Personal Narrative Epiphany Essays

Telling a Story

For all its charm and sometimes apparent aimlessness, an essay has a skeleton, an underlying structure that makes it work. Often it’s the age-old structure of a story. By “story” I don’t mean “something that happened,” but a story in the formal sense of the term: somebody (in this case, you) wants what they can’t have and tries to get it. The end resolves the problem. Almost every movie, every novel, every short story, has this structure, and no wonder. A story is a world where every character, every action, has meaning and purpose. A story is why we read: it’s life arranged to fill the basic human need that life have purpose, that events lead somewhere, add up to something. A story takes random events and gives them meaning. It takes life and gives it meaning.

An essay that tells a story (called a narrative essay) has these elements:






The character is you—which is why we want to know and like you.

You have a problem: you are, say, stranded at home because you don’t have a car.

You struggle to solve your problem. This can be several actions: You take a part-time seamstress job to get the money for a car. You take driving lessons.

Epiphany: You realize something that changes you. For example, you realize you wanted a car so you can leave your husband.

Resolution: You do something that shows you really did change. You get the
car anyway.

In between these major story elements, we get image and detail, tone, fantasy, memory, style and language and the other elements that draw us into any pleasurable reading experience.


You are the “I” voice of the book. Cells snapped into something singular when you came along — and that’s what you want to get on the page. It’s not enough to tell us what happened — let us know who it happened to. This is where tone comes in, and images, both of which I deal with in future chapters.

In the rest of this book, by the way, you will find that I sometimes say “you” and sometimes “the narrator.” Once you hit the page, you are the narrator, the one telling the story, and the one to whom, in autobiographical writing, it is happening.


In an essay that appeared in the Chronicle, my student Marilyn Penland’s problem appears in the first paragraph: “I have hundreds of images of her from our nine years of life together, but the sound of my mother’s voice eludes me.” The middle of the story gives us the only four sentences she can remember her mother speaking. At the end, she realizes that she sounds just like her own mother, and her daughter sounds like her. “I hear my daughter’s voice and know my mother is speaking to me from across the years … I no longer wish I had more words from my mother.”


If the beginning (also called a lede, or lead) of your essay describes the problem, then the middle shows you trying to solve it: you try something, you react, and a new obstacle pops up. These two — action, reaction and new obstacle may be repeated several times, depending on the length of the essay and the complexity of the struggle. (If this process is long and complex, you have a memoir.)

Some obstacles will be external: you want a car, but don’t have the money, your husband doesn’t want you to have a car, or you can’t drive. If you stay with purely external obstacles, though, it won’t be as interesting (we can read a how-to article on how to buy a car). The interesting obstacles will be internal: you are afraid of driving because your parents died in an automobile accident. You hesitate because you sense that once you get the car, it will help you steer a course out of your marriage.

Here’s an example of an action and reaction in “Without Me, I’m Nothing,” an essay that San Francisco writer Bonnie Wach wrote about her post-partum depression. One of her many actions to make herself feel better is to join a baby support group. This is her reaction, which shows us that she will have to try something else:

Even in places where I should have felt some kind of kinship — new mom’s classes, support groups — I was an outsider. Happy new mothers made my flesh crawl. Trust me when I tell you that nothing can drive a depressed mom to the bottom of a shame spiral faster than a circle of blessed-out breast feeders happily comparing burping techniques, smug and satisfied in the certainty that they are exactly where they’re supposed to be, doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing. Saying that your infant feels like one of those animal leg traps, and that you’re contemplating chewing off your own foot to get away from it, isn’t exactly the stuff of baby chitchat.


Bonnie’s paragraph also shows how you get yourself across in an essay — become someone with such an interesting voice that we want to follow you around as you wrestle with your problem. In The Art of the Personal Essay, Phillip Lopate refers to this as “the need to assert a quite specific temperament.”

