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Writing tips for the personal narrative
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Writing tips for the personal narrative

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  • 1. Writing Tips for your Personal Narrative College Prep English 4 Wichita South
  • 2. Your personal narrative should show something significant about you!
  • 3.
    • Choose a past experience that is important enough to share. You should focus on ONE event.
  • 4.
    • After you have decided on the story you plan to tell, share it with someone so that you can easily recall the details surrounding the event. The listener should ask you questions about the parts that he/she doesn’t understand. If you don’t explain it well verbally, then chances are the reader may be confused as well.
  • 5.
    • Narrow the focus to concentrate on the outcome or specific moment. Has time taught you anything about this experience?
  • 6.
    • What is the purpose for your telling the story? To entertain? To inform? To persuade? To warn? To remind? To celebrate? To gain sympathy? Narratives can serve one or many purposes at once.
  • 7.
    • What is the setting of your story? (time & place) Give specifics about the setting. Describe the atmosphere, the people, and the events with sensory details. SHOW us what it was like instead of just telling us about it. Be sure that your sensory details are very specific.
  • 8.
    • Who else is involved in your story? Don’t go crazy and have so many characters that your reader can’t keep them straight.
  • 9.
    • What was the problem/conflict in your story?
  • 10.
    • What events are related to the conflict (problem)? Build suspense, highlight the main point and be sure to tell the outcome (resolution) of the story. Every story must have a definite beginning, middle and end. Don’t write a narrative about an event which currently involves you. It should have already occurred.
  • 11.
    • Include dialogue. Recall and recreate important conversations of the main players in your story.
    • Remember that you INDENT for each change of speaker.
  • 12.
    • The main idea of your narrative must be crystal clear to the reader for it to be effective. The story should illustrate a point that is readily understood by the reader.
  • 13.
    • An effective narrative is genuine, straight-from-the-heart writing. The reader can see the personality of the writer and understand his/her motivation (s) through the story and diction that was chosen for the narrative.

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