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Writing a personal narrative. Purpose: To tell something that happened to you and your feelings about it. It is a story in which you show a realization.

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Presentation on theme: "Writing a personal narrative. Purpose: To tell something that happened to you and your feelings about it. It is a story in which you show a realization."— Presentation transcript:

1 Writing a personal narrative

2 Purpose: To tell something that happened to you and your feelings about it. It is a story in which you show a realization about yourself and your life, and share that with the audience. Audience: No matter who reads your story, you have to work on vivid descriptions to appeal to your audience. Tone: Your voice needs to come through—as though you are having a conversation with the reader. The story is informal and in first person, meaning you can use “I” in your paper.

3 It’s all about the details… SHOW DON’T TELL!!!!! Show the audience what is going on by describing using your senses: Sight Sound Taste Touch Smell

4 EXAMPLE #1 Don’t just say that you felt the snowball hit your head before you fell down and heard everyone laugh… show it! “The sting of the hard packed ice against my cheek instantly brought tears to my eyes. As I flinched away, the ice proved too much for me to keep my balance and my legs slid away out from under me. The sickening thud of my body hitting the ground was fodder for the vicious crowd and they cackled mercilessly as struggled to get back on my feet.”

5 EXAMPLE #2 This tells the reader: I was really nervous. She called on me to answer the question. I didn’t know the answer. She stood right by me, when I started to cry. She told me I won the “Doorknob of the day award.” This happened right in front of the whole class.

6 Look at the ordinary verbs in Example #2: I was really nervous. She called on me to answer the question. I didn’t know the answer. She stood right by me, when I started to cry. She told me I won the “Doorknob of the day award.” This happened right in front of the whole class.

7 This revision of Example #2 shows the reader: My heart stopped each time she paused before calling on her next victim. I knew I didn’t understand how to do the algebra problems; I just didn’t want her to know. Then I heard my name and every nerve in my body froze. I couldn’t do anything except look down at the paper. “WELL?” I heard her screech as she loomed over me. I could not speak. I heard someone mumble disgustedly, “Geez, this was easy!” That’s when the tears began to blur my eyesight and I willed them not to fall onto my paper. She didn’t notice my tears, and she wouldn’t have cared anyway. She just clicked away on those high heels of hers saying, “Well, I guess you win the ‘Doorknob of the Day award!’” I got off easy since she was capable of a cruelty far beyond that.

8 My heart stopped each time she paused before calling on her next victim. I knew I didn’t understand how to do the algebra problems; I just didn’t want her to know. Then I heard my name and every nerve in my body froze. I couldn’t do anything except look down at the paper. “WELL?” I heard her screech as she loomed over me. I could not speak. I heard someone mumble disgustedly, “Geez, this was easy!” That’s when the tears began to blur my eyesight and I willed them not to fall onto my paper. She didn’t notice my tears, and she wouldn’t have cared anyway. She just clicked away on those high heels of hers saying, “Well, I guess you win the “Doorknob of the Day award!” I got off easy since she was capable of cruelty far beyond that.

9 Be sure you have a point! Were you somehow different at the end of your experience? If so, how exactly did you change? Did you learn something new about yourself? What? Did you learn something new about other people, human nature, or life in general? What was it?

10 Reflect on the meaning! When you reflect on the meaning, you bring out the meaning in your writing and make it understandable. You’ve been doing this when reading stories since elementary school. What can you interpret from the example from algebra class??

11 EXAMPLE #2: My heart stopped each time she paused before calling on her next victim. I knew I didn’t understand how to do the algebra problems; I just didn’t want her to know. Then I heard my name and every nerve in my body froze. I couldn’t do anything except look down at the paper. “WELL?” I heard her screech as she loomed over me. I could not speak. I heard someone mumble, “Geez, this was easy!” That’s when the tears began to blur my eyesight and I willed them not to fall onto my paper. She didn’t notice my tears, and she wouldn’t have cared anyway. She just clicked away on those high heels of hers saying, “Well, I guess you win the “Doorknob of the Day award!” I got off easy since she was capable of cruelty far beyond that.

12 Interpretations… The student is afraid of this teacher. The student already feels embarrassed that (s)he does not understand the math. The teacher is not a really compassionate person.

13 Setting up the narrative Introduction—Use an attention grabber (choose one) Give the background to the story Start with the action Start with dialogue Start with a description of a character Describe the setting Start with your point

14 Dialogue NEVER USE DIALOGUE UNLESS IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE STORY! Punctuating the dialogue: Begin a new paragraph when the speaker changes. Use quotation marks around the speaker’s words. Separate dialogue tags from the rest of the sentence with a comma, a question mark, or an exclamation point. Begin a new sentence with a capital letter. Do not capitalize the second half of a sentence that is separated by the dialogue tag.

15 EXAMPLES OF DIALOGUE “Watch out!” he screamed as he ran toward her. “There’s a car coming!” “I’m trying to get out of the way,” she shouted, “as fast as I can.” But she had dropped her money and was desperately trying to pick it up quickly. Without that money, she knew she would not be eating that weekend. “GET…” He didn’t have time to finish. By the time he yelled again, the car was a blur going by. He closed his eyes tightly and then he heard it: Laughter. “Oh my gosh! That was close!” she shrieked as she clutched her tip money in her fist. She already made the plans in her head to celebrate with a pizza.

16 Get started! Now it’s your turn! Go grab your journal, pick the entry you would most like to develop into your personal narrative, and start working on revising and elaborating on what you’ve already written!


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