How to Write an Experiential Essay


Experience is the name we give to the sum of our thoughts, feelings, and experiences; in a nutshell, experience is life as we participate in it. Personal experiences are the focus of experiential essays, which must be elaborated on and reflected upon comprehensibly. If you have been tasked with writing an experiential essay, here are some pointers that may be helpful to you.

Experience, or life as we experience it, is the catch-all phrase we use to refer to our different thoughts, feelings, and situations. Experiential essays discuss personal experiences that must be properly thought out and articulated. Here are some ideas you may use to write an essay on your experience.

Definition Of Experiential Essay

Experiential essays are quite different from essays that are argumentative or descriptive. Without using academic citations or references, an experiential essay directly illuminates your personal experience. Additionally, before beginning to write, you do not need to research extensively on the subject. You need to think of a topic, remember an event, and try to reflect on it. It is, in some ways, advantageous that you are not required to create a theoretical framework for your essay, but on the other hand, you are in the dark. It would help if you used your imagination and creativity while also being able to describe and reflect on your experience in a very logical, well-thought-out manner. So when it comes to creating experience essays, imagination and logic go hand in hand.

What is Experiential Writing

Experiential writing is a piece that illuminates one’s personal experience without using academic citations or references. An experiential essay doesn’t require any extensive research on the subject.

Tips for Writing an Experiential Essay

Below are the essential tips to put into consideration when writing an experiential essay:

  1. Avoid writing in an emotional tone; the reader will not take well to statements like “I felt unfortunate and desperate.” You’re not keeping a journal!
  2. Please refrain from using academic concepts and theories!
  3. In your professional essay, don’t add fresh insights or experiences afterward. You need to limit your writing to only one occasion.
  4. Don’t just describe things!
  5. Don’t share other people’s experiences in your writing! Only your personal experiences should be reported, not theirs.

Guidelines for Writing Experiential Essays

Following the detailed guidelines provided here will make it simple to write an experience essay, sometimes referred to as a reflective or reflection paper.

[1]. Decide on a topic idea.

Check the list of subjects above for ideas if you haven’t been allocated a topic or don’t have one in mind.

[2]. Study the Topic

Depending on your subject, you may need to shut your eyes and recall, read, watch, listen, or visualize. Spend a few minutes pondering or reliving your topic in great detail.

[3]. Brainstorm

Whatever comes to mind about your topic, put it in writing. Think of scents, tastes, sounds, and other sensations in addition to what you see to explain this topic as clearly as possible. Consider jotting down evocative adverbs to characterize these sensory feelings. For assistance, look up sense-descriptive terms. These may be expressed in phrases or sentences.

[4]. Define Your Experience’s Meaning

Choose the most important lesson you took away from this event before you start writing your essay. Your paper’s thesis will be the “most crucial item.”

Popular Experiential Essay Topics

The following are some topics you should cover in your experiential essay.

  1. A discussion during which you lost your cool.
  2. A period when you experienced fear.
  3. A period of loneliness for you.
  4. A time when you were misunderstood, in recollection.
  5. A time when something someone said left you feeling let down or discouraged.
  6. A choice you made with which another person disagreed.
  7. When someone made a point of expressing their pride in you.
  8. A time when you first realized you were in love.
  9. The moment you first met a new relative.
  10. The adoption of a sibling or child or the birth of a child.
  11. Observing a loved one with dementia lose their memory as they age.
  12. When you express your regret to someone.
  13. A time when you felt ashamed.
  14. When you lied and attempted to cover it up or were called out on it.
  15. A situation in which you yearned for something that belonged to someone else.
  16. A disagreement with a teacher, boss, or other authority figures.
  17. When your parents gave you an unfair punishment.
  18. An instance in which you wept and someone comforted you, or you comforted someone else.
  19. Interacting with friends while you were young.
  20. When you most resembled your brother or sister.
  21. When you assisted another person or when you were helped.
  22. A family reunion, or when you met relatives you did not know.
  23. A memorable journey you took together.
  24. A moment when you laughed with someone and couldn’t stop.
  25. When you knew your parent (or grandparent or coach) was not perfect.
  26. You wrote out loud when you spoke in front of a group or read something.
  27. A time you spent with friends without parental supervision.
  28. When you share a secret with someone, or when someone tells you a secret.
  29. When someone makes you scared.

Experiential Learning Essay Template

Kolb’s model of writing an experiential essay is an example of a template that can be used to write this type of essay. Every essay on an event you’ve had should follow Kolb’s Model.

The four parts of Kolb’s Model are listed below, with a summary of each piece.

1.      An Account of a Specific Experience

Your involvement with the people, locations, actions, and events of an experience is represented by a substantial experience. When describing your participation in the activity, highlight the chance to learn.

Sample: As a staff assistant in a community college system’s public information office, I began my career in public relations. I was allowed to advance to the position of community relations officer after two years of on-the-job training.

Reflections reflect your thoughts and actions concerning the event. By explaining the information, abilities, and attitudes acquired via the reflective process, you should be able to show your learning.

I’ve noticed that certain businesses are adept at obtaining free exposure. They regularly serve as experts in television and print interviews and appear at local events.

