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Writing the Narrative Essay. DEFINITION:. A narrative essay tells a story, usually of a personal experience, that makes a point or supports a thesis. The purpose of narrative writing is to recreate the experience for your readers so that your readers can imagine events and

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Presentation Transcript
slide2

DEFINITION:

A narrative essay tells a story, usually

of a personal experience, that makes a

point or supports a thesis.

The purpose of narrative writing is to

recreate the experience for your readers so

that your readers can imagine events and

share your experience.

qualities of a good narration essay
Qualities of a Good Narration Essay
  • Limited Focus
  • Thesis/Main point
  • Lively, Specific Details
  • Natural use of language
  • Clear Story Structure or Organization
limit your focus
Limit Your Focus
  • Decide where your story should begin and where it should end.
  • Limit your story. Can you narrow it down to a single event or a single day?
  • Fill in the blanks: The time I realized ______ all started when _________.
good narrative focus
Good Narrative Focus?
  • The night I got arrested was the most harrowing night of my life.
  • My trip to Spain changed my life in so many ways.
  • The day my dog Buddy died was the day I realized that pets really are part of the family.
  • Being in the army was an experience I’ll never forget.
know the point of your story
Know the Point of Your Story
  • The point of your story is also your thesis
  • Your thesis is the main idea that you wish to convey to your readers.
  • Your thesis should be supported with plenty of details and examples.
winning thesis statements
Winning Thesis Statements:

The night I got arrested was the most harrowing night of my life. While I was sitting in my cell, I realized that my life was headed down a dangerous path and if I didn’t turn around quickly, I might lose myself forever.

winning thesis statements1
Winning Thesis Statements:

On the train that night as I traveled through Spain, I realized that the world was full of mystery and beauty, and I was excited to be a part of it.

winning thesis statements2
Winning Thesis Statements:

Although the first week of boot camp was filled with discipline and suffering, I believe that I finally grew up that week—though I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time.

use details
USE DETAILS
  • Describe the place

--describe in “snapshots”

--Use all your senses

  • Describe people

--use dialogue, when appropriate

--describe significant features and gestures

Caution: Don’t go overboard! Choose details wisely.

use clear natural language
Use Clear, Natural Language

Avoid being too informal or using slang:

Oh, man, let me tell you, as I got close to the top of that mountain, I looked up to the top, and I thought, “Whoa, dude…this is so awesome.” It was the coolest thing I ever saw. I knew right then that if could conquer that sucker, I could conquer any damn thing.

slide12
Avoid being too formal or too stuffy:

As I labored to trudge to the pinnacle of the great mountain peak called Mount Whitney, I paused for a wondrous moment to cast my eyes upon the top of that snowy, lustrous peak, and imagined that if I could accomplish this amazing feat, I could, perhaps climb any mountain on earth.

slide13
Improved:

As I approached the jagged, snow-covered peak of Mount Whitney, I felt a surge of pride—I knew if I could do this, I could do anything.

organization
Organization

Your paper will contain an Introduction, Body, and Conclusion, just like most essays, BUT

--Your thesis can appear anywhere in the essay

--Your Introduction may begin the story.

--Your Introduction may include some background information

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SAMPLE OUTLINE

Thesis:

On the train that night as I traveled through Spain, I realized

that the world was full of mystery and beauty, and I was

excited to be a part of it.

  • Introduction: Background Information
  • A. Why I was in Spain
  • B. Who I went with
  • C. When this happened
  • My first day in Spain when I felt overwhelmed and a little
  • scared.
  • A. Finding my way around the subway
  • B. Getting lost
  • Discovering the most beautiful Church
  • A. Feeling closer to God
  • B. Admiring the beauty of the medieval church
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IV. Going to the art museum in Madrid

  • A. Seeing that famous painting by Picasso
  • 1. Describe the look of agony on the man’s face
  • 2. I never realized how a painting can capture so
  • much emotion!
  • B. Seeing the paintings by Velasquez
  • 1. Describe the portrait of King Phillip and his family
  • 2. Explain how there is something creepy about the
  • picture.
  • Traveling by train at night to the coast
  • A. Staring out the window at the starry landscape
  • B. Realizing how the trip has changed me
  • VI. CONCLUSION
  • A. Now I would like to find a job in Spain
  • B. I want to travel more and be a part of the world.
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Narrative Essay Assignment—Choose ONE of the prompts below and write a 2-3

page essay. All papers must follow MLA formatting.

First draft due Friday 9/13

Have you or anyone you’ve ever known purchased a product because you

thought it would change your life? Tell about your encounter with this product and

explain whether or not this product met your expectations.

2. Tell about a time when you found school to be a sanctuary or the opposite. Be

sure to describe the place and tell what people did and said there.

3. Write about a life lesson you learned in high school. Show in detail how particular

Events in your experience led to these specific effects.

4. Write about the first time you ever tried a food from another country or culture.

After describing the specific situation with details about when and where (and how

the food tasted, of course), explain what insights –if any—you gained about

the culture through its food.

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