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10 Great Essay Writing Tips

memoir essay thesis

Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.

Prepare to Answer the Question

Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.

memoir essay thesis

Plan Your Essay

Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.

Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable

You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.

memoir essay thesis

View It as a Conversation

Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.

memoir essay thesis

Provide the Context in the Introduction

If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.

memoir essay thesis

Explain What Needs to be Explained

Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.

memoir essay thesis

Answer All the Questions

After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.

memoir essay thesis

Stay Focused as You Write

Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.

memoir essay thesis

Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread

When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.

memoir essay thesis

Avoid Filling the Page with Words

A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.


memoir essay thesis

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A Guide on How to Write a Memoir Essay

A memoir  is not an elaborate way of saying ‘autobiography’. It is important to note that early on, considering how many people regularly consider the two to be interchangeable.

That is not to say that your memoir will not be autobiographical, but it will not be the complete story of your life.

That statement might be confusing to some. Let’s explain the difference between the two.

An autobiography is, in most cases, a complete account of the events that occurred in one’s life, from birth to present day – or rather the days leading up to publication. It typically places major emphasis on important events or accomplishments, but speaks only of the raw and authentic truth.

A memoir definition, on the other hand, makes reference to specific narratives from the author (or the subject’s) life. Typically, these narratives support a pre-determined theme and establish some sort of objective. For example, your objective might be to convey how you overcame a major life obstacle to where you are now. In this case, you would select specific scenes or examples from your life to support that objective.

Perhaps you come from:

And now you are:

You might choose to start your story with your recollection of how bad life was for you. From there, you would depict pivotal experiences or your defining moments, introduce important people who have played an integral role in your transformation, outline what you’ve learned, and discuss how you had applied your newly found principles or mindset to recognize this monumental change in your life.

Not surprisingly, the more gritty or real your stories are, the better the memoir is likely to be. All told, a great story isn’t really the point of a memoir.  There are a number of things that publishers look out for when determining whether or not they will pick up a memoir.

What Are Publishers Looking For In A Memoir

Don’t think for a minute that you need to be famous or extremely wealthy in order to sell a memoir. Yes, if your last name is Kardashian or you happen to own the largest and most popular social media networking site that the world has ever seen, people will be naturally more curious about you, and that would certainly be an advantage.

But memoirs written by people that no one has ever heard of succeed every day – and for one very specific reason: Their message resonated with their audience because their audience identifies with the truth. Truth, regardless of how raw, painful or gritty it happens to be, is extremely transferable.

Memoirs that are filled with relatable stories engage with readers, and readers are what publishers are really looking for. An experienced literary agent or a knowledgeable editor will be able to predict whether or not an audience will be able to relate with a memoir, and from there, they will determine whether or not to take a chance in publishing a memoir written by someone that is seemingly unknown.

Literary agents live for discovering these hidden gems.

One thing to keep in mind as you write your memoir is that you may be the subject – but it isn’t really about you. It is about what anyone reading your story stands to gain from it. What they will take away.

It might seem counterproductive to consider the reader first, particularly when you are writing about yourself, but if your memoir doesn’t grab the attention of the audience in some way, they aren’t likely to read it – and they certainly aren’t recommending it to anyone else.

Tips How to Write a Memoir Essay – Step by step

Writing a memoir seems simply enough, but, without proper planning it is easier than you think to veer off course.

Here are four steps to writing a memoir that other people actually want to read.

In order for your theme to be exciting and engaging it has to tell your readers that they are not alone and that what happened to you could also happen to them.

That is what readers really want to see. Granted, they might finish reading your memoir and be impressed by you, but it will have little to do with how wonderful you are. Whether or not we choose to admit it, what we really care about is our own lives.

Imagine for a minute that someone picks up your memoir and asks themselves, “What will I get out of this?” The more that you are able to offer them, the greater the chances of your book being successful are. The key is to focus on transferable principles in well told story.

People everywhere, regardless of their age, location, social status or ethnic background share common needs for shelter, food, and love. They all fear being abandoned, being lonely, and the death of those they love the most. Regardless of what your theme is, if you are able to touch upon any of those desires or fears, anyone reading it will be able to identify.

You can read the story of someone who is different from you in gender, race, religion or some other way, but if they tell a story of something that you’re a passionate about, you will relate to them.

The greatest memoirs are those that enable readers to envision themselves in their stories. They want to identify with everything you’ve experienced and desire the ability to take what they’ve learned from you and apply it to their own lives.

If you are apprehensive about expressing your pain loudly enough to share the entire truth, you might not be ready to pen your memoir.

Choose anecdotes that support your theme, regardless of how painful recalling these memories might be. The more raw and vulnerable you are, the more effective and successful your writing will be.

This is important. Write your memoir in the same way that you would write a novel, your objective should be to show your story – not just tell it.

Use dialogue, descriptions, tensions, conflicts and other literary devices to breathe life into your story. Don’t focus so heavily into chronology, it isn’t an autobiography so you don’t need to be so tied to the timelines. State which ever anecdote fits each chapter the best. Just make sure that you don’t confuse the reader by jumping around without explanation.

Following the same principles as writing a novel, you should also pay attention to your character arc. In this case, you are the protagonist. Your memoir should clearly explain how you’ve grown into the person you are at present time, and what lessons you’ve learned along the way.

You’ve shown tremendous bravery by exposing your own weaknesses, failures and embarrassments – but, what about those of the other people you’ve mentioned in your writing; your friends, family, teachers, loved ones, etc.

In telling the truth, are you given carte blanche to air their dirty laundry?

In certain situations, yes.

But should you do this?

Absolutely not.

What if they’ve given you permission? Is there an advantage?

Typically someone who has been painted in a bad light, even if the information is entirely truthful, will not sign any sort of release granting you permission to expose them.

But had they, would it be ethical or kind for you to do so?

That is an extremely personal decision, but be cautious.

So what do you do?

We know that the best memoirs are the ones that a raw, gritty and real. How can you achieve this without exposing the events that transpired in your life?

There is a solution. And, it isn’t simply changing the names to protect the innocent or to prevent fall out.

Change the time, the place, the date, the gender. Change anything that could result in the individual being easily identified by someone who knows them.

For example, if the verbal abuse you suffered as a result of your mother telling you how overweight you were as a pre-teen made you develop an eating disorder, attribute it to a gym teacher or another individual elsewhere.

Is this lying? Not if you remember to include a disclaimer that cautions that names and details have been changed to protect identities.

What is the difference between a Memoir vs. Autobiography

The words memoir and autobiography are often mistakenly used interchangeably, but the two ideas are not the same.

Similar to an autobiography, a memoir is a first person narrative that shares the life changing experiences of the author. However, that is where the similarities end.

By definition, an autobiography is a chronological depiction of the things that the author has experienced throughout their entire lifetime, whereas the definition of a memoir makes reference to a more specific time or event and has a much more intimate relationship with the memoires, feelings and emotions of the author.

A memoi r is:

An autobiography is

Tips for Writing a Well-Written Memoir

When writing your memoir, your goal should be to tell a story that your readers can relate to one, one that makes them realize that what you’ve gone through, or what you’ve experienced could possibly happen (or has happened) to them. You want to leave them with something of value, a lesson that they can apply to their own situation.

