first person essay example

9 great first-person essays from 2015

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In 2015 we worked hard at Vox to explain the biggest news stories of the year with charts, maps, videos, and  lots of explainers . And in our First Person section we turned to you — our readers, our friends, and the experts we trust most — and asked for your insight and personal experiences. Here are nine of our most unforgettable first-person essays from 2015.

"I'm a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing" by Redditt Hudson

first person essay example

Many Americans believe that police officers are generally good, noble heroes. A Gallup poll from last year asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in various fields: Police officers ranked in the top five, just above members of the clergy. The profession — the endeavor — is noble. But this myth about the general goodness of cops obscures the truth of what needs to be done to fix the system. It makes it look like all we need to do is hire good people, rather than fix the entire system. Institutional racism runs throughout our criminal justice system. Its presence in police culture, though often flatly denied by the many police apologists that appear in the media now, has been central to the breakdown in police-community relationships for decades in spite of good people doing police work.


"I live in Iran. Here's how sanctions have shaped my life" by Pedestrian

first person essay example

Those of us born after the revolution have lived our whole lives under sanctions. Following the November 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran, the United States imposed its first round of sanctions against Iran. Except for a brief period from 1981 to 1984, they have never been lifted. In March 1995, President Bill Clinton signed an executive order significantly expanding the scale of the embargo, preventing US companies from doing business with Iran.

I was 4 years old before we had a phone. When I was 5 we finally bought furniture — a table and two chairs. Throughout the war we heard news of young boys perishing on the front lines, entire families wiped out by bombs. For a while, street bombings became frequent in our neighborhood, and when my father left home in the morning, my mother remained fearful till nightfall, uncertain if he would return.

"I'm a doctor. Preparing you for death is as much a part of my job as saving lives" by Shoshana Ungerleider

first person essay example

I never knew Mr. Azarov, but I realized then that this man had been dying for a long time. He had a brutal, impersonal end, one he received by default. Who would die that way if they had a choice? Expiring in a hospital room, doctors screaming and scurrying and cracking your ribs, away from your friends and family — I wondered how many opportunities there had been to explain his end-of-life options to him or his family. Did they understand his prognosis? I'll never know. But as he lay there alone in the hospital bed, curtains drawn, still attached to machines, I felt as if we'd failed him.

"The internet is full of men who hate feminism. Here's what they're like in person" by Emmett Rensin

first person essay example

In the popular imagination, men's rights activists are "neckbeards": morbidly obese basement dwellers with a suspect affection for My Little Pony. But Max is remarkably unassuming in appearance, handsome enough and normally tall; equally imaginable in board shorts and a snapback as he is in the sort of graduation suit one wears to a first post-collegiate interview downtown. He was raised in St. Louis, one of two children. (He has a brother, younger: "He goes to school in Seattle. Kind of a hippie.") His parents are alive and married. Before Max was born, his father was a unionized carpenter in Newark, New Jersey, part of a long line of the same until the 1980s came around and Max Sr. followed the dawn of management consultancy into a white-collar job and the Midwest suburbs. When Max came to Chicago in 2006, it was for college ("not the first in my family to go to college but the first to go at the normal time" — that is, at age 18). Four years after graduating, he has a solid entry-level job at an area financial institution. "Plenty of women work there," he offers in the middle of a preliminary biographical rundown. "They're getting paid the same as me." We had not yet begun discussing politics.

"9 things I wish I'd known before I became a stay-at-home mom" by Lisa Endlich Heffernan

first person essay example

When your kids are tiny, you don't foresee the day when they will see you as something other than just their parent. Yet the day arrives when they remark positively on a mom who is a teacher, an executive, or a doctor. There is nothing quite as demoralizing as trying to convince your kid that you had once been something, done something. That you had once mattered in some very small way in the larger world.

"I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won’t believe the questions I got about slavery" by Margaret Biser

first person essay example

There is a surprisingly prevalent belief out there that slaves' rations and housing were bestowed upon them out of the master's goodwill, rather than handed down as a necessity for their continued labor — and their master's continued profit.

This view was expressed to me often, usually by people asking if the family was "kind" or "benevolent" to their slaves, but at no point was it better encapsulated than by a youngish mom taking the house tour with her 6-year-old daughter a couple of years ago. I had been showing them the inventory to the building, which sets a value on all the high-ticket items in the home, including silver, books, horses, and, of course, actual human people. (Remember that the technical definition of a slave is not just an unpaid worker but a person considered property.)

"My wife has depression. There’s finally a TV show that understands our relationship" by Todd VanDerWerff

first person essay example

A friend once told me that loving someone else is easy, that it's harder to learn to accept yourself as worthy of being loved. As someone with his own baggage (as we all have), this spoke deeply to me. Loving my wife was easy. Letting myself believe she loved me — even in the worst times — was hard. Once we got there, I could truly help her — not to get rid of the depression but to find her way through the mazes it keeps throwing up.

"I'm Latino. I’m Hispanic. And they’re different, so I drew a comic to explain" by Terry Blas

first person essay example

"I own guns. Here's why I'm keeping them" by Jonathan Blanks

first person essay example

During the early part of the 20th century, the KKK were a social and political force in Indiana. They would march in town and through the black neighborhood where my father's family lived. Growing up, I was told about my grandfather standing at the door of the house with his gun drawn, calling the kids home while the Klan marched up the street.

