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  • Vanita Pal

The Correct Techniques for Writing a Personal Recount Composition

Personal recount compositions depend on these factors.

Creativity and Style - Your ingenuity in building up a story that seems Original. (it may not be)


- And the way you interpret the Key Words.

Why do I think these are important?

1. For a personal recount essay, you really need to do STORYTELLING. The story must capture the imagination of the reader. I will share some tips below about how you can do this.

2. You need to think out of the box. Please reject those hackneyed plots. Examiners have seen too many of those. If you do want to use a common idea, make sure that you infuse it with some style. And that brings me to the next point.

3. Style is everything. You can use it to dress up an old story. You can create humour or you can make it nostalgic. Everything depends on your approach. The entire story can come to life and project different messages depending on your style.

4. The keywords are an indication of the path you should take. The question wants you to only use the ideas from the keywords and you need to expand it so that you may extract some points from it.

Let me expand on these ways of building up a composition that is attractive and follows the keywords stated in the question.


I mentioned that this is an important technique. What is that?

It is the ability to tell a story from the source point to the end. The ending should be a revelation of how the story projects morals or values. There should be wisdom to impart at the end and the way you perceive that you have changed. Of course, storytelling works best in personal recount, narrative and reflective essays. It is important to note that every composition tells a story and it is usually based on ‘you.’ You will reflect the way the wisdom is gleaned at the end.

In order to do this, you will need to start from the point where it all started. In other words, you will trace the story to the point when the entire pattern of trouble began. And the story should wind its way towards the end where the sole purpose of having told that story is revealed. It is to show that you had surpassed those obstacles to become the wiser young man or woman that you are today.

That is the entire purpose of storytelling.


Why do you do this and more importantly, HOW?

i) You need to do this as your composition will be lacking in ideas and your organisation will be ineffectual. There will not be much to organise if your story does not have enough ideas.

Ideas are like the arteries in your story. The flow of ideas will reflect how appealing your story is.

ii) How?

How do you actually think out of the box?

There are a few ways of doing this.

Firstly, you may turn to many sources for your story. It is rather easy. Just turn to news articles, stories from books, or even tv stories. Then try to blend it in a way that it reflects the main purpose of the question.

Secondly, you may do this by thinking of something new on your own. You may be inventive. Of course, you may choose to combine a new idea with an old one.

You may even pick a theme from a popular movie. Just make sure that it relates to the question.

Take your pick. You decide which way the story will flow.


The style you choose to use is up to you. You will need to decide if you want to project it as something whimsical, moralistic or something verging on fantasy.

Always try to inject it with your own opinions. The way you narrate is important as it reflects your style. Feel free to offer your opinions. Be subjective and dare to drift from the way you have always written.


These are the bread and butter of your essay. If you did not examine the keywords, then you will probably get it wrong.

The keywords are like the guiding light. They ‘signal’ you and tell you where to go.

You will need to understand what it means and expand it. Once you have got the big picture, you may start writing your PEEL. All PEELs are related to keywords.

Once you follow this pattern of writing, your essay will be precise.

These are the tips for today and I hope you will use them well when writing a Personal Recount composition.

Following all 4 tips will certainly ensure that your composition will reach a much higher standard for your exams.

Good luck!


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