How to write an introduction to a narrative


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Choosing an appropriate hook and then deciding what else to include in the introduction of a personal narrative can be difficult.

This free teaching resource is from Innovative Teaching Resources. You can access hundreds of their excellent resources here.

After brainstorming is complete, and it is time for drafting to begin, the introduction is the first step. Since this is the section of one’s personal narrative that gives readers the all-important first impression, special care and consideration must be provided to make sure this paragraph makes a lasting impression that motivates readers to keep reading. Examples and various techniques are included to provide clarity to what the introduction of a personal narrative should contain.

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How to write an introduction to a narrative

  1. 1. © – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  2. 2.  The purpose of the introduction is to provide background information.  Suggestions include: › Describe the weather › Discuss what you and the most important other people were doing BEFORE the main emotionalfilled moment happen › End the paragraph with a sentence that leads into the most-intense seconds/ moment that you will discuss in detail in your body. © – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  3. 3. CAN YOU USE IRONY TO MAKE THE DAY SEEM LIKE NOTHING SPECIAL IF YOU ARE LEADING INTO A HAPPY MEMORY OR VICE VERSA?  “It was a cold and snowy Christmas day. When I saw all of the presents, I went into a frenzy of ripping paper and tearing into boxes to expose the different gifts…” © – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  4. 4. TRY TO BUILD SOME DETAILS ABOUT YOUR SETTING INTO THIS DISCUSSION OF WHOSE PRESENT, IF POSSIBLE.  “The wind rushed past me blowing my hair in my face but I didn’t dare move, I was determined to be the last one to be found. I was bundled up so tightly in my dark purple coat that it was covering most of my eyes so I could see a sliver of the huckleberry bushes that I was hiding under. My faded blue jeans were scraping up against the dirt. I was sure that by the time I got out of here, I would rips on the bottom half of my jeans. My friends, Sarah and Rebekah (who were sisters) and I were playing Hide – and – Go – Seek in their yard. © – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  5. 5. • • •  IF YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT A SCARY MOMENT, YOU MIGHT LEAD IN WITH YOUR ANXIETY… IF YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT A SAD MEMORY, TRY TO BUILD SUSPENSE… IF YOU ARE WRITING ABOUT A HAPPY TIME, FOCUS ON LEADING INTO THE EXCITEMENT. Sarah was seeking and I could faintly hear off-white sneakers slam against the wet grass towards my hiding spot. I heard another set of shoes trailing behind her, occasionally tripping and the high-pitched voice of Rebekah. Victory! I was going to be the last one found. To bad my happiness couldn’t last, Sarah and Rebekah stopped along the grass until they were standing right in front of my hiding spot, at least that’s where I thought they were, my coat was still in the way of most of my view. As we were walking back, I was gloating my victory when my foot snagged something warm and stick-like, I immediately plummeted to the ground and then turned to look around. It wasn’t a stick. There was a leg laying a few feet behind my now muddy grass-stained pant leg. © – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  6. 6.  The introduction in a personal narrative begins the process of reliving a special memory using: › Character description › Setting description › Interesting details › Dialogue © – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  7. 7. The lazy days of summer had become quite action-filled when a routine doctor’s visit turned into a premature rush to the hospital in preparation of our baby boy’s birth. Afterwards, an unsuccessful delivery attempt led to an emergency c-section, but at 11:57 A. M., Jeremiah’s first cries were heard within the walls of Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. Joy was quickly transformed into mere contentment for my husband, Andy, and I, as our five-pound newborn bundle was escorted off to the nursery for a much-needed supply of Oxygen. Frequent reports of his progress and the promise that we would see him soon kept my anxiety at bay, but when the pediatrician entered my hospital room for the second time that evening, it became apparent that the all-to-quiet floors had let something more than contentment creep down the colorless halls. © – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  8. 8. At eighteen years of age, the world seems to be always on your side. Cruising along in my bright gold Chevrolet Beretta, I was entertaining just that thought. I was excited to spend the afternoon with my best friend, Leona. The twenty minute commute from my home out in the hills of Wayne County to Monticello had been uneventful. Well, that was until the repetition of boring commercials in place of upbeat music led me to take my eyes off the road. Little did I know that reaching with my right hand to adjust the radio station in an attempt to tune in some Alan Jackson, George Strait, or one of my other favorite country stars would cost me such an expensive penalty. © – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers
  9. 9.  Include some details related to your setting.  A brief description of the people most important to your memory.  A cliffhanger that prepares you to lead into the rising action and the climax. © – Cool Stuff for Nerdy Teachers