That doesn’t mean it has to be slam-bang action, but something must be happening. Memoir Examples. Thoroughly immerse yourself in this genre before attempting to write in it. I read nearly 50 memoirs before I wrote mine (Writing for the Soul). Here’s a list to get you started: All Over But the Shoutin’ by Rick Bragg (my favorite book ever). The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the name Memoir is Wednesday, May 29th, 1918. How unique is the name Memoir? From 1880 to 2019 less than 5 people per year have been born with the first name Memoir. You are a unique individual. Weird things about the name Memoir: The name spelled backwards is Riomem. Definition of Memoir. A description of a life or event written by a person with firsthand knowledge. Examples of Memoir in a sentence. The actress wrote a backdated memoir that began with the final days of her life. Because the singer did not like the biography written about him, he decided to compose his own memoir. An account of the personal experiences of an author. Often memoirs An autobiography. C a book or other piece of writing based on the writer's personal knowledge of famous people, places, or events: She has written a memoir of her encounters with famous movie stars over the years.
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The line between memoir and autobiography is a fuzzy one, especially in this modern literary era where writers are constantly blurring the boundaries between genres to create a new, exciting one. Like an autobiography, a memoir is a narrative that reveals experiences within the author's lifetime. But there are obvious and practical differences between the two similar genres.
In essence, an autobiography is a chronological telling of one's experience, which should include phases such as childhood, adolescence, adulthood, etc., while a memoir provides a much more specific timeline and a much more intimate relationship to the writer's own memories, feelings and emotions.
Memoirs are typically
- less formal
- less encompassing
- more concerned with emotional truth toward a particular section of one’s life and how it makes you feel now
- less obsessed with factual events
- written by the subject
Autobiography is essentially
- written by the main character or at least drafted with a collaborative writer
- made up of detailed chronology, events, places, reactions, movements and any other relevant information that inhabited the life of the subject
- focused on facts - fact, above all, is its foundation
In his own memoir, Palimpsest, Gore Vidal gave his own definitions of the two genres stating, 'a memoir is how one remembers one's own life, while an autobiography is history, requiring research, dates, facts double-checked.'
With these basic definitions and comparisons, think about your own work. What is most important to your story: emotion or fact? Think about your intended audience and what they would find most interesting.
Whether you're curious to learn more, or you're ready to get started publishing, take the first step by claiming your free publishing guide.
If you are having a hard time writing your memoir, you should check out memoir examples that we've prepared for you. These wonderful samples will show you what a truly good memoir is and what it might look like. We've also explained what a memoir is, chose interesting tips, and provided a memoir essay structure for you.
📝 Memoir Definition
A memoir is an account of your experiences related to events from your personal life or history that you witnessed.
A memoir is sometimes also called an autobiography, as the two terms share the same meaning to some extent.
But here’s the deal:
There is a slight difference between writing a memoir and writing an autobiography, and it is important to truly understand it in order to benefit most from reading an example of memoir.
Let’s have a look at this difference!
Memoir Versus Autobiography
|Focuses on the author’s entire life||Describes just a certain part of the author’s life|
|Tells about famous people's lives||Can tell anyone’s story|
|Is structured chronologically, covering the author’s life from birth to death||Can be focused on one or several periods and do not have a strict chronological order|
|Focus on pure fact||Carry the emotional side of life|
Writing your memoirs is an excellent exercise and a good start for a beginning author.
You can learn from it different approaches to captivating readers, develop a skill to express emotions in the right way, and train your writing style.
And what is more pleasant:
After practicing this assignment for some time, you can know how to write a memoir book.
If you want to read about other types of assignments, read Overnight Essay blog. We can also help you to write your paper of any complexity.
💡 Memoir Tips
A person who writes a memoir is a memoirist or… simply a student who has been assigned this task. No matter to which category you belong, the following memoir writing tips will help you write a killer memoir sample:
- choose an intriguing title (something like The Other Side of Me or A Day to Remember); it can help you a lot to interest the audience;
- express your personal opinions and impressions (use for instance: to my mind, in my opinion, it seems, it turned out that, etc.);
- add a lot of sensory details (for example, instead of simply stating that a girl had an angry look on her face, you can specify that her face reddened and her teeth were clenched – these are valuable observations, which can make your description more vivid);
- write about memories that are important for you – it's impossible to write a good memoir without feeling a deep connection between yourself and the situation which you describe;
- be yourself when writing a memoir – you can hide your point of view in many academic writings, but this type of work requires you to be honest and show your personal traits;
- choose a proper tone and try to maintain it throughout your memoir essay – it’s an excellent exercise to develop your writing style;
- do research, even if you remember the situation, try to collect as much information as you could, including your friends' commentaries, photos, blog posts – everything that can reveal more details;
- take care about your memoir idea – whether your writing is funny, well-structured, or creative and unusual, it means nothing if you don't put a message in it.
