Major Paper #2--The Personal Narrative Essay
We will be working on the Personal Narrative essay for the next three units. The Personal Narrative will be due at the end of Unit #7. A narrative is simply a story. A personal narrative is a true story, focusing largely on the writer’s own life. For Essay #2, the Personal Narrative, you will be writing a short essay (at least 3-4 pages in length) about a significant event in your own life. This event need not --and probably should not--be inherently, overly dramatic. Sometimes the most influential moments in our lives are smaller moments, events that we may not recognize as influential until years after the experience. In the personal narrative essay, you will want to tell the story as accurately as you can—search your deep memory—and tell the story from your own perspective. You will also want to exercise your selectivity as a writer, choosing to summarize background information/exposition, and really dramatize important scenes for the reader. During the course of this unit, you will want to read the examples of the Personal Narrative in Chapter 2. You will want to start brainstorming ideas for your own personal narrative, and--by the end of Unit 5--you will want to have selected a significant event that you wish to focus on in this essay. Here is one sample personal narrative:
Even as a law breaking mischievous youth I had always looked up to Police Officers in my neighborhood. I even looked up to them when they would chase my friends and I when we snuck out at night and kicked sprinkler heads off, or got caught drinking underage. I loved to watch the show “Cops” and always pictured myself in the situations being portrayed on television. In my youth I did a lot of things that most people would look down on and police departments may shun you for, but that didn’t stop me from aspiring to join their ranks. After serving in the military for over five years and attaining the rank of SGT (P), I was sent orders for recruiting. This was not the path I wanted my career to go down, so I opted to decline the orders. Once I had done this I was faced with a decision, what should I do now? I decided I would try to get hired at a local police department. At the time I was stationed in Manhattan, KS and had to choose between Manhattan, Salina, and Topeka. Topeka and Manhattan were testing on the same days and as fate would have it I decided to give Manhattan a try. Having no navigational skills in the city I was first challenged in finding the testing sight for the physical agility test. The site was located at the RCPD range, which was off of Pillsbury Drive, near Pillsbury Crossing. When I arrived I was shocked to see that I would be up against forty some odd people fighting for five or six slots. Once I got out of my truck and started talking to other hopeful applicants I became worried. What was I going to do if I didn’t get hired I asked myself. I felt as though I was under qualified after finding out that 60%- 70% of the applicants had degrees in Criminal Justice. I thought for sure that college would be a major hiring point. I had come this far though and had no reason to doubt my ability to prove myself on an obstacle course. The air was thin and cold on this particular day, making just breathing a chore. Gazing out at the course the towers were tall and a long climb, the walls were high with steep drops to the other side. Tires lined the courses isles to test your agility running through them, and at the end of the obstacle course there was a 170 pound dummy that you had to drag to a safe zone. I felt confident since I was still in the Army and was in the best cardiovascular condition in my life. The lieutenant introduced himself to the crowd and began explaining the course, at the end of his explanation and demonstration he asked for volunteers to go first. In my mind I thought it would be good to...
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