Personal Narrative (Essay #1). College essay writing service
Be sure that you have reviewed the Discussion forum about personal narrative writing and important elements (one life-changing moment, vivid details, strong narrator…), the assignment requirements in this attachment, use MLA format for the structure of the essay itself, and have carefully read the three personal narratives, “Salvation,” “American History,” and “Looking for Work,” for ideas. There is also a student sample essay in this folder and other links for inspiration. I highly recommend listening to stories on The Moth to get inspired and generate other ideas about how to approach this assignment. This is a story, so use your storytelling skills! Evoke the senses and feelings through details.
Here are some helpful guiding questions as well: 1. What does it look like, smell like, feel like? (Use your 5 senses whenever possible). 2.What example or experience can I use to illustrate the point I am making? 3. What is my evidence of this moment? Is it vivid and full of imagery? 4. What comparison (analogy) can I make so that it is clearer? 5. Why does this matter? What is my purpose of including this? 6. How does this fit into the larger story? 7. How can I restate this so it is more interesting and dynamic?
This essay should be in MLA format, Times New Roman font, three pages minimum and should be no longer than around five or six pages. More reminders attached and in this folder. Submit using Microsoft Word or Open Office. We provide the best Online writing service to our students. Log in today to get access to notch papers
Essay #1—Personal Narrative Essay
TOPIC: We have read Gary Soto’s “Looking for Work,” which is a short, personal account of a specific period in Soto’s childhood, where he reveals his family life and various perspectives as he works through these experiences. I have also emailed you “Salvation” by Langston Hughes and “American History” by Judith Ortiz Cofer, which are great examples of the personal narrative essay. In class, we have discussed a variety of other perspectives on family.
For this narrative essay, think of a specific, pivotal moment in your childhood or adolescence. Notice that all three stories read in this class focused on ONE day. Be sure to stay centered on an important moment that can be explored in 3 to 5 pages. Explore how this moment/day changed your perspective, life circumstances, or affected your growth in some way.
Make sure to use specific, vivid details of your incidents and experiences to illustrate to the reader of the pleasures, perils, chaos, or responsibilities, of this time. Use your story-telling skills and make it captivating! Also, be sure to write about a time that you are comfortable describing; you will need concrete details to explain and support your main point.
As with storytelling, your narrative essay will contain a plot, character, setting, climax, and ending. Since this is a narrative, it will likely follow time-order organization. Also, your main point should be expressed early on in the essay.
Essay #1 must be at least three full pages long, double-spaced, using MLA style. You will lose points if you don’t fulfill the minimum requirements. You will be graded on strength of main point carried throughout, focus/organization, specific details/support, and grammar/punctuation/sentence structure.
There should be an introduction that catches the reader’s attention. And while this assignment is specifically dealing with personal experiences, this essay still must have a clear point and must stay on-topic throughout.
Body paragraphs should have topic sentences and contain vivid details to support the main argument. This is a time to tell stories about childhood experiences and relate these details to the overall essay.
Quick Grading Checklist
1. Introduction: Does it have a compelling opening that catches the reader’s attention? Does it have adequate background information to lead up to thesis/main point? Does it have a clear focus/thesis that provides a guideline for the direction of the narrative essay?
2. Body/Narrative: Does each paragraph stay on-topic and flow together smoothly with transitions and clear sequencing? Is there a unique and compelling voice telling the story? Does the style fit the content? Are there enough solid, vivid details and specific examples to support the thesis? Is there reflection on these moments to tie them into the rest of the essay? Are the stories relevant to the assignment given? Is the narrative centered around only ONE pivotal moment?
3. Conclusion: Is there a sense of closure or reflection of how this moment impacted the writer’s perspective or childhood?
4. Editing/Proofreading: Is the essay completely free of spelling/grammar/punctuation/format errors? I look forward to reading these!