A good writing advice includes a list of a few common writing mistakes to avoid when you are writing your memoir.

You want to engage with your reader, hook them into your story – so start in media res – right in the middle of the action.

If you start your memoir too slowly, readers will lose interest quickly. Don’t start at the climax, leave some room for rising action, but also start somewhere interesting and build upon that.

Some Remarkable Memoir Examples

The best piece of advice that can be given to anyone wanting to write their memoir is to immerse themselves into this genre before writing their own. Pay attention to how these writer structure their work, the way they encourage relatability, and how they tell their stories, and pick up some good memoir ideas.

This means reading as many memoirs as possible, and not just those written about famous people.

Consider the things that you find interesting or relatable about each memoir, does the author use certain language to speak on the level of those who might be reading their story, how do they use imagery, what really resonates with you?

Here are five examples of great memoir books to get you started:

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How to Write a Memoir Essay Without Losing Your Mind

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What Is a Memoir Essay

The memoir essay (or simply memoir) is a written literary piece about moments from your life. From French, mémoire means memory or flashback. If you are not a gray-haired old man, you still have something to tell the reader. You are the only person that knows you well. If you plan to preserve the most precious memories, start writing the memoir right away!

How does a memoir differ from an autobiography? In fact, an autobiography usually is a chronological story about your life. It tells the facts and events that have happened during your life path. A memoir, on the other hand, is one or a few flashbacks that describe your feelings and reactions to events and facts. The memoir is your personal reflection to a particular experience. A memoir can’t cover all of your life – only certain moments that are significant to you for a particular reason.

Writing a memoir is a good tool to see the real picture of the event and analyze your thoughts about it. It may happen that you will discover a secret or two that you can’t recognize at that time.

How to write a memoir essay in 5 easy steps

Before starting to write, you need to get answers to the following points. Defining the topic and target audience will give you the overall sense of what you should write.

1. Define the audience.

Why do you want to write a memoir? Who will be interested to read it? The answers to these questions will help you define the goal and topic. For example, if your aim is to write a commercial memoir that will bring you money and popularity, you will need to cover a general topic that will be interesting for a wide audience. The topic that may interest a wide variety of people will also interest the publisher, and you will raise chances of publishing your book. Think about how your text may help people solve their problems.

2. Pick the topic.

The first step to writing a memoir is to define the topic of your future essay. The theme or topic will help you stay focused on what you want to cover. How do you pick a topic for a memoir? There are no strict requirements for choosing the topic; it may be a description of your personal experience or just a story of your subway ride.

If you decide to add some fantasy to your stories, you can describe your dreams or fantasy about the near future. Also, you can write a memoir about relationships, the role of an animal in your life, recovering from illness, your traveling experience, or overcoming a disaster. Nearly every event from your life may deserve to be imprinted in texts. Sometimes, good stories come from an ordinary event.

When you define the main points, you will be ready to start writing your memoir.

3. Tell the story.

Your first draft may look like a page from your diary. Try to write about your experience in your own words and without thinking about grammar or writing style. The aim of this step is to write down all details connected to your experience.

Try to hook the reader from the very beginning of your story. You can tell about a touching incident that serves as a turning point. Experiment. Some writers start their memoirs from the middle or end of the story to catch the reader’s attention.

4. Structure your story.

Memoirs usually have a story structure. The structure may change depending on the content and what effect the author wants to receive in the end. You can apply the following structure as a basis:

You can try another approach: imagine that you are writing a script for a movie, and you are the main character. All you need is to constantly see the image.

5. Give your story to someone else to read.

Ask someone whose opinion you value highly to read your story. Ask this person to make suggestions and give an overall evaluation of the text. Maybe, you have confused something or the story gets boring in some parts. The outside opinion will help you improve your writing. Besides, such readers can help you find grammar and other mistakes in the text.

Memoir essay example

In the text below you can read a sample of a memoir written by one of our writers. Identify the style, tone, and literary approaches that the author utilizes in the text. Look at the structure and the word choice. You can use the sample as a basis for your own creation.

My Way to Myself

When I think about it now, it seems ridiculous that I could have been so lost and scared without any objective reason for it. If my limited and prejudiced mind knew about the illusory character of reality, it would have obviously prevented me from acting like a fool when the situation was apparent and so simple that no efforts were necessary to make order from the chaos of my thoughts. But at that time, I was strongly convinced that the scale of my problem was incomprehensible for any living being in the history of humanity.

At a certain point in my life, I realized I had no idea about who I am. I discovered that I was everything, starting from my parents’ expectations, my teacher’s ideas about what knowledge I need, and my friends’ ideas about what should I do for them to deserve their affiliation. I was everything except myself. I prefered to have never faced this discovery. And if I had not, I would have never had to start this long and frightful journey from nothing to myself. I began to suspect that something was wrong with me when I became systematically bored with peers and classmates. I thought I was strange, and once I met what I deemed to be an interesting persona, and it proved my suspicion as partially true.

The one thing that I was entirely sure about is that he was different. Later I realized that our instincts chose each other for us. Apparently, he was not different, but just comfortable for me. I asked sometimes: “Do you think I am strange?” And he always said “no.” “So why do you choose me?” He replied: “Because you are special.” I always laughed at this answer. I don’t know why, but strange and special seemed synonymous to me. He told me everyone thinks they are strange. Partially, it was true. When we think beyond stereotypes and prejudice, we believe we are special. In fact, we are not. There is nothing brave in thinking differently. I dealt with hundreds of people who were unique and interesting in their own way. With some of them, we have become good friends. Others were guests on my way. One thing that united all of them was the desire for individualism. The capitalistic social order imposed a sense of individualism. However, in fact, it made us slaves within different circumstances and gave the right to choose the pattern of behavior within slavery. It is not strange that people struggle to be themselves in the world when they are told everywhere whom to be.

Everyone expects us to be comfortable: family, spouses, bosses, state, and church. Comfortable means deprived of the ability to be free. If we fail to meet the expectations, we are labeled as egoistic people immediately. Society encourages people to overcome the human egoistic nature, and they struggle with themselves in the attempts to win the battle in their instincts. What a ridiculous fight. They inevitably lose it and become victims of the system. I had lost it. Many of those people I met on my way I will remember for ages for their bright and enlightened minds. They inspired me and showed the variety of facets in reality. I loved them for their courage to think beyond the prejudice and stereotype. It was then when I thought that, by their unique approach to things and events in their everyday life, they were strange and special because they were distinguishable from the majority. Later I discovered that there is nothing special in thinking beyond standards.

Much more courage is necessary to act beyond expectations. I was not courageous at all. I don’t know why, but for my entire life I have been struggling with lots of inner conflicts. I knew answers to many questions and I knew how to improve the quality of a certain reality. But I was afraid of responsibility. For quite a significant period I was struggling with fear, and during this period I accepted challenges and risks everywhere. I can not say I was stronger than fear, I just looked fear in the eyes. I would not say that this battle improved the quality of my life, although my comfort zone has become much broader now. Recently, I stopped this struggle. I let the fear exist. I accepted it as an inevitable part of me. Generally, my way to myself started from letting everything that is a part of me exist.

