Personal experience essays
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 25

Personal Experience Essays PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 127 Views
  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Personal Experience Essays. 3 Tips to a better style. Writing a Personal Experience Essay. Your personal essay will usually be a story of a memory.  In order to make your essay interesting you will need to think about three things : Content Structure Style.

Download Presentation

Personal Experience Essays

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Personal experience essays

Personal Experience Essays

3 Tips to a better style


Writing a personal experience essay

Writing a Personal Experience Essay

  • Your personal essay will usually be a story of a memory. 

  • In order to make your essay interesting you will need to think about three things:

  • Content

  • Structure

  • Style


Writing a personal experience essay1

Writing a Personal Experience Essay

  • Content

  • What you write: (events/experiences/description/thoughts/feelings/reflection)

  • Structure

  • The order in which you give your account

  • Style

  • The language techniques that you use to convey your experience, thoughts and feelings


Writing a personal experience essay2

Writing a Personal Experience Essay

  • The download on the website ‘Personal Experience Essays’ will help you plan your content. Complete that worksheet before starting this so you have some existing essays to work on.

  • This presentation will help you improve the style and structure of your essays.


Writing a personal experience essay3

Writing a Personal Experience Essay

  • 3 Techniques for improving Style:

  • baby steps

  • exploding the moment

  • thought shots


1 baby steps

1. Baby Steps

  • used to describe an action step by step—or baby step by baby step. 

  • Baby steps give the reader meaningful details.


He walked through the doorway

“He walked through the doorway.”

  • I grasped the cold doorknob and turned it slowly to the right.  I pushed the door inward.  The hinges squeaked and chill air rushed past the opening door.  The room was dark.  I darted my eyes to the right. Nothing. Pushing the door open a little farther, I slowly moved my right foot into the room.  My shoe creaked a bit as it hit the polished hardwood floor.


Baby steps

Baby Steps

Notice the words and details which have

been added to make this small action (‘I

walked through the door’) more meaningful

and descriptive:

  • adjectives and adverbs

  • more active & imaginative verbs

  • onomatopoeia

  • senses (sound; touch; sight etc.)

  • Varied sentence length


He walked through the doorway1

“He walked through the doorway.”

  • I grasped the cold doorknob and turned it slowly to the right.  I pushed the door inward.  The hinges squeaked and chill air rushed past the opening door.  The room was dark.  I darted my eyes to the right. Nothing. Pushing the door open a little farther, I slowly moved my right foot into the room.  My shoe creaked a bit as it hit the polished hardwood floor.


Now try yourself

Now try yourself!

  • I opened my eyes

  • I turned the page

  • I stepped off the plane

  • I twisted the dial

  • Or choose a small action from one of your planned essays and improve it.


Exploding the moment

Exploding the Moment

  • when a moment is slowed way down—like slow motion in the movies – and then expanded as much as possible


Exploding the moment1

Exploding the Moment

  • Here is the moment:

  • I was very sad the day my cousins left. We went to the air base to wave them off. I felt like crying as they drove off in their truck.

  • Now let’s explode it!


Exploding the moment2

Exploding the Moment

  • It was 4:00 a.m. of a cold Saturday morning in January. We were going to see my cousin take off to Massachussetts and then to Saudi Arabia.  We were at the air base in Burlington. When my mom got in the door she started to cry.  I also felt the urge to cry but I held it in. All my relatives were there.  Finally we went into the big cold room where we would see them go.  Everyone was crying but I held it in.  I felt like a walking teddy bear because I would walk over to someone and they would give me a hug, then to another person and the same thing would happen.  It was now 6:30 and I was now the official helmet holder—not for very long because that thing weighed a ton.  We had brought flags.  One for my cousin Todd and one for us to wave at him. When it was finally time to go we all went outside and waved as they drove in their big, big truck. I felt my heart drop and get heavy when they went away and I remember this like it was yesterday. 


Textual analysis

Textual Analysis

  • Make a list of the details you think help improve this piece.

  • Offer two suggestions on how to further improve it.


Improving your style

Improving your Style

  • Choose a ‘moment’ from one of the essays you’ve planned.

