Writing a Personal Narrative Claire Macdonald Mahony David Thompson Middle School What is a Personal Narrative? A Personal Narrative is a form of writing in
which the writer relates an event , incident, or experience in his or her own life. The events of a personal narrative are most often presented in chronological order, the order in which they actually occurred in time. The personal narrative incorporates vivid descriptive details as well as the thoughts, feelings, and reactions of the writer. How Should a Personal Narrative be Written?
For this essay you will need to write about one specific experience that changed how you acted, thought, or felt. Use your experience as a spring board for reflection. Your purpose is not to merely tell an interesting story but to show your readers the importance and influence the experience has had on you. PAT Exemplars In May on your PAT test there will be choices, a five paragraph essay (Bing,Bang,Bongo) or a Personal
Narrative. They often use photographs to inspire you. What Makes a Good Personal Narrative? Good stories occur everywhere and can be told about anything. They are as likely to occur in your own neighborhood as in some exotic locale. Potential stories happen daily; what makes
potential stories actual stories is putting them into language, recounting them, orally or in writing. Good stories are entertaining, informative, lively, and believable; they will mean something to those who write them as well as to those who read them. What Makes a Good Personal Narrative? In other words, any time you render a full account of a personal experience, you answer what is
commonly known as "reporter's questions"--the who, what, where, when, why, and how questions reporters ask themselves to make sure their reports of news stories are complete. Whether your essay is engaging or not depends upon the subject, your interest in telling it, and the skills you use to weave together these story elements. Setting the Story Up All stories account for something that happened-an event or series of events, after which something or somebody is changed.
As in a fictive story, your personal essay will contain the similar elements: a character (who?) to whom something happens (what?), in some place (where?), at some time (when?), for some reason (why?), told from a particular perspective (how?). Parts of a Personal Narrative All personal narratives should have the following: A beginning that grabs the reader's interest; sometimes
gives background information and a hint about the meaning or importance of the event. A middle that tells about important events, describes people and places, and tells the writer's thoughts and feelings. An ending in which the writer explains the outcome and shows the meaning of the experience (what they learned from it).
Characteristics of a Personal Narrative focuses on one experience shows the purpose clearly in that the importance of the event is clear to the reader expresses the writer's thoughts and feelings throughout
is written in first person "I" has manly relevant sensory details (things for the reader to see. hear, feel, smell, taste) must have dialogue in order for the reader to feel like they are there must have why it is important and/or how it affected the writer Characteristics of a Personal Narrative
clear purpose (why this event is important to you) first person account (help us understand the narrator) opening sentence (question, interesting observation, or summary of purpose) organized facts and events explanation of need and how addressed sensory description conclusion (what was learned or
accomplished/effect on self ) Choosing a Topic write about something you remember well write about something that has meaning or importance to you write about something you do not care to have read by others
How will I know how well I did? Use the Rubric to determine if you are hitting all the areas of the personal narrative.
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