At first, it was difficult to define where is “me” and where is the voice of my past. It generated anxiety and inadequate self-esteem. Later I realized that the reality is neutral and there does not exist anything right or wrong in it. With this discovery, a feeling of freedom came. I realized that I have a right to think the way I do. Even if my thinking was prejudiced and imposed, I have a right to think it. I also realized that I am not special and have never been. I just liked the feeling to be different, but generally, no objective reason existed that distinguished me from the majority. We are all with our inner tragedies, and that is what makes us identical.

Tips on how to write a good memoir essay

As you can see, it’s not so difficult to write a memoir if you follow our steps. We hope our guide and sample will help you create an impressive memoir so others can cherish your memories for years.

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18 Narrative and Memoir Essays

Narrative writing.

Holmes, Sherlock (Fictitious character) Furniture. Detectives. Smoking. Theatrical productions.

Human beings tell stories every day. We understand most of nature through stories. Though facts can be memorized, stories — the details, the description, the experience — make us believe.

Therefore, as we begin to study writing, we need to begin with the properties of the story. How do good storytellers make us believe? How can good writing draw a reader into a story? How can we harness the power of the story to make a point, even in a dry, academic context?

The purpose of narrative writing is to tell stories. This is a form we are familiar with, as any time we tell a story about an event or incident in our day, we are engaging in a form of narration. In terms of writing, narration is the act of describing a sequence of events. Sometimes this is the primary mode of an essay—writing a narrative essay about a particular event or experience, and sometimes this is a component used within an essay, much like other evidence is offered, to support a thesis. This chapter will discuss the basic components of narration, which can be applied either as a stand-alone essay or as a component within an essay.

Ultimately, narrative writing tries to relay a series of events in an emotionally engaging way. You want your audience to be moved by your story, which could mean through laughter, sympathy, fear, anger, and so on. The more clearly you tell your story, the more emotionally engaged your audience is likely to be.


We talk about narrative writing in many ways. Books will introduce it as Narration, Narrative, and Storytelling. Narrative creeps into most of the other kinds of writing we learn about, too. Persuasive essays use short stories — often called anecdotes  — to engage a reader’s attention and sympathy. Consider the difference between these two openings to the same essay:

Which opening makes you want to read more? The second one engages its readers with a story — and we’re hard-wired, as humans, to want to hear the end of a story.

Television plays on this characteristic all the time. Think of your favorite show and the maddening, brief preview that starts before the credits roll. It’s always a quick snippet that makes you stay tuned because the writers and producers know their audience will sit through several minutes of mindless commercials just to find out how the story will continue.

In our own writing, we can use stories in just the same way. We can draw our readers into our own experiences, even if they’ve never been through anything even similar to what we have, by telling our own stories.


A narrative essay is a piece that tells one consistent, cohesive story. In academic writing, a narrative essay will also always convey a lesson, a moral, or a point that the writer wishes the reader to take.

When we say “moral,” some people think of after-school specials and having “good behavior” tips crammed down their throat. However, the most powerful lessons conveyed through writing are often done with great subtlety. True, the punishing pace of writing expected in a college course may not leave enough time to develop a nuanced story — no one is going to churn out War and Peace  or even  The Hobbit  in ten weeks — but not every story has to have the moral stated clearly, in bold font, at the very beginning.

Think about it this way: When you were a kid, if your grandmother had sat you down and said, “Listen. We’re now going to have a thirty-minute conversation about how it’s really bad if you start smoking,” would you have listened? Probably not. If, however, your grandmother took you to visit your uncle Larry, who had terminal lung cancer, and then casually mentioned as you left that Larry had been smoking since he was your age — would you get the lesson? Would you remember it? Do you remember better the 200 lectures you had as a teenager about not being a bully, or do you remember the one time that you witnessed its effects firsthand?

In a narrative, we want to pull that same kind of trick on our readers: get our point across, but do it in a way that engages the imagination and attention. Use the power of the story.

The narrative relies on the same components that all good writing does: it needs detail, clear organization, and a central purpose (AKA our friends Development, Organization, and Unity).


Consider this passage from the very first Sherlock Holmes mystery, “A Study in Scarlet,” which describes a major character:

The author includes detail upon detail to describe this gentleman. He could have simply said, “He was dying from hunger and from thirst,” which would tell us everything we need to know. Instead, he describes how these feelings have had an effect upon the man — he is  gaunt , he’s starting to look like a skeleton, and he can barely stand without the support of his rifle.

Think of the best book you’ve ever read (or the best television show you’ve ever watched, or the movie you love), and you may be able to relate to this. Good description is the difference between hearing a game on the radio and watching it live in the stadium (or on a ginormous 3-D television). The very breath of life in a narrative will always be your ability to describe a scene.

66 Chevelle Malibu SS396

This relies on the use of specific language. As you read through the revision section, you were encouraged to avoid phrases that your audience might find misleading. Consider this as you write a story. With every sentence, ask, “What does my audience know? What do they think?” If you say a car is “beautiful,” will your audience think of a 2018 Hybrid Honda Accord or of a 1966 Chevelle (pictured at right)? If there’s some doubt, change your words to reflect your meaning.

You may have heard the advice that asks you to “show, not tell” in writing. This is what we mean: be so descriptive in telling a story that the reader feels s/he is there beside you, seeing the swimming pool or the school’s front doors or the new car or the new child with his/her own eyes.


Narrative traditionally follows time order, or  chronological order , throughout. This seems obvious when you think about it — we tell stories in time order, starting (usually) at the beginning and working through to the end.

In an essay, pieces of the story can be organized into timespans by paragraph. For instance, if I’m describing a particularly harrowing day at work, I might have a paragraph just for the morning, and then a paragraph about my terrible lunch break, and then a paragraph about my afternoon.

Narrative essays usually can’t cover more ground than a day or two. Instead of writing about your entire vacation experience, study abroad month, two years of work at the plant, or 18 years living at home, focus on one particular experience that took place over a day or two. That’s enough for a reader to digest in a few pages, and it will also give you a chance to really lay in details without feeling rushed.

Sometimes, we start stories out of order. Many popular movies and television shows do this regularly by showing a clip of something that happens later before starting the whole show. If you’ve ever seen an episode of NCIS, you’ll be familiar with this technique: they start each section of the show with a photo of the ending scene, then start an hour or two before that scene in the live-action. Shows often jump to “One Week Earlier” between commercial breaks.

Think of the emotional impact that has upon you as a viewer. Again, it’s a trick the writers pull with their story to drive you through the boring/silly/pointless/insulting commercials so that you’ll stay with them. We want to know how the characters get to that end.

You can manipulate your audience in this way, too, but be careful; giving away too much of the ending may sometimes make a reader simply put down what they’re reading. It’s safer (though not always better) to just start at the beginning and write things down as they happened. Particularly in a first draft, sticking to the natural story order will be a good way to make sure nothing gets missed.

Chronological order , the order in which events unfold from first to last, is the most common organizational structure for narratives. Stories typically have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Certain transitional words and phrases aid in keeping the reader oriented in the sequencing of a story. Some of these phrases are listed below.

