A memoir essay is centered on a significant memory from the past. The essay details that memory and explains how and why it is meaningful, as well as the influence the memory had on your life. When writing a memoir essay, it is important to illustrate the significance of the memory through specific and engaging details. As the Purdue University Online Writing Lab states, the personal memoir essay “mines the past to shed light on the present. The memoir seeks to make sense of an individual life.”

Step 1

Create a list of significant memories from your past. Look for events that have stayed in your mind throughout the years and have personal meaning.

Step 2

Choose one of these memories to analyze and interpret in your memoir essay.

Step 3

Decide how you would like to present your memory: chronological order, reverse chronological order (where you tell the ending of the memory first), or as a flashback (where your narrative begins in the present and then moves to the past).

Step 4

Begin writing your essay. Make clear to your reader when and where your action takes place.

Step 5

Use vivid descriptions for your main characters. Make them come alive by employing a combination of action, thoughts and dialogue.

Step 6

End your essay by making it clear to the reader why this event is significant for you and how this memory influences your present life.