1. Describe the time you had a problem or describe a strong example of your problem.
(Include what happened and how it made you feel. Try to start at the moment it hit, or happened for the best impact! Include the 5Ws—who, what, when, where and why! Stick to one or two paragraphs.)
These mini-stories are also called anecdotes, and you can learn more by reading my post on how to write an anecdote.
2. Background the history of this problem (when did it start, why/how did it happen or get this way.) “It all started back when…”
3. Talk about how you dealt with that problem. What you did about it. Steps you took to handle it.
4. Reflect on that problem. How did you think about it? How did you feel? Did handling it change you in any way or how you think about things? Share your thoughts.
5. What did you learn from dealing with that problem–about yourself, others or life in general?
Anything good come out of it? Did you develop or demonstrate a core quality—determination, problem-solving, creativity, passion, patience, respect—in the process? Talk about that.
6. Conclusion: (Look back at what you learned and see what personal qualities or characteristics you used or developed while dealing with this problem–aha, there’s the answer to your UC prompt!)
In your conclusion, discuss how you would/could use these qualities or characteristics, or what you learned, in your future endeavors.
Chances are you have the beginning of a personal narrative.
You told a story about yourself where you encountered a problem, and it affected you in some way, which you then explain, analyze and share with the reader.
Yes, this is a formula—but it is as old as time.
It’s called Telling a Story!