- 500 words!
- Choose a subject appropriate for a narrative essay, using one specific experience from your own life.
- Your body paragraphs will take the reader through the story itself; your introduction and conclusion will situate the story.
- You will use first person in this essay.
- Bring your description skills to your work! I look forward to seeing your richly describe the setting, characters, and actions.
- Dialogue is acceptable but not necessary. I’d rather have you write the scenes and events without significant or lengthy dialogue.
- Make sure that you follow the narrative arc and have the story grow from a central problem that provides the story’s purpose and exigence.
Grading Overview (also: see our rubric)
- Sensory details — do you paint a clear picture of your moment and scene for the reader?
- Organization and development – do you use transitions that work to improve the flow of your paper? Does your paper have a chronology to order it?
- Focus and perspective – please do not refer to the act of writing the paper or the assignment itself.
- Dominant impression – what idea do you want your reader to come away with after reading your story?
- Mechanics – see your textbook, or visit the Writing Center, for help with this.
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeOrganization/attention to mode and assignmentOrganization is the physical structure of your paper, including the way you group those original ideas. If you have organizational issues, I mark the areas in which you’re struggling and try to give you advice. Attention to mode means exactly that: if we are writing a narrative, as in essay 2, you use narrative tactics and tell a story. If we are writing in process mode, you show the steps of the process. And so on. Attention to the assignment is also pretty clear. It means that, if I’ve asked you to write in a certain mode about a certain topic, you do that. If I ask you to include no outside information or sourced material, you go with that instruction.||
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeIdeas/ThinkingI expect you to do your prewriting and think fresh, original thoughts, thoughts that are unique to you and your experience. If you’ve plagiarized your work, you get a zero in this area.||
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeStyle and DictionDiction is simply word choice. If you have issues finding the best word to express your thoughts, again, I will point that out and make suggestions. Some students make bad diction choices when they use a thesaurus to try and make their writing sound more sophisticated. Please don’t use a thesaurus. Instead, increase your active vocabulary by READING MORE. Style is really about the sophistication of your expression. If you have awkward expression, or if you write the way you speak, I will mark you out on style.||
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeMechanicsThese are nagging concerns such as commas, comma splices, run on sentences, spelling, and apostrophe issues. I do mark these issues in at least half of your essays each time. You can look into the online handbook for rules (and remedies).||
After you write your narrative essay, take 100-150 words to answer these questions:
- What is strongest in my essay? (What am I proudest of?)
- What are my areas of weakness in this essay? What do I need to work on as I continue writing essays?
- What would I change if I had another week to improve or revise this essay?
- What did I learn from writing this essay that I’ll bring to my future essays?
Last Updated on February 11, 2019 by EssayPro