A Typical Day in My Life

1. Type of essay: Narrative. 2. Select one of the following topics: A Typical Day in My Life or An Unforgettable Day in My Life. 3. The essay should have five paragraphs and no fewer than 500 words. 4. Format: MLA. (If you want the template, send me an e-mail requesting it.) GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS AND INFORMATION: Write a 500-word narration essay on your selection from the two topics provided above. Although narratives serve a variety of purposes, the most successful ones usually share three basic characteristics: they are clearly organized in time, make a central point, and contain specific details relevant to that point. Narration is one of the most common types of professional writing, and it seeks to answer the basic questions “What happened?” or “What happens?” The main goal of narration is to tell a story. Choose your essay structure carefully. Avoid including details that do not serve (support) to advance or complete your narration. I expect your essay to contain a strong introduction that includes your essay’s thesis (central point or main idea), a coherent and focused body that effectively transitions from paragraph to paragraph, and a rich conclusion that provides closure for your narration. Use all the resources you have available to complete this essay. Refer to your textbook for strategies and tips on student writing. I strongly recommend that you read “Chapter 9” from your textbook, which has been provided to you. A narrative essay is a format in which the author tells, or narrates, a story. They are non-fictional and deal with the author’s personal development. Unlike other forms of writing, using the first person is acceptable in narrative essays. Narrative Essay As a mode of expository writing, the narrative approach, more than any other, offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves. We all have experiences lodged in our memories, which are worthy of sharing with readers. Yet sometimes they are so fused with other memories that a lot of the time spent in writing narrative is in the prewriting stage. When you write a narrative essay, you are telling a story. Narrative essays are told from a defined point of view, often the author’s, so there is feeling as well as specific and often sensory details provided to get the reader involved in the elements and sequence of the story. The verbs are vivid and precise. The narrative essay makes a point and that point is often defined in the opening sentence, but can also be found as the last sentence in the opening paragraph. Since a narrative relies on personal experiences, it often is in the form of a story. When the writer uses this technique, he or she must be sure to include all the conventions of storytelling: plot, character, setting, climax, and ending. It is usually filled with details that are carefully selected to explain, support, or embellish the story. All of the details relate to the main point the writer is attempting to make. To summarize, the narrative essay • is told from a particular point of view • makes and supports a point • is filled with precise detail • uses vivid verbs and modifiers • may use dialogue General Guidelines • Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper. • Double-space the text of your paper, and use a legible font (e.g. Times New Roman). Whatever font you choose, MLA recommends that the regular and italics type styles contrast enough that they are recognizable one from another. The font size should be 12 pt. • Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless otherwise instructed by your instructor). • Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides. • Indent the first line of paragraphs one half-inch from the left margin. MLA recommends that you use the Tab key as opposed to pushing the Space Bar five times. • Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor may ask that you omit the number on your first page. Always follow your instructor’s guidelines.) • Use italics throughout your essay for the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, providing emphasis. • If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page. Entitle the section Notes (centered, unformatted). Formatting the First Page of Your Paper • Do not make a title page for your paper unless specifically requested. • In the upper left-hand corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor’s name, the course, and the date. Again, be sure to use double-spaced text. • Double space again and center the title. Do not underline, italicize, or place your title in quotation marks; write the title in Title Case (standard capitalization), not in all capital letters. • Use quotation marks and/or italics when referring to other works in your title, just as you would in your text: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as Morality Play; Human Weariness in “After Apple Picking” • Double space between the title and the first line of the text. • Create a header in the upper right-hand corner that includes your last name, followed by a space with a page number; number all pages consecutively with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor or other readers may ask that you omit last name/page number header on your first page. Always follow instructor guidelines.)

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