Components of a Personal Narrative


An Effective Personal Narrative Includes: (Scroll Down for Today's Activity)

 

[Instructions:  work in your groups listing at least 3-4 characteristics of a personal narrative.  For each characteristic cite an example from any of the four articles we have read (Rose, Raymond, Smith, or Mellix)]

 

 


 

 

In my opinion, a personal narrative is when a individual narrates oneself to the public on how to perceive their own personal life.  While I read all of the articles this past week, I found three main characteristics that affect the person narrative essay.  Below are the following characteristics with reverent citations examples from the past essays that I have read.

1.      Understanding of one’s pain from their personal limitations on life.

Example: “She needed a job that didn’t involve soil or branches….When she tries her voice cracks and collapses and loses all acquaintances with a key.” (Smith, 276)

2.      Understanding the culture that they are in at that time.

Example: “you don’t know what that means unless you’ve been there.” (Raymond, 38)

3.      Understanding the solutions that they may make to over come their own personal limitations.

Example: “In time, I learned to speak standard English with ease and to switch smoothly from black to standard or a mixture, and back again.” (Mellix, 80)

Work Citations

Smith, Patricia.“Talking Wrong” Talking While Black. 24 Aug. 2007. 276. www.bgsu.edu.

Mellix, Barbara. "From Outside, In" Joining the Conversation. 24 Aug. 2007. 80. www.bgsu.edu.

Rose, Mike. "Entering the Conversation" Joining the Conversation. 24 Aug. 2007. 38. www.bgsu.edu

 

-Chris Stewart

 

 


 

 

  1. Use of similes within the text. An example can be found in the Smith article. The author compares her mother’s Ebonics to sweet cornbread. 
  2. All the readings showed change within a major character, either good or bad. 
  3. All the readings began with a personal story. The story was then connected to a broader group of people. 
  4. Many of the readings contained an influential person that helped the main character in his or her transition. Examples can be found throughout the Mike Rose article. There were many different professors mentioned that helped the author with his journey.
 
- Cassie Dzienny, Kevin Gormish, Erin Favor, Christopher Smith

 

 

 


 

 

A personal narrative is an account of a personal event or sequence of events that had a significant impact on the author. Personal narratives tend to have several characteristics, the first being a recount of a past experience or situation; all four authors use an anecdote from their childhood to enhance the message they are trying to communicate. Personal narratives also include a dilemma that the author must overcome. In the Smith article, not only does she convey unhappiness and personal struggle in her mother's change from "black English" to "standard English," Smith also describes her mother's effort in going about the change. Finally, personal narratives show the author learning and taking away from their personal experience.

--Danni Boyd

 

 


 

 

A personal narrative describes an individual experience that has helped to shape who the person is currently.  An example being that of Mike Rose and his story of transforming his writing, David Raymond's account of his bout with dyslexia, or Smith and Mellix's discussion of their language. 

 

A personal narrative is generally an account of an event in a person's past.

 

--Calvin, Kaye, Ashley, Sarah

 

 


 

 

1)      An introduction that catches the readers’ attention to

engage them in that article. Ex from Mike Rose: “It is an

unfortunate fact of our physic lives that the images that

surround us as we grow up—no matter how much we may scorn them

later—give shape to our deepest needs and longings.”

2)      Descriptive sentences that make one stop and actually

picture what the writer is trying to describe. Ex: “Words piled

up like cars in a serial wreck.”

3)      Every article gives background information on the

article of the writer before you read it and I find that to be

important because it helped me to get to know where the writer

was coming from to help me be better prepared for the article.

4)      A conclusion that leaves the reader with a “wow” type

ending. The conclusion should make the reader think about what

they just read and put a spin on things.

 

--Heather's group

 


 

 One of the most obvious aspects of a personal essay is that the authors personalize it by placing themselves into their work and they also describe their feelings for us as well.  When you are reading Raymond you can imagine the struggles that he went through and you cant but help to feel sorry for him.  Each one of these personal articles also begin with a short description of their childhood and the experiences that they went through.

 

as has been described by my other classmates they use descriptive sentances and words to describe proper sentance structrue and the proper use of the English language.

 

Deshon Bradley

 

 


 

Our 3-4 characteristics of a personal narrative are a thesis statement to summarize what we are talking about and be clear to the audience. A conclusion so that we can wrap up any of our thoughts and get the point across. The most important characteristics are our own personal creative thoughts and specific details so that we can make it innovative and original.

 

Michelle Chalupa

Alex Wiebe

Julia Pierce

Brandon Jones

 

 


Ashley Sims
 
A key characteristic to a personal narrative is to give ample personal experiences in your life that are of importance to yourself. Patricia Smith often gives examples of her personal life experiences that effectively increase the understanding of her audience.
 
Another key characteristic is creating a structural timeline, or a process, that allows the reader to understand where you are because of what you’ve been through. Mike Rose does this well in his article.
 


 

REVISED:  An Effective Personal Narrative Includes...


 
[instructions:  take a look at the contributions from last Friday's class activity and refine these characteristics to be more concise, adding other characteristics if necessary.  Ideally, you should come up with a bulleted list of 3-4 characteristics you feel are essential to a successful personal narrative, which are explained by citing an example from one reading in this unit]

 
  1. Focuses on one event of the writer
  2. Main point
  3. Written in First Person
  4. Has sensory details and includes author’s feelings and thoughts
  5. Includes intro, thesis, body, and conclusion

Alex Wiebe

Julia Pierce

 

Jeff Behanic

 

1)      An introduction that catches the readers’ attention in that article with descriptive sentences.

2)      Descriptive sentences that makes one stop and actually picture what the writer is trying to describe.

Example: “She needed a job that didn’t involve soil or branches….When she tries her voice cracks and collapses and loses all acquaintances with a key.” (Walters and Brody, 276)

3)      Every article gives background information on the article of the writer before you read it .

Example: “you don’t know what that means unless you’ve been there.” (Walters, Keith, and Michal Brody, 38)

4)      The conclusion should make the reader think about what they just read and put a spin on things.

 Example: “In time, I learned to speak standard English with ease and to switch smoothly from black to standard or a mixture, and back again.” (Norgaard, 80)

--Heather, Chris Stewart, & Dan Macon

Work Citations

Norgaard, Rolf.  Composing Knowledge:  Readings for College Writers.  Boston:

Bedford, 2007.38, 276. www.bgsu.edu.

Walters, Keith, and Michal Brody.  What’s Language Got to Do With It?  New York: 

Norton, 2005. 80.  www.bgsu.edu.


 
1.  use of similes, metaphors
2.  show change within the major character
3.  begin with the personal story, then broaden the story to connect it to a larger group of people
4.  motivating force for change, such as a mentor or influential character in the story to help the main character's transition
--Cassie, Michelle, Erin, Chris Smith
 
1.  emotion-based
2.  connect it to those with a similar interest
3.  conclusion that sums up the impact of the writer's experiences
4.  focus on 1 or 2 points, logical progression of essay
--Deshon
 
1.  includes some type of personal turmoil/dilemma
2.  chronological format