What is an Anecdote?

A short account of a particular incident or event, especially of an interesting or amusing nature.

What is it used for?

Anecdotes can be useful for setting the stage for a speech or personal essay. An anecdote often relays a story that can be used as a theme or lesson.

However, anecdotes can be modified into fictional pieces, one that is retold but is "too good to be true". Although used in a humorous manner, anecdotes are used to reveal a truth more general than the brief tale itself, or to delineate a character trait in such a light that it strikes in a flash of insight to its very essence.

How does it help?

According to psychologists, people tend to remember interesting, humorous or inspiring examples which relate to a topic. For instance, a teacher is talking about her experiences in high school when she was a teenager. Students will most likely relate to her story since they are at the same stage that their teacher was once at.


  • A Chukcha comes into a shop and asks: "Do you have color TVs?" "Yes, we do." "Give me a green one"

  • When I was little, my mother would make my sister and I drink bitter medicine every time we fell ill. It felt more like a punishment for getting sick than for curing it.

  • That one time when I went to the haunted house with my friends, was when I realized how scary it would be if such monstrosities were alive.

Now it's your turn. Give an example.