The most famous memoir books are based on the principles listed above. Keeping to them, you can create a masterpiece or, at least, get an A at your college.
But that isn’t all we can offer you:
You can find even more truly good ideas for your memoir in this list of informative speech topics for college students.
🖊️ Memoir Examples to Your Attention
Finally, you can observe these memoir writing examples to know how to write one yourself.
Of course, you can use these memoir ideas, but reading these samples can also give you enough inspiration to develop your own paper from the very beginning.
My Pursuit of Happiness
Actually, I started my pursuit of happiness as soon as I came into this world. My Mom says that I was an extremely capricious baby – I could cry out loud for a rather long period of time until all my demands were satisfied. A little terrorist, with large rainy eyes and a loud voice, I was! Later on, as I grew up, I preserved my willingness to do everything to get what I wanted, but I learned some new and more effective methods of achieving my goals.
I remember that, when I was 4 years old, I wanted to have a dog. Absolutely nothing, even my allergy to dogs, could prevent me from making my dream come true…
Comment: Thetitle is captivating – it sets the tone, but it does not reveal all the secrets. This example of a memoir contains some self-criticism. The author sounds truly sincere when s/he calls himself (herself) a terrorist.
A Revolution at School
The events of that sunny spring day turned out to change the course of history at our school. I am proud of being one of the revolutionaries who drove the change.
The problem was our school uniform, which was more or less bearable in winter but became a cause of students' torture in spring because it was too hot.
This is why the girls from our class agreed to wear jeans instead of the uniform one day, to show our protest against the silly school rule of wearing the uniform even when it was too hot for it. We felt a bit scared before the beginning of the first lesson. Mrs. Stone, our Geography teacher, had to be the first to see our silent protest…
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Comment: The authorexpresses his/her feelings and emotions about an important event at school. Note that this sample memoir focuses more on the event than on the author's personality.
📎 Memoir about Yourself
A memoir about yourself or a personal memoir differs from just a personal essay. A memoir about yourself is a piece of writing in which a person reflects on important personal events. It is a place where the author analyzes and describes why certain events were so crucial.
But you might fairly ask: “What is the difference between a personal memoir and a personal essay?” Here is the answer!
To some extent, the personal memoir and the personal essay are pretty similar. However, there is one important difference! The essay can be a reflection on any events or just a description of anything personal. The memoir focuses on past and life-changing experiences.
In short, the personal memoir aims at answering the three questions:
- What event or events were important in the author’s life?
- Why were they so crucial?
- How they affected the author’s life?
📜 Example of Memoir About Yourself
We’ve created a great example of a personal memoir for you. Here you can see how you can structure your story and what it can be about. Let’s dive in!
Example Of A Memoir Paper
The Life-Changing Morning
That morning the sky was especially grey, and the whole atmosphere did not dispose of something good. I woke up alone in my tiny flat in the middle of nowhere. It did not felt like something bad is happening or even is going to happen shortly. However, the way I felt was hard to describe. I took my morning coffee and then heard a knock on the door. It was a postman with an envelope in his hand. I opened the letter and read it out loud. It said that I was invited to the University of Oxford to study journalism. My dream came true! I was filled with happiness, motivation, and thirst to start my studies as soon as possible. I can still remember this special and life-changing moment.
Comment: First of all, the author chose the right, captivating title, which invites a reader to discover what had happened that morning. Secondly, the personal memoir focuses on the important event that had changed a young person's life. Thirdly, he reflects on how he felt when it happened.
📋 One-Page Memoir: What Is It About?
A memoir doesn’t have to be a thick book. It can be of any length and cover any important life events. Making your memoir relatively short means that you should focus on one particular event.
Besides, this event should be captivating and life-changing. It would be best to tell about the emotions you experienced and what they brought to your life. The text can be concise, for instance, only 1 page. However, it should be interesting enough to evoke a reader's emotions in such a short time.
So, here is a few recommendations for your one-page memoir:
Memoir Examples For Teens
- Cover one event only.
- Choose the most captivating and life-changing event.
- Don't forget to express your emotions.
- Mention why this event was crucial for your future life.
📚 Memoir Essay Structure
If your task is to create a memoir essay, you may be surprised because itdoesn’t have any typical structure.
The way you do your memoir writing depends only on your style and preferences.
If you want to combine two different stories into one and underline the message by inferring it from both of them – do it.
If you want to tell a situation when you feel fear or anxiety, there is a nice place to put a flashback to make readers understand you better – then, do it as well.
Memoir Meaning And Definition
Memoir writing structure is a field where you can apply creativity and originality.
What you must include are:
- the details of your memoir
- the message
- why this story matters to you
Other elements are free for you to add to your paper. Let your inner writer choose which of them do you need to make a memoir writing breath-taking.
So, after looking through these examples of memoirs, you have a pretty good idea of how to write your own papers in this genre. Good luck with your memoirs! We are certain that you will make them unforgettable!