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Introduction Writing: Narrative Essay

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Introduction Writing: Narrative Essay

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Introduction Writing: Narrative Essay

  1. 1. Writing the Introduction To a Narrative Essay
  2. 2. With the person sitting next to you, read example introductions and discuss: Which one is the BEST? Why do you think it is the best? Activity:
  3. 3. Which one is the BEST? How did you determine which was best? (What criteria did you create?) What is the purpose of the introduction to an admissions essay or narrative essay? Activity:
  4. 4. Catches reader’s attention! Establishes the narrator’s voice, tone, mood, & point of view. Creates enough interest that the reader will want to continue. Introduces or alludes to the conflict you plan on addressing in your story. Is short in length What makes a good intro?:
  5. 5. What NOT to do: Don’t summarize what you plan on talking about in your essay (don’t give away the ending) Don’t include any form of the phrase, “I am going to write about”… Don’t use slang Don’t start with a quote or definition (these are cliche) Don’t start with a question…unless it is a particularly interesting one.
  6. 6. Strategies: (1) Start in the middle of the action: “Breez in and breez out. Clear your mind by zinking of somezing plasant.' For five minutes, all of us found ourselves sitting cross-legged on the floor with a soft, sleepy look on our faces as we subconsciously nodded to the soothing rhythmic voice of our French teacher. Our heads were still half wafting in the delicious swirls of dreamland. Time moved by swiftly and we were forced to tend to the grueling task of untangling our aching frames, stiffened from prolonged straining positions."
  7. 7. Strategies: (2) Start with something shocking: "When I was four years old I decided to challenge conventional notions of the human limit by flying through a glass window. My role-model was Superman, whose exploits on television had induced my experiment. Nine stitches and thirteen years later, while I no longer attempt to be stronger than steel or faster than a speeding bullet, I still find myself testing my limits, mental and physical."
  8. 8. Strategies: (3) Start with something misleading: "I am an addict. I tell people I could stop anytime, but deep inside, I know I am lying. I need to listen to music, to write music, to play music every day. I can't go a whole day without, at the very least, humming or whistling the tunes that crowd my head. I sing myself hoarse each morning in the shower, and playing the trumpet leaves a red mouthpiece-shaped badge of courage on my lips all day. I suspect that if someone were to look at my blood under a microscope, they would see, between the platelets and t-cells, little black musical notes coursing through my body."
  9. 9. Strategies: (4) Withhold information. Create mystery: "I had a mental image of them standing there, wearing ragged clothes, hot and depressed, looking upon us as intruders in their world. They would sneer at our audacity. We would invade their territory only to take pictures and observe them like tourists. We climbed out of the van and faced eleven men assembled in the shade. My class, consisting of twelve primarily white, middle-class students, felt out of place. Our class at the Governor's School summer environmental program included an interview with migrant workers.”
  10. 10. Strategies: (5) Introduce a problem: "I have often wondered whether the United States has an obligation to get involved in the internal conflicts of other countries. When does the power to intervene become an obligation to act? I gained some insight into this dilemma when a small part of the Bosnian war spilled into my home last year."
  11. 11. Strategies: “I hate clowns. I hate vines. I hate fuzzy caterpillars. But most of all, I hate leeches. They are full harbors of evil on Earth. Their zombie- like way of crawling, as if their life is turned on for one second to create that signature hump of a worm, and then quickly turned off, instantly flattening out, dead, brings me to tears. Before long they are up again, repeating this pattern; their black covering sparkling, creating the most shocking juxtaposition of attempted beauty on a creature so wicked. They are shown falling from leaves, free as children on monkey bars, their intentions seemingly unknown to the deranged cameraman filming them. When they find that next prey they are spellbound, burrowing their fang-rimmed faces into the leg of an unsuspecting hiker… Despite my aversion to the leech, I am still planning on joining the Peace Corps.” (6) Use vivid imagery and description:
  12. 12. Strategies: “In college, I dated a guy named George. When he friend requested me on Facebook many years later, I accepted. Eager to find out what he'd been up to, if he got married, had kids, if he was still single and if he ever found himself, I checked his wall, only to discover that he was maybe, kind of, sort of... dead. I wasn't sure, so I emailed and asked. Hey, George, Thanks for the friend request. Quick question, are you dead? I'm asking because your wall is littered in posts from friends alluding to your demise. Hit me back in spirit or via email. —Katie" (7) Use humor:
  13. 13. Good or bad first lines? “Ever since the dawn of complex society, individuals have struggled to incorporate religious themes within cultural bounds.” “The conjectural anecdote resulted in a most calamitous insurrection directed at my nostrils.” “Do you have a hobby so important to your life that you feel you can’t live without it?”
  14. 14. Good or bad first lines? Avoid philosophizing / avoid making your essay sound like a school research paper. Use your own natural language. Avoid using “big words” for the sake of making your writing sound smart. Avoid cliches like re-stating the prompt as a question. If you’re going to use a question as your opening line, it should be a really interesting one!

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