“We tell ourselves stories in order to live,” Joan Didion wrote in The White Album (1979).
Words and stories are powerful. Stories help us understand our lives, and they help us connect our experiences in some meaningful way with other people’s lives. Think about the stories that were told to you and about you as you were growing up by parents, teachers, ministers, salesmen, or politicians. How did they shape your vision of yourself and your world?
Compose a five-paragraph narrative essay to tell a story. The introductory paragraph should begin with an engaging opening and end with the main point. As you jot down ideas, ask yourself what point you want to make in the essay, and then craft the thesis statement from that main point. After that, there should be at least THREE supporting body paragraphs that tell the story, PLUS a concluding paragraph that offers a strong close to the essay and reveals the meaning of telling the story. Use what you have learned about descriptive details to help the reader visualize the events.
The following list provides you with some ideas to help you get started. You may choose to tell about a time…
- When you were given a meaningful gift.
- When you lost something important.
- When you received your first or favorite pet.
- When you earned an award.
- When you learned an important lesson.
- When you were scared by something or someone.
- When you were on your favorite vacation.
- When you first learned a new skill (like driving, riding a bike, painting a picture, or playing a sport).