Figure 5.2 Transition Words and Phrases for Expressing Time

The following are the other basic components of a narrative:

•  Plot . The events as they unfold in sequence.

•  Characters . The people who inhabit the story and move it forward. Typically, each narrative has there are minor characters and main characters. The minor characters generally play supporting roles to the main character, or the protagonist.

•  Conflict . The primary problem or obstacle that unfolds in the plot, which the protagonist must solve or overcome by the end of the narrative. The way in which the protagonist resolves the conflict of the plot results in the theme of the narrative.

•  Theme . The ultimate message the narrative is trying to express; it can be either explicit or implicit.

Writing at Work

When interviewing candidates for jobs, employers often ask about conflicts or problems a potential employee had to overcome. They are asking for a compelling personal narrative. To prepare for this question in a job interview, write out a scenario using the narrative moved structure. This will allow you to troubleshoot rough spots as well as better understand your own personal history. Both processes will make your story better and your self-presentation better, too.

Narrative Anecdotes

An  anecdote  is a short, personal  narrative  about something specific. It is often used as a component in an essay, acting as evidence to support your thesis, as an example to demonstrate your point, and/or as a way to establish your credibility. It always has a point in telling it.

Elements of an Anecdote

1. Who, Where, When

Have you ever wondered why children’s stories begin something like this?

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, the teachers were revolting …

It is the start of a simple narrative. It also contains all the elements of a beginning to any narrative: when, where, and who. An anecdote, because it is short, will begin similarly:

One day, while I was sitting at a stop sign waiting for the light to change…

This little particle of an anecdote tells when, who, and where before the first sentence even ends.

Note : An anecdote sets up a particular incident; it does not tell about a long period of time.

2. What Happened (Sequence of Events)

Any narrative also includes a sequence of events. You should be able to read an anecdote and tell what happens first, what happens next, and so on. In the following anecdote, the bolded words suggest each event in the sequence.

Example Anecdote:

My first day of college I parked in the “South Forty,” which is what everyone called the huge parking lot on the edge of the campus. It was seven forty-five in the morning, hazy and cool. I walked across the parking lot, crossed a busy street, walked over a creek, through a “faculty” parking lot, crossed another street, and came to the first row of campus buildings. I walked between buildings, past the library and the student mall. I passed many quiet, nervous-looking students along the way. Many of them smiled at me. One trio of young girls was even chuckling softly among themselves when they all smiled and said “Hi” to me at once. By the time I got to my classroom, far on the other side of campus from the parking lot, I was smiling and boldly saying “Hi” to everyone, too, particularly the girls. Every single one of them smiled or responded with a “Hi” or made a friendly comment or even chuckled happily. It was my first day of college.

When I found the building I was looking for, a friend from high school appeared. She was in my first class! I smiled at her and said, “Hi!” She looked at me. She smiled. Then she laughed. She said, “Why are you wearing a sock on your shirt?” I looked down. A sock had come out of the dryer clinging to my shirt.

3. Implied Point

Most of us want to make sure that we “get the point across” to whatever story we are telling, assuming it has a point. To do this, we tend to explain what we are telling. It is sometimes very difficult to stop. However, stopping in a timely way allows the reader to draw his or her own conclusions.

Show, don’t tell

In the anecdote above, I am very tempted to tell the reader what I felt at the moment I realized that everyone was laughing AT me rather than just being friendly. For the ending, where the point is in this case, it is best to let the reader infer (draw conclusions, fill in the blanks) what happens implicitly rather than to state explicitly what the point is, or what the narrator felt, or anything else.

The more indirect you are about your object or place the better. In the anecdote above, it might be obvious that my object is a sock or my place is a parking lot. The point is, it is not an anecdote “about” a sock; it is referred to indirectly.

How do we show rather than tell? First, describe what you see (I don’t really see anything with “I was SO embarrassed…”) or what you smell, hear, or taste, but NOT what you feel. An easy way to check whether you are showing or telling is to go through your anecdote and underline the verbs. If the verbs are “be”-verbs (is, was, were, etc.) or verbs that describe actions we cannot see (“I thought…” “I believed…” “I imagined…” “it made me upset…” and so on) then you are probably telling. In the sentence above I used “walked,” “lecturing,” “ripped,” and “said.”

Most Common Question:

“What makes stories or anecdotes interesting and something I can relate to?”

Actually, it is a simple principle, even though it may not be obvious. We “relate” or “connect” most easily to situations we recognize and so fill in the blanks. If you “tell” me, for example, “I was SO embarrassed …” then you have not let me fill in MY embarrassment. On the other hand, if you “show” me a scene, it allows me to fit my own experience into it:

“I walked past the corner of the aluminum whiteboard tray while lecturing to a class. It ripped my pants. After a moment I said, ‘Class dismissed.’”

The writer of those statements, hopes the reader will fill in some similarly embarrassing moment without the writer clearly stating that this is what is supposed to be done. The connection, the act of “filling in,” is what people tend to refer to as “relating to.”

Interestingly, it does not even matter whether or not readers fill in what the writer intend for them to fill in; it is the act of filling in our own experiences that makes us “relate” to an incident. From a writer’s perspective, that means we should show rather than tell.

Second, resist the temptation to “explain.” Let the reader fill in the blanks! It is so much more personal when the reader participates by filling in.

Assignment 1

Write an anecdote that contains who, where, when, and what happens (a sequence of events). Think about an anecdote that  involves ,  alludes to, or otherwise includes your object or place ; it does not have to be “about” your place. It also does not have to be “true” in the strict sense of the word; we will not be able to verify any believable details if they add to the effect of the anecdote. Type it out. Keep it simple and to the point.

What are ‘clichés’ and why can’t we use them?

Clichés are figurative phrases and expressions that you have probably heard a million times. For our purposes, there are two kinds of clichés: the ones that jump out at you and the ones that we use without thinking.

If you are paying attention, you will notice that the two sentences above contain at least 3 clichés. You might also notice that clichés are best suited to spoken language, because they are readily available and sometimes when we speak, we don’t have time to replace a common expression with a unique one. However, we DO have time to replace clichés while we are writing.

The problem with clichés in writing is that they are too general when we should be much more specific. They also tend to tell rather than show. In the first sentence above, we have most likely heard the phrase, “have probably heard a million times.” In speech, that expression works. In writing, it should be  literal  rather than  figurative.  The first sentence is better this way:

Clichés are figurative phrases and expressions that we have heard so many times that we all share some understanding of what they mean.

Not exactly what you thought when you read it at the beginning of this answer, is it? That is why being  literal and specific  in writing is better than  figurative and vague  as a rule.

Here is a re-write of the second sentence at the start of this answer:

For our purposes, there are two kinds of clichés: the ones that are obvious expressions (like “You can lead a horse to water …”) and the ones that are not part of expressions but seem to “go” easily into a group of words (like “we use without thinking”).

The second type is more difficult to identify and eradicate. Usually it is a group of words we have heard before that doesn’t add anything to a statement. For example, instead of “We watched the donuts roll down the street every night,” you might be tempted to add to it this way: “We watched the donuts roll down the street each and every night.” Avoid clichés in your writing.