Outlining the Essay

Before we go on to epiphany and resolution, let’s look at outlining the essay. It’s a handy way to get a quick sense of where the piece is going, what to put in and what to leave out. (Later we’ll see that drawing an arc does the same for the memoir writer.) You can try to outline it like this:

I wanted _____

I wanted it because (back story) _____(this is where character comes in)

To get it, I _____ (action)

However, something got in my way: (there may be several actions/reactions sequences depending on length) _____

I had to try something different, so I _____

All the time I was thinking that _____

The turning point came when_____

When that happened, I realized _____

Resolution: After that I _____

My student Rita Hargrave, a psychiatrist by day who now carries dance shoes in the trunk of her car, used this exercise to plan an essay on how she got into salsa dancing:


I wanted to go salsa dancing

I wanted it because I was bored and alone and it seemed as good an idea as any.

To get it I headed for a salsa club recommended by a hotel maid.

But some things got in the way: The cab driver did not want to drive to a Latino neighborhood, and once I got there the bartender at the club was hostile, and there were no empty chairs or tables.

So I asked one of the women who was seated with friends if I could use the empty chair.

But I couldn’t dance.

So I told myself not to worry about it.


The turning point came when An elderly man embraced me, danced with me, and I passionately connected with him. When the older man clasped my hand and started dancing with me, I realized that what I really wanted was an emotional and physical connection with a man and to be seen as desirable and seductive, and that I could do that as a salsa dancer.

Resolution: I found the passion and caring that I was searching for in my life. I have been a salsa dancer ever since.

An outline will sketch the story in the order it happened, but an essay doesn’t necessarily have to be written in chronological order (in fact it’s often better to start at a point near the end). A story is a series of events recorded in the order they happened, but a plot is that same story rearranged for maximum effectiveness.



The End/Epiphany

If you’re having trouble with one of your stories, it could be missing an ending. If your story is about buying a house in remote Mono Lake, for example, and you are still torn over whether moving there is a good idea, you can’t yet write an essay with a conclusion. You want to avoid such unresolved, ongoing stories — your conflict with your sister, your penchant for picking the wrong men, your patients with their same old stories.

try this:

Summarizing your story in 200 words or less will help you see if you have an ending or not.


My father was going to die. I knew that if I didn’t confront him with all these angry feelings I had that I would be stuck with them after he died. I confronted him at his house in Minneapolis, MN, told him how angry I was at him, and threw a Polaroid camera on the floor. He was amazed. Not mad — amazed that I felt that way. He had no idea. I felt much freer after that. AND THEN…he didn’t die. So we had around ten years after that in which we had a nice relationship with most of the baggage just dropped overboard…

The end of the essay must in some way resolve the problem brought up in the beginning. Since the problem will be internal — the narrator in conflict with herself or himself at least as much as with outside forces — the solution will be internal too. The solution won’t be getting the car. It will be deciding to get the car.

You can thinkof the essay in its simplest terms as problem-solution.

Problem: My husband makes unrealistic marital demands (clean house, sex four times a week, wife stay in shape) one month before the wedding.

Solution: I realize that his demands are the result of cold feet and marry him anyway.

Problem: I hate the large, ugly dining room furniture my mother insists on hauling from small apartment to small apartment.

Solution: One day while dusting the French sideboard I see how it forms a link to our family’s story.

In an essay, the solution is the moment of change that’s called an epiphany. This was James Joyce’s word for the moment where things change irrevocably in a flood of new understanding. Magazines, more prosaically, call it the payoff, or the take-home point. The epiphany is what turns a mere story —
or what might have remained an anecdote — into an essay.

You may have heard teachers stress that the point of an essay is to show, but showing is not enough. The reader knows you actually lived through the experience you’re describing — he expects you to understand what happened and have reflected on what it meant.

Let’s look at an epiphany April Martin wrote in The New York Times in a piece about taking up ice skating in her forties:

Skating has helped me to reclaim the body with which I spent too many years at war. I stop briefly to reflect on the apparent contradictions: I have deepened and matured as a woman in a sport geared to little girls. And I am now nourished and replenished by a sport whose standards of femininity were once a form of bondage. Though I bring to the ice the painful bunions and chronically stiff muscles of middle age, I also bring one of its benefits: the increased capacity for living comfortably with contradictions.

