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Introduction to Narrative Essays

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Introductory information for students on writing a strong narrative essay.

Introductory information for students on writing a strong narrative essay.

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    Introduction to Narrative Essays Introduction to Narrative Essays Presentation Transcript

    • The Narrative Essay Welcome!
    • Narration Recounting Events
    • What is Narration?
      • Relates a series of events, real or imaginary, in an organized fashion
      • A story that makes a point
    • Characteristics of Narrative Essays
    • Makes a Point
      • Makes a point or supports a thesis by telling about an event/series of events
      • Point may be directly stated
        • (explicit thesis statement)
      • Point may be implied
        • (implied thesis statement)
      • Details of story support the point the author is trying to make
    • Conveys action and detail
      • Gets the reader involved
        • Dialogue
        • Physical description
        • Recounting action
    • Presents a conflict & creates tension
      • Conflict
        • Struggle, question, problem the characters try to resolve
      • Tension
        • Suspense created as the story unfolds and reader tries to figure out how the character will solve conflict
      • Climax
        • Point just before the conflict is solved
    • Sequences events
      • Arranged in an order easy for readers to follow
      • Often chronological
      • Non-chronological
        • Flashback
          • Returns reader to events happening in the past
        • Foreshadowing
          • Hints at events that MAY happen in the future
    • Uses dialogue
      • Should resemble everyday speech
    • Told from a particular point of view
      • 1 st person
        • Key participant talks directly to reader
        • Allows personal tone & sharing of attitudes, feelings, etc.
        • Good when narrating an event from your own life
      • 3 rd person
        • Narrator is unknown and describes what is happening to others
        • More distance from the action, and generally more objective
        • Allows narrator to reveal insights about a character’s actions & personality
    • Graphic Organizer for a Narrative Essay See p. 100, figure 5.1
    • Writing a Narrative Essay Planning the essay
    • Choose topic
      • Select an experience that is memorable and that you would feel comfortable talking about
      • Decide whether you will use 1 st or 3 rd person
    • Gathering Details
      • Replay the experience in your mind
        • Write down notes (sights, smells, sounds, tastes, touch, dialogue, emotions)
      • Describe the incident to a friend
        • Write down any questions they might have
      • Describe the experience aloud
      • Consider different aspects of the incident by asking who, what, where, when, why, and how questions
    • Key details to include
      • Scene
        • Choose RELEVANT sensory details that direct your readers to the main point of the narrative
      • Key actions
        • Choose actions that create tension, build it to a climax, and resolve it
          • Why did the conflict occur?
          • What events led up to it?
          • How was it resolved?
          • What were its short- and long-term consequences?
          • What is its significance now?
    • Key details to include, cont.
      • Key participants
        • Appearance and action of people directly involved in story
      • Key lines of dialogue
        • Interesting, revealing, & related to main point of story
        • Make sure it sounds natural
    • Develop your thesis
      • After looking at all of the key details, decide what point you will be making with your narrative
    • Drafting a Narrative Essay Guidelines for writing
    • Introduction
      • Should…
      • Capture the reader’s attention
      • Provide useful background information
      • Set up the conflict
      • Include the thesis (if you are going to directly state it)
    • Body of Narrative
      • Build tension as it leads up to the final resolution or climax
      • Devote a separate paragraph to each major action or distinct part of the story
      • Use transitions to connect events
    • Conclusion of Narrative Essay
      • Do not summarize – instead…
      • Make a final observation about the experience or event
      • Ask a probing question
      • Suggest a new, but related direction of thought
      • Reveal a surprising piece of information
      • Refer back to the beginning
      • Restate the thesis in different words (use this method sparingly)
    • Analysis, Revision, & Editing
    • Revision
      • Let your essay sit for a day or two
      • Reread and analyze, focusing on the overall effectiveness of the narrative
      • See revision flowchart 5.3 on pp. 105-6
    • Editing & Proofreading
      • Check for errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation & mechanics.
    • Editing Tips & Troublespots
      • Check for varied sentence structure
        • Different length & word order
      • Check punctuation on dialogue
      • Use strong, active verbs
        • Active verbs (use these)
          • The subject performs the action
            • Lisa told me…
        • Passive verbs (avoid)
          • The subject is acted upon
            • It was told to me by Lisa…
      • Use consistent verb tense
        • Most narratives are told in the past tense
    • Reading a Narrative Essay
      • Don’t forget the value of previewing and rereading a narrative so that you can follow the events and action as well as concentrate on its meaning.
    • What to Look for, Highlight and Annotate
      • Understanding the Reading
        • What is:
          • The role of the participants
          • The conflict
          • The climax
          • Conflict resolution
    • What to Look for, Highlight and Annotate
      • Examining the Characteristics of Narrative Essays
        • Main point of the writer?
        • Writer’s thesis? Direct or implied?
        • Does writer create tension? How?
        • Sequence of events?
        • Purpose and intended audience?
        • What is the lasting value of this essay and what does it say about life, people, jobs, friendship, etc.?
        • How does the writer achieve his/her purpose and is he/she successful?
    • Building Critical Thinking Skills
      • Inferences
        • “a reasoned guess about what is not known based on what is known.”
        • Writers do not always directly state the ideas they intend to communicate about, so you must infer or read between the lines to understand the message.
    • Building Critical Thinking Skills
      • Point of View
        • The perspective from which an author tells a story
        • Writers generally use the first or third person P.O.V. when writing a narrative.
    • Building Critical Thinking Skills
      • Connotative Meaning
        • The meaning of a word that expresses a feeling or idea that is associated with the word (generally a positive or negative association)
    • Building Critical Thinking Skills
      • Symbolism
        • Use of things, ideas, or words to represent something else.
        • Analysis of symbols used in writing can allow a reader to better understand the writer’s themes.
    • Building Critical Thinking Skills
      • Colloquial Language
        • A style of conversational and informal writing
        • Can be very useful in fiction and less formal types of writing in which a character’s use of slang, dialect, or “colorful” language can reveal a lot about his/her thoughts, attitudes, and ideas.
    • The End
      • Only the beginning of Narrative Essay Writing