To see more see more commonly used clichés and for guidance on how to rewrite them, see this  handout ( The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Writing Center.

Some Other Rhetorical Tips

External Links:

“ Sixty-nine Cents ” ( by Gary Shteyngart: In “Sixty-nine Cents,” author Gary Shteyngart describes a coming-of-age experience as a first-generation Russian-Jewish immigrant in modern America.

Sherman Alexie grew up on the Spokane Reservation in Washington State. He chronicles his challenges in school, starting in first grade, in  Indian Education (

Sandra Cisneros offers an example of a narrative essay in “ Only Daughter ”  ( that captures her sense of her Chicana-Mexican heritage as the only daughter in a family of seven children. The essay is also available here  (

 Annie Dilliard offers an example of a narrative essay in an excerpt, often entitled “ The Chase ” ( from her autobiography  An American Childhood , outlining a specific memorable event from her childhood. This essay is also available  here  (


The final consideration in putting together a narrative essay should be unifying it around a single theme or lesson. As you draft, you may already have this lesson in mind:  everyone should wear a seatbelt.  However, remember that your reader needs to make up her own mind. Don’t insult a reader by beating them up with your lesson, and don’t leave them guessing about the meaning of your piece by leaving it out completely.

Many writers include a paragraph of reflection after telling a personal story in an essay that lets a reader know, directly, the significance that the story has on the writer’s life. This can be a good way to get a lesson across. Showing what you’ve learned or found important in an event will provide the reader with a clue about the overall meaning of the story.

You should use “I” in a personal, narrative essay . There are types of academic writing where “I” is inappropriate, but this is not one of those times. In fact, the best narratives will often be the most personal, the stories that avoid hiding behind “you” or “they” and instead boldly tell the writer’s own story.


The typical narrative essay follows an outline that should seem like common sense:

This outline is flexible. Perhaps the first event in your story will take significant space to describe; it may need 2 paragraphs of its own. Maybe there are smaller events that happen within the larger events. Maybe for your piece, it makes sense to jump right into the story instead of spending an introduction paragraph to give some setup. What matters most is that a reader can easily follow the piece from beginning to end and that she will leave with a good understanding of what you wanted the reader to learn.

Student Sample Essay

My College Education

The first class I went to in college was philosophy, and it changed my life forever. Our first assignment was to write a short response paper to the Albert Camus essay “The Myth of Sisyphus.” I was extremely nervous about the assignment as well as college. However, through all the confusion in philosophy class, many of my questions about life were answered.

I entered college intending to earn a degree in engineering. I always liked the way mathematics had right and wrong answers. I understood the logic and was very good at it. So when I received my first philosophy assignment that asked me to write my interpretation of the Camus essay, I was instantly confused. What is the right way to do this assignment, I wondered? I was nervous about writing an incorrect interpretation and did not want to get my first assignment wrong. Even more troubling was that the professor refused to give us any guidelines on what he was looking for; he gave us total freedom. He simply said, “I want to see what you come up with.”

Full of anxiety, I first set out to read Camus’s essay several times to make sure I really knew what was it was about. I did my best to take careful notes. Yet even after I took all these notes and knew the essay inside and out, I still did not know the right answer. What was my interpretation? I could think of a million different ways to interpret the essay, but which one was my professor looking for? In math class, I was used to examples and explanations of solutions. This assignment gave me nothing; I was completely on my own to come up with my individual interpretation.

Next, when I sat down to write, the words just did not come to me. My notes and ideas were all present, but the words were lost. I decided to try every prewriting strategy I could find. I brainstormed, made idea maps, and even wrote an outline. Eventually, after a lot of stress, my ideas became more organized and the words fell on the page. I had my interpretation of “The Myth of Sisyphus,” and I had my main reasons for interpreting the essay. I remember being unsure of myself, wondering if what I was saying made sense, or if I was even on the right track. Through all the uncertainty, I continued writing the best I could. I finished the conclusion paragraph, had my spouse proofread it for errors, and turned it in the next day simply hoping for the best.

Then, a week or two later, came judgment day. The professor gave our papers back to us with grades and comments. I remember feeling simultaneously afraid and eager to get the paper back in my hands. It turned out, however, that I had nothing to worry about. The professor gave me an A on the paper, and his notes suggested that I wrote an effective essay overall. He wrote that my reading of the essay was very original and that my thoughts were well organized. My relief and newfound confidence upon reading his comments could not be overstated.

What I learned through this process extended well beyond how to write a college paper. I learned to be open to new challenges. I never expected to enjoy a philosophy class and always expected to be a math and science person. This class and assignment, however, gave me the self-confidence, critical-thinking skills, and courage to try a new career path. I left engineering and went on to study law and eventually became a lawyer. More important, that class and paper helped me understand education differently. Instead of seeing college as a direct stepping stone to a career, I learned to see college as a place to first learn and then seek a career or enhance an existing career. By giving me the space to express my own interpretation and to argue for my own values, my philosophy class taught me the importance of education for education’s sake. That realization continues to pay dividends every day.

Most People Don’t Understand Memoirs  

In 2006, James Frey wrote a memoir about parts of his life when he was under the influence of drugs called  A Million Little Pieces , and after Oprah had him on her show to discuss the book – it was featured in her popular book club, of course – she was told that he “lied” about certain parts. Well, he didn’t lie. Memoirs contain what we remember. What we remember isn’t always “fact.” What I always say is that if you have all of your family members report what happened at a family gathering – like a birthday party or Christmas – whose report would be correct? No ones! That’s what a memoir is. It’s still nonfiction because it’s what the person remembers, but it’s not false on purpose. If I remember that my sister responded to me in a snotty way one day and my other sister didn’t think so, no one is correct. It’s just my memory versus hers.

Now, typically, memoirs encompass just a chunk of someone’s life, like when James Frey wrote about his drug years, but sometimes, some famous person in their 70s (or older) will write his/her memoir. No matter what, it’s simply what they remember, and I suppose if someone’s on drugs or has an awful memory, the stories could appear to be false. But they aren’t. That’s why they say, “life is stranger than fiction.”

Memoirs are part of the nonfiction category of literature; they contain a lot of description and detail, and they are typically very, very personal in content.

memoir essay thesis

The Bits and Pieces of Memoir

The memoir is a specific type of narrative. It is autobiographical in nature, but it is not meant to be as comprehensive as a biography (which tells the entire life story of a person). Instead, a memoir is usually only a specific “slice” of one’s life. The time span within a memoir is thus frequently limited to a single memorable event or moment, though it can also be used to tell about a longer series of events that make up a particular period of one’s life (as in Cameron Crowe’s film memoir Almost Famous ). It is narrative in structure, usually describing people and events that ultimately focuses on the emotional significance of the story to the one telling it. Generally, this emotional significance is the result of a resolution from the conflict within the story. Though a memoir is the retelling of a true account, it is not usually regarded as being completely true. After all, no one can faithfully recall every detail or bit of dialogue from an event that took place many years ago. Consequently, some creative license is granted by the reader to the memoirist recounting, say, a significant moment or events from his childhood some thirty years, or more, earlier. (However, the memoirist who assumes too much creative license without disclosing that fact is vulnerable to censure and public ridicule if his deception is found out, as what happened with James Frey and his memoir,  A Million Little Pieces .)