I’ve read that a hundred times, and am still moved every time I read it. That last phrase is even alliterative: “the increased capacity for living comfortably with contradictions.”

Admittedly, some epiphanies give the whole business a bad name, like the one a guy wrote in a New York Times piece about how he had his girlfriend’s smelly dog foisted on him, and then how he got to like the dog. He concluded: “Because their emotions are so pure, dogs can often touch the deepest part of us. And in so doing, they might in their own way prepare us to understand ourselves.”

That’s the kind of epiphany that makes a reader go, “Huh?” You can substitute anything as the subject of that sentence and it will make about as much sense: “Because their emotions are so pure, angry geese can often touch the deepest part of us. And in so doing, they might in their own way prepare us to understand ourselves.”

(It’s a good idea in fact to avoid the “we” sort of epiphany altogether, as it tends to make the reader growl, “Speak for yourself, buddy.”)

A good epiphany is surprising, not cloying or trite. It doesn’t condescend, or offer a predigested insight. My friend Wendy Lichtman had an awful thing happen to her: a doctor told her that she was dying of liver cancer. Days later, she learned that she wasn’t: the “cancer” the X-ray was seeing were harmless birthmarks on her liver. At the end of the essay she wrote about that scare, she said:

I know people might expect me to say that the experience taught me to better appreciate my life, to savor every moment. But it doesn’t seem to have worked out that way. What I appreciate, in fact, is that I don’t have to feel as if each moment is a treasure. Now when I watch my children do their homework, it’s not a particularly touching experience; it feels, instead, like the normal business of a school night. That normality is what I’m most grateful for.

The epiphany transforms your story from a window into your life into a mirror where the reader sees himself. You can test this out: If you write a piece about your mother, and your reader starts talking about her mom, the piece works. I often wrote columns about my wreck of a dad living in a truck in the Mohave Desert. If someone came up to me at a party and started to talk to me about my father, I’d be embarrassed. Was I writing a soap opera? But if someone read the column and then told me about how he flew across the country to see his 87-year-old father, how the two of them sat up late, drinking scotch, and that he blurted out to his dad, “I think I came here to tell you I love you,” and then burst into tears — then I’d know the column worked.

Let’s return to April Martin’s piece about ice skating. You say, Fine. I’m so glad this Martin person found meaning in her new hobby. But I don’t live in New York, am not middle-aged, was not once a feminist, and don’t skate. What does Martin’s experience have to do with me?

Well, nothing maybe. But you might recognize a truth in what she says — a truth for yourself, as well as for her. Maybe you too have done something out of character that’s surprisingly satisfying, like a student of mine who was violently anti-gun until she discovered the local shooting range.

If there’s any justification for telling personal stories, it’s that every person, every selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, including you, including me, contains within himself the entire human condition (as Montaigne pointed out). If you can tell me you made sense of something in your life, it can give me a moment — a fleeting flash — where I get the distance necessary to understand my own struggles. That connection between Martin’s experience and your own? It’s what you get to keep when you put the article down. It’s the door prize, the booty bag.

By the way, not all pieces need epiphanies. Humor pieces don’t. I discovered this when I sent a piece on my son Patrick’s birth to Parenting magazine. They wanted me to put in the epiphany (you will find magazines are big on this: they want the reader to have that “take-home point”). I tried to put it in — magazines pay well — but it kept sounding stupid. You can’t write a piece in which you crack jokes (“I was going to give the doctor one more chance to give me drugs, and then I was going to try to get somebody with real connections, like a screenwriter”), and then suddenly stop and say in a completely different tone, “Until you have a second child, you don’t know how you can love another the way you do your first.”

Opinion pieces don’t have epiphanies either: opinion pieces are not about change. You start out in favor of the return of the martini and end up in favor of it. They’re rants, or arguments.