As far as I know, my grandfather never had to fire his gun in defense of his family, but like many blacks in the years following emancipation, he believed firearms were a necessary part of protecting them. Particularly in the South — but in fact throughout the United States — blacks could not rely on the government to protect them from crime or terrorism.

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first person essay example

9 questions about Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse, answered

You might not know if your blender will kill you, the desperate pandering of tucker carlson.

Are You Looking for a First Person Essay Example?

Margaret Vizenor

Table of Contents

First Person Essay Example

If you are also struggling with it, cheer up – because we are here to take you through it. We’ll give you the best first person essay example. We also give you the concept of this essay so that you understand how it should be written. You can benefit from the tips we share here and try writing your first person paper using them. The pieces of advice we have shared here come from our team of experts who have written thousands of essays ever since the start of our company. The guidelines coming from such trained professionals will solve your problems.

The Concept of an Essay Written in First Person Language

As the name implies, it is an essay that is drafted in the first-person language. The first person refers to the writer or the student. There are various names for this kind of essay. They include but are not limited to a point-of-view essay, narrative writing, and reflective essay. A first person paper can even be a descriptive or informative essay depending upon the content it contains. Students can enjoy writing while using first person in essay. It lends them a feeling of writing a story. A first person paper is especially important because it nurtures students’ skills in reflective writing. Once a student masters this art, he/she can be a very good script-writer.

How to Write a First Person Essay? Easy Tips

A first person paper has the same structure as any other type of paper has – an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. However, the diction and style of writing of this essay are substantially different from such formal essays as argumentative papers. Since the writer refers to himself/herself throughout the first-person paper, the writing is relatively informal than the argumentative essays. The informality provides more details to the reader and helps the writer express his/her feelings, which are an insignia of this essay.

Many students don’t know how to write a first person essay. They may be good at sharing stories and discussing their experiences with friends, but when they are asked to produce an essay based on the same experiences, they may fail. Some students are unsure how much details they should share in the essay because the first person paper reflects the thought process, life experiences, and outlook of an individual. Others write the essays but fail to make them interesting enough for the readers. We’ll tell you how to nail your first person paper.

Make a Detailed Outline First

The process of writing any kind of essay commences with the formulation of an outline. That is like the backbone of your first-person paper’s content. You might think that it is an unnecessary step consuming a lot of your time, but trust us – it’ll make the writing process very easy for you afterward. You won’t have to spend time to think again and again or reconsider the ideas for your first person paper. They’ll all be finalized and sorted. The importance of outlining for a first person point of view essay cannot be overemphasized.

You might be thinking – how is an outline made? Let’s address this question first – an outline has the same structure that the entire essay will have. The simple reason for it is the fact that the first person paper will be developed from the outline. Hence, there needs to be a defined introduction, body, and conclusion in the outline.

First, you’ll write the introduction of your outline. Two statements are the most important in this section of your first person paper – the hook and the thesis statement. The hook is significant because it’ll garner the reader’s attention. It is the statement that markets your essay. A good hook can significantly increase the readership of an essay. Think of it as a Youtube video thumbnail. What sort of videos are you attracted to on Youtube? The ones with attractive and attention-grabbing thumbnails and titles, right? The same psychology works for a first person paper too.

What can be a good hook for writing in first person essay? Start your essay by telling the most important detail of your story. Something like, “24 June 1999 was the darkest day of my life.” This is a powerful hook because it’ll entice the readers to find out what happened on that day that makes you remember it as your life’s darkest day. The reasons for giving the day this title in your first person paper can be any. You’ll share them in the body of your first-person paper. But in the introduction section, you have to share just enough details that help you connect the hook to the thesis statement.

A thesis is the most important line in the essay. You can think of it as the nectar of a fruit. The entire story of your first person paper revolves around it. It can be challenging to write because a student has to encapsulate a lot of details in just a line or two. One needs to be very prudent while selecting the words and phrases for the thesis statement. Write your first person paper thesis keeping this in mind that you’ll have to construct topic sentences from it subsequently. It should have enough elements to let you easily craft at least two to three topic statements from it.

Now you might have a good idea of what is a first person essay, so it’s time to discuss how to make the body of its outline. As discussed before, you need to make as many topic sentences as the number of paragraphs you intend to have in your first-person paper’s body. They should at least be two, but it’s better to have three body paragraphs. Each body paragraph of your first person paper will discuss the unique aspect of the thesis statement. In the outline, write the topic sentences and find two to three points related to them. You’ll expand on the points when the stage of writing the essay comes.

The conclusion is also a very important section of a college essay first person. If you do not discuss any new details in conclusion, it will sum up what you said in the essay’s body. In other words, think about what should the readers take away from your essay. That’ll be the content of your conclusion. It’ll begin with reiteration or rewording of your thesis statement. In the end, you can discuss how the experience changed your thoughts or you as a person, how it influenced your personality or decisions, or what recommendations will you like to make.

It’s Time to Develop the Outline into a Complete Essay

Once the outline of your first person paper is ready, take some time to think about how you will connect the distinct points you have written in support of each topic sentence. Let’s say your topic sentence is, “There has been a significant shift in the way people access news over the last two decades.” In support of this topic sentence, you have to mention statistics that exemplify the ‘significant shift.’ The duration for which you need to collect the facts is also specified, i.e. 20 years. Some good points to include under this topic sentence will be how people used to get news in 1999 vs how they get aware of things now in 2021. You can easily find the relevant statistics for your essay online and cite the information accordingly.

