Essay Lab Glossary



An anecdote is any substance that can counteract the effects of a poison.

Oops. Our bad. (See: Antidote.)

Ah, here we go—the following definition makes much more sense in the context of an Essay Lab glossary:

An anecdote is a short story (most often from your life) that you use to support or illustrate a point. We’re not talking about one of those tedious, long-winded novelettes your Uncle Henry told after he got back from his African safari. (Sure, Uncle Henry. We all believe you wrestled a tiger to the ground with your bare hands.)

You can use your anecdote in a Body Paragraph to offer support to one of your claims. Or you can drop it in the Introduction to generate interest in the topic (see Hook) and provide an example of the larger issue you’ll be addressing within the paper.


It was barely daylight yet; a sliver of early morning light came through the gap in the curtains. I had been awakened from a deep sleep by the sound of a ponderous body shuffling around in my room. Through my sleep-addled eyes, I could make out the form of a huge creature approaching me clumsily, arms stretched out.

Mwaammph, it grunted. A zombie! I jumped up and reached for the baseball bat I always keep under my bed. Just as I was about to attack the creature, my eyes became accustomed to the dim light and I saw that it was just my dad in his sweatpants, with his mouth full of toast. Parents often bear a striking resemblance to zombies, with their clumsy, tired, and desperate ways.