Each spring he walks this same path searching for wildflowers and the mysterious green umbrellas, whose real name he never knew, sprouting up from the forest floor.
A smaller part of his woods inhabit the back of the property.
Starting off a piece of writing with an anecdote about a person can work well to catch reader’s interest, because we all like stories. I’ve been listening to the radio [...] I heard the Englishman speck [...] I’m glad they accepted the surrender terms. All right good – bye." (David Mc Cullough – Mama’s Boys) Sometimes you may remember an incident from your own life that might make a good opening anecdote.
The biographer David MC Mc Cullough uses an anecdote about Harry Truman’s mother to begin an article about several highly successful men for whom a strong relationship with their mothers was extremely important. Here the novelist and essayist Barbara Kingsolver does just that in the first paragraph of her essay about how much friendlier people in Spain are toward children than are people in the United States by telling about potentially offensive incident to which many women can immediately relate, Kingsolver catches her readers" attention and draws them into the body of her essay; As I walked out the street entrance to my newly rented apartment, a guy in maroon high tops and a skateboard haircut approached making kissing noises and saying, “Hi gorgeous.
This simple story about President Truman’s calling his mother to tell her about the Surrender of Germany at the end of World War II dramatizes Mc Cullough’s point: Early in the evening of august 14, 1945 in the living room of her yellow clapboard house in Grandview, Missouri a small spry woman of 93 talking to a gust excused herself to take a long distance call in another room. Three weeks earlier, I would have assessed the degree of malice and made ready to run or tell in to bug off depending.
But now, instead, I smiled and so did my four-year–old daughter because after dozens of similar encounters I understood he didn’t mean me but her.
Read it, then try to decide whether it’s an article, essay, anecdote, or story before I tell you which it is.
========== HIS BOYHOOD by Rick Taubold He remembers that one sad summer he came home from college.
The difference is that anecdotes are often based on an experience (real or imagined) being told to the reader, while an essay is usually expressing feelings.
So what distinguishes essays, anecdotes, and stories?