Here’s an Excerpt as a Good Example

Do you want to have a look at a nice descriptive essay written in first person? We show an excerpt for it here. Although it’s not a complete essay, yet it’ll give you a fair idea of how to write it. Take a look:

It was the best gift I ever received. 20 December 2010 – the time was around 10 o’clock. I was boarding a train that night to travel from Manchester to Nottingham. The train was heavily packed as most of the people were moving to spend Christmas at their homes. There were around 10 people in my cabin. The crowd made an otherwise spacious cabin feel congested. I could see the softly glowing city lights and dewy and wet streets of Manchester as the train started to move. Suddenly, something feeling like an umbrella bounced against my right shoulder. I looked back to find an old lady. She had wrinkles all over her face. The pursed lips were being prominent with a light maroon shade of lipstick.

As you can see, the essay shares a lot of details of the day, time, venue, surroundings, objects, and people. A descriptive essay is meant to provide details of the setting so that the readers can see and feel the experience of the narrator. Also, you can see that the first person pronoun has been used in the essay.

Do You Need Help with Your Essay from an Expert?

We hope that the points illustrated above will help you write an excellent essay. However, sometimes, it may not be possible for a student to write the first person paper because of a lack of time or resources. If you are facing such an issue, you can depend on the help of a person from our team. When we receive the instructions for your essay, we’ll instantly search for an appropriate first person paper writer from our team.

Some students call us and say, “Can an essay be written in first person in two hours only?” We want to tell you that our writers are so efficient that they successfully write lengthy essays even with tight deadlines. Since our company has been involved in writing first person papers for over a decade, we have developed a team of professionals who are knowledgeable, well-educated, and skilled writers. They deal with difficult first person order instructions all the time and are used to working under pressure.

What kind of essay do you need help with? Do you want the writer to make the first person paper from scratch, or you have written a part of it already and would like the writer to take the writing forward from there? Whatever stage you are at, just let us know what service you need on your first person paper. Please note that we offer all kinds of academic services ranging from writing to proofreading, summarizing, editing, paraphrasing, and rewriting.

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Customers find it very easy to place first person orders here. It involves a simple three-step process. You might have seen the ‘order’ link at the home-page. When you press it, you can see the order form on your screen. The three steps of the ordering are:

We have first person paper writers from all fields and areas of education. We find customers suitable writers according to the instructions they place for the order. They tell what field to find the first person paper writer from. Our administrators find the relevant writers and assign them orders for timely completion accordingly.

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How to Write a First Person Essay

First person essay writing guide.

First-person essays are aimed at sharing an experience, letting your reader see and feel it. They show how that experience changed your mind, affected you, educated you. Your essay is your personal journey of discovery. And your main task while writing your essay is to engage a reader to take that journey with you.

To make your thoughts and emotions run in the right direction, you need to follow the basic rules. Here is how to write from your perspective and show your reader the true sense of the story.

Let's take it step by step:

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first person essay example

The Best of the First-Person Internet

The internet prizes the harrowing personal essay. here are seven worth reading..

Illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker

In my Slate piece “ The First-Person Industrial Complex ,” I wrote about the challenges and pitfalls of today’s first-person online economy: the way the Internet incentivizes the publication of quick-turnaround, sensational, news-pegged essays in ways that can have serious consequences for writers. But of course, some of the best personal essays the Web has ever seen have been published in the past few years. I mentioned a few of my favorite recent entries: Heather Havrilesky’s elegant essays masquerading as advice columns for the Cut , Cord Jefferson for Matter on working the “racism beat,” and Steve Kandell for BuzzFeed on visiting the 9/11 museum after losing his sister in the attacks. But I thought I’d call out a few more. In no particular order:

Mariya Karimjee for the Big Roundtable , “Damage”

This essay, by a young woman whose mother arranged for her to undergo genital mutilation as a 7-year-old in Karachi, Pakistan, covers so much ground—about female sexuality, religion, culture clash, the author’s relationships with her mother and with men—in such powerfully specific detail. The moment when Karimjee finally confronts her mother, and forgives her, will make you cry.

Drew Philp for Buzzfeed , “Why I Bought a House in Detroit for $500”

Philp—who grew up in rural Michigan—moved to Detroit after college, bought a boarded-up house for $500, and fixed it up. The writing is great (“The city is filled with these structures, houses whose yellowy eyes seem to follow you”), and Philp vividly characterizes the blight of the city and the resilience of the people in it.

Sarah Smarsh for Aeon , “Poor Teeth”

Smarsh writes about growing up with a “mouthful of teeth shaped by a childhood in poverty” and what it taught her about how “privileged America” judges the poor. Technically, the essay even has a peg—the Orange Is the New Black character Pennsatucky, a former drug addict with jagged teeth—but it’s so thoughtful and elegantly written that it feels evergreen as well as urgent.

Jia Tolentino for Jezebel , “Rush After ‘A Rape on Campus’: A UVA Alum Goes Back to Rugby Road”

Tolentino, one of the editors I interviewed for my piece, returned to her alma mater on the first night of fraternity rush in the wake of the Rolling Stone controversy and wrote this moving and smart piece about her experience. It may not strictly count as a “personal essay,” since it involves some reporting, but it’s full of sharp insights about fraternity culture, gender, and the way the media covers rape.