Furthermore, names of people and places are often changed in a memoir to protect those who were either directly or indirectly involved in the lives and/or event(s) being described.

Why read memoirs?

To learn about other people’s lives and their thoughts about events that have occurred.  Memoirs are a personalized look at history.

How to write memoirs?

Reflect n your life. write what you remember about events that matter to you from your unique point-of-view.

Dialogue is another way to bring life to your writing. Dialogue is conversation or people speaking in your story. An engaging dialogue goes beyond what is simply being said to include descriptions of non-verbal communication (facial expressions, body movement, changes in tone, and speed of speech) and characterization. The way people speak and interact while talking reveals much about them and the situation.

Writing a natural-sounding dialogue is not easy. Effective dialogue must serve more than one purpose – it should:

Sample Dialogue

“So, what was it really like?” I asked.

“I’ve told you. It was amazing.”

I shifted to my side so I could look at her. “You have to give me more than that,” I insisted, “and not the mom and dad version.”

Liv mirrored my move to her side and propped up her head with her arm. Her blue eyes searched my greens, looking for the right words. “I shouldn’t–”

We broke our gaze as we heard our mom call for us. Once again, I didn’t get the truth.

Basic Dialogue Rules

Example Memoir

Chocolate Can Kill You

Just when you think your life could not get any better, the Great One Above throws you for a loop that causes you to think upon your life, yourself, and your “little” obsession with chocolate. I am somewhat ashamed of this story, but it taught me so much. I still remember Alisa’s face when I came crying into the Valley City gym, I can hear Dad’s echoing “Are you OKAY?” consistently in my mind as if it had been a childhood scolding, and I see the image of the snow coming at me at 70mph every time I drive on a highway now.

In 1997, the morning after Valentine’s Day, I took off to see my sister in Valley City. She was there because of a wrestling meet. She is one of their prized assistants and without her, they would never get to see how goofy they look in tights. It was a crisp morning, and I cannot remember if I filled the bronco’s tank, but I did purchase a Twix bar before heading out on I-94. I vaguely remember thinking, Gee a seat belt would be good, even though the roads were as clean as they could have been in a North Dakota February. On that ten-degree morning, I met up with no one on the highway.

I was just bee-bopping along the left side of the road, listening to the radio and singing aloud as if I was Mariah Carey. It was at this time that I chomped into my first Twix bar.

In an attempt at a different radio station or something or another, I dropped the last bar between my legs onto the floor of the black beastly bronco.

This is where I become a stupid human. I tried to recapture the chocolate bar thinking, or maybe not even thinking, It will only take me a second. Whoever has said that seconds count in any accident WAS RIGHT! All of a sudden, I look up to see that I am driving 70 mph into the median’s snowdrifts. I cranked the wheel, thinking I could just drive back onto the highway. I mumble a few swear words and realize I am going 70 MPH IN A VERY DEEP SNOWDRIFT! I take my foot off the accelerator and while the front end slows, the back end has accumulated too much energy or velocity (a good physics question) and begins to lift upwards. I close my eyes, cross my arms across my chest, and crouch back into my seat and start to feel the bronco as well as myself turn and twist and hover for what seemed an eternity in slow motion. I did not open my eyes once.

And then all of a sudden, the small jolted car lands- PLOP – ON ITS WHEELS! My chair has completely reclined, and I sit up seeing smoke coming from my engine. I forget how to work my car and instinctively get out as if to show God I am alive. I stand on top of the drift becoming taller than my boxy 4×4. There are small dents in the front where you would open the hood but that is the biggest damage I can see.

“Are you OKAY?” An old couple are parked and honking at me from the other side of the highway going towards Fargo. They tell me to come with them and turn off the engine. I grab my parka and make my way through the snow to sit down in the back seat of the long car and take in that old people smell. This is when I quietly cry.

“You did a flip! It’s amazing you walked away from it,” says the old man and I think to myself sarcastically to calm down, Yeah I tried to do that. I ask them to take me to Valley City trying not to sound three and a half. Another major thought echoes What will Dad say?

They turned around at the next available bridge which was a mile away and the lady told me the exit so I could give it to the people that will tow my little bruised bronco. They talked to themselves as I tried to think of what exactly happened, how glad I was to be alive, and how I felt about it. Once inside the gymnasium, I found Alisa’s eyes and she instantly frowned and looked scared.

“Did you and Jason fight?” No, I try to say but I am crying in front of a large crowd who all seem more interested in me now than the matches. I sit down beside her and say:

“I did a flip… the bronco… flipped … it did a 360.”

“The bronco did a WHAT! ARE YOU OKAY!” She panics. I go to call Dad as she tells her friends, and they also feel sympathetic and are quite amazed. I don’t know how I managed to remember my calling card number, but I reached Mom and Dad just waking up. Once again Dad frightens me with his voice and vows to be there as soon as possible and tells me to call the highway patrol.

I was the only accident that whole day on the highway, I think, so I looked pretty silly.

Mom and Dad showed up an hour later. Mom was half-awake, and Dad looked like he’d been chugging coffee left and right. They had seen the bronco being towed incorrectly towards Fargo, so Dad feared the transmission was screwed up again much less the rest of the car. We took off for Fargo and stopped at the spot seeing the tracks lead into the snow, then 25 feet of no tracks, and suddenly a large indentation where the bronco had sat down.

Once at the Mobile on I-29, Dad jumped into the bronco to try to start it. It revved right up. I shook my head and thought of the motto, Built Ford Tough. Only the alignment and steering was off from me trying to turn it back onto the road, and the steam I had seen was the radiator fluid splashing onto the hot engine.

We had to meet with a highway patrolman, so the bronco could get a sticker and photos could be taken. I also, fortunately for the taxpayers, had to pay a Care of Vehicle bill of thirty dollars which means that the government basically can fine someone for trashing his/her own vehicle. This pissed me off incredibly after a day like I had just had. My mom had to remind me though that at least it wasn’t a medical bill.

The highway patrolman reminds me how valuable it was that I had had a seat belt on because I would have for sure gone through the windshield with that type of event and all the tossing that I had endured. That does not make replaying this event in my memory any better. As if God was saying: “No, not yet.”

It’s a common joke to not let me eat while I am driving.

That day made me incredibly grateful for my life, and for the people who came to my aid, especially my parents for spending their whole Saturday with me. Whether we were trying to contact the highway patrolman, paying the tower and the ticket, or comforting me- they never complained. Who knew chocolate could lead to such a life-threatening, yet philosophical day?

Time to Write

Purpose:  This assignment will demonstrate the understanding of how to write a memoir

Task: This assignment frames a single event for the memoir essay.

Write a Memoir Essay.  This essay should clearly identify a significant event or series of closely tied events that convey the significance of that event or has somehow shaped your personal perspective.  Remember that you are writing for an audience that doesn’t share your knowledge of the event(s), people, setting, etc. It is up to you to make your memoir come to life.

