Steps to Writing a Memorable Event Essay
The memorable event essay is a common assignment in writing classes and can also be part of a college application. The exercise helps you practice your writing and narration skills. The advantage to you as the writer is that you don't need to do a lot of research because you will write from experience.
List memorable events worthy of your essay. These may include births and deaths of loved ones, rites of passage and turning points in your life. Sometimes something simple can be especially memorable, like going to a concert or playing outside with your family. Begin several days before your essay is due, if possible.
Choose from your list an event that is complex enough for the length of your essay. If you can't describe the event in detail, it may not have been very memorable. Choose an experience you don't mind sharing with your audience.
Think about why your event was memorable. What about it was different from your daily routine? How did the event affect the rest of your life? Identify the main reason you remember this experience. This will be your theme.
Create a general outline of what happened. Include details that relate to your theme. Remember to include an introduction and conclusion. Add any background information your reader needs to know to understand what happened and why it was important. If you get stuck, consider William Strunk's suggested structure for a narrative of a historical event: "A. What led up to the event. B. Account of the event. C. What the event led up to."
Write your first draft based on your outline. Create a separate paragraph for each major point in your outline. Concentrate on the content of your essay rather than grammar, spelling and mechanics.
Remember to explain what you were thinking when your memorable event happened. Why did you react the way you did? What did or didn't you know about what was happening? Did you realize right away that this was something you would always remember? Use language that will help the reader feel the way you did.
If possible, leave your essay alone for an hour or a day before beginning to edit. Read your essay as if someone else had written it. Does anything seem confusing? Did you clearly explain why your event was memorable? Are there details that do not support your theme? Sometimes you will need to re-write a paragraph or more. You may need to delete unimportant paragraphs.
Fix any grammatical, spelling or mechanical errors. Run a spell-check. Read through your essay several times before turning it in. If you can, get someone else to read it and give you feedback.
- "The Elements of Style;" William Strunk, Jr.; 1918
Elliot Quimby has been a freelance writer, editor and proofreader since 2008. Quimby has written, edited and proofread grant proposals, press releases, cover letters, resumes and website content. Quimby earned a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and literature as well as linguistics at the University of Michigan. Quimby has contributed to a blog on Urbanministry.org.