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Professor Hayde Cruz Rivera ENGL 153

What is a Narrative Essay?


As a mode of expository writing, the narrative approach, more than any other, offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves. We all have experiences lodged in our memories, which are worthy of sharing with readers. Yet sometimes they are so fused with other memories that a lot of the time spent in writing narrative is in the prewriting stage.

When you write a narrative essay, you are telling a story. Narrative essays are told from a defined point of view, often the author's, so there is feeling as well as specific and often sensory details provided to get the reader involved in the elements and sequence of the story. The verbs are vivid and precise. The narrative essay makes a point and that point is often defined in the opening sentence, but can also be found as the last sentence in the opening paragraph.

Since a narrative relies on personal experiences, it often is in the form of a story. When the writer uses this technique, he or she must be sure to include all the conventions of storytelling: plot, character, setting, climax, and ending. It is usually filled with details that are carefully selected to explain, support, or embellish the story. All of the details relate to the main point the writer is attempting to make.

To summarize, the narrative essay:


is told from a particular point of view makes and supports a point is filled with precise detail uses vivid verbs and modifiers uses conflict and sequence as does any story may use dialogue

Once an incident is chosen, the writer should keep three principles in mind:
Remember to involve readers in the story. It is much more interesting to actually recreate an incident for readers than to simply tell about it. Find a generalization, which the story supports. This is the only way the writer's personal experience will take on meaning for readers. This generalization does not have to encompass humanity as a whole; it can concern the writer, men, women, or children of various ages and backgrounds. Remember that although the main component of a narrative is the story, details must be carefully selected to support, explain, and enhance the story.

Conventions of Narrative Essays


In writing your narrative essay, keep the following conventions in mind:
Narratives are generally written in the first person, that is, using I. However, third person (he, she, or it) can also be used. Narratives rely on concrete, sensory details to convey their point. These details should create a unified, forceful effect, a dominant impression. More information on the use of specific details is available on another page. Narratives, as stories, should include these story conventions: a plot, including setting and characters; a climax; and an ending.

Here are some popular essay topic examples for your narrative essay type: First Day at College The Moment of Success A Memorable Journey The Biggest Misunderstanding The Difficult Decision The Trip of Your Dreams The Day You Decided to Change Your Life

A lesson learned A lesson learned I wonder, is it at all possible to learn harsh lessons of our life? Indeed, in most spheres of human activity we can hope to take our previous mistakes into consideration and avoid them in the future. But concerning human feelings, is it right to blame ourselves if it turns out that we had made a mistake by sincerely investing a part of us into a wrong person who has lead us into the devastating emotional state? And can we avoid such mistakes in the future without becoming desensitized? Confusion over these questions constitutes the kaleidoscope of my memory of Kim, the relationship with whom ended with the shattering argument over one of the most important questions what is the nature of commitment between man and woman? How fitting was her glowing red pullover when she blazed up in response to my question about whether she had spent the Saturday`s night at the Chicago Blues Club and had left with Craig: You better care about your own leisure as mine is definitely much cuter! This phrase was the last one between us as a couple, and, truly, care about your own whatever is probably the epitome of the fundamental problem that any couple face in one way or another. I am even grateful to Kim for such an exact formulation. Despite the great time that we had together, this ending of our relationship was in no need of talk. Earlier, when we had petty quarrels words channeled negative emotions, but this time words suddenly turned into the irreversible verdict. I

I only could respond in my mind: How funny, here we have two people who cannot in principle understand each other. The realization of this killed in me all desire to engage into mutual accusations, and made me feel fully implicated in this unpleasant situation. Now that time has passed, I of course remember well the emotional turmoil that accompanied me after our break-up. But while being perhaps less naive now, I am no longer too pessimistic. Yes, as I have said before, it is a daunting task to learn all lessons of our life because we tend to forget them. But if we manage to leave a trace of our emotional experiences, then probably we can overcome even arguments without the principal solution. Well, this is exactly what I have tried to do, and while I think that ordering of human emotions may dissolve the essence of human experience, I believe that it is necessary to turn our experiences into words that represent them as close as possible, so that we and others could relive them upon reading.

Space Mountain
It was a hot sunny day, when I finally took my kids to the Disney Land. My son Matthew and my daughter Audra endlessly asked me to show them the dream land of many children with Mickey Mouse and Snow-white walking by and arousing a huge portion of emotions. Somehow these fairy tale creatures can make children happy without such small presents as $100 Lego or a Barbys house in 6 rooms and garden furniture. Therefore, I thought that Disney Land was a good invention for loving parents. However, I can ensure anybody that Disney can turn out to be a remarkable place for adults too. Two years have already passed, but I still can not forget my experience at the roller coaster with a mysterious name Space Mountain. Tired of the smell of sweet popcorn and heroically washing the ice-cream off Audras pink dress, I decided to change the settings. Along with Audra, Mathew pleaded to go to the roller coaster, and, having no other better idea, I finally had to give up. I thought that my wife would be proud of me. Besides, I have never had such an experience before, and thought of having such a ride was quite intriguing. However, when I saw this big Mountain, the first signs of doubt started to appear in my confused conscience. A

man at the age of 30, I felt terrified by the thought that we have to ride down. It is inhuman, suicidal experience I would have felt much better if we set down in the caf and ate ice-cream. I thought about my children and looked at Mat. To my surprise, he was too preoccupied with Space Mountain to be worried about life safety. I also took a moment to appreciate the courage of Audra, who light-heartedly followed Mat. Finally, I rejected all doubt and climbed into this killing machine, where well qualified Disney personnel checked the safety belts, encouraged the suicides, I mean all who wanted to increase their adrenaline level, and wished a pleasant ride.

At that moment, the only person that looked exited was Matthew. As for Audra, her eyes were full of fear, and once again I could not decide for myself whether I did right or not. The only thing that I new for sure was that my blood turned cold and I could not stop thinking that this entire mechanism could break in a second. So, there was nothing a man could do but close his eyes and quickly leave the place of torture. I heard other people scream and even laugh, but could not make a sound myself. When I opened my eyes, I understood that Audra fully shared my feelings. And unfortunately even more. In several minutes, looking at my poor daughter, I thought that pop corn and ice cream was far not the worst thing. Especially, if kept inside I was somehow no longer proud of myself as I could not get rid of the thought that I did something wrong again.