Narratives• Narratives are stories that are told for different purposes.• In college, students will be asked to relate their experiences dealing with different matters. There is also the narrative required on the college application.
Memoirs• Memoirs focus on events, people, and places that are important.• One usually writes a memoir to capture the important moment and to tell how it is important to him/her.
Key Features• A well-told story: Like most stories, those about literacy often set up some sort of situation that needs to be resolved or a question to be answered.• Vivid detail: Vivid details are what bring a story to life and help create the mental images of sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures of the world in which the story takes place.
Key Features Continued• Indication of narratives significance: A literacy narrative tells something about how the person learned to read or write. The writer must also make it clear why the event is important. A sort of moral of the story, if you will. – A memoir tells about the significance of the memory, while explaining what it means to the writer.
Choosing a Topic• Focus on the simple events during a brief period: – Any earlier memory about reading or writing – Someone who taught you to read or write – A book that is significant to you – An event at school that was interesting, humorous, or embarrassing, etc. – A memory you will never forget• Make a possible list of topics and choose one that you feel is interesting.
Considering the Rhetorical Situation• Purpose: Why do you want to tell the story? Think about the reasons and how they will shape what you write.• Audience: Who are your readers? Understanding your audience lets you know what you need to explain, if there would be similar experiences, and if they share your attitude.
Rhetorical Situation Cont.• Stance: What attitude do you want to project? The attitude will determine the tone you use when writing.• Media/Design: How will be the narrative be presented? There is print, oral, and web., and then there are photos, charts, or other illustrations that may be needed.
Generating Ideas and Text• Remember that the goal is to tell a story that is vivid and compelling for the reader. – Describe the setting: Where does it take place? What do you see? What do you hear? What do you smell? How and what do you feel? What do you taste? – Think of key people: People’s actions play an important part in the story. Describe each person in a paragraph or so. Recall (or imagine) some characteristic dialogue.
Generating Ideas and Text Cont.• Write about ―what happened‖: A good story dramatizes the action. Try to summarize what happened with active and specific verbs to describe as vividly as possible. Answer what, where, and who.• Consider the significance of the narrative: Be clear about why the event is important. How did it change or affect you?
Ways to Organize• Start by Outlining the main events. Then think about how you want to organize it. – Chronologically: from beginning to end – Beginning in the middle: start with the middle, fill in details, tell how situation was resolved, and why it was important. – Beginning at the end: tell how the story ends and then go back to the beginning to tell how it happened.
Writing Out a Draft• Once all the information is collected, it is time to begin writing. – Draft a beginning: jump right in with the main action; describe the context by giving background information; describe the setting—especially if it is important to the narrative.
Writing Out a Draft Cont.– Draft an ending: what do you want to leave the readers with. • End where your story ends • Say something about the significance of your narrative • Refer back to the beginning • End on a surprising note– Come up with a title. • A good title indicates something about subject and makes the audience want to read the narrative.
Considering Matters of DesignNarratives are usually written in paragraphform.– What typeface? Essays are usually Times New Roman, Arial, or Calibri.– Any headings? Essays have a header with your name, teacher’s name, class, and date.– Any visuals? Short essays usually do not included visuals.
Getting Response and Revising• Getting responses from others is really important. – Does the title and beginning make the reader want to read more? – Are transitions used correctly to take the reader through the story? – Is anything confusing? – Are the details added and are the interesting? Does the reader know the setting? Is there dialogue?
Getting Response and Revising Cont. – Has the situation been made meaningful? – Are actions described vividly and clearly as to engage the reader? – Is the significance clear? – Is the ending satisfying and what does it leave the reader thinking? Once you have all the answers, it is time to revise.
Editing and Proofreading• Make sure events are narrated in clear order with proper transitions.• Make sure to have verb tense consistency.• Make sure verb tenses indicate when an action took place.• Punctuate dialogue correctly.• Proofread for other grammatical and usage issues.
Taking Stock in Your Work• How well did you tell the story?• What did you do well?• What could you improve?• How did you come up with ideas and generating texts?• How did you go about drafting the narrative?• How did others’ responses influence you?