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How to Write a Memoir Essay

A memoir essay refers to an essay that comes from memory, just at its name, portrays. Writing memoirs is regarded as one of the most ancient, better still, most generally accepted literary genres. Memoirs that are considered best not only tell great stories, but they also put into consideration some of life’s big questions through day-to-day experiences. These essays are usually short, basically between 2000 and 10000 words. They are drawn from the author’s life history and, in this case, definitely a first-person narrative. Furthermore, writing a memoir essay puts in using many literary techniques and devices of fiction at large.

As opposed to autobiographies, a memoir essay does not entail one’s whole life history. The person involved is even likely not to be the main character since it could also focus on their relatives, loved ones, or family members.  With that said, though, memoir essays tend to pick the narrow scope form. The best of this genre puts emphasis on single relationships just as a novel or even a short story, a memoir essay is fully built for literary realization.

Tips for Writing a Memoir Essay

What makes a memoir to be considered special is its style, as well as the manner in which one draws meaning out of past activities and experiences. There exists no specific subject for a memoir essay; it could revolve around memories about one’s upbringing or a scenario of one day that proves commemorable and subsequential. It could entail an experience in college or even your first job and how you and colleagues carried out yourselves. Below are some of the tips to consider when drafting a memoir essay:

  • Pay close attention to memories that you keep recalling.

You may not know the reason as to why memory is of significance, but then the fact that you keep recollecting it simply means there is an ultimate story there that is worth exploration. 

  • Play willingly with structure

Though your memoir essay shall be based on facts, you do not have to relate the happenings in the real order and manner in which they took place. The best novel and short story writers play freely with structures and, on various occasions, manipulate perspective and time in a bid to come up with dramatic effects. 

  • Bring in specific images

Memories usually stick to the five senses. When one has the ability to remember individual memories in a more specific manner, then it, therefore, means he or she stands a high chance of having more vivid writing. Beginning a memoir essay with probably the unpleasant smell of your grandmother’s cowshed, the taste of your favorite juice, chocolate, or even the ear-deafening sound of your uncle’s power saw is a phenomenal entry into memory this is because it is a memory grounded in a certain specific sense. 

  • Show the fine detail and complexity of a memory

As much as you may be the narrator of your memoir, you are not entitled or rather guaranteed to be the hero or heroine. A writer of a memoir should not intend to make him, or herself look good in the sight of others. These writers should courageously dig into their perceptions and memories. Distance and time should have changed the way you reflect on how you acted as a young fellow. This complexity helps pull the reader through your memoir.


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