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5 Ways To Write A Self-Narrative

Chang (2008) wrote that "self-narratives refer to a wide range of written accounts of self, representing diverse genres, authorship, themes, and writing styles" (p. 41). Self narratives are stories about yourself that can help others understand your perspective. Self narratives are beginning to be used more frequently in academics, leading to more auto-ethnographies. Here is how to write a legendary self-narrative.

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2. Be detailed. / Via

The more detail you put into a self-narrative, the better image the reader will have. You want the reader to feel like they are in the story with you, feeling the emotions that you felt. Kevin Powell talks about being his hardships in college, but does so with such detail the reader can feel the emotions from his writing.

3. Choose your words carefully.

Choosing your words carefully is important in all communication, but especially when writing. Readers can misinterpret your words very easily. Kevin Powell learned this through his writing and his activism.

4. Find your themes, and stick to them

Even if you do not have an initial theme when starting a self-narrative, look for themes that present themselves. Themes allow readers to find purpose and reason behind the writing. Chang(2008) wrote that some self-narratives have one theme while others have multiple themes. While writing a self-narrative it is imperative that you decide which path to take.

5. Find a writing style that fits with you.

When writing about being kicked out of college Kevin Powell chose to write in a sequential style. There are many writing styles to choose from. Choose a writing style that best fits your personality and story to help bring your story to life.


Chang, H. " Autoethnography as method" 2008 Left Coast Press: Walnut Creek, CA pp. 43-57: 229

Powell, K. (2015). "The education of Kevin Powell: A boy's journey into manhood." New York: Atria Books.

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