Writing the Epiphany

There are two kinds of epiphany. An implicit epiphany shows us the change wordlessly. This kind is what you see in fiction, and especially in movies, which can only show, not tell. In the scene at the end of “The Paper Chase,” Timothy Bottoms, after sweating through a year of Harvard law school, even taking a motel room to cram for finals, doesn’t even open his grades when they come, but throws the envelope into the waves: we get it that he no longer cares about his law-school grades.

An explicit epiphany, on the other hand, spells out the realization, as in this piece by a woman who lost her parents when as an infant she was thrown from the car that killed them both:

We were together for only a few months, I want to tell them, but I am grateful for what memories I can collect, even if they are secondhand. Looking at you now from across the years may not tell me what kind of family we might have been, but it reminds me to treasure the life I’ve made, even if I was not the fairy tale princess I once imagined myself to be.

an excerpt from Naked, Drunk and Writing by Adair Lara


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A personal narrative essay is a story about oneself. 

There is usually a point to the story—a theme that is generated over the course of the action, or an idea that is reached at the conclusion that provides enlightenment.

The narrative can be humorous, joyous, dramatic, gentle, straight-forward or even surprising.

The key is to provoke a response in your reader—to trigger an emotion, a thought, a memory—something that makes the reader feel thankful for having read your work

Thankful why?—well, that is up to you.

If your story is happy, great!  If you story is sad, fine!  There really are no rules.

Indeed, it is all about how one chooses to tell one’s own story.

Since it is your story, there’s no right or wrong way to do it.

However, there is a basic structure that you can follow to ensure your personal narrative essay stays on the right track.

In this article, we’ll examine this type of essay from a number of perspectives:  we’ll provide you with an outline, an example, some topic ideas, and hints on how to get started.

Table of Contents

What Is a Personal Narrative Essay / Definition

A personal narrative essay is one of the few types of essays in which the 1st person point-of-view is the accepted point-of-view.

Typically, essays require you to speak in the 3rd person.

Rarely is it recommended that you use “I,” “me,” “my,” “we,” or “our” in a formal paper.

However, the personal narrative is that rare exception:  it is the time when you get to be you!

The reason is simple:  the essay is supposed to be about you!  So embrace it!  Let your inner you shine and tell a story about yourself.

Personal narratives commonly serve as an occasion for you to reflect on some period in your life wherein you experienced growth, an epiphany, a problem that you overcame, or some phenomenon that left a deep impression on you.

They don’t have to be heavy and overly serious, however.

They can be as light and frolicsome as you’d like.

There should be a beginning, a middle, and an end—just like in any story.

And there should be some point to it.

A personal narrative that goes nowhere might leave your reader feeling unfulfilled.

Still, if you feel such a narrative would best reflect your sense of yourself and what you want to express, then don’t be shy:  let it out the way you prefer.

(Just try to give the reader a little explanation as to why you feel such a reflection is appropriate!)

Personal Narrative Essay Outline

If you’re going to tell a story, you need to have a structure.

The best kind of structure for a story is the simple beginning/middle/end structure.  Introduce yourself to the reader using bold imagery.

Move on to the story, and direct the action towards some climax or endpoint.  That’s all there is to it!

To better organize your thoughts, create an essay outline.  A basic outline will look like this:

I.  Introduction

a.  The Hook Sentence

i.  Grab the reader’s attention

ii.  Introduce the reader to your subject—which is you

II.  Body

a.  Get into the story

i.  Where were you?

ii.  Where are you?

iii.  Where are you going?

b.  Provide details to make the narrative feel vivid and alive.

i.  Your reader has 5 senses

ii.  Try to appeal to each one by using descriptors (adjectives and adverbs) to create effective story-telling

c.  Let the narrative proceed logically

i.  Don’t jump around too much in the narrative

ii.  Keep it simple: allow it to progress thematically, organically or chronologically

III.  Conclusion

a.  Embrace the themes or ideas that the narrative has constructed

b.  Close out the narrative with a reflection of the journey just completed

Now let’s see this outline get put to use, shall we?

