What makes a narrative essay and memoir personal?
the blog-like page (below) provides acouple of opinions:
Personal narratives are often one of the first types of writing that you do. You write about yourself and experiences that you have encountered, read, or heard about. You can become much more engaged when your write about yourself in personal narratives because you are the expert on the topic of your life.
When you write stories from your own experience, you already have a plot.
Your job will be to make the story interesting – as interesting for your reader as it was for you when it happened. Lots of description, lots of action, and lots of dialogue will help your reader feel what you felt.
History or record composed from personal observation and experience. Closely related to autobiography, a memoir differs chiefly in the degree of emphasis on external events. Unlike writers of autobiography, who are concerned primarily with themselves as subject matter, writers of memoir usually have played roles in, or have closely observed, historical events, and their main purpose is describing or interpreting those events.
As a literary genre, a memoir (from the Latin memoria, meaning “memory”) forms a subclass of autobiography, although it is an older form of writing. Memoirs may appear less structured and less encompassing than formal autobiographical works as they are usually about part of a life, often a public part, rather than the chronological telling of a life from childhood to adulthood/old age. Most memoirs are written from the first person point of view.
Gore Vidal, in his memoir Palimpsest, adds another clarifying point for separating memoir from autobiography. He writes that “a memoir is how one remembers one’s own life, while an autobiography is history, requiring research, dates, facts double-checked.” It is more about what can be gleaned from a section of one’s life than about the outcome of the life as a whole.