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Memoir Essay: How Do You Write One?


Do you know what a memoir essay is? Or how to write one? If this is the first time you’ve been asked by your professor to write such an essay, you probably don’t even know where to start. Truth be told, writing a memoir is not easy. However, it’s not overly complex either. In this blog post, we will discuss the memoir essay in great detail. You will learn everything you need to know to write such an academic paper and get a top grade on it. Of course, some very useful writing tips are included towards the end of the article.

So, What Is a Memoir Essay?

Honestly, writing a memoir essay doesn’t have to be difficult. Students are already under a lot of pressure to finish their school assignments on time. And they get quite a lot of these assignments every semester. Fortunately, we are here to help.

Let’s start by explaining exactly what a memoir paper is. In other words, what is a memoir essay? This piece of academic writing is a personal essay that discusses an important memory about your life. You can use several narrative devices to write this paper, most notable being dialogue, setting and character. Furthermore, you will have to present your memory in vivid details and provide as much information about it as possible. Think about why that specific memory is so important and why your audience should be interested in reading more about it. This is the best way to start memoir essays.

Personal Essay Vs Memoir: The Critical Difference

The personal essay vs memoir debate has been raging for some time now. As you’ve probably already guessed, personal essays are different from memoir essays. The main difference is subtle, but it’s there nevertheless. When we talk about memoir writing, the author discusses a significant memory from the perspective of today. A personal essay, on the other hand, has a more contemporary context. Also, a memoir can go much deeper than a personal essay ever could (there are strict size constraints). To write a good memoir, you are basically explaining how something from the past has influenced – or even changed – your life. Of course, this makes writing a memoir more difficult than writing a personal essay.

Some Excellent Memoir Essay Ideas

You probably have dozens of interesting memories to share. We are certain that they are all very interesting. However, you need to be able to differentiate between significant memories and cherished ones. You need the best memoir essay ideas if you are to get an A+ on your next essay. And the best way to get a top grade is to find the memory that has had the most significant impact on your life. Is it the time you got your first pet? Or perhaps it’s the time when you’ve had to pick the right high school or college. Here are some memoir essay topics that will get you started (and get you thinking):

  • What was your best or worst day in life?
  • What is the thing you are most proud of?
  • Who was the most memorable teacher in your life?
  • What is your favorite place and why?
  • Why are you attending this school?
  • Describe someone you will never forget.
  • What is the possession you prize the most?
  • Describe a life-changing experience.
  • What would you change about yourself or your life?

How to Write a Memoir Essay: The Best Way

The memoir essay includes both a narrative part and a reflective element. As we said earlier, you have to reflect on the memory you are sharing and show your audience why you chose it and why it is so important. Here is how to write a memoir essay in just 5 paragraphs (also called the five-paragraph essay structure):

  1. Don’t know how to start a memoir essay? Well, with a powerful introduction of course! The intro will usually start with a hook that will pique the interest of the audience. “It was a sunny day outside, but it was raining inside me,” for example. You will then set the scene by providing some background information on the memory you are about to share. We recommend you end the intro with a thesis statement, but it is not mandatory.
  2. Write 3 paragraphs (or more). In the first paragraph of your personal memoir essay, you can present your memory. Tell a story and don’t forget that each story has a plot (a beginning, a middle and an end). Sensory details will help your audience fell what you’ve felt. The second paragraph will be used to reflect on the memory. Show your audience how that event or person changed you. The third paragraph will be used to show your audience why the memory is so important. Discuss the memory from the perspective of today. Why is the memory so important? What does it mean to you?
  3. The final paragraph is the conclusion. You may know how to start writing a memoir, but keep in mind that the way you end it is equally important. In the conclusion, you will basically reiterate the key points of your essay. Towards the end, you will show your readers what you’ve learned and why you chose to discuss that specific memory. If you could change the past, what would you change?

Can I Get a Free Memoir Essay?

One of the easiest ways to understand how memoir writing works is to read some exceptional memoir essay examples. Regardless of the type of memoir writing prompts you receive, writing a memoir remains the same. In other words, you can use what you learn from reading a good example. Look at how the author structured his paper. Analyze the narrative devices and the way the author reflects on his memory. Also, take note of how the writer of the memoirs describes his feelings to his audience. You need to show your readers how you felt, not just tell them about it.

Now, you are probably wondering where you could find a free memoir essay. The quick answer is that you can’t find a free essay that wouldn’t trigger the plagiarism offence. However, you can order a sample memoir essay from a writing company. It doesn’t cost much and you’ll have an excellently written academic paper to analyze. It will also be 100% original.

Best 5 Memoir Writing Tips

Reading every memoir essay example you can find won’t teach you how to be an effective writer. You need to learn a few tips and tricks for this:

  • Try to narrow your focus as much as possible, especially when composing a memoir essay on childhood. Don’t write an autobiography! You should focus on a very narrow part of your life, ideally on just a particular moment in your life.
  • Always tell the truth. It will take you a lot more time to compose a believable story (to lie, basically) that it would take to write about a real memory. If you think you don’t have any significant memories, think harder. You will surely find something extraordinary about yourself.
  • Write in such a way that your readers are able to visualize every scene. Put them in your shoes with your writing.
  • Writing a memoir essay requires introspection skills. Work on them if you want to write an awesome paper.
  • Remember to write in the first person. It’s all about you, so the memoir essay guidelines allow you to write using the first person.
  • Bonus tip: always put together a memoir essay outline before you attempt to write this paper!

These 5 memoir writing tips should help you improve your writing. Also, reading some personal memoir essay examples from professional essay writers will do wonders for you as well. However, to be successful, you need to practice. Don’t be afraid to practice writing memoirs. They can be as short as 300 words. And as they say, practice makes perfect!

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