Purpose: The purpose is to describe a story in your life, detailing the account with dialogue, the main
events, setting, descriptions of people, and other personal observations.
Introduction: The introduction should engage the reader in the middle of your story, showing a general
scope of what happened and why the story is significant.
Body paragraphs: The body paragraphs should explain what happened in the story and how it has
impacted you and/or others. Here are a few things to keep in mind while writing the body paragraphs:
Audience: Don’t assume that your audience is familiar with the contents of your story. Include all relevant
Structure: The most used format is a chronological one (i.e. stating the events of your story in
chronological order), but this method may not be the most effective way. You can also use a flashback
approach, starting with your perspective from the present time and then discussing a past event. Also, you
can use a reflective approach, which offers insights about specific parts of your event but not necessarily
Literary Devices: Use similes, metaphors, alliteration, allusions, and imagery to provide concrete details
and support for your story.
Tense: Keep in mind what tense you want to use, whether present or past.
Dialogue: Dialogue can engage the reader into your story more, making the story’s realism become more
apparent. Determine if this element would help with the overall purpose of your personal narrative.
Conclusion: Your conclusion should further explain the impact this event had on you. Do not moralize in
your conclusion (i.e. Friendship is a good thing to have; drinking and driving is bad; etc.). Provide a more
complex view of your story. What does the story mean to you?