How to write Personal Narrative Essay with Examples

personal narrative essay

Hello and welcome back again to our academic guide! I would like to call your attention, people! We have a new agenda today.

What’s our agenda today?

Today’s topic is about writing a personal narrative essay!

Ah yes! This is my most favorite essay to write. Perhaps because I use this form when I talk to my friends via social media. I love narrating my life experiences to my friends.

I will show you how to write a narrative essay. Don’t worry, I will give you an example too.

This will be the flow of our guide:

  1. What is a narrative essay?
  2. Personal narrative essay tutorial
  3. Personal narrative essay example
  4. Final notes

Are you ready? I will now lead you to the portal of knowledge.

What Is a Personal Narrative Essay?

what is a personal narrative essay

What comes to mind when you hear “narrative essays”?

Probably the words “stories”, “experiences”, and “anecdotes” come into your mind. Narrative essays allow you to creatively express yourself.

According to Jacqueline Goodwin of the San Jose Writing Center, personal writing essays “. . . communicates your understanding of yourself, others, and/or society”.

It is about sharing your story to your readers. You have to describe your emotions, surroundings, and etc. By the end of the day, your readers will gain something from you. Never fear, for your story and voice matters.

Personal Narrative Essay Outline

personal narrative outline

This is an outline you can use to write your narrative essay. As usual, you are free to change it according to your preferences.

  1. Introduction *
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Part 3 (thesis statement)
  2. Body
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Part 3
  3. Conclusion
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Part 3 (moral lessons)

*According to Santa Barbara City College, it is important to add information such as where the event was held, the year, and the characters (Ex: Yourself or friends and family).

How to Write a Personal Narrative Essay?

how to write a personal narrative essay

This will be a general guide on how to write your own personal narrative essay.

1.Recall and Introspect!

  • Be sure to choose an event that is fresh in your memory. It does not have to be recent. If you want to write about a vacation when you were nine-years-old- and you remember everything, then do so.

2. Outline and have your references ready!

  • You can outline if it helps you organize your thoughts.
  • References can be pictures you or other people (Ex: a family member) have taken. From my experience, it helped me motivate myself to keep working.

3. Free write!

  • You can include some elements such as descriptive language and voice.
  • Just let it all out! Remember that this is the free writing stage.
  • This is optional, but you can add dialogue to your personal narrative.
  • As much as possible, try to be as descriptive as you can.

4. Edit!

  • You are free to remove irrelevant details from your essay.
  • Remember to place a title!

Personal Narrative Essay Example

This is my example of a personal narrative essay. Kick back and relax!

The Lone Wolf and the Sense of Belongingness

It all started with a plan with my friend. We knew that there was an upcoming event- Ozine Fest- from April 28 to April 29 held on the fifth floor of a function room in a mall. Attendees have the option to go inside the function room by purchasing a ticket, stay outside, or both.

My friend and I agreed to meet on the second day via text. I was elated to the point that I flashed a smile out of anticipation. I met her on the second day of the event, however, little did I know that it would be one of the most fulfilling and memorable moments of my life.

It was time to change into my cosplay. Beads of sweat formed on my forehead. It was scorching hot despite having an electric fan turned on. The heat prickled my freshly bathed skin. I decided to switch on the air conditioner to cool myself off. I knew it would take a lot of time to prepare. The cool breeze from the air conditioner caused a rejuvenating sensation. I would not want to appear like a warrior drenched in sweat.

I gazed myself in the mirror. As usual, I mused on how different I looked in cosplay. I’m not a vain person by nature, but I admired the woman gazing back at me in the mirror. Needless to say, I felt more attached to the character I was cosplaying. It took 45 minutes to prepare myself. I hurriedly shoved my essentials and toy guns in my bag. I walked down the flight of stairs leading to the garage.

“Where’s your sword?” My father inquired in curiosity as I settled in the front seat.

“I don’t need it.” I straightforwardly stated. “I only need a gun.”

Anticipation surged through my veins. I’m going to meet her again! My father dropped me off at the entrance of the floor at around 2:15 pm. As I was walking to the fifth floor, I felt several pairs of eyes intently gazing at me with curiosity and bewilderment. I did not feel embarrassed, I have to show pride and confidence at what I’m doing.

The fifth floor was filled with people. I felt my surroundings warming up due to their body heat. I looked for my friend amidst the group of visitors and cosplayers standing or walking idly on the fifth floor. My friend called my attention as I was still attempting to desperately search for her in the crowd. I turned to the direction of her voice, and I barely recognized her! She was wearing a blue and white sailor uniform. She wore a dark brown wig with front bangs and thick locks of hair that cascaded past her shoulders. We locked each other in an embrace and briefly introduced me to her friends.

Everything happened in a blur. As my friend was preoccupied with meeting people, cosplayers and non-cosplayers alike courteously asked me to have a photo with them. It was overwhelming, since it has been around 30 minutes since I arrived. I even witnessed my friend having a brief photo session with other event attendees. I was able to acquaint with fellow cosplayers by that time.

We moved to an area leading to the food court. It was colder and less crowded. There were cosplayers sitting idly on the floor. Photographers stood with their equipment propped to the floor, and cosplayers were posing with finesse. I watched them in awe, captivated at the sight I witnessed. We sat on the table near the entrance of the food court.

An hour or so, we left the food court as my friend had to meet other people. We walked within the area and peculiarly, I was not exhausted. The excitement of forging new acquaintances made my blood boil with joy. My eyes scanned the area as my friend talked to the people she met up with. Photographers were taking pictures of cosplayers. Some were walking with their cameras clasped tightly between their hands, looking for other cosplayers to photograph. I chanced upon a two cosplayers reenacting an action scene. I observed the photographer expertly position himself behind each of the cosplayers, his camera focused on the person’s face.

I was eagerly approached by photographers, and gladly posed for them. I wanted to collect as much photos as I can, so I gave my name so that they can tag me on Facebook. A little later, my friend took me to meet her other friends and energetically introduced me. I had a group photo with them. One person suggested to go down at the third floor to have a photoshoot. It was a wonderful idea, as the guards were sternly telling cosplayers to vacate certain areas of the fifth floor.

There were fewer people on the third floor. It was not as noisy as a market compared the fifth floor. As usual, we were met with puzzled expressions from strangers. We had a photoshoot, taking advantage of the brick wall as our background. The acquaintances I met radiated with fervent enthusiasm.

It was around 6pm in the evening when we parted. Pain shot through my heart like an arrow, making it clench in pain. It would take months before I see them again. I thanked them, bid them goodbye, and walked in the opposite direction to rendezvous with my father.

I felt honored, as I do not usually have companions who are into cosplay. I wanted to meet people outside of my social circle. At that time, I did not feel like a lone wolf wandering aimlessly during events. For once, I finally experienced being part of a “pack”. The photos we had taken encapsulated our memorable adventure, eternally preserved in our memories. I knew I would meet them again if the stars aligned in our favor. Until the next event!



You have reached the end of my guide. I have a lot to tackle about that event, but I chose to focus on meeting my friend’s friends.

Personally, there are times when words cannot capture what you’re feeling. This is how I felt as I was reminiscing about this memorable experience. Writing a personal narrative sounds easy, but it’s quite challenging. Take on the challenge and learn.  

Good luck, my dear readers, and see you!

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