Memoir Essay: How to Make It Readable, Informative, Entertaining and Thought-Provoking


Until nowadays scientists from all over the world have been trying to find out how human memory actually works and what mechanisms are responsible for creating, storing and reproducing all our recollections. What we know for sure is that memory is an extremely powerful thing. It may be characterized as a sort of particular and very strong mental impetus which usually prompts us to act in this or that way. It is not only about those situations when we are writing a test trying to remember a physics formula or the year of the Boston Tea Party. In the darkest corners of our minds, there are much more personal and deeper memories having a significant influence on the courses of our lives. Bet more than once your memories tried to make you give them some vent by writing them down. So now their time has come. Pick up the one you would really like to share with others and follow these simple steps to craft your most successful memoir essay.

Step 1 Make out What a Memoir Is

Memoirs are considered an independent literary genre. These texts are highly valued not only as original works of literature, but also as rich information sources. Firstly, besides the author’s personal experience, a good memoir also contains a brief description or at least a mention of those events which were happening when the text was written. Secondly, the story from the author’s past should be important and instructive both for the author and the reader as well. So bear in mind that a memoir is not just a funny story from your childhood. Your story can be amusing, but you should analyze it and draw a sensible conclusion from it.

Step 2 What to Begin with

The first line of any essay is probably the most difficult thing in the whole text. Concentrate on what you are going to write about, recall your feelings or the atmosphere around you. If your memory is connected with a person, start from describing his or her appearance, behavior, or the whole situation related to him or her. Whatever this person means or used to mean in your life, remember that you should always keep a civil tongue in your head. Besides, you can start with a dialogue or a phrase which you think are essential for the further narrative.

Step 3 Do Some Research Work

Ask you nearest and dearest to tell you about the history of family. Probably, somebody knows where your surname comes from or one of your uncles travelled across the Atlantic Ocean with Christopher Columbus. Ask your friends about how they felt when they saw you for the first time. This information will not only help you to complete the text, but also to learn more about your own roots and character.

Step 4 Insert a Climax

As for many other types of texts, for memoirs climax is a must-have. The most important thing about it is that the climax helps both the author and the reader to identify the main problem or conflict in the narrative. Identifying the problem will draw the reader’s attention to the solution suggested by the author. At the same time, the author who identifies the problem himself is likely to teach his reader a good lesson and, what is more, offer him or her the ready solution. This is what a high-quality text is always based on.

Step 5 Make a Reasonable Conclusion

It will demonstrate your ability to judge your own behavior and deeds, as well as to give an unbiased assessment to people and events around you. Sum up the lesson you were taught. Be critical enough, but do not diminish your personal and other people’s merits.

Some Text Adornments

  • Stick to particular details.
  • Use interesting metaphors, comparisons or even humor.
  • Memoirs always deal with emotions and feelings, so do not hesitate to leave a nice rhyme.

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