How to Write a Personal Narrative Essay

Once you have your topic in hand, all you need to do is start writing.

An outline will help you stay focused, so be sure to sketch out a brief one before beginning.

After you have that completed, just let the words flow.

Some tips to help you along the way:

  • Use imagery to bring your writing to life
  • Support your story with lots of details
  • Use dialogue when appropriate to keep your writing from becoming too monotonous
  • Explain the situation with a little back story if possible
  • Show—don’t tell
  • Be creative: this is your opportunity to let the inner you shine!

How to Start a Personal Narrative Essay

Okay, so getting started really is one of the hardest things to do when writing.

But with a personal narrative essay, it can be easy!

What you want to focus on is finding the right hook.

This means your essay should start off with a bang—a catch—a line or two that brings the reader into the essay.

The hook should lead into the main idea of the essay.

It should also, in some way, reflect the title of your essay.

By reflecting on the title, you provide a quick, rapid-fire one-two combination on the reader.

The reader will have no choice but to come along!

The title, hook, and main idea should all cooperate:  keep them aligned so that your writing is focused and concise.

You do not want to be all over the place with your narrative—that is too distracting and indicates poor judgment on the writer’s part.

Be critical of your writing:  edit, refine, and retool so that it is the best it possibly can be.

Once you have your introduction down, move on to main body of your essay and fill in the details that your intro should promise to deliver!

Personal Narrative Essay Topics

You can choose almost anything when it comes to writing a personal narrative essay.

Think about your life and what makes it special, fun, meaningful or interesting.

Think about stories that you have told that made others laugh or cry or feel inspired.

Mine these places for potential essay topics.

To help you get started, consider some of these for example:

  • A religion that has guided you
    • Beliefs can be a great topic for a personal narrative essay: they allow you to explain how you arrived at them, what they mean, and how you manifest them in your life.
  • A sport you played as a child
    • Sports build character—and when you’re a kid they can teach you a lot of things. Whether you played baseball, football, soccer or tennis, describe your experiences in sports and what sort of things you learned.
  • A birthday celebration
    • Birthdays let us know that we’re getting older. They also bring us together with friends and family.  You give and receive presents, have a party and celebrate life.  Tell about one particular birthday (yours or a loved one’s) that was particularly special.
  • A holiday spent with family
    • The holidays can be fun but they can also be stressful. Do you have any great holiday stories?  If so, share!
  • A journey abroad to another country
    • Nothing creates content for a great narrative like a journey to another country. Foreign places are new and exciting and offer their own unique challenges to visitors.  Describe some of them and what they meant to you.
  • A job you held one summer
    • A summer job is a time of growth, learning, and maturation. They can also be super fun.  Combine these two perspectives into your essay.
  • A friend you made and the adventures you had
    • Friendships can be some of the most meaningful things in your life. They teach you to care for another person, to be there, to laugh, and to be supportive.
  • An epiphany you experienced through reading or living your life
    • There’s nothing like a flash of insight to give your life a new perspective entirely. Take an epiphany you once experienced and tell about how it shaped you.
  • A dream you had
    • Dreams take us into new places and open us to things we might not necessarily otherwise consider. Do they have deeper meaning?  Discuss!
  • An event that humbled you
    • Humbling experiences are very meaningful and can be a great source of information for a personal narrative essay.
  • An event that inspired you
    • Inspiration is another great topic. Tell a story about an event that inspired you to pursue a degree, apply for a job, do something special or move to a new place.
  • An event that terrified you
    • Essays don’t have to always be upbeat: you can simply describe a story in which you were scared out of your mind.  Build it up for the reader and provide a resolution so that your reader isn’t left on the edge of their seat!
  • An event that made you change your life
    • Sometimes we go through life without ever questioning our position or trying something new. Then all of a sudden we do something that seems so completely out of the blue that everyone around us is left scratching their heads.  Can you describe such an experience?
  • A decision you made that you could not go back on
    • Describe a time when you made a decision or a commitment to a course of action that you had to follow through on. Tell how it made you feel, why you couldn’t back out, what it compelled you to do, how you came out in the end, and what you learned from it.  Tell whether you were glad in the end or whether you still regret it!

