How to write an anecdote?


Before talking about anecdote and how you should proceed with it you may be wondering “what is the exact meaning of anecdote and how to write an anecdote?”, in simple language, we can understand anecdote as a short story that is related to your previous incident or past. For instance, you can understand anecdote, suppose you are telling about some incident to your friend and the whole conversation is in the form of storytelling then this whole scenario will be considered as an anecdote. Today in this blog post we will talk about an anecdote in a detailed manner and help you to know everything about it. 

If you are a literature student and looking for some writing assistance with your anecdote assignment then you are in the right place. Here you get the answers to all your queries and have an in-depth understanding of the various form of paper writing.

What Is Anecdote and How We Should Write an Anecdote?


While narrating an incident or scenario if you want to give a personal perspective you use an anecdote. With the help of anecdotes, we can illustrate a point and make people think about our perspective and we can also make them laugh, sad or angry. If you are a literature student you must be aware of this form of writing.

An anecdote is quite useful when you write a college application essay. Sometimes you also need to write some articles based on your previous life experience as a part of academic writing activity and in such a scenario it’s an anecdote that plays a major role in your writing. 

Example of anecdote

Non-fictional information essays

 You can see clearly see the presence of anecdotes in non-fictional informational essays where you need to represent the information in such a way so that listener could interact with it or think about the topic. For example, if I need to write something about gender discrimination in the workplace I should also add some points that can justify women can also be guilty of this. 

I remember my first job where I was working under a female boss she didn’t like hiring a young woman as she thinks they are just going to get married and move away or have babies and then we have to give them maternity leave. It was the perfect example of gender discrimination where we can see how a woman can also be guilty of her deeds

An anecdote to amuse or entertain

Not all anecdotes are serious if something funny or interesting happens to you today  you can tell your friends and enjoy the moment that’s an anecdote here’s one of my favourites

My brother used to play his ps4 for all day and night. One day I was watching a cartoon and he was insisting to play PS4. He was kept asking me again and again and I was not in the mood of giving him a remote so he shouted at me and I  threw the remote and it broke into pieces. Well, soon we realised that we both are not able to watch TV as it is only functional through its remote and we both started laughing and I was laughing much too hard for that.

What Is the Proper Way to Write an Anecdote?

Before writing anecdotes you must have one thing in your mind that it should be relevant to the context. Suppose if you are writing about a cat ask yourself “why I want to use anecdote and what point will it illustrate?”

Next, consider these points

What are the characteristics that are going to be involved in this story?

  • What happened
  • When did it happen is this relevant
  • Where did happen is this relevant

As anecdote is a mini-story you cannot add too much information you should be clear about its write up and try to wind up the whole scenario in limited words. You introduce the story and tell your audience what happened and then you either draw a conclusion or ask a question so your reader can reach his or her own conclusion and this is how you should write an anecdote

Is Different to Write an Anecdote Than a Story

Anecdotes are short and they will consist of a paragraph or maybe two-paragraph whereas stories are longer. When we write a story we provide a lot of information and detail and spend more time and effort whereas anecdote does not take that much time and effort and you just need to add basic information to discuss the whole scenario

  • Can anecdote be a single sentence?
  • Yes we can summarise anecdote in a simple sentence for example
  • My dog always play with me in the morning
  • Maria is so beautiful she always hugs me instead of just greeting me
  • When I was a student I work in a supermarket

Given examples are not the perfect anecdote but we cannot deny the fact that they are anecdotes nonetheless

How to Write an Anecdote With Perfection

  • Just follow a simple method of writing and you will have a great anecdote
  • Choose a relevant event that had happened to you or someone else
  • Try to pick a story which is interesting amusing inspiring or through-provoking
  • Structure your ideas clearly try to avoid mess
  • Tell your story briefly, unneccessary explanations are not something readers prefer
  • Draw a calculation so that you can keep a balance by the end

Detailed Tips on How to Write an Anecdote

Define the stakes ideally

In any engaging story, the characters have something to gain or lose. Without this part, your anecdote may come across as uninteresting or pointless.

However, this does not imply that you must lie or exaggerate the facts. Understanding why you’re telling a certain narrative in the first place and organising your ideas correctly is often all it takes.

Consider a value or something to be cherished when defining why. Such as friendship, loyalty, the value of punctuality, and so forth. Then tie the exercise (or lack thereof) of that value to the story’s stakes.

When you link stakes to value, the framework of your anecdote starts to take shape.

Do not stuck on unimportant details

Don’t run after the tiny stuff unless you’re building a chronology for your murder mystery and keeping suspense. If you know who they are, that’s fine. If you can’t remember, don’t try to remember it on the spot. In any case, these details are rarely relevant to the plot. Leave the unimportant trivial details where they are.

You will do better without rants and essays

A good old rant or vocal essay is appropriate in some situations. The lecture hall, YouTube, your blog, a political rally, therapy, and a political rally all come to mind.

However, in certain cases, a specific location and time have been made aside for these events. They don’t always go down well at the dining table, at a wedding reception, or over cocktails.

So, unless you want to polarise, embarrass in a bad manner, or bore your readers, stay away from these appealing (but less fun) means of communication.

You might be shocked at how many embarrassing situations you’ve managed to dodge “magically.” And how often do people start asking you to retell your story?

Give a clear ending to your readers

A solid, concise ending meets one crucial goal: it provides a clear closure.

You risk leaving your readers feeling cheated out of their time and attention if you don’t successfully tie up loose ends in a storyline. When you allow it to stop in the midst of nowhere, you are not doing it right from the readers’ viewpoint.

It’s fine if you don’t have all of the answers, which is inevitable in life. Finish your story with whatever details you do have. It is okay to leave it with a thought-provoking question when you write an anecdote.

Creating a different ending that provides hypothetical closure is okay too. You can leave room for your characters to explore or tie into a different issue. But leaving the end vague will definitely not go in your favour.

Focus on the structure of anecdote

There are numerous ways to tell a narrative, and many authors have achieved great success by experimenting with structure. But there’s a reason why the majority of authors stick to the ‘beginning, middle, and finish’ framework; it’s simple. And being a student, you should place perfection before experimenting. Yes, for the sake of good grades. We can get stuck in telling a story out of sequence when we haven’t completely determined the point of our story. Also, when we believe only the ending matters. Answer the following questions before telling a story:

  • What is the true beginning of this story?
  • What am I aiming for as a conclusion?

You can experiment after that, but setting up these fundamental requirements straight will help you create a stronger story and will also help you in growing as a writer.

Edit, re-write, re-draft till satisfaction

You may have read or heard that anecdotes are often made up on the spot. But that is not always the case. Yes, of course, we have a lot of spontaneous anecdotes. But, there are plenty of them that were written, re-written, polished and then presented to readers. 

There are enough masterpieces that are worth telling a hundred times. And every time it is told or written the writer can improve it. You can also focus on how the listener reacted and wipe away the elements that brought a dull moment. You can also offer elaborate answers to the unanswered questions if your listeners show curiosity. In short, you can always be open to betterment. This means you can edit your draft until you are satisfied.

Write an Anecdote – Final Take

All of this will happen instinctively in a couple of seconds once you’ve thought about these storytelling strategies.

An idea for a narrative will spring into your head, and before you realise it, you’ll have a framework of stakes and values. It would be simple to choose an engaging action-packed setting to begin. Picking up some important facts to validate your point will also be easy.  

All of this can take place even before you live your fingers to type or even discuss to write an anecdote. 

And, this is the ideal time to start writing an anecdote.

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