What are Narratives?

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.

What is its purpose?

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 enhance the story. All of the details relate to the main point the writer is attempting to make.

How do I do it?

Students can "tell what happened" by introducing the situation (who, where, and when); relaying events in a logical order (firstly, after that, next, etc.); and concluding by giving the last important event (e.g., at last …).

  1. The story should have an introduction that clearly indicates what kind of narrative essay it is. Is it an event or recurring activity, a personal experience, or an observation? It should have a conclusion that makes a point.
  2. You should describe the person, the scene, or the event in some detail. The use of dialogue is fine as long as long as you avoid using too much.
  3. The occasion or person described must be suggestive in that your description and thoughts lead the reader to reflect on the human experience.
  4. The point of view in narrative essays is usually first person. The use of "I" invites your readers into the story.
  5. The writing in your essay should be lively. Try to describe ideas and events in new and different ways.

Assessment and Evaluation

Writing assessment can take many forms and should take into account both product and process. In process assessment, teachers monitor the process students go through as they write by using conferencing, anecdotal records, checklists, or/and self-assessment. In product assessment, teachers evaluate students’ finished compositions. Product assessment should be based on many different criteria. A writing rubric or scoring criteria can be used. In both types of assessment, the goal is to help students become better and more confident writers.

Teacher Resources


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