What is a narrative? The purpose of a narrative is to tell a story or to share an experience. The events in a narrative are usually told in chronological (time) order. Narratives use words that show time, like "after", "next", and "then." For a narrative to be complete, it should include all parts of a story.
Think about an event that was memorable for you. It could be a very happy event, an event that taught you something important, a time you were surprised, or another important day or event. Don't choose an event that is too big. For example, don't write about your entire last year of high school or a family member being ill for ten years. There will be too many things to write about for this assignment. Instead, choose a smaller event, like your first day of college or the time you won an award.
Think about some of the most memorable events in your life. Use the map below to complete a brainstorm activity.
Once you have your topic chosen, think about the event in as much detail as possible.
If the story is very long, you may need to focus on a more specific part of the story (e.g., "My first day at the ELC" instead of "My first semester at the ELC".). Do not choose a story that is too long or complicated. Think about the part of the story that is most interesting, important, or memorable.
Just like all writing, a narrative needs an introduction, supporting ideas (major details), and a conclusion.
Once you write your topic sentence, organize your story by the order of events or by another type of organization. There are many ways you can do that. Look at basic example outlines.
TS: The week of midterm exams was the most stressful week of my first semester of college.
SS: The week of midterms was stressful because I had six different tests to take.
SS: The week of midterms was stressful because it was also the week of cleaning checks.
C: I struggled with a lot of stress during my first midterm exam experience.
TS: My worst piano performance taught me a very valuable lesson.
SS: It was my worst performance ever.
SS: I learned the value of having confidence.
C: I learned how important confidence was from my worst performance ever.
Narratives have an introduction that establishes the setting (place and time), the characters (people), and any background knowledge readers need to understand your story. Usually, your introduction should end with your topic sentence (or thesis for an essay). This tells the importance of the story (e.g., "My high school graduation was the happiest day of my life.")
The body of a narrative contains the plot (the events). Divide your story up into major events and tell about each event in each of your supporting sentences. Each event you choose should support the thesis of your narrative.
The conclusion should tell how the story ended and re-emphasize the importance of the story. It should start by summarizing your main idea and end with a closing statement that in some way makes a prediction, suggestion, or opinion.
Spend five minutes answering the questions in the Brainstorming section above.
This will help make the memory vivid in your mind. If you do not have a vivid memory, you will not be able to paint a clear picture for your reader. It's okay to start writing in short (or even incomplete) sentences
After choosing a topic and focus for your narrative, start outlining by thinking about why the event you chose is important. Use that information to write your thesis.
Your Thesis: ___________________________________________________
Start your outline with your thesis sentence and your topic sentence.
You can add the other details after your outline is approved.
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Access it online or download it at https://ensign.edtechbooks.org/foundations_c_writing/prewritingW.