Narrative(敘事體) Essays: a narrative essay tells a story

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Narrative(敘事體) Essays: A narrative essay tells a story.
Several important elements make up a story.

  1. Setting: The setting is the location where the action in a story happens.

  2. Theme: The theme is the basic idea of the story. Very often the theme will deal with a topic that is common in life or human nature, such as greed, envy, love, independence, and so on.

  3. Mood: The mood is the feeling or atmosphere that the writer creates for the story. It could be happy, hopeful, suspenseful, and scary. Both the setting and descriptive vocabulary create the mood in a narrative.

  4. Characters: The characters are the people in the story. They are affected by the mood, and they react to the events in which they are involved.

  5. Plot: The plot is what happens in the story, that is, the sequence of events. The plot often includes a climax or turning point at which the characters or events change.

Asking questions:

  1. What point do you want to make?

  2. What happened?

  3. Why and how did it happen?

  4. Who or what was involved?

  5. What is the setting for your story?

  6. When did the story occur?

  7. What was the sequence of events?

  8. What conflicts were involved?

  9. What is the relationship between the narrator and the action?

(C) Narrative

1. Title: A Travel Nightmare

Topic Sentence: When I decided to travel across Europe with a backpack, I did not think I would meet the local police.

2. Title: An Unfortunate Family Dinner

Topic Sentence: My family and I went to her house almost every Sunday, but this one time her food almost made me sick.

3. Title: My First Job

Topic Sentence: The happiest day of my life is when I got my first job last year.

An Unforgettable Experience-a Great Surprise

I will never forget the time I surprised everyone, even myself. When I was a sophomore in college in St. Paul, Minnesota, I was a member of the speech/debate team. My area of performance was oral interpretation, a category in which each contestant would memorize several short pieces of literature and deliver them with appropriate intonation and emotion in front of two or three judges. The person who gave the best interpretation won. One time our team, which consisted of about ten people, decided to participate in a city-wide contest. Each person on the team prepared his or her specialty; I chose two poems and memorized them. Another girl on our team, Barbara, entered the same category, memorizing a part of a short story. Everyone on our team, including me and the coach, thought that Barbara had the best chance of wining first place. She impressed everyone as more experienced, more sophisticated, more capable than I. Everyone thought that placing second or third was the best I could hope for. I vividly remember the day of the contest, which was held at a university across town. When my scheduled time came, I went into the assigned room and delivered my poems in front of the judges. Even though I was nervous, I did my best. The judges, of course, gave no hint about what they thought, so I left the room really worried. After all the contestants had finished, we went into a large auditorium to find out the results. Our team sat together, all of us nervous and excited. When the judges announced the winners for oral interpretation, everyone on the team gasped. I had won first place and Barbara had not placed at all! In a daze, I went down to the stage, accepted the trophy, and went back to my seat. I felt excited and happy but also a little embarrassed because I didnt know what I was going to say Barbara. In the car on the way back to the campus, everyone was quiet; nobody knew what to say. At one point, I turned to Barbara to say something, but she cut me off and looked out the window at the snowy street. We never talked about the incident.

Even though I was sorry for the awkwardness between Barbara and me, I was proud of myself for winning. It gave me confidence in myself and motivated me to work harder. I also learned a valuable lesson from the incident. It taught me not to depend so much on other peoples assessment of myself or others, that sometimes the people who seem unlikely to do something can and will do it. We can surprise everyone, even ourselves.

Assignment: An Unforgettable Experience
(Narrative 最忌諱: 記流水賬 沒有故事的重心)
記流水賬: 我去那裏玩 看到這個 那個 很高興 然後就回來了
故事的重心: 要描寫發生什麼事? 讓讀者印象深刻

An Unforgettable Journey

  My trip left an enduring impression on my life by seeing a car accident. One afternoon in late July, 2009, the summer's dazzling light streamed into the tour bus; people were singing, talking, and eating food. On the way, everything was very lively, but I watched numbly through the window; gazed at the lush trees framed the scenery of a meadow, a river, and a vast green paddy fields by the wayside. All of a sudden, somebody yelled out and everyone followed the direction of the voice and looked out of the window over their shoulder. "What happened?" I asked. "God, that's horrible." Another said .I turned my head and saw a motorcycle lay on its side in the gutter, and there exists something that I can't see clearly. So, I try my best to see about the details; in the next second, I couldn't believe my eye. There was a body lying in a pool of blood and was badly mutilated. At the same time, all the people in the car began to scream and cry. I was aroused by this scene and shivered involuntarily. Then the police came, an ambulance came with sirens wailing, and the crowd at the scene fell into general disorder. After that, the tour bus pulled off the highway; I attempt to forget about what happened, but it seems too difficult to do this. In the meanwhile, I began to realize the uncertainty of life. Whether you will more treasure your life if that person were you? So, I felt I was the happiest person in the world because I am still alive.


Sentence fragments are incomplete sentences or parts of sentences.
Because some students work part-time while taking a full load of classes.

Because some students work part-time while taking a full load of classes, they have very little free time.

Some students work part-time while taking a full load of classes.

Teachers who give too much homework.

Teachers who give too much homework are unpopular.


  1. The desire of all humankind to live in peace and freedom, for example.

  2. Second, a fact that men are physically stronger than women.

  3. The best movie I saw last year.

  4. Titanic was the most financially successful movie ever made, worldwide.

  5. For example, many students have part-time jobs.

  6. Although people want to believe that all men are created equal.

  7. Finding a suitable marriage partner is a challenging task.

  8. Many of my friends who did not have the opportunity to go to college.

  9. Working during the morning and attending classes during the afternoon.

  10. Because I don not feel that grades in college have any value.

  11. A tsunami that occurred in the Indian Ocean in December 2004, killing more than 200,000 people.

  12. The total energy of the tsunami waves was about five megatons of TNT.

  13. More than twice the total explosive energy used during all of World War II, including two atomic bombs, according to one expert.

  14. Evidence that the wave reached a height of 80 feet when coming ashore along the coastline and rose 100 feet in some areas when traveling inland.

  15. Despite a lag of up to several hours between the earthquake and tsunami, nearly all of the victims were taken completely by surprise.

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