Molly Osberg for the Awl , “Inside the Barista Class”

Kiese Laymon is an unbelievable writer with a distinct voice. This essay, about his Mississippi childhood and the lessons about race and privilege he absorbed during it, is deeply sad but ultimately joyful, too. (A version of the piece is also included in his collection of essays .) “We were the children of an irresponsible nation, the grandchildren of responsible grandmothers,” he writes, “and we were just happy to be in the moment, so happy to be alive.”

Sarah Hepola for Salon , “My Relapse Years”

Hepola is a talented essayist and editor at Salon (she’s also quoted in my piece), and she has written moving pieces over the years about her struggles with alcoholism. (She also published a great book called Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget earlier this year.) This is one of my favorites: Hepola’s sentences have a nice, zippy rhythm, and she writes with an appealing mixture of frustration with and empathy for her former self.

Kiese Laymon for Gawker , “The Worst of White Folks”

first person essay example

Free First Person Narration Essays and Papers

first person essay example

First Person Narration In The Cask Of Amontillado

Kawanda Garner Ms. Roesch ENC 1102 29 April 2016 The Effects of First-Person Narration The first –person narration style of “The Cask of Amontillado” is vital in creating the quality of the story. The story allows one of the main characters in the story Montresor, to tell the story from his point of view which gives the reader intimate yet disturbing look into the mind story teller thinks and feels which the reader doesn’t normally get from other narrative styles. The narrative style of this story

First Person Narration In Pat Conroy's The Lords Of Disciple

Disciple, first person narration is used to develop the story. Seth Reilly, a writer and fiction author, talks about what first person narration is. Reilly states in his article for aspiring novelists, “First-person perspective is writing from the point of view of your narrator, putting across the world as they see it” (Reilly). While first person narration puts the reader in the narrator’s head, this point of view has multiple advantages and disadvantages. When talking about the advantages of first person

The Use of First Person Narration in The Cask of Amontillado

The Use of First Person Narration in The Cask of Amontillado Edgar Allen Poe’s tale of murder and revenge, “The Cask of Amontillado”, offers a unique perspective into the mind of a deranged murderer. The effectiveness of the story is largely due to its first person point of view, which allows the reader a deeper involvement into the thoughts and motivations of the protagonist, Montresor. The first person narration results in an unbalanced viewpoint on the central conflict of the story, man versus

First Person Narration in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night

time was narrated in first person by Christopher Boone however If it was narrated in third person the audience would not have understood the way Christopher was feeling. Communication, Social Interactions, Relationship’s and Christopher’s Autism spectrum disorder were some of the main areas expressed in the novel. Christopher’s communications was quite precise, which let the reader understand the text in more depth which made it easier, yet if the book were written in third person the reader would not

The Role First Person Narration in Edgar Allen Poe's Poem The Black Cat

Analysis of the Role First Person Narration Plays in Edgar Allen Poe's Poem The Black Cat the point of view is an important aspect of telling the story. first person narration helps the reader to understand and follow the story from the narrators point of view. in this case it helps the reader to realise how insane the narrator is. even thought 1st person narration is not the best form of narration, as everything we read is the way the narrator looks at things, but it is the only way a reader

First Person Narration In Claire Battershill's Two Man Luge

a story is. First person narration, a narrative perspective in which the story is told first hand, has proven highly effective in making a story more compelling to read. Recently, it has become very popular in young adult fiction, as it can allow, when well-executed, for the reader to be better immersed in the story, increased suspense, and insightful reflection on the significance of events taking place. In Claire Battershill’s Circus short story Two Man Luge, first person narration is

First-Person Narration In Markus Zusak's The Book Thief

Hubermanns basement, where she survives an air raid that kills everyone else on her block. The narrator of a novel is significant because of he, she, or it takes on the responsibility of shaping the story for the reader. Daniel Keyes, uses a first-person narrative point of view. The style of the narrative

1. How Does The First Person Narration Add To The Other Effects Of The Story?

just the house creaking. The noise was someone in the dark watching me sleep, ready to murder me at any moment. It shows how he wrote, and made the reader feel helpless like the old man. 2) How does the first person narration add to the other effects of the story? Discuss. The first person narration makes you feel like you are there, standing right next to the man. The only problem is you cannot help the old man. You’re just there to watch him die. It’s really impressive

First Person Narration in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper and Edgar Allen Poe's the Black Cat

First Person Narration in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper and Edgar Allen Poe's the Black Cat In "The Yellow Wallpaper" By Charlotte Perkins Gilman and "The Black Cat" By Edgar Allen Poe, two short and sinister stories, 1st person narration is used by both authors to create atmospheric tension and unease. By using 1st person narration, a story told through the eyes of one person present in that story, the authors can get far more intimate and detailed in the individual characters

First-Person Narration Techniques in "Cathedral"

A first-person narration provides an interesting perspective on the main action of a story. A narrator can express his/her own thoughts and feelings, which in turn develops a more personal and relatable story to the reader. Raymond Carver often uses this literary point-of-view tactic in his short stories to reveal the traits of the narrator. In "Cathedral," Carver uses conversational tone and diction to reveal the narrator's character; which is prejudicial at first, but becomes empathic by the

Narration, Metaphors, Images and Symbols in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Narration, Metaphors, Images and Symbols in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest In 1962, when One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (the Nest), was published, America was at the start of decade that would be characterized by turmoil. Involvement in Vietnam was increasing, civil rights marches were taking place in the south and a new era of sexual promiscuity and drug use was about to come into full swing. Young Americans formed a subgroup in American society that historians termed the “counterculture”

