Scott Neuffer reports:
"Narrative essays serve a simple purpose -- to tell a compelling story. Many colleges and universities request a narrative essay as part of their admissions application, but they aren’t looking for fanciful accounts of werewolves or vampires. They’re looking for meaningful stories revealed in personal essays. The essay form requires a coherent structure, with a beginning, middle and end...Students applying for college are probably familiar with the idea of a thesis -- a clear and compelling assertion or argument introduced somewhere in the beginning of the essay and supported throughout. In narrative writing, the thesis takes on a slightly different role. As many narrative essays focus on personal experience, the thesis then becomes the lesson of that experience. It answers the question of why the experience is important in the first place...One golden rule of narrative writing is to show rather than tell. This means that the writer should not simply tell the reader what occurred in the story but rather show the reader the events of the story in vivid detail...After writing a captivating introduction, the writer should develop the plot, or the sequential events of the story. In other types of essay writing, the writer would use the main body of the essay to lay out subtopics, quotes and research that supports the thesis. In narrative essays, the main body should be the experience itself. The writer should unfold events chronologically, using transitions from paragraph to paragraph that don’t halt the reader...As in any good story, the events in a narrative essay should culminate in a dramatic moment of significant change, otherwise known as the climax. In a personal essay about a car wreck, the accident itself may be the climax, or the climax may occur later when the victim passes out or nearly dies on the operating table. The climax should reveal the point where the character changes, for better or worse. It should lead back to the thesis that was touched upon in the introduction, which in turn should be reiterated, even nuanced, in the conclusion. Requirements for narrative essays vary from college to college."
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