Elements of a Personal Narrative Essay (and Other Tips)
Important Elements Point of View: Since a personal narrative essay is about a personal experience, it will be written in the first person. This means you will use I/me/my throughout. This also means that the main character that will be developed is you (the narrator). Setting and Timing: You will tell about ONE important event or moment in your past, which means that it will span over a very short period of time. Notice that all three stories you have read (“Looking for Work,” “Salvation” and “American History”) all span just ONE DAY. Also, notice the powerful details to create time and place throughout each personal narrative. Peter Aguero, in his interview (attached), says it well: “Well, a story is about a moment. Everybody’s first instinct is to try to tell their whole life story in five minutes. That’s impossible. A really good story is always built around a moment. It could be the moment of choice, of tragedy, of realization. So you start with a platform—who you were, what you did every day—which lets us know who you are. Then you tell us, in that pivotal moment, what happened, and then you explain how you dealt with it. If it’s a house fire, you didn’t choose to have a house fire, but the interesting part of the story is how you chose to deal with it. If a story doesn’t have a bit of change or realization or something like that in it, it’s not a story, it’s an anecdote. So it has to be something that has affected you in some way.” Question to answer here in
What are the strongest details to convey the setting and mood from at least two of the narratives? Theme: This brings us to the theme or major point of your narrative. As Peter Aguero says above, your story needs to be one of either “choice, tragedy, or realization.” If there is no realization or change, then it is NOT a story. The point of this assignment is to reflect on a life-changing moment. It could be tragic, funny, scary, or something else, but it needs to be reflective. It could be something like loss of faith in “Salvation” or rejection in “American History” or shift in desire to imitate/to take part in the American Dream in “Looking for Work.”
Discussions: 2. More specifically than listed above, how is each of the stories you read about “coming of age” or “loss of innocence”? How did the characters grow or change in the course of this pivotal day? Structure of the Essay: The opening of the essay needs to let the reader know the essence of what you will be describing and your point of view. The body of the story needs to give the reader a very clear idea of what happened and how you (the author) feel about that. The story can be told chronologically or the facts may be grouped by importance or type. The final paragraph needs to wrap up and state the point of the story, whether it is a lesson, an idea, or just a learning experience.e provide the best Online writing service to our students. Log in today to get access to notch papers
General Tips Writing the Essay
Writing a good narrative essay requires you to include interesting details about yourself in an engaging way. Consider recording yourself telling the story. That will help your organize your story and make the writing flow. Include anecdotes and dialogue in the essay. Use transitory words and be aware of various methods of organization. Vary the structure and length of your sentences to make the writing more interesting and give a greater impact. Make the words lively, descriptive, exciting, active, emotional, and precise. Use senses like touch, taste, smell. Do not tell us, but show us instead.
For example, do not say that you were sad, angry, or any other emotion. Show with your details and let the reader come to that conclusion. Most importantly, be authentic and tell the truth. The reader will be able to better connect with your story if you are honest. Peter Aguero states the following about authenticity: If somebody is telling a story and they’re not being loyal to the emotional truth of their story, then they’re doing the story a disservice. As a storyteller, you’re a vessel for the story. It passes through you, and these people are going to hear it. It’s not your job to make it entertaining, it’s not your job to make it funny, it’s not your job to put in a joke, none of that is—your job is to simply say what happened.
He also states: Well, your stories are, at a base level, about an emotional truth, and the more I tell stories and hear people’s stories, the more I realize we’re all the same. We think we’re these complicated animals, these special, unique flowers, and we are to a certain extent, but we also all know what it’s like to feel joy, to feel hate, to feel anger, to be sad, to be scared—we all know that. So you tell your story as much as you can at the base emotional truth, and then the two hundred people in the audience are reminded of two hundred stories of when they felt anger, or fear, or utter joy, you know? And that’s why, I think, I tell stories. It’s an amazing exchange of energy, a nonverbal communication that happens…and I love when I go to a show and I hear a good story. It transports you to the place you were when that happened, and it also transports you to a place where something happened to you in a similar way. Question to answer in Discussions: 3. What other elements did you see that are important in personal narrative writing? What other tips can you give your fellow classmates? What are some of the elements of good storytelling in general?
Personal Narrative Sample.docx