Though some say, “rules are meant to be broken,” breaking the rules often has serious consequences. Tell about a time when YOU broke the rules and what happened as a result.

Narrative Writing

Narration is a method of describing events by using time sequence. Choose ONE of the following topics (a, b, c, or d) and write a 600-800 word narrative essay.

a. The way a person handles disappointment reveals a great deal about what is important to him or her. Tell about a time in YOUR life when YOU confronted disappointment and how YOU handled it.

b. When we reflect upon our childhood, we often come back to a few key events that had a major impact on us. Tell about one of those defining events from YOUR childhood.

c. Sometimes lies can have serious consequences. Describe a time when a lie had major consequences for YOU.

d.  Though some say, “rules are meant to be broken,” breaking the rules often has serious consequences. Tell about a time when YOU broke the rules and what happened as a result.

Narrative Essay Guidelines and Assessment Criteria

As pointed out in class, submit your first draft only. Again, no one can produce a flawless first draft. If you hand in a first draft that contains absolutely no mistakes, it will NOT count. 

In addition to the rubric which was handed out in class, keep the following in mind:

1. Use the narration method of organization.

2. Focus on a single event or experience.

3. In the introduction, describe the setting, introduce the characters, and prepare the reader for the action to come. Write the narrative hook and thesis in bold.

4. Tell your story from a single point of view. That is, choose one person involved in the story and tell it from his perspective. When explaining a complicated series of events over the course of several paragraphs, it is easy to switch unknowingly from one person’s perspective to another’s. Before you begin writing, decide whose point fo view you will use.

5. Focus only on the important elements of the story. That is, do not distract your readers by including insignificant facts, events, people, or descriptions.

6. Write in only one tense (present or past). Unless you have a specific reason for doing so otherwise, write in one tense – past or present. That is, tell the story as it did happen (past), or as it is happening now (present).

7. Highlight THREE instances in which you are using vivid language to help readers visualize the events you describe. The following suggestions will help you develop your details: 

a. Use specific verbs. Choose action verbs to help the reader picture the action.

b. Give exact names. Include the names of people, places, objects, and brands.

c. Use adjective before nouns to convey details.

d. Use words that appeal to the senses. Choose words that suggest touch, taste, smell, sound and sight.

e. Another way of showing instead of telling is through the use of dialogue. Use it sparingly though!

8. Consider audience and purpose when deciding how much detail to include (more is needed for topics your reader is unfamiliar with) and what background information is necessary.

9. Organize the action in the plot in chronological order. Each body paragraph should give more information about the story as it proceeds in time.

10. End each body paragraph with a transitional sentence. Underline each transitional sentence.

11. Use transitional words to connect ideas. Transitional words allow readers to move easily from one detail to another; they show how details relate to one another. You might think of them as words that guide and signal. Use italicized transitional words and phrases to signal when the next event is about to occur.

12. The conclusion must end the story action and provide a moral, prediction, or revelation. Write the final sentence in bold.

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