2.      Generalizations/Principles/Theories

Definition: Academic learning is organized and guided by generalizations, principles, and theories. A typical college course is constructed around a number of these abstractions, tenets, or hypotheses.

To illustrate your learning results, you identify and discuss this level’s generalizations, principles, and theories. These learning objectives are the result of your experience analysis and reflection. The views, stereotypes, and regulations should correspond to the course description chosen and be equivalent to those covered in regular college courses.

Sample: Establishing norms, standards, or regulations surrounding image and public relations applies equally to dealing with small and big one-owner firms. Making a thorough plan of action makes scheduling and putting effective methods into practice much more straightforward.

3.      Testing and Application

Definition: Testing and application refer to circumstances in which the newly learned information may be used. Describe how you tested and applied what you knew.

Experiential Learning Essay Samples

Below is a good essay sample :

My Initial Day as an instructor

My dream job has always been teaching science. I landed my ideal job soon after graduating. After much waiting, I finally arrived at my place of employment, a high school in the town of X. It was a thrilling experience for me to meet all of my potential pupils and their parents. The day moved slowly; first, I was unsure what to do or say, but the positive attitudes of the people around me encouraged me to talk and be more chatty. I vividly recall my exchange with a coworker who stated, “If you need any guidance, come to me, and I will assist you.” After that, I began to consider my first day of teaching.

I had never had it before. I believed I had an inevitable future in mind and was prepared to go along this path without knowing what awaited me at the other end. Being a teacher is an odd sensation, mainly when you are a very young person and your age is close to that of your pupils. Because of this, I had a peculiar feeling on my first day of teaching, but later on, my attitude and conduct changed, and I gained more confidence.

Even if teaching is a challenging profession, it offers many possibilities to get to know oneself and to share your ideas and perspective with others who are younger than you. Although life is filled with pressures and unpleasant times, you may also feel proud of yourself. The most crucial factor is that you consistently get praise from people for the work you have done. Always tricky in the beginning, but beautiful times follow.

I’ll put together a unique performance with my kids to demonstrate what a day in the life of a teacher is like for the next academic year. My experience mentioned above made me aware of the many facets of teaching. I want to converse more since doing so will assist me in my profession as a teacher, and planning such an activity would be very beneficial.

Experiential Essay Writing Help

Experience is the umbrella term we use to refer to our personal feelings, ideas, emotions, and circumstances; in other words, experience is life as we experience it. The subject of experiential essays is unique experiences that must be carefully explained and thought about. Here are some suggestions that might help you to write a professional report:

[1]. Experiential Definition

Essays that are descriptive or argumentative are pretty different from experiential essays. Without referencing any academic sources or other types of sources, an experiential essay relates to your personal experience. Furthermore, before beginning the writing process, you do not need to research extensively on the subject. All you have to do is think of a topic, think back on an event, and try to reflect on it. It is, in some ways, advantageous that you are not required to create a theoretical framework for your essay, but on the other hand, you are in the dark. You must be imaginative and creative while also being able to rationally and precisely formulate your descriptions of and reflections on your experience. Thus, while writing experiential essays, imagination and logic always go hand in hand.

[2] .Learning

In essence, every letter written represents some learning. One gains knowledge about oneself, including one’s emotions, attitudes, and values, among other things. The experiential essay is unique since it only discusses your own experiences. It aids in your self-discovery and helps you think more deeply about the specific event you want to discuss. It would help if you didn’t assume that creating an experience essay will demonstrate your writing abilities. It is more of a method of learning that will help you become more conscious of your traits, habits, and other characteristics. You also learn about your relationships with other members of your society since no one lives in isolation from the rest of humanity.

[3].David Kolb’s design

David Kolb has developed a paradigm of experiential learning. The four key components are tangible experience, reflective observation, reasoning, and active experimentation, all of which you should present in your essay. We suggest using this structure since it will help your experience essay be cohesive and well-structured.

[4]. Topic categorization


Referring to an experience that had a significant impact on you is advised, such as a romance tale, an event that led to a substantial shift in life, or a happy/unpleasant circumstance. It may be stated as follows: “The first day I taught.”

[5]. Vocabulary and writing

You must use standard English at a very high level, which calls for using terminology specific to your expertise in the industry. Use complicated, lengthy phrases to demonstrate your command of the language and mastery of the writing craft. The usage of the “I”-person, which means speaking just from your perspective and not from anybody else’s, is another significant point to make. The experiential essay solely addresses your personal experience and views; anything Peter or Mary has stated about your experiences is irrelevant.

[6]. Guidelines for producing experiential essays

Avoid writing in an emotional tone; the reader will not take well to statements like “I felt unfortunate and desperate.” You’re not keeping a journal!

An experiential essay is not a research paper; please refrain from using academic concepts and theories!

In your professional essay, don’t add fresh insights or experiences afterward. You need to limit your writing to only one occasion.

Don’t just describe things!

Don’t share other people’s experiences in your writing! Only your personal experiences should be reported, not theirs.

In a Nutshell

After completing your experience essay, you should check the following: spelling, grammar, style, consistency, and internal logic.  Ask another person to proofread your work if you are unsure about your ability. Don’t hesitate to ask your teacher if you have questions about the essay.

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