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09/04/2019

How to write a personal narrative essay?

QUESTION
How to write a personal narrative essay?
Okay, so the prompt is what is my (or someone close to me) proudest moment. I may have an idea for it but I have noooo idea how to write it. I’m thinking about doing it about my cousin. She used to take art classes in Florence Italy for a year or two, she’s amazing. This summer when she came home the school called her and asked her to start teaching art classes there in Florence. So that’s where she is now. I have no clue how to turn that into a personal narrative…. Help?

ANSWER
Hello, Koolcid11!

It’s always a bit difficult to choose, probably among several possibilities, that one proud moment above others that warrants a written exposition; even more so when you are assuming that task on behalf of someone else. Obviously, you will have to focus on the event that filled you with such pride and whenever possible expand it. For example, you can opt for a direct approach: “The thing that made me proud, prouder than I’ve ever been in my life, was when she got the nod to begin teaching classes…” or you can turn it into a more evocative narrative. To wit: “The late autumn morning unfurled like an Impressionist painting–a bright, brisk day etched on a clear sky against which a few bilious clouds lazily floated by. The band struck up the anthem and platoons of freshly-uniformed, newly-minted warriors marched to its incessant beat. They approached their pre-determined positions on the parade field and stood erect, ready for that much anticipated denouement that took nine weeks of blood, sweat and furtive tears to achieve. By the end of the ceremony, a feeling welled up within me that escaped adequate description but the pride that overwhelmed me was real, for at that moment I realized that I had made it: I was a United States Marine.”

I didn’t make that up. But I took that unforgettable moment and expanded it to make that sense of pride almost tangible. In describing how it felt to see your friend achieve what is apparently a dream job, perhaps you can write a brief soliloquy on her past struggles and hopes; the path she took to get to where she is and why that choice has given you reason to be proud of her. And also mention love; we are always proudest of those whom we care for–when they have scaled unimaginable heights, spurred on by their indomitable faith and love. Write a tribute that will make her smile from ear to ear.