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morisson

narrative structure of The Bluest Eye is important in revealing just how pervasive and destructive social racism is. Narration in novel comes from several sources. Much of the narration comes from Claudia MacTeer as a nine year old child, but Morrison also gives the reader the insight of Claudia reflecting on the story as an adult, some first person narration from Pecola's mother, and narration by Morrison herself as an omniscient narrator. Pecola's experiences would have less meaning coming from Pecola

The Paradox of Revenge in Edgar Allan Poe's The Cask of Amontillado

question pertaining to the multiple character of the self (Davidson 202); Can harmony of one's self be restored once primal impulses have been acted upon? This question proposes the fantasy of crime without consequence (Stepp 60). Edgar Allan Poe uses first person point of view, vivid symbolism and situational irony to show that because of man's inner self, revenge is ultimately not possible. Edward Davidson suggests that Montresor, the main character of the story, "has the power of moving downward from

Enduring Love Extract

Joe, faces many conflicts emotionally. In Joe’s mind, his emotions and rational thought pull him in two different directions when all he seeks is a common answer. In order to portray Joe’s emotional distress, ‘Enduring Love’ is told through first person narration. Joe searches for logical explanations but the more he looks, the further the truth seems to be. The day after John Logan’s death, Joe’s conscious makes the whole event ‘illumined and animated’ in his mind. He begins to relive the nightmare

Comparison of Linguistic Differences in the Film and Novel of A Clockwork Orange

or an inferior medium to the novel. The main drive of the story remains in the movie form: Kubrick utilizes the means, such as a musical score and the visual dimension, unique to the dramatic genre to find ways around the loss of Nadsat and first person narration. He also tries to maintain the twisted sense of humor found in the book while working to promote the audience’s understanding of Alex’s universe. Kubrick preserves the unusual opportunity A Clockwork Orange offers the audience—a chance to

Insight into milan kunderas narrative

which main point is directed to the description of Milan Kundera’s narration as well as a personal opinion supported by critics of experts. The Unbearable Lightness of Being is a work of fiction, that it is also combined with facts of history. Works of fiction can be told from the point of view of one of the characters, that means first person narration or it can be told by the author as narrator, that would mean third person narration. Most of the time, when the author is telling the story, he tries


It is a fact that when reading Slander, some of the techniques used are likely to fascinate its Canadian readers. First, the book has been written by a Canadian author, and as a result its readers are likely to get some Canadian information from it. Second, Mr. Deverell uses this book as a prime example of how talented some Canadian authors can be, by presenting a first person narration from a woman’s point of view. Third, the book makes numerous references to Canada even though most of it is set in

only for a while; the America that exists between the pages of its nation's fiction is often an America of the mind, but an America that for a fleeting moment achieves a kind of actuality." Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Blithedale Romance", is the first person narration of a man bent upon joining a world that has no need of him by imposing an arbitrary order upon his reality. Blithedale, is a novel of polarities. Just as Coverdale imposes order on reality, Zenobia, the feminine voice of creation, understands

since some characters were mentioned in more than one story, it linked it all together nicely. Chris Fisher does a wonderful job of showing the roots of a small town, and how the characters shape this community. Often the stories are told in first person narration, so you can see how the character feels and what they think. It takes it to a more personal level, making it easier to relate to the different characters. The one thing that bothered me about the novel was how certain things weren’t said

A Farewell To Arms

Alone, shall come fulfillment to our dreams / And our desires". Ernest Hemingway knew this as well, and we see that expressed in the loss that Fredrick endures. In the first section of the book he is not affected by the war and seems rather disconnected from the reality that is the war. The story is written in first person narration and this brings us as the audience closer to the action of the story and lets us be emotionally connected or disconnected like Fredrick as well. We are Fredrick Henry:

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Narrative Essay Examples and Key Elements

woman typing on laptop

In a narrative essay , you tell a story, often about a personal experience, but you also make a point. So, the purpose is not only to tell an entertaining tale, but also to expound on the importance of the experience. In the narrative essay examples below, see if you can pull out the moral or theme . When it’s your time to draft a similar type of essay, hopefully, you can stir the heart of the reader.

Sample Narrative Essays

Below, you’ll find two narrative essay samples. One has a sad little twist and the other is a personal narrative essay that details the importance of hope. Note that they tell a story, while emphasizing an integral moral or theme.

He Left So I Could Learn

In this first essay example, we explore a lesson on dying:

