Structure of Personal Narrative Essay

782 Words Feb 23rd, 2016 4 Pages
CLRC Writing Center

Structure of a Personal Narrative Essay

“Narrative” is a term more commonly known as “story.” Narratives written for college or personal narratives, tell a story, usually to some point, to illustrate some truth or insight. Following are some tools to help you structure your personal narrative, breaking it down into parts.
The “Hook” Start your paper with a statement about your story that catches the reader’s attention, for example: a relevant quotation, question, fact, or definition. Introduction

Set the Scene Provide the information the reader will need to understand the story: Who are the major characters? When and where is it taking place? Is it a story about something that happened to you, the
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Whether you choose to write chronologically or not, use transition words to clearly indicate to the reader what happened first, next, and last.
Some time transition words are next, finally, during, after, when, and later.
Transitions In a narrative essay, a new paragraph marks a change in the action of a story, or a move from action to reflection. Paragraphs should connect to one another. For example, the end of one paragraph might be: “I turned and ran, hoping the bear hadn’t noticed me”, and the start of the next might be: “There are many strategies for surviving an encounter with a bear;
‘turn and run’ is not one of them.” The repetition of words connects the paragraphs. (What does the change in verb tense indicate?)*



The Moral of the Story The conclusion of a narrative include the closing action of the event, but also should include some reflection or analysis of the significance of the event to the writer. What lesson did you learn? How has what happened to you affected your life now?

Outlining Your Narrative
Try applying this structure to your own writing: write sentences for the corresponding elements of your introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion in the space provided below.
Begin your paper with a
“hook” that catches the reader’s attention and set the scene. Where is the event set?
What time of year? How old were you when this

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