An example of a short anecdote would be the story about a young girl whose mother cut off both ends of a ham at dinner because her mother had always done it that way. When the young girl called her grandmother to ask the reason, the grandmother replied, "because the pan was too small." This anecdote is comical and provides a moral as well, since the mother was blindly following a procedure (cutting off the ends of the ham) that she did not need to do.
An anecdote is a short story that is usually funny and is about a personal experience. It typically talks about something that a person has done. The word itself was first used in 1721 and is French.
Another example of an anecdote can be found in the 1775 "Anecdotes of the Countess de Barry." The anecdote in the book looked at King Louis XV and his mistress. It was created as a parody and also as a comment on the problems now facing King Louis XV's son, King Louis XVI. Anecdotes have been used for centuries.
Using an anecdote in writing helps to make writing more relatable. Many writers will use anecdotes to inject humor into their writing and to help demonstrate various points that are being made in their writing.