It was my second day on the job. I was sitting in my seemingly gilded cubicle, overlooking Manhattan, and pinching my right arm to make sure it was real. I landed an internship at Condé Nast Traveler. Every aspiring writer I’ve ever known secretly dreamt of an Anthony Bourdain lifestyle. Travel the world and write about its most colorful pockets. When my phone rang, and it was Mom telling me Dad had a heart attack. He didn’t make it. I felt as though the perfectly carpeted floors had dropped out from under me. Now that I’ve come out the other side, I realize Dad left me with a hefty stack of teachings. Here are three ideals I know he would’ve liked for me to embrace. First, you have to stand on your own two feet. As much as our parents love and support us, they can’t go to our school and confess to the principal that we stole a candy bar from Sara. We have to do that. Neither can they walk into the Condé Nast office and nail a job interview for us. At some point, we have to put on our “big girl pants” and be brave, even if we’re not. Also, there’s a difference between love and co-dependence. Being grateful to have someone to turn to for love and support is not the same as needing someone to turn to for love and support. With the loss of my father, I’ve also lost my sounding board. All I can glean from that is it’s time to look within myself and make proper assessments. If I can’t make sound decisions with the tools already in my kit, then I risk falling for anything. Finally, memories are, perhaps, the only item that cannot be taken away from us. Will I miss my father? Every single day. What can I do in those times? I can open up our suitcase of memories, pick out my favorite one, and dream about it, talk about it, or write about it. Maybe I can’t pick up the phone and call him anymore, but that doesn’t mean he’s gone. Next week, I’m off to Istanbul to explore their art scene. As soon as I read the email from my editor, I picked up my phone to call Dad. Then, I realized he’ll never answer my calls again. I fought back the tears, got up to make a cup of peppermint tea, and added a new note to my iPhone titled, “Istanbul Packing List.” In the end, life goes on. I’m not sure why he had to leave during the single most poignant chapter in my life. So, I won’t dwell on that. Instead, I’ll hold tightly to these three ideals and write about Karaköy in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district. Dad will be with me every step of the way.

A Teeny, Tiny Treasure Box

The next short narrative essay takes a different approach. Instead of living in a comfortably loving home, the writer had to deal with the uncertainty of the foster system. Here’s a short lesson on hope:

She took me by the hand and walked me into the lobby like a five-year old child. Didn’t she know I was pushing 15? This was the third home Nancy was placing me in - in a span of eight months. I guess she felt a little sorry for me. The bright fluorescent lights threatened to burn my skin as I walked towards a bouncy-looking lady with curly hair and a sweetly-smiling man. They called themselves Allie and Alex. Cute, I thought. After they exchanged the usual reams of paperwork, it was off in their Chevy Suburban to get situated into another new home. This time, there were no other foster children and no other biological children. Anything could happen. Over the next few weeks, Allie, Alex, and I fell into quite a nice routine. She’d make pancakes for breakfast, or he’d fry up some sausage and eggs. They sang a lot, even danced as they cooked. They must have just bought the house because, most weekends, we were painting a living room butter yellow or staining a coffee table mocha brown. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. When would they start threatening a loss of pancakes if I didn’t mow the lawn? When would the sausage and eggs be replaced with unidentifiable slosh because he didn’t feel like cooking in the morning? But, it never happened. They kept cooking, singing, and dancing like a couple of happy fools. It was a Saturday afternoon when Allie decided it was time to paint the brick fireplace white. As we crawled closer to the dirty old firepit, we pulled out the petrified wood and noticed a teeny, tiny treasure box. We looked at each other in wonder and excitement. She actually said, “I wonder if the leprechauns left it!” While judging her for being such a silly woman, I couldn’t help but laugh and lean into her a little. Together, we reached for the box and pulled it out. Inside was a shimmering solitaire ring. Folded underneath was a short piece of paper that read: “My darling, my heart. Only 80 days have passed since I first held your hand. I simply cannot imagine my next 80 years without you in them. Will you take this ring, take my heart, and build a life with me? This tiny little solitaire is my offering to you. Will you be my bride?” As I stared up at Allie, she asked me a question. “Do you know what today is?” I shook my head. “It’s May 20th. That’s 80 days since Nancy passed your hand into mine and we took you home.” It turns out, love comes in all shapes and sizes, even a teeny, tiny treasure box from a wonderfully silly lady who believes in leprechauns.

Essential Elements of Narrative Essays

Let’s go back to basics first. Generally speaking, there are four types of essays: argumentative essays , descriptive essays , expository essays , and narrative essays .

Narrative essays tell a vivid story, usually from one person's viewpoint. A narrative essay uses all the story elements — a beginning, middle and ending, as well as plot, characters, setting and climax — bringing them together to complete the story. The focus of a narrative essay is the plot, which is told with enough detail to build to a climax. Here's how:

Quick Tips on Writing a Narrative Essay

When writing a narrative essay, remember that you are sharing sensory and emotional details with the reader.

Tell Your Story

Use your next narrative essay to tell your story. It’s possible to focus on yourself, while offering the reader some sort of lesson or truth. Encourage them to move past terrible loss or maintain hope in a seemingly bleak foster system.

Narrative essays are close cousins to short stories. If you feel compelled to share another story, fiction or nonfiction, with the world, check out Get Creative: How to Write a Short Story . Who knows how many lives you’ll brighten and shape with your words. Remember, there’s great power in them.

How to write a first person essay

Ibrahim Akturk


A first person essay is a type of academic essay written in the first person point of view that presents a significant lesson learned from a writer’s personal experience.

The aim of a first person essay is to establish a bond with the reader. You encourage the reader to accompany you on your personal journey when writing this type of essay .

Step 1: First person essay example

You can see the following first person essay example before we go further into the steps. This will give you an overall idea of what a first person essay is.

First person essay example

When I think of my past life, one of the memories I remember the most vividly is my first day at school. Hook: Engaging first sentence that helps the reader grasp the importance of the event. I have always been a student that loved school and studying; I am what you might consider a nerd. Therefore, I don’t think it’s necessary for me to say how excited I was to start school. Personal information: Information that connects the reader with the writer.

