Personal anecdote

Please note, this technique is often confused with the technique of anecdotes.


“I will never forget seeing the life leaving that man’s body when the machine malfunctioned.”


The only difference between an anecdote and a personal anecdote is that the latter has to be personal to the writer; a story from their own life. Language Analysis pieces often start with personal anecdotes as a means of explaining why the writer is writing, or how the issue holds a particular relevance to them. Further, they can allow writers to demonstrate specific knowledge they have about the issue at hand.

Effect on reader

Personal anecdotes can be used as an attempt to re-position the writer as an expert on the issue. They may serve to increase the writer’s credibility, such as the above example which suggests that the writer has first-hand knowledge of an issue that the reader might not have ever experienced.