Writing about Real Life Experiences: Essay Tips for Students

Writing about Real Life Experiences: Essay Tips for Students

In the business world such essays are often called cases — a company describes how they have solved a particular problem, resolved a conflict, grew as an organization, received more revenue, etc. Cases are the most popular content when it comes to business writing, especially as it affects promotion, as people like to read real life stories even about business entities.

Today, however, we will focus on another type of  writing about real life experiences — essays students write in high school or college. These essays differ from others, because, for example, you can write them in the first person, which is rather unusual for academic writing assignments. 

First seeing the assignment you may feel like “What? Isn’t it like the easiest task to complete?” We all like to talk about our life experiences at some time, and it seems like writing should not be very different. 

However, writing an essay about real life experience also has its rules and guidelines, which you have to follow if you want to receive good grades. Here, we have gathered some most effective tips that may help you finish this assignment on time and come up with an actually good result. 

How to Write an Essay about Real Life Experiences

First of all, relax, we don’t plan to alter your story — you will tell about what happened using the words you like and give the whole story a sentiment that you see as valuable. However, the frame of the story, its structure, may change a bit. So, in your essay on real life experience you definitely need to:

  1. Explain a setting. Context is a very powerful tool. The same story happening at different times, in different places will spark different associations, provoke different feelings, etc. It is obvious that you need to explain the setting as well as you can, so your audience can feel involved in what happened to you. Of course, when you are writing an essay for school, you know that your only audience will be your professor, but still, you should imagine a broader audience, as if you were writing for some online magazine, for example. 
  2. Write in the first person. Well, why to lose this opportunity which doesn’t happen too often in the academic writing world? You take your reader for a journey to your memories, and you should be a personalized, considerate guide. Still, make sure that others have a place in your story as well, because experience in most cases is not limited to your reflection upon it. 
  3. Make the conflict clear. Also, don’t write about an experience that doesn’t include any conflict. A story without a conflict is not a story. Most probably whatever you can call a valuable experience included some sort of misunderstanding, conflict, problem, missing information, struggle, fight. You, going out to buy ice-cream, buying ice-cream, enjoying it, and returning home to continue your routine is not a story about real life experience, it is just some dull story you would not like to share. 
  4. Be honest and real. If you take some minor story and try to reflect on it with some profound revelations, it will look petty and silly. What you think and feel about some event, some experience, should be compatible with the actual “size” or better say value of the event. 

If reading these mandatory rules for a real life experience essay makes you feel bored or stressed, it may be a sign that you are not up to a challenge or have already too many things to do. In this case, consider addressing a custom writing service for professional assistance with your papers. You will tell your story briefly, give instructions, and an expert writer will turn it into a quality essay with a clear structure and zero-plagiarism. In the real world it is more than normal to delegate some assignments to increase efficiency. 

Top Approaches to Writing a Real Life Experience Essay

There is no one structure, one storyline you have to follow in order to write a good essay about life experience. There are three major options.

  • Chronological. You explain the entire story from the first moment it started to its end, and later add some extra reflections to it. This way, even your introductory paragraph explains the setting where the whole story started. taking this path you cannot change your mind in the middle. Don’t start on conclusions in the middle of the essay, don’t go back and forward with the plot, continue describing the events and your feelings about them in a chronological order. 
  • Conflict-resolution based. You give a general setting and later explain the conflict and how it was resolved. Most of the business cases are based on this principle. Please, don’t see a conflict like something that requires fighting, yelling, etc. It can be about obstacles on your way. For example, you want to enter a prestigious scholarship program and face a series of obstacles. In the end, you either win, or lose, and reflect on the outcome. 
  • Reflection based. You write about the experience that has formed you, that influenced your whole psychology, the way you make choices in life, the way you behave in general. In this case your changes, your feelings, your thoughts play the defining role, you give them more space, and describe the experience that led to them briefly, in a solid manner. 

It is not easy to choose which structure to follow, because you cannot just change your mind in the middle of writing — it will break the structure and just look strange.

Think about the story you want to unveil, and try to assess it realistically. If it is more action based like “he said that, I thought that, I did that” etc, and the sequence matters, choose the first option.

If you had to overcome some obstacles or the conflict was involved — second, if the most important point is your conclusions and feelings about that experience – use the third one. Good luck!

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