Personal Narrative Essay

Discovering the Power of Home and Family


To create a personal narrative which relates a true story/stories about you that enlightens readers, offers insights you’ve learned, reveals a truth about human nature, or uncovers another idea of thematic importance.
Readers who do not know you personally
An essay of personal tone but formal design
2+ typed pages, MLA format
October 20 in your GDrive folder
  • Producing Text
  • Using Language
  • Formal Writing
400 pts.


Some Strategies to Discuss:

  • Characters revealed through physical description, behavior, dialogue, words of others
  • An internal conflict provides meaning
  • Dialogue and punctuation are important
  • Narrative arrangement includes storyline and reflection
Some Sample Student Essays (pdf)
Sample 1Testing middle school friendships
Sample 2Cheerleading stunts challenge
Sample 3Mean Lego-throwing friendships
Sample 4Teenage welder learns more
Sample 5How one bad choice changes everything…
Sample 6For the love of cars
Sample 7The football injury forces a choice

Some Workshop Questions to Consider:

*1)  What good points are there to the paper?  What works well?  What do you notice about the paper?  What stands out?  Why?

2)  Where could the narrative use more details?

3)  What is the message or idea behind the story (the reflection)?  Explain your idea to the writer to see if it matches her idea.

4)  Is each paragraph on a single event, topic, or segment of time?  If not, how could the organization be made better?

5)  Does the paper have a clear introduction and conclusion?  What ideas can you offer for one?

6)  Does the paper use Stephen King Detail?  All the senses are used?  Good use of verbs?  Specific and physical details?  Cool metaphors?  

7)  Is there dialogue?  If so, is it punctuated correctly?

8)  For the writer, does the paper sound different when someone else reads it?  Why?  Are there places in the paper you need to work on to make the reader read it the way you want it to sound?

9) What other comments or changes does the group have about the paper?

10)  Is there any proofreading that needs to be done now?