Key Features of a Memoir:

Key Grading Considerations


English 101: Journey Into Open by Christine Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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Best Memoir Examples that Will Stir Your Imagination [UPD 2023]


If you are having a hard time writing your memoir, you should check out the memoir examples that we’ve prepared for you. These wonderful samples will show you what a truly good memoir is and what it might look like. We’ve also explained what a memoir is, chosen interesting tips, and provided a memoir essay structure for you.

📝 Memoir Definition

💡 memoir tips.

📜 Example of Memoir About Yourself

📚 Memoir Essay Structure

🔗 references.

A memoir is an account of your experiences related to events from your personal life or history that you witnessed.

A memoir is sometimes also called an autobiography, as the two terms share the same meaning to some extent.

But here’s the deal:

There is a slight difference between writing a memoir and writing an autobiography, and it is important to truly understand it in order to benefit most from reading an example of a memoir.

Let’s have a look at this difference!

Memoir VS Autobiography

The picture contains the comparison of autobiography vs. memoir.

Writing your memoirs is an excellent exercise and a good start for a beginning author.

You can learn from it different approaches to captivating readers, develop a skill to express emotions in the right way, and train your writing style .

And what is more pleasant:

After practicing this assignment for some time, you can know how to write a memoir book.If you want to read about other types of assignments, read the Overnight Essay blog . We can also help you to write your paper of any complexity.

A person who writes a memoir is a memoirist or… simply a student who has been assigned this task. No matter to which category you belong, the following memoir writing tips will help you write a killer memoir sample:

The most famous memoir books are based on the principles listed above. Keeping to them, you can create a masterpiece or, at least, get an A at your college.

But that isn’t all we can offer you:

You can find even more truly good ideas for your memoir in this list of informative speech topics for college students .

🖊️ Memoir Examples to Your Attention

Finally, you can observe these memoir writing examples to know how to write one yourself.

Of course, you can use these memoir ideas, but reading these samples can also give you enough inspiration to develop your own paper from the very beginning.

Let’s check these memoir essay examples!

My Pursuit of Happiness

Actually, I started my pursuit of happiness as soon as I came into this world. My Mom says that I was an extremely capricious baby – I could cry out loud for a rather long period of time until all my demands were satisfied. A little terrorist, with large rainy eyes and a loud voice, I was! Later on, as I grew up, I preserved my willingness to do everything to get what I wanted, but I learned some new and more effective methods of achieving my goals.

I remember that when I was 4 years old, I wanted to have a dog. Absolutely nothing, even my allergy to dogs, could prevent me from making my dream come true…

Comment: The title is captivating – it sets the tone, but it does not reveal all the secrets. This example of a memoir contains some self-criticism. The author sounds truly sincere when s/he calls himself (herself) a terrorist.

A Revolution at School

The events of that sunny spring day turned out to change the course of history at our school. I am proud of being one of the revolutionaries who drove the change.

The problem was our school uniform, which was more or less bearable in winter but became a cause of students’ torture in spring because it was too hot.

This is why the girls from our class agreed to wear jeans instead of the uniform one day, to show our protest against the silly school rule of wearing the uniform even when it was too hot for it. We felt a bit scared before the beginning of the first lesson. Mrs. Stone, our Geography teacher, had to be the first to see our silent protest…

Comment: The author expresses his/her feelings and emotions about an important event at school. Note that this sample memoir focuses more on the event than on the author’s personality.

📎 Memoir about Yourself

A memoir about yourself or a personal memoir differs from just a personal essay. A memoir about yourself is a piece of writing in which a person reflects on important personal events. It is a place where the author analyzes and describes why certain events were so crucial.

But you might fairly ask: “What is the difference between a personal memoir and a personal essay?” Here is the answer!

To some extent, the personal memoir and the personal essay are pretty similar. However, there is one important difference! The essay can be a reflection on any events or just a description of anything personal. The memoir focuses on past and life-changing experiences.

In short, the personal memoir aims at answering the three questions:

We’ve created a great example of a personal memoir for you . Here you can see how you can structure your story and what it can be about. Let’s dive in!

The Life-Changing Morning

That morning the sky was especially grey, and the whole atmosphere did not dispose of something good. I woke up alone in my tiny flat in the middle of nowhere. It did not feel like something bad was happening or even going to happen shortly. However, the way I felt was hard to describe. I took my morning coffee and then heard a knock on the door. It was a postman with an envelope in his hand. I opened the letter and read it out loud. It said that I was invited to the University of Oxford to study journalism. My dream came true! I was filled with happiness, motivation, and a thirst to start my studies as soon as possible. I can still remember this special and life-changing moment.

Comment: First of all, the author chose the right, captivating title, which invites a reader to discover what had happened that morning. Secondly, the personal memoir focuses on the important event that changed a young person’s life. Thirdly, he reflects on how he felt when it happened.

📋 One-Page Memoir: What Is It About?

A memoir doesn’t have to be a thick book. It can be of any length and cover any important life events. Making your memoir relatively short means that you should focus on one particular event.

Besides, this event should be captivating and life-changing. It would be best to tell about the emotions you experienced and what they brought to your life. The text can be concise, for instance, only 1 page. However, it should be interesting enough to evoke a reader’s emotions in such a short time.

So, here is a few recommendations for your one-page memoir:

If your task is to create a memoir essay, you may be surprised because it doesn’t have any typical structure .

The way you do your memoir writing depends only on your style and preferences.

If you want to combine two different stories into one and underline the message by inferring it from both of them – do it.

If you want to tell a situation when you feel fear or anxiety, there is a nice place to put a flashback to make readers understand you better – then, do it as well.

Memoir writing structure is a field where you can apply creativity and originality.

What you must include are:

Other elements are free for you to add to your paper. Let your inner writer choose which of them do you need to make a memoir writing breath-taking.

So, after looking through these examples of memoirs, you have a pretty good idea of how to write your own papers in this genre. Good luck with your memoirs! We are certain that you will make them unforgettable!

Dissertations / Theses on the topic 'Memoir'

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Related research topics

Cummins, Tara Lee-Geerlings. "Untitled Memoir." CSUSB ScholarWorks, 2016.

Weiss, Katherine. "Dieter Leisegang: Texts as Memory, Texts as Memoir." Digital Commons @ East Tennessee State University, 2012.

Giura, Maria. "A memoir, untitled." Diss., Online access via UMI:, 2006.

Lovell, Bonnie Alice. "Home: A Memoir." Thesis, University of North Texas, 2001.

Bush, Diane. "Thaw: A Memoir." [email protected], 2009.

Garnett, Nicholas. "Twisted Straight: A Memoir." FIU Digital Commons, 2011.

Strasburg, Toni. "Fractured lives : a memoir." Master's thesis, University of Cape Town, 2009.

Wells, Jennifer E. "Rough-Hewn: A Memoir." Miami University / OhioLINK, 2005.

Thorne, Amy Renee. "Breaking Bad: A Memoir." The Ohio State University, 2009.

Ticoras, Hannah. "Unbecoming: A Digital Memoir." Ohio University Honors Tutorial College / OhioLINK, 2015.

Jin, Rui. "Memoir of a marionette /." Online version of thesis, 2008.

