Narrative Essays

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Narrative Essays

Jeffrey Siegel HKSYU English Writing 211 20102010-2010

Narration is storytelling

Think about worst day you had this past year

Exercise:Find a partner and sit facing each other. One person shares his/her story while the other just listens.

In order for storytelling to be effective, it must engage the self and other and provide a narrative that is both intellectually and emotionally compelling.

A narrative essay recreates an experience for a central purpose:Usually to reveal an insight about the action or people involved.

A narrative should have a central focus, but it is not always necessary to express the focus in a thesis sentence early in the essay; at times you will want to get right to the action.

The sharper and more colorful the detail, the greater the IMPACT the narration will have.

Dull DescriptionA fan was in the window.

Colorful: DescriptionThe blades of the rusty window fan clattered and whirled as they blew out a stream of warm, soggy air.

Dull DescriptionMonday I have English Writing class. Although I dont love writing, the course is OK.

Better DescriptionMonday morning is the toughest part of the week. When the alarm goes off, all I want to do is return to my comfy dream world. However, I know deep inside that I should pull myself out of bed and get ready for my English Writing class. Despite all my hesitation, I actually find class an excellent way to shake off my early morning torpor.

OK DescriptionWe both sat and watched the game. We were nervous because our team was loosing, but in the last minute we scored winning goal.

Better DescriptionI cant believe were losing, Jill remarked. Yea, our team sucks. Jack said. If we dont win, Im burning my jersey. I knew I shouldnt have spent money on this stupid shirt. Hold on a sec. Theyre moving downfield. Holy $*#@! we scored.

Use Dialogue Build characters Create vivid settings

Do Not Use Clich Phrases: Once upon a time Nowadays Happily ever after. There are two sides to every coin.

What should you write about?

You may want to write about

An experience in which you encountered people from a different culture

You may want to write about

A turning point in your life

You may want to write about

An experience in which you learned to do something new

You may want to write about

An adventure that tested you in some way

You may want to

interview a person and learn about significant times/events in that person's life. Then write a narrative in the voice of that individual.

How did this story change your perspective perspective?

Find a generalization which the story supports. This is the only way the writer's personal experience will take on meaning for readers.

How To Get Started1. Chose a story; a well-defined incident or series of related events. 2. Develop the plot, character, and setting with specific details. 3. Orders events clearly1. Construct a beginning, middle and end 2. Use a logical and effective pattern of organization, such as chronological order, flashback, or flashforward.

4. Use description and dialogue as appropriate to bring the setting and characters to life. 5. Show events rather than just telling about them.

Assessment Criteria Story (thesis) Organization Setting Characters Dialogue Sensory Details Take away message (conclusion) Grammar!

Write a Narrative Essay First Draft due next class 600-1000 words; word count at end Times New Roman Font size 12 1 inch margins 1 spaced Cover Page with: Name (English); Student ID#; Section #; First Draft; Date