In the weeks leading up to the first school day, I remember checking my stationary my parents had bought me for school every day and admiring them, thinking how excited I was to finally start using them. Opening sentence: Vivid explanation of the past events, creating a more appealing story. I had already learned to read and write before starting elementary school, and I could not wait to see the look on my teacher’s face when I told them, “I already know this stuff!”. Yes, I was an annoying kid. Insights: Insight into the writer’s personality, which creates a more sincere tone. You can ask my childhood friends if you would like to hear someone else’s thoughts on this; I am sure they will tell you the same thing. Concluding sentence: Casual and humorous tone that eases the reader.

You probably expect a happy first day of school story from me right now. Emotional connection: Addressing the reader, therefore strengthening the emotional connection. The truth is far from that. As much as I was a nerd, I was a mamma’s kid. Insights: Further insight into the writer’s personality. So, when my parents dropped me off at school, I started crying my eyes out. Event: Vivid description of the event. I did not want them to leave, but I also wanted to begin my first school day. So, my mother set eyes on a blonde girl that she thought looked like a good kid and made me sit next to her. After starting to chat with my new friend, I slowly eased off and was ready to put on a show. Needless to say, that blonde girl became one of my best friends in elementary school. Feelings: Description of feelings felt by the writer. This helps strengthen the bond between the writer and the reader. Even though it did not go quite according to my plans, I still cherish the memory of my first day at school. Concluding sentence: Concluding sentence of your paragraph which should be memorable and descriptive.

The rest of the school year was much more eventful because, being a crybaby, I started crying even at the slightest of inconvenience. Emotional connection: More insight into the writer’s personality. Adding these details creates an emotional bond with the reader. Naturally, this created a problem for my teacher and classmates, in so much that the deputy headteacher was telling kids to keep quiet, not because it disrupted the class, but because it made me cry. Emphasizing memories: Recounting of more memories in a casual tone. Thinking back to my first school day and generally, my elementary school experience always makes me happy. Therefore, I always have so much fun talking about my school experiences. Final sentence: Your finishing sentences, make sure to make it memorable for your reader.

Step 2: Structure of a first person essay

Structured academic writing or casual personal narratives can both be used in first person essays.

But you should know that the style of first person essays is typically conversational. They combine a mixture of personal anecdotes, an emotional connection, and a clear point of view.

Personal pronouns are highly common in first person essays.

First person pronouns

First person pronouns example.

Pronouns such as “ I ,” “ me ,” and “ we ” First person pronouns must be used when writing first person essays. This contrasts with the third person point of view, which uses third person pronouns such as “ he ,” “ she ,” and “ they ”. Third person pronouns

Second person pronouns

Second-person pronouns example.

First person essays also contrast with the second-person point of view, which uses second-person pronouns such as “ you ,” and “ yours ”. Second-person pronouns

Now that we have learned these details in first person essays, we can continue with the steps to write an excellent one.

Step 3: Choosing what experience to share

Almost any topic can be written in a first person essay. But this should not scare you, as we have some tactics for you to easily choose your topic .

First person essay topic examples

For this guide, we’ve chosen the topic of “ your first day at school .” Above, you’ll see the example essay. When you’ve worked out what you want to say, move on to the next step: figure out your tone.

Step 4: Define your tone

Before starting your first draft, you should think about your essay’s tone and language (see UK and US English ). Your writing style will need to change depending on the purpose of your essay.

If you’re writing an argumentative or persuasive essay, you may want to use a calculated and rational first person viewpoint .

This will persuade the reader to agree with your key argument. If you’re writing a reflective essay , you may want to use satire to keep the reader entertained.

You should ask yourself these questions to see if your tone is appropriate:

If your answers to these questions are “ yes ,” you are probably doing a good job.

Step 5: Create an outline

It’s time to make a brief outline now that you’ve selected your topic and decided on the right tone. The outline will help you get your thoughts organized. It will also help you with the order of your headings in the writing process .

Your first person essay should follow the traditional introduction , body paragraphs , and conclusion essay structure unless stated otherwise.

Example of a first person essay outline

You can ask yourself these questions while creating your outline:

Step 6: Write your first draft

Now, let’s get to writing. The first draft of your essay is an important step toward creating a well-thought-out and concentrated academic essay .

First person essay introduction first draft example

Introduction (Hook, Personal information) I was always attracted by the stars in the night sky as a youngster. They appeared to be tiny pinpricks of light, far away and enigmatic. My passion in astronomy only grew as I grew older, and I began to spend countless hours studying the stars and planets. I didn't realize the enormous power of a telescope until I was in college. I could see aspects of the world that I had never dreamed conceivable with such a little tool. I've been studying the stars as an amateur astronomer for almost a decade. I've always been captivated by the universe's beauty and complexity, and I feel is no greater thrill than learning something new about our surroundings.

Things to consider

Step 7: Revise your draft and finish writing

It’s time to revise your essay after you’ve finished your draft. This is your chance to check if you have a strong point of view and your writing is clear.

First person essay introduction final draft example

Introduction (Hook, Personal information) I was always attracted by the stars The stars always attracted me in the night sky as a youngster. They appeared to be tiny pinpricks of light, far away and enigmatic. My passion in astronomy only for astronomy grew as I grew older, and I began to spend spent countless hours studying the stars and planets. I didn't realize only realized the enormous power of a telescope until once I was in college. I could see aspects of the world that I had never dreamed of conceivable with such a little tool. I've been studying studied the stars as an amateur astronomer for almost a decade. I've always been captivated by the universe's beauty and complexity, and I feel and there is no greater incredible thrill than learning something new about our surroundings.