Ross, Mario Joachim. "Fuel: Collected Memoir Essays." PDXScholar, 2011.

Harmer, Liz. "Interpretation Machine: a Memoir." Chapman University Digital Commons, 2019.

Read, Jacinta. "Patchwork Someone : a memoir ; and, Religious memoir in a secular age : critical commentary." Thesis, Goldsmiths College (University of London), 2018.

Teague, Sian. "Sink or swim: A memoir - and - Writing memoir: Truths, tensions, transitions: An essay." Thesis, Edith Cowan University, Research Online, Perth, Western Australia, 2014.

Culp, A. J. "The memoir of Moses : Deuteronomy and the shaping of Israel’s memory." Thesis, University of Bristol, 2012.

Gillaspy, Kelley Marie. "Flatlines| A Memoir of Grief." Thesis, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2018.

This dissertation is a hybrid project that includes a critical paper and a collection of creative writing, including poems, a nonfiction piece, several drama pieces, and an erasure project. The critical paper is an analysis of the mental ailments and disassociated discourse of Anton Chekhov’s characters in three of his plays— The Seagull, Uncle Vanya , and The Cherry Orchard . Many of Anton Chekhov’s characters display symptoms of depression, including suicide attempts, and formal thought disorder. The creative section’s drama pieces were loosely influenced by Anton Chekhov’s work, but all of the work completed in the creative section is connected through common themes of mental illness and grief. Many of the poems in this section symbolize grief through the loss of a father. Some of the more grief-stricken moments are symbolically represented through animals, such as the mice in “All Summer.” Later, this same type of grief is transformed in “Flatlines,” the titular work of the dissertation, to a young woman’s reimaging and hallucination of childhood characters brought to life to her by her father’s death. The last work presented in this creative section is the erasure project that blends the poetry with the drama–a stage manager’s notes blacked out, silenced, and relit with a different perspective, but still a connection to the theatre’s space, set, and characters.

Beckwin, Deborah. "In Double Exile: A Memoir." Master's thesis, University of Central Florida, 2014.

Slager, Judit. "Simulation in Dave Eggers’s Memoir." Cleveland State University / OhioLINK, 2008.

Faust, Katelyn. "This is Fun: A Memoir." Scholarship @ Claremont, 2017.

Lovell, Bonnie Alice. "The Lexicographer's Daughter: A Memoir." Thesis, University of North Texas, 2011.

Slager, Judit. "Simulation in Dave Eggers's memoir." Cleveland, Ohio : Cleveland State University, 2008.

McCall, Catherine W. "Lifeguarding : a memoir of family /." Electronic version (PDF), 2003.

Sutton-Linderman, Chelsi Joy. "Lessons in Humanity: A Memoir." [email protected], 2008.

Merrill, Mark Reed. "Where We Belong: A Memoir." PDXScholar, 2012.

Clewett, Laura. "I REMEMBER MYSELF: A MEMOIR." UKnowledge, 2019.

Dotson, Holly. "A Bruised Sky Falling." [email protected], 2009.

Robson, Claire Elizabeth. "Collective memoir as public pedagogy : a study of narrative, writing, and memory." Thesis, University of British Columbia, 2011.

Lee, Melissa. "The Many Pedagogies of Memoir: A Study of the Promise of Teaching Memoir in College Composition." Master's thesis, University of Central Florida, 2012.

Den, Elzen Katrin. "“My Decision: A Memoir” and “The Young Widow Memoir: Grief and the Rebuilding of Fractured Identity”." Thesis, Curtin University, 2018.

Videtto, Aubrey. "The Underground House: A Body Memoir." TopSCHOLAR®, 2005.

Kang, Jeffrey. "Memoir: A Collection of Short Stories." Scholarship @ Claremont, 2011.

Finnerty, Mora Lee. "Dancing with the baglady a memoir /." Huntington, WV : [Marshall University Libraries], 2002.

Frazer, Brentley. "Scoundrel Days Writing Rebellion/Youthful Memoir." Thesis, Griffith University, 2017.

Sanabria, Camila B. "The Red Front Door, A Memoir." [email protected], 2019.

Day, Samantha L. "Gritting Teeth: A Memoir of Unhealthy Love." TopSCHOLAR®, 2010.

Heimbecker, Elizabeth Helen. "Stories of teaching and learning, a memoir." Thesis, National Library of Canada = Bibliothèque nationale du Canada, 2001.

Horsfall, Benjamin Robert. "The logic of bunched implications : a memoir /." Connect to thesis, 2007.

MacAdams, Anneliese. "Any other mouth : writing the hybrid memoir." Thesis, University of Huddersfield, 2017.

Jones, Allyson L. ""Just Ask: A Memoir of My Father"." Thesis, University of North Texas, 2020.

Kochendorfer, Josie. "My Body Knows Many Deaths: A Memoir." The Ohio State University, 2020.

Ramirez, Bridgette. "How to Survive Autism: a Family Memoir." Scholarship @ Claremont, 2017.

Harris-Gershon, David. "I want my ball back : a memoir /." View electronic thesis (PDF), 2009.

McGuire, Ira R. "Memoir in fragments: mapping family and place." Thesis, Griffith University, 2019.

Dalmaso, Renata Lucena. "Disability and metaphor in the graphic memoir." reponame:Repositório Institucional da UFSC, 2015.

Sauvageau, Jacob Kevin. "Vagrant of the El Camino: a Memoir." PDXScholar, 2017.

Criswell, Jill. "ORDINARY MADNESS." Master's thesis, University of Central Florida, 2008.

Nichols, Jacob A. "Halfback on Acid: A Coming of Age Memoir." Thesis, Connect to resource online, 2010.

Leaf, Patricia L. "Mercy of the fallen : a memoir in shards." Virtual Press, 2007.

Schmucker, Dietlinde. "Negotiating German victimhood in the American misery memoir." Thesis, University of Birmingham, 2018.

What Do You Do? A Memoir in Essays

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These personal essays present a twenty-something's evolving attitudes toward her occupations. Each essay explores a different job-from birthday party clown, to seitan-maker, to psychiatric den mother-while circling around sub-themes of addiction, disability, sex, love, nature, and nourishment (both food and otherwise). Through landscape, extended metaphor and symbol, and recurring characters, the collection addresses how a person's work often defines how she sees the world. Each of the narrator's jobs thrusts her into networks of people and places that both helps and impedes the process of self-discovery. As a whole, the essay collection functions as a memoir, tracking an often-universal journey, … continued below

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Keckler, Kristen A. August 2008.

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These personal essays present a twenty-something's evolving attitudes toward her occupations. Each essay explores a different job-from birthday party clown, to seitan-maker, to psychiatric den mother-while circling around sub-themes of addiction, disability, sex, love, nature, and nourishment (both food and otherwise). Through landscape, extended metaphor and symbol, and recurring characters, the collection addresses how a person's work often defines how she sees the world. Each of the narrator's jobs thrusts her into networks of people and places that both helps and impedes the process of self-discovery. As a whole, the essay collection functions as a memoir, tracking an often-universal journey, one that many undertake in order to discover a meaningful life, and sometimes, eventually, a career.

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