Personal Narrative Essay Example

Title:  Why I Became a Realtor

First off, I didn’t know I was becoming a Realtor till I signed on with a broker and “they” told me, “Of course you need to fork over more cash for another meaningless title that you will be told is very important and significant, etc., etc.”  Already in a none-too-comfortable position but with credit card in hand, I allowed myself to be persuaded and handed said card over for another swipe.  That is why I became a Realtor.

But why did I become a real estate agent?  (And, yes, there is a difference.  Don’t ask me what it is, because when “they” were telling us the difference, my brain fogged over and I stared out the window and waited for them to stop talking).

I tell myself now that I became a real estate agent for the simple reason that I wanted to buy a house and didn’t like having to depend on an agent to go look at them.  They have their schedules; I have mine.  They have their reasons—I typically eschew reason.  I’d call up an agent or two and feel like I was waking a sleeping dog when I would ask to see a house pronto and would they please show it to me.  At first, I thought they would love to do just that.  When none of them communicated this love to me (after all, I had not taken the requisite steps of speaking with a lender, getting pre-qualified, or produced a letter from my bank indicating that I had sufficient funds to make a cash offer), I realized there was more to this business than I understood.  I decided to know more about it, and thanks to several kicks from my wife I did not abandon this decision when class time began and I saw immediately what I was in for.

We learned all sorts of things in real estate class—such as how to use math to figure out annual compounded interest of xyz, etc., etc., (though even still I am not sure what that means), metes and bounds, FHA, something about brokerages and licenses, and on and on.  The man who ran the real estate academy from which I graduated was very nice and kind enough to put together a study guide for the real estate exams, one which I completed online and one which had to be taken at a physical location under the watchful eye of a proctor (because being a real estate agent is like delivering the mail—they won’t let just anyone do it—ahem—an aside I make in irony because I was once denied a position driving a mail truck as a result of a blighted driving record…).

Miraculously, I passed both the federal (?—was it federal?—national?—I forget—it was all of 3 months ago…) and the state portions of the exam in the same sitting.  The sun shone that day as I left the facility (or perhaps it was raining, as I said it was all of 3 months ago…) with certificate in hand, and off I went to go hang my license in a broker’s office.  Hang, that is, after I finished applying for it and waited with nervous anticipation to see whether anything else from my past would come back to haunt me.  Apparently not.

One of the first things “they” asked when I finally settled on a broker was:  “What made you want to get into real estate?”  I had to pause and think about that.  (I imagined they were trying to answer the question for themselves and were looking for some clue…as in—Is it possible that so many people could be duped by the local association of Realtors into thinking that real estate is an easy means towards financial wealth?).  Indeed, in all the excitement of obtaining a license, I’d begun, in celebratory mood, to envision myself making hundreds of thousands of dollars as deals fell into my lap—because, hey, who doesn’t need a real estate agent?

Eyeing them suspiciously, I did my best to not answer their question as I did not wish to expose the fact that I did indeed intend to make millions in real estate (lest someone else get the bright idea to do the same and elbow in on my market).  Over the course of my initiation, however, I realized that pretty much everyone there had the same idea as I did—and there were many, many agents already in the field ahead of me.  In fact, I determined that there was practically already a Realtor in every family.  Sometimes two.  I felt late to the party.

But rather than humor my disappointment, I realized I ought to have another reason for wanting to be a Realtor.  Surely competition was stiff—and I do not enjoy competition—so I needed new motivation.  As I reflected over the course of my initiation, I found in the recesses of my mind that I simply liked the idea of being able to go look at houses for myself whenever I wanted.  And for this privilege I was willing to fork over upwards of $200 a month—to the brokerage for allowing me the privilege of hanging my title in their window, and to the local association of Realtors…for…hm, I am still not sure what for.  Nonetheless, I felt contented with this line of reasoning.

