Class Instruction

Discussion: The Use of Personal Anecdotes and Sense Details

Personal anecdotes, "mini-memoirs," are very brief stories about a personal experience or incident that can serve a variety of purposes. For example, anecdotes, frequently used in introductions, can attract your reader's attention, add a personal touch, make your reader ponder a topic more, provide a lesson, set the stage for the rest of the writing, etc. Essentially, personal anecdotes can establish your credibility (ethos), engage your audience emotionally (pathos), and provide an example to support a point (logos).

Share a personal anecdote about yourself with your classmates about a lesson learned, your personal credo, a memorable day, an embarrassing moment, or a funny incident. Since anecdotes should be brief, keep your anecdote to no more than 350 words. Use active verbs (i.e., raced, dabbled, screeched, stumbled, ranted, laughed, etc.) instead of passive verbs (i.e., was laughing, were singing, became, seemed to be, etc.).