  • “Explode” the moment, making the following improvements:

  • add adjectives and adverbs

  • add more active & imaginative verbs

  • add a piece of imagery

  • add sound (alliteration / onomatopoeia)

  • add senses (touch; smell; taste)

  • Replace at least 3 words with better vocabulary (word choice)

  • Vary the length (and structure?) of the sentences


Thought shots

Thought Shots

  • A thought shot allows the writer to pause and reflect on a particular event or a detail.

  • A thought shot lets you go deeper into your own mind

  • A thought shot sets things up so your reader can do that, too.


Personal experience essays

My mother always sat down in front of the television after dinner.

  • I don’t know why my mother always sat down in front of the television after dinner. Perhaps it was the only time she really had for herself.  My sister and I always had to do the dishes.  My father usually went out to the garage to work on the old BMW that he always thought he could get up and running someday. Maybe Mum just liked being alone with her game show.  She always watched Jeopardy with Alex Trebeck.  I think she thought Alex was handsome and smart. Maybe she dreamed that Alex would come into our living room one day and swoop her off to game show land.  Mom knew a lot of the answers on Jeopardy, and she’d call them out to the television as if those contestants could hear her.  “Where is China!” she’d yell.  I always thought it was sort of dumb, and I remember one time my best friend Angela was over at my house.  She heard my mother and looked at me like I was weird.


Try yourself

Try yourself!

  • Choose a moment from one of your planned essays where you think you should stop to reflect.

  • It could be a really serious moment of reflection or a light-hearted look at something silly you’ve done or you could reflect on the reasons for someone else’s behavious.

  • Use the thought-shot to reflect on why you

    behaved/felt the way you did.

  • It should start like this:

    • I don’t know why I… Perhaps it’s because.

  • Look at the examples on the next page to help.


  • Thought shots1

    Thought Shots

    ?

    that day was so special.

    he loved Irn Bru so much.

    I DON’T KNOW WHY…

    I used to ask so many questions.

    he winds me up so much.


    Structure

    Structure

    • Now it’s time to think about the structure of your essay.

    • Your opening should capture the attention of the reader straight away; first impressions are important!

    • You don’t want to spend ages getting started in the exam – time is of the essence – so have some ideas for dramatic and engaging openings planned.


    An effective opening

    An effective Opening

    • engages the reader’s interest

    • sets the standard for the rest of the piece

    • I was six years old when my mother taught me the art of invisible strength.       Amy Tan

    • “You are not the kind of guy who would be at a place like this at this time of the morning.”       Jay McInerney

    • “You must not tell anyone,” my mother said, “what I am about to tell you.”     The Woman Warrior

    • It was the day my grandmother exploded.

      Ian Banks


    Great openings the crow road

    Great Openings – “The Crow Road”

    • 'It was the day my grandmother exploded. I sat in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach's Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach.'


    Effective openings

    Effective Openings

    • The name my family calls me is Morning Girl, because I wake up early always with something on my mind.       Michael Dorris

    • Suddenly everything stops.      Alison James

    • Every so often that dead dog dreams me up again.      Stephanie Vaughn

    • The doorman of the Kilmarnock was six foot two.  He wore a pale blue uniform, and white gloves made his hands look enormous.  He opened the door of the yellow taxi as gently as an old maid stroking a cat.”   Raymond Chandler


    Now write your opening

    Remember:

    Baby steps

    Exploding the moment

    Thought shots

    Senses

    Imagery / figures of speech

    Word choice- adjectives and active/imaginative verbs

    Varying Sentence structure

    Create a mood/atmosphere

    Now write your opening


    Personal experience essays success criteria

    Personal Experience Essays : Success Criteria

    In this piece of writing you will be expected to:

    • write about a real life experience or memory

    • write an interesting beginning

    • use detail to make your memoir interesting

      baby steps; thought shots; exploded moments

    • Use description that evokes the senses

    • Include imagery / figures of speech

    • write dialogue correctly (if you use it)

    • Be technically accurate

    • (spelling; punctuation; grammar; paragraphing)


  • Login