The Modes of Discourse—Exposition, Description, Narration, Argumentation (EDNA)—are common paper assignments you may encounter in your writing classes. Although these genres have been criticized by some composition scholars, the Purdue OWL recognizes the wide spread use of these approaches and students’ need to understand and produce them.
Contributors: Jack Baker, Allen Brizee, Elizabeth Angeli
Last Edited: 2013-07-30 01:39:00
What is a narrative essay?
When writing a narrative essay, one might think of it as telling a story. These essays are often anecdotal, experiential, and personal—allowing students to express themselves in a creative and, quite often, moving ways.
Here are some guidelines for writing a narrative essay.
- If written as a story, the essay should include all the parts of a story.
This means that you must include an introduction, plot, characters, setting, climax, and conclusion.
- When would a narrative essay not be written as a story?
A good example of this is when an instructor asks a student to write a book report. Obviously, this would not necessarily follow the pattern of a story and would focus on providing an informative narrative for the reader.
- The essay should have a purpose.
Make a point! Think of this as the thesis of your story. If there is no point to what you are narrating, why narrate it at all?
- The essay should be written from a clear point of view.
It is quite common for narrative essays to be written from the standpoint of the author; however, this is not the sole perspective to be considered. Creativity in narrative essays often times manifests itself in the form of authorial perspective.
- Use clear and concise language throughout the essay.
Much like the descriptive essay, narrative essays are effective when the language is carefully, particularly, and artfully chosen. Use specific language to evoke specific emotions and senses in the reader.
- The use of the first person pronoun ‘I’ is welcomed.
Do not abuse this guideline! Though it is welcomed it is not necessary—nor should it be overused for lack of clearer diction.
Have a clear introduction that sets the tone for the remainder of the essay. Do not leave the reader guessing about the purpose of your narrative. Remember, you are in control of the essay, so guide it where you desire (just make sure your audience can follow your lead).
How to Write A Unique Research Paper
The best thing about writing a unique research paper is that you become a student of a certain topic, particularly if you never researched the topic before. It is important that you research the topic thoroughly before writing the first draft because you want to be well-versed in the subject and this helps you appear like an expert when writing the paper. When you start the paper you should start with the research you gathered then formulate a thesis statement that will guide the rest of the research paper.
Don't Recycle Used Research Papers
If you want to write a unique research paper, you cannot recycle research topics that were used by a lot of people. If you know that there are so many research papers on the subject of the impact of single mothers on African-American boys, you can have a different angle and discuss what happens to African-American children who enter a life of drug and crime even if they grew up with both parents in the home. Find creative research topics by reading nonfiction books about subjects that are rarely known by the general public. You can also enhance your writing force by hiring a professional essay writer online.
Gather Credible Research Sources
It 's not just enough to go to magazines or websites such as Wikipedia to get the research you need for the paper. The best sources of finding research materials include encyclopedias, nonfiction books, newspaper archives at the library, interviews and credible Internet research websites. This keeps you from having your research paper appear unoriginal and plagiarized.
Outline Your Research Paper
It helps to brainstorm your ideas for the research paper and the best way to do this is to write an outline of your research paper. For example, once when I was having a hard time to write my paper about the various stages of American feminism, I decided to write the outline by dividing it into different parts as: the first wave of the feminists in the 18th ccentury, the second wave in the early 20th century and the third wave in the late 20th and 21st centuries.
Consider The Different Formats
The format you choose for the research paper depends on your professor's requirements. Most humanities and social science professors would require you to use the Modern Language Association format while science-based research papers are typed in American Psychologist Association format. If you are not familiar with a certain format, you can purchase books on the format you need to use.
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