Important things to consider while revising

Ibrahim Akturk

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How To Write A First Person Essay | Types, Format and Steps on How To Write A First Person Essay

September 21, 2020 by Prasanna

How To Write A First Person Essay: What Do You Mean By The First-Person Essay? The first-person essay means an essay that should be written in first-person, mainly using phrases or words like me, mine, my, I, etc. It means one should write this kind of essay as if he/she has had the experienced of the stories or the topics discussed or explained in the piece. The first-person essay lets the readers imagine and experience the uniqueness of the information mentioned in the essay. It affects the reader’s mind; it starts to make them think about how one particular incident changed the life of the writer forever.

To make this happen, it is a must that the writer writes the essay in first-person. Writing the same essay in a third person will never have the same effect on the readers. No matter how great the story is. The writer’s sole aim here is to engage the readers in the development and make them believe that they are present in that particular situation.

This is what the first-person essay is all about. Further, in the essay, I will be discussing the types of First-person essays.

You can also find more  Essay Writing  articles on events, persons, sports, technology and many more

Types Of The First-Person Essay

Format Of A First-Person Essay

There is no specified or distinct format for writing a first-person essay. It thus follows the basic rules of an essay. It mainly consists of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion that the writer will have to write in first-person.

Introduction: the essay must have a proper introduction. This is the part that will decide whether the readers will be reading the essay or not. So, the writer needs to have a substantial and impactful introduction.

The introduction paragraph should introduce the topic and give the readers the slightest idea about the essay. It should be crisp yet exciting, grabbing the attention of the readers.

Body: The body of the essay deals with all the descriptions, essential points, and stories of the essay. The body consists of All the crucial elements, turns of events. It is the longest part of the essay. To make sure that the body is written with facts and theories, making it an exciting piece, the writer should continuously keep the body’s content in check.

The writer should write the climax in this part of the essay.

Conclusion: this marks the end of the essay. After the climax, in this section of the essay discusses the post climatic part of the essay. It brings all the points together, joining all the loose ends. This leaves the readers with a sense of completeness and a proper ending.

Writing The First-Person Essay In Five Steps

In the case of writing a first-person essay, it might turn out to be a hassle. But in order to avoid such hassle, one can follow the following steps to write a perfect essay in a hassle-free manner.

Select a Topic: Choosing a topic may seem to be a very confusing task. It is also the most crucial task that must be accomplished with efficiency. This is the most important work of the writer as the essay will be revolving around this topic. It has a vast impact on the readers. If the chosen topic is not up to the mark, the readers will find it too dull. If the topic’s selection is appropriately made then, the essay will be a complete hit.

The Essay’s Voice Must Be Considered: it is a must to consider the voice of the essay throughout. The writer shall always ensure that he/she is writing the entire essay in first-person. One should never mix up the voices or the tense while writing an essay.

If the writer is writing an argumentative essay, the essay will be written in first-person in such a manner that the main point of the argument is conveyed to the readers. On the other hand, if a writer is writing a reflective essay, there should be some humor in the story order to entertain the readers and engage them with the essay. The ultimate aim here is to maintain the essay’s tone so the reader feels connected with the first-person narrative.

Make a Rough Outline:  Once the topic is chosen and the choice of the tone of the essay is made, the next step is to make a rough sketch of the story’s plot. The stories, places, and people who will be a part of the essay should be jotted down on a piece of paper. The list should be made according to their occurrence in the essay. Which character comes after which incident, what happens in which place, etc.

The job of the writer here is to make sure that the story is following a trail, and it should not sound abrupt at all. To put in words that will make the readers feel the situation, it will make them think that they are facing the situation and not that they are reading an essay. Writing all these down in points will help the writer to a great extent.

Write a Draft:  After all of the previous steps are complete, it is time to start writing. In this context, one thing to keep in mind is that one should not make it boring, repeating the same points. It should have heavy emotions, candidness, and a few personal references. In first-person writing, the writer is the main protagonist, so he/she should make sure that there is an essence of their personality being reflected in the essay.

Edit: Last but not least, the job of the essay is editing. After roughly writing the essay, one should always go back to the start and re-read the essay. Make all the necessary changes and make the writing crisp yet to the point. There are a few tips that the writer has to ensure in the end. The writer needs to make sure that the essay is not too long as if it is so, the readers will lose interest.

One will also have to make the required grammar changes, make sure that the tenses are correct, etc. after all of this is complete, the essay will be ready for submission to the concerned party.

These are a few effective steps mentioned in the above paragraph that has a vast impact on the writers.

FAQ’s On How To Write A First-Person Essay

Question 1. Is it okay to use first-person in an essay?

Answer: It is definitely okay to use or write an essay in first-person. In the majority of the cases, the first-person essay must be written. In essays like an application for college, jobs, only first-person should be used; in these cases, using second-person to write an essay is absolutely inappropriate and makes no sense.

Question 2. What can be an example of a first-person essay?

Answer: A first-person essay can be of several types and variety. It could be a job application, a written application for studying purpose, essays sharing real-life stories, incidents, personal account of a person, autobiography of a renounced person, and several other topics that fall under this category.

These are only a few examples of first-person essays. First-person essays can be written to serve many other purposes as well. A well-known example of the first-person essay is ‘The diary of a young girl’ written by Anne Frank. She was a thirteen-year-old girl who shows the view of World War II and the Jewish people’s suffering.


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