Strategy 7. Include an Anecdote if Appropriate
| Elaborating on Answers Effectively
(C-Level, Advanced Writing Skill)
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Strategy 7: Include an Anecdote if Appropriate
An anecdote is a short, personal story that illustrates a point or makes a topic more relatable.
Anecdotes make your answers more personal and help your readers visualize how the content of the answer applies to real people.
However, personal anecdotes may not be appropriate for some types of writing such as a research paper or in some contexts such as in an academic setting. If you are a college student, be sure to consult your instructor whether or not it is appropriate to use first person narratives (which include the use of I, me, my) in your written work.
Example of including anecdotal information to elaborate on an answer
“In your opinion, what is the greatest benefit of volunteering?”
In my opinion the greatest benefit of volunteering is getting a sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction, which comes from helping others and having a positive impact on your community.
Answer with elaboration
In my opinion the greatest benefit of volunteering is getting a sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction, which comes from helping others and having a positive impact on your community. The first time I did volunteer work, I helped serve meals at the local soup kitchen. Watching how something as simple as a warm meal brought a smile to people’s faces made me feel as though I was making a difference. Volunteering not only helped others, but it also helped me feel more connected to my community and more grateful for all that I had.
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