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Paper 1: Narrative


Format: 500-550 words, double-spaced; put name and paper number in upper right-hand corner; title optional.


For Paper 1, please write a narrative.  A narrative is literally a story.  Write about yourself.  For details on how to write a narrative, see McWhorter’s composition text, pages 227-250.  The actual list of possible topics appears on page 240.  You need not choose one of these topics—they are just suggestions.  Use them if you wish.  For detailed information on writing a narrative thesis statement, see page 243.


Above all else, write on something that interests you.  If you are interested in your paper topic, you’ll be much more engaged in the assignment and enjoy it more.


The overall structure of your paper should follow five (5) paragraphs of varying lengths (although a total of 6 is okay but no more).  Your first paragraph is an introduction.  The three (or four) middle paragraphs comprise the main body of the paper.  A conclusion as paragraph five (or six) rounds out the essay and summarizes the paper.  See the visual model on page 234 in the textbook (McWhorter).


Finally, you will want to tell and show.  When you tell, you make a statement, an announcement (“I’m hungry.”).  When you show, you describe: (“Ralph bit into his baby back ribs like they were the last food on Earth.”).  Try to strike a balance between telling and showing.


I will grade your paper based on the following criteria:

(1.) The use of a controlling, focused thesis

(2.) That organizes a multi-paragraph essay

(3.) About you;

(4.) A balance between telling and showing;

(5.) A robust use of examples;

(6.) A relative freedom from errors in grammar, mechanics, and spelling.



Select only one topic and write the narrative. It should be detailed and depicted as we are watching some drama or movie with full dialogues.


An experience that caused you to learn something about yourself

An incident that revealed the true character of someone you knew

An experiment that helped you to discover a principle to live by

An experiment that explains the personal significance of a particular object

An incident that has allowed you to develop an appreciation or awareness of your ethnic identity.



I am just sending a sample of  narrative essay .

Sample Narrative Essay on What Has Changed Your Life

You hear people tell you about how some significant event or person in their lives came along and changed everything. You hear of some fantastic revelation some day up on the mountain, or a close encounter with nature, even a brush with some insane disaster, bringing the person onto the doorstep of death. Most people quote extraordinary event that is very unique to them and hear about how that something have come to have a great impact on their lives, changing the very manner in which they view life and perceive it. You might not find my story to be anything spectacular, but for me, it has been the one most singularly amazing event of my life. It was the day that I met my husband. He came into my life and affected me in so many ways and for which I really do not have words to describe. Yet, I will try my best to portray how his coming into my life completely changed me and gave me a whole new world to look at.

One of the things that I noticed immediately when I met my husband was how safe and secure he made me feel. I remember meeting him that very first day and realizing how good I felt just being with him. It was as if a burden had been lifted from my shoulders. I suddenly felt free and relaxed, as if I had to worry about nothing in life ever again. He would be very supportive of my ideas and my decisions and would encourage me to go ahead and do what I wanted the most. He provided me with the background support that I had always needed to further to my plans but had felt so insecure before. He had a knack of making me laugh and feel good about myself and whatever was going on at that time. Aside from making me feel emotionally stable, safe, and secure, he also made me feel very secure financially. He made it look so easy, as if I would never have to worry about money ever again. He made me feel that I could trust him with no matter what. This is perhaps the reason that I married him in the first place, because of how he good he made me feel about myself: very safe, secure, and sound.

My husband taught me so many things that have impacted me and changed the way I think and feel. He was the first person who I truly fell in love with and I can safely say that it is from him that I have learned to love unconditionally. He taught me that love transcends all physical boundaries and is there to be felt and enjoyed with between two people. He taught me how to be patient in my life and to wait for good things to come to me, rather than stressing after them and never finding them. Before I met him, I had always been afraid to follow my dreams. But he came into my life and made me feel so strong and confident, and he taught me to follow my dreams to the fullest. He has always been very supportive of me since then and he has truly taught me to be a better person in life.

If someone was to ask me what having a true companion in life is like, I would tell them that it was being married to my husband. He has shown me the true meaning of what marriage is all about. He is always trying to involve me into his life and with us it is always ‘us’ and never ‘you’ or ‘I’. he is always willing to do fun projects and things together, and we are always looking to go to new, fun, and exciting places to spend our time together. Most importantly, my husband has been extremely faithful and honest with me over the years and I have truly come to respect him for whatever he has done for me.

All in all, I think that meeting my husband is the one event that has definitely affected and changed me and the way that I look and perceive life. I have learnt so many things from him and he has been able to give me a completely new outlook towards life. I am a much happier, wiser, safer, and more confident person after meeting him. I am glad that I met him and I would want to keep on meeting him in all of my future lifetimes.



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