Does it suffice still?  Let me answer that question by providing the following observation.  One thing I have noticed about the world of real estate is that it resembles a giant used car lot—except instead of clients coming to the lot to make a purchase, you the Realtor must find them and help them to see why they should make a purchase.  In a market that is frothy (and likely to get frothier?—in truth, I do not even know what a “frothy market” means, but I am certain Google could tell us, so let us not worry about that…), assisting individuals in throwing money away is not something that makes me feel like a good person.  (Are they throwing money away?  Or is it only I who throws money away…?)  Moreover, I have no interest in tracking down clients and pressuring them into sales that they might otherwise whole-heartedly regret/avoid.  When a tidal wave of foreclosures finally tsunamis the planet, perhaps then I will be glad to assist people in the buying of a new (used) home.  No doubt, they will wash up on my doorstep pleading for assistance.  I am already licking my chops.  Till then, I will sit and wait.  And pay my E & O insurance.  And my brokerage desk fees.  Any my local association of Realtor fees.  And my tech fees.  And on and on.  And, do you know?—I fully expect to be completely flat broke soon.  Perhaps that is why I became a Realtor!—I wanted to know what it felt like to be poor.

With that said, in time I hope to discover something about this industry and/or myself, and/or buy a house finally, hopefully with cash but more probably with the help of financing (and hopefully not one that requires me to get loan insurance—I hate all forms of insurance; speaking of which, my E & O needs to be renewed).  Where did I put my credit card?

Why This Essay Works

This narrative essay works because it hits all the right notes that a good narrative essay should hit:

  • It scores with a title that suggests a unique experience will be described in the paper.
  • It starts off with a bang by landing a great “hook” in the first line.
  • It uses self-deprecating humor to really let the personality of the writer shine and keep the reader amused.
  • It stays on topic and doesn’t deviate from the main point of the narrative.
  • It uses dialogue to help advance the action of the narrative and provides the reader with a sense of the narrator’s stream of thought.

How We Can Make Your Essay Work for You

When it comes time to write your own narrative essay, you’ll need to find some topic that you can focus on and describe in detail.

Easier said than done, right?

Hey, we know how hard it is to organize one’s thoughts and execute a plan.  But we also do this professionally.

Just like a teacher gets used to teaching lessons to students, our writers are used to providing clients with original model essays that are 100% tailored to meet the needs of students such as you.

You can take our model essay, based on your parameters, and use it as a guide when you go to write your own narrative essay.  In other words, you place an order, upload your instructions (the details or particulars of the narrative you’re tackling), and we write up a model paper that shows how we’d do it if we were in your shoes.

We’re in the business of teaching by example—so order now—and let us give you a great custom written example of how you can turn your own experience into a stellar narrative essay.


Writing a personal narrative essay is a great way to express yourself and communicate a meaningful experience to another person.

You can adopt a comical tone or a serious tone—either or will work so long as you are being yourself.

So remember, don’t sell yourself short:  you are an interesting person.

You have a story to tell.

Even if it’s something as simple as sitting in your room, pouring over your own thoughts:  there’s a story there—so let it out.

When you write a personal narrative, you are the subject, the actor, and the director.

You decide how everything should go.

The audience is to receive what you hand on.  Don’t imagine that you have nothing to give:  it’s not true!

You have everything to give, so get going!

Latest APA Format (6th edition)

How to Write a Personal Narrative Essay (Beginners Guide). (2017, September 14). Retrieved from

Latest MLA Format (8th edition)

"How to Write a Personal Narrative Essay (Beginners Guide)." Student Network Resources Inc, 14 September. 2017. Web. 8 March 2018.

Latest Chicago Format (16th edition)

Student Network Resources Inc. "How to Write a Personal Narrative Essay (Beginners Guide)." (accessed March 8, 2018).
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