Write a 500-750 word essay using narration as the chief method of development. Choose one of the following topics:
- Your best or worst day at school
- An act of heroism
- A cherished family story
- An important learning experience
- A fairy tale the way you would like to hear it told
(If you would like to write about a different topic, send me a message describing this other topic. I must approve the topic before you write about it because some topics might not be good for this type of essay.)
When choosing a topic to narrate, choose an event that has a plot. In other words, choose a topic where things actually happened instead of a topic that requires mostly describing how people were feeling or what people were thinking.
Of course, you may need to discuss feelings or thoughts in the narration, but the narration should primarily focus on describing events that happened and demonstrating that these events have a larger meaning.
The purpose of a narrative is to tell a story, and in the telling of the story, to make a point. In other words, the story should teach something, show that something is true, or show how something was learned.
When creating a narrative essay:
- Outline the key events of the story. Stories typically have a beginning, a climax, and an end.
- Identify the point of the story. What is being learned by telling the reader this story?
- Collect details about characters and events.
- Choose a narrative strategy that best explains the story. Usually chronological order works best for a narrative, but you may want to use flashbacks and/or flashforwards if these help make your point in the story clearer.
- Introduce characters and settings so the reader gets a clear idea of these things.
- The Narrative Essay
- The Narrative Essay: What Is the Narrative Essay?
- Interactive Story Mapping
- Interactive Plot Diagram
- The body of the essay is 500-750 words. The word count includes those words from the first word of the introduction paragraph to the last word of the conclusion paragraph (not the heading or outline words). Choose a topic that can be discussed in depth and detail within this requirement. This is a test of your ability to narrow or broaden a topic appropriately for the purpose!
- Include an outline as the last page of the essay. This is different than MLA style, which requires the outline to be the first page of the essay, but putting the outline last makes page numbering easier because you do not need to switch between i, ii, iii… numbering and can use only 1, 2, 3… numbering. The first page should be page 1 and the outline should be the last page number.
- Do not use research.
- Use MLA Style to format the essay. Specifically, remember to include a heading on the first page, a header with your last name and page number on each page, and double spacing. See the MLA Style Resources for an example essay formatted according to MLA Style!
- Submit the completed essay by the due date using the link provided beneath this assignment description. (The due date is on the Syllabus.)
- Five points are deducted for each day late.
- The essay must be submitted in MS Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf). See the instructions in the Syllabus and an announcement early in the course for instructions on how to save in Rich Text Format if you do not use MS Word.
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