Character Plot Setting Conflict Point-of-View Theme

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Character Plot Setting Conflict Point-of-View Theme

CHARACTER a person or animal that takes part in the action of a story, play, other literary work Protagonist: the main character Antagonist: the character that is hostile towards the protagonist

  • Practice identification of Characterization by reading “The Red Girl” on page 150
  • Beginning
  • Middle
  • End
  • PLOT
  • The time and place in which a story takes place

Point of view the way in which the narration of the story is told

  • First person: I, Me, My, Our
  • Third Period: He, She, They

Theme the message or lessons of the narrative -these are usually implied -no true right answer

  • You will have a quiz on these tomorrow morning 

Narrative Essay Notes

Tells a story.

  • Tells a story.
  • The author may write a narrative about:
    • An event
    • A person
    • A place
    • A thing


  • Beginning
  • Middle
  • End

Essay Layout - 5 Paragraphs

  • P1. Intro paragraph
  • P2. Beginning of your story
  • P3. Middle of your story
  • P4. End of your story
  • P5. Conclusion

Ratio of CD’s & CM’s

  • Your reader needs to know lots of DETAILS about your story, so. . . .
  • 2 or more CD’s to 1 CM

Concrete Details - CD

  • What happened?
  • Who did it happen to?
  • Who was there?
  • When did it happen?
  • Where did it happen?
  • What did something look like?
  • What did someone look like?
  • Who said what? (dialogue)
  • What were you thinking?

Commentary - CM

  • How did you feel on the inside?
  • How did other people feel on the inside?
  • Emotions, feelings
  • Why was that important?

The narrative essay components:

  • Narration / Description / Dialogue


  • The details include action verbs, creative adjectives, and character descriptions.


  • Your characters must SPEAK in your narrative.


      • Spoken words need to be put in quotations:
      • I told my dad, “I’m afraid to go to the doctor’s.”
      • “Stop playing on the freeway!” my mom yelled.

Keep in mind:

  • Remember to involve readers in the story. It is much more interesting to actually re-create an incident for readers than to simply tell about it.
  • Find a generalization, which the story supports. This is the only way the writer's personal experience will take on meaning for readers.
  • Remember that although the main component of a narrative is the story, details must be carefully selected to support, explain, and enhance the story.

Planning the Essay:

  • On the back of your event writing, write the beginning, middle, and end of your story.
  • Fill out the Matrix / boxes.
    • Write a topic sentence for the each of the body paragraphs.
    • Narration: Start with the beginning. What happened? Write one or two sentences or use bullets to list the events.
    • Description: What did things look like?
    • Dialogue: Who said what? Write sentences as quotations.


  • Beginning
  • Narration:
  • Decided to go on a fishing trip
  • Rode bike with Kaz
  • Middle
  • Description:
  • Light rain
  • Peaceful mood ruined.
  • Dialogue:
  • “Beautiful creek you’ve got here!”
  • End
  • Dialogue:
  • “It’s a beautiful day! Get out of bed early for once.”
  • Dialogue:
  • “It’ll make a good garbage can.”
  • Description:
  • Crumpled trash
  • Hideous heap of trash
  • Narration:
  • Mostly empty
  • Noticed trash
  • Narration:
  • Picked up trash up and down the creek.
  • Man noticed the nice creek.
  • Description:
  • Tall man with gray hair with out of state car plates

Various choices for an introduction

  • 1. an anecdote / flashback / start with the climax of the story
  • 2. a startling fact or statement
  • 3. all commentary
  • 4. dialogue
  • 5. a quotation
  • 6. interior / internal monologue / What were you thinking?
  • 7. combination of any of the above to catch your reader’s attention.

Introduction for Personal Narrative (3 sentences)

  • Take me into the story –
  • Ex: Riding down the driveway I felt invincible, as though nothing could harm me.
  • Hint about what happens –
  • Ex. I had no idea I was headed toward a major accident.
  • Say you learned something –
  • Through this incident, I learned one of life’s most important lesson.

Using an anecdote in the introduction

    • In a home with four boys and two working parents, tensions and anxieties tend to rise at alarming rates. “Who wiped toothpaste on the counter?”, and “Who ate the last bowl of Honey-Nut Cheerios?”, and “Who put my new sweater in the dryer?” are always among the most nerve-wracking. Consequently, like any other group of normal human beings, we find ways to relieve the everyday stress. WAR!

Using Dialogue in the Intro

  • “Like, oh my gosh!
  • “He’s so cute!”

Using a startling sentence in the introduction.

  • It’s alive! This 70-something acre piece of land used to be a boring, hilly dirt and grass pile has come to life with lively young bodies and staff members who will change the community for the better.

Example intro

  • For as long as I can remember, the dinner table was a horrible place to be. My father would shout, “Why didn’t you girls clean the living room before dinner?” We mumbled, “We forgot,” and my father yelled at us for 5 mintues. By the time we could eat, dinner was cold. I wish my childhood memories weren’t so awful.

Example intro

  • “Mrs. Smith, please pick up your daughter at aisle 6 at the front of the store.” Great. Now the entire world would know how confused I was. At 7, I already worried that my reputation as a cool second grader would be gone forever. Lost in Walmart – nothing is more embarrassing!

Conclusion for Personal Narrative (3 sentences) Possible Sentence Starters:

  • I never realized . . .
  • I discovered that . . .
  • I have learned that . . .
  • (talk about the lesson learned)

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