As you saw in the essays by Cisneros and Orwell, narration can be a useful strategy for making and supporting a claim. It’s also an avenue for reflecting on emotions and ideas that are often confusing and/or complex. For example, in “Only Daughter,” Cisneros uses narrative details to support her claim that her culture, gender and class have shaped her identity; she also uses her narrative to explore what her position in such a family has meant to her work.
With this in mind, you will write a minimum 600 word essay on one of the topics listed below. All essays should include a clearly identifiable thesis in the opening paragraph. The introduction should serve as a framework for the narrative which will follow. The body will contain the narrative, and the conclusion should reflect on the events narrated. In other words, the conclusion explains the significance of the story or event you have narrated. How did it affect you? What did you learn? What might you do differently?
Tips for writing successful narrative essays
• Include details, descriptions, dialogue. The narrative should come to life. • Use a clear narrative order.
• Keep verb tense consistent. Narrate in the present tense. • Use transitions to indicate shifts in time.
• Write in the first person (I); avoid the second person (you).
1. In “Shooting an Elephant,” Orwell narrates a time when he had to make a difficult decision that went against his own convictions. The experience, as he explains it, taught him something about himself and about a much larger political force. Write an essay about a time when you had to do something that went against your beliefs. Why did you do it? What did you learn? 2. Write a narrative about a time when you were an outsider, isolated because of social, intellectual or ethnic differences. How did you resolve the problems your isolation created? 3. In “Only Daughter,” Cisneros traces...