layer in much more detail than if they had tried to discuss a few different interests in the essay," Matthews writes. "You learn a lot about the person, in a way that isn't in your face – a great thing when trying to write a personal essay."

Some colleges require a supplemental essay in addition to the personal statement. Typically, admissions pros note, these essays are shorter and focus on answering a specific question posed by the college.

The University of Chicago in Illinois allows students to submit essay prompts as inspiration for the admissions office and gives students some latitude in how they answer them. Essay prompts range from questions about the school itself to asking students to pick a question from a song title or lyric and give their best shot at answering it.

"We think of them as an opportunity for students to tell us about themselves, their tastes, and their ambitions," the school's admissions website reads. "They can be approached with utter seriousness, complete fancy, or something in between."

While the University of Chicago says there is no strict word limit on its supplemental essays, other schools prefer brevity. For example, Stanford University in California asks students to answer several short questions, with a 50-word limit, in addition to answering three essay questions in 100 to 250 words.

Georgia asks for a school-specific supplemental essay that's 200-300 words in addition to a 250- to 650-word personal essay.

"Sometimes a shorter essay response is not as polished an essay, but instead is a more casual, more relaxed essay," Graves says. "In addition, sometimes a student needs to get to the point or be concise, and this helps see if they can give us their story without overdoing it."

Other schools allow for a little more creativity in how the supplemental essay questions are answered. Babson College in Massachusetts, for example, gives students a 500-word limit to answer a prompt, or they can choose to submit a one-minute video about why they chose to apply to the school.

One student, Gabrielle Alias, chose to film a "day-in-the-life" video , which she narrated to answer the prompt, "Who Am I?"

"Visiting campus twice, I know I could see myself as one of the many interesting, innovative, and enticing students that come out of Babson," she says in the video. "But who am I you ask? I am a student. I am a reader. I am a researcher. I am a music lover. ... I am Gabrielle Alias and I am excited for who I will be as a graduate of Babson."

An essay by Babson student Bessie Shiroki, seen below, describes her experience in the school's admissions office and how she immediately felt comfortable.

I immediately smiled at the sight of my favorite board game. Babsonopoly. I love the combination of strategy and luck in this traditional family pastime. Seeing this on the wall in the admissions office gave me immediate comfort; I knew I was home.

Shiroki describes what she felt set Babson College apart from other schools, such as being surrounded by "sophisticated and mature individuals" and a tight-knit, entrepreneurial environment that would help her reach her career goals.

It is natural for me to be in a small class where more than one language is spoken. I am accustomed to discussions with diverse viewpoints, open minds, and where differences are seen as advantages. I embrace my cultural uniqueness, and I will add my voice to the community. I can’t imagine not continuing this in college.

She notes that as she toured the campus and saw students studying, she could see herself as one of them, feeding off of their studious and entrepreneurial energy. She mentions that Babson's Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship class got her attention immediately and she saw it as a launch pad for a future that included running a business.

Babson recognizes the potential of their students, and FME is a great way for young entrepreneurs like me to find our place in the business world and learn from our mistakes. I am capable of this challenge and will conquer it with tenacity. I will bring my dedication, commitment, and innovative skills to Babson College.
Now it’s my turn to pass go and collect my Babson acceptance letter. I’ve found my next challenge.

Babson College offers several tips for what make good essays, including a strong "hook" to engage the reader from the start and a topic that allows you to share something that's not as obvious on your application.

When it comes to writing a college admissions essay – whether personal or supplemental – experts advise students to follow these rules:

  • Find your voice.
  • Write about a topic that matters to you.
  • Share your personality.
  • Express yourself.
  • Proofread extensively.

With both traditional essays and supplemental essays, Koh says it's best to write long and work with someone you trust to edit it down. Teachers, friends and parents can all be helpful proofreaders, but experts note that the student voice should remain intact.

A good editor can help edit a long essay to keep the main message but with fewer words. “If I see 400 words, I know I’m a dozen drafts away from getting it to 650,” he says. “If I see 1200 words, we might just be one or two away. It’s at least going to be a shorter haul.”

Strickler encourages students not to stress too much over the essay or put unnecessary weight on it as part of their college application . While a strong essay helps, he says, it doesn't make or break an application.

"There's this sense that you write the most amazing essay and it gets you over the top because it opens the door to the pathway to the Magic Kingdom," he says. "But it's just one piece of a myriad of pieces that allow us to get to know a particular student and help us figure out if they're a good fit and how they're going to contribute to our community."

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your life story essay

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Personal Experience — My Background: Life Story as a Definition of You

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My Background: Life Story as a Definition of You

  • Categories: Personal Experience

About this sample

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Words: 1728 |

Published: Jul 1, 2021

Words: 1728 | Pages: 2 | 9 min read

The essay discusses the author's life experiences and how they have shaped their identity and outlook on life. The author's background is likened to a roller coaster, marked by uncertainty and unexpected turns. They emphasize that their experiences have defined them as a person.

The narrative begins with the author's family facing financial difficulties and violence in their home country. Eventually, their uncle sponsors their immigration to the United States, providing hope for a better life. However, upon arriving in the U.S., the author encounters challenges related to their identity and experiences racism and discrimination.

The essay highlights the author's struggle to fit in and be accepted in a new culture, including efforts to suppress their accent and conform to societal expectations. Despite these challenges, the author ultimately learns the importance of embracing their own background and culture.

Furthermore, the essay delves into the author's motivation to succeed in school, driven by their desire to support their family and provide a better life for their loved ones. They express concern for their family's safety back in their home country, which serves as a powerful motivation to excel academically.

Works Cited

  • Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and crisis. W. W. Norton & Company.
  • Kail, R. V., & Cavanaugh, J. C. (2017). Human development: A life-span view. Cengage Learning.
  • Lee, M. T., & Yoo, H. C. (2004). Model minority stereotype: Influence on perceptions of Asian American undergraduate students. Journal of College Student Development, 45(2), 140-149.
  • Mastro, D. E., Behm-Morawitz, E., & Ortiz, M. (2007). Latino representation on primetime television. Communication Research, 34(2), 165-188.
  • Nagayama Hall, G. C., & Barongan, C. (2002). Prejudice and race relations. In Handbook of multicultural psychology (pp. 483-499). Oxford University Press.
  • Rivas-Drake, D., Seaton, E. K., Markstrom, C., Quintana, S., Syed, M., Lee, R. M., ... & Yip, T. (2014). Ethnic and racial identity in adolescence: Implications for psychosocial, academic, and health outcomes. Child Development, 85(1), 40-57.
  • Rumbaut, R. G., & Portes, A. (2001). Ethnicities: Children of immigrants in America. University of California Press.
  • Sullivan, J. P., & Mueller, R. A. (2006). Bias-related violence against individuals with disabilities. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 17(1), 31-45.
  • Tatum, B. D. (2003). Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?: And other conversations about race. Basic Books.
  • Wong, C. A., Eccles, J. S., & Sameroff, A. (2003). The influence of ethnic discrimination and ethnic identification on African American adolescents' school and socioemotional adjustment. Journal of Personality, 71(6), 1197-1232.

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Home / Essay Samples / Social Issues / Moving to America / My Past, My Future, And My Present Life Story

My Past, My Future, And My Present Life Story

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  • Topic: Father , Immigration in America , Moving to America

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