A memoir essay is the academic assignment that entails writingabout past events in your life, including:
- Fascinating stories;
- Important life lessons;
- Miraculous rescues or recoveries;
- Other intriguing personal experiences.
Unlike autobiographies, this paper isn’t designed to describe thewhole life, and it’s concentrated on some milestones whiledepicting them from your point of view. Some students think thatmemoir essays are very easy to write, but they’re wrong. Whenthey start writing, many of them are faced with quite a dauntingtask of telling life stories in a few pages. How to write amemoir essay? This helpful guide will tell you the right answer.
Basic steps for writing your memoir essay
Determine the main goal for writing this paper and how you willachieve it. For example, you may want to share your knowledge orwisdom, entertain readers, leave some heritage, and try to learnmore about your personality and past behaviors. Consider the mostremarkable events in your life and anything from criticaldecisions and conflicts to interesting lessons and beliefsbecause they all can be used as a helpful basis for your essaywriting.
Think about people who will be mentioned in your paper andprepare backgrounds for them. You should notify them all aboutyour intention to include them in your memoir essay because someof them may not be willing to be literary characters. Memoirs arenever based on fiction events because they’re focused only onreal experiences. Ensure that all dates, events, and facts thatyou include are accurate and true. Organize all materials thatyou want to use and determine their right order to be displayedand presented.
Write the first draft and keep in mind that it may turn into alengthy and complex process. Everything depends on the amount ofinformation that you use, free time that you have, and literaryskill levels. At this stage of your essay writing process, makethe first draft without being concerned with many details. Whenit’s finished, proofread and edit everything. You may ask otherpeople you know to read over your memoir essay because they willhelp you make the necessary corrections.
Topic selection for your essay
Students write memoir essays for different reasons, includingsharing, fixating, rethinking, and analyzing past events in theirlives. This type of academic writing refers to significantmoments, so your choice of a topic depends on the length of yourassigned paper. There are many possible topics to be considered,including:
- Vivid events from your childhood;
- Significant goals or achievements;
- Special people you will never forget;
- Your trip to any exotic place with surprising adventures;
- Overcoming obstacles in your life;
- Terrible or unpleasant events that turned out to bebeneficial;
- Your story of either personal success or defeat.
Key points to consider
It’s possible to write only one autobiography because you haveonly one life. However, you can write many memoir essays becauseyour life is full of interesting and unexpected events to beshared with others. This paper is a sort of your autobiographicalnovel, but it’s less formal than your autobiography. Anothermajor difference is that it has a different structure. Sometimes,it can be hard to grasp all interesting moments in your life thatyou want to describe. One of the easiest methods to achieve thisgoal is to divide your lifeline into special periods to observeeach one separately. Your honesty is an important element towrite a successful memoir essay. You need to be honest not onlywith the audience, but also with yourself. Keep your notebookclose to you when completing this assignment because you willalways be able to write down interesting observations or ideasthat can become useful materials for your essay.
Memoir writing do and don’t
Read the memoir essays written by other students, especially ifthey’re successful, as they will help you learn a lot. Forinstance, it’s possible to write the best writing techniques andtools. Create vivid descriptions and set a regular schedule forthe number of pages or words that should be written on a dailybasis and adhere to it. You also need to set a specific time forwriting exercises.
Write the personal story that is interesting for other people toread, and this means that it should contain enough tension andconflict. Inform other people about their presence in yourwriting work because some of them may not want to be mentioned.Alter their names or use pseudonyms when needed. Write about yourunique and significant personal experiences and make sure thatyour chosen event is worth mentioning in this paper.
Things to avoid in your memoir essay
Avoid writing this paper chronologically because some of the mostinteresting books and thrilling movies start from the mostintriguing or turning moment and their culmination beforereturning to the beginning to show the audience how things cameto this point. This simple and effective writing technique willhelp you capture the attention of all readers from the first lineand make them want to find out more.
Don’t worry about any punctuation, stylistic, and grammarmistakes when writing the first draft. If you start editing yourmemoir essay simultaneously while writing it, you’re quite likelyto lose its main point and go into unimportant details. Avoidgetting attached to any specific format because it will onlylimit your creativity. Don’t include any minor detail becausesome life aspects aren’t necessary to be described in your paper.Avoid writing it as your autobiography because your memoir essayis heavily based on personal emotions and feelings. Focus it onspecific reflections, attitudes, and moods toward specific lifeevents.
Common mistakes when writing memoir essays
- Ignoring story details only because they can hurt otherpeople;
- Doing your best to write perfectly and focusing too much onideal writing;
- Forgetting to include the backgrounds of other peopleinvolved in the story that you’re telling readers;
- Depicting yourself as a flawless person;
- Forgetting to describe the feelings of characters who appearin your memoir essay.
Be polite when writing about others in your paper. However, it’ssenseless to worry that they may feel uncomfortable due to thefacts depicted in your memoir. Feel free to change their namesand rearrange specific details or circumstances. Don’t ignore aperfect story idea only to spare the feelings of other people.
It’s not necessary to tell readers your full biography, but youressay should be clear. It may be tempting to picture yourself asa worthy hero, but it distorts the reality if it’s not true.Analyze your personal drawbacks and flaws to expose them alongwith positive traits and show readers that you understand them.They will appreciate your sincerity because purely goodcharacters look boring and false. Keep in mind that theexpression of human emotions is one of the most important aspectsof writing a memoir.
The structure of your memoir essay
As you already know, a memoir essay is your personal narrativethat should include the reflective element focused on a majortheme or motif. Be sure to structure all paragraphs correctly toearn high marks. When writing the introduction, include theseelements:
- A hook that states your personal story and grabs readers’attention;
- Setting the scene and providing the information necessary tounderstand this story;
- Your thesis statement to identify the main theme thatconnects it to readers.
The main body should consist of the following:
- Plot, including a beginning, middle and end;
- Showing instead of telling and using sensory details to letthe audience to imagine the entire scene;
- Smooth transitions to connect all essay paragraphs to eachother.
A concluding paragraph of your memoir essay should contain themain theme and its reflection while answering a few basicquestions:
- How did this event affect your whole life?
- What important lessons did you learn?
Do research on yourself to come up with some interesting ideas tobe included in your memoir essay. Select a climax because thispaper should be focused on the life experiences and events thathold their particular significance, unlike straightforwardpersonal essays. Although some memoir essays aggrandize theirwriters, most readers connect passionately to the frank wordsthat offer real-life scenarios and resonated characters. By itsnature, this academic assignment is shorter, but they stillrequire honesty and your own voice. Finally, you should becritical when writing and editing this paper, which may turn intoa daunting task. Be sure to do a good job at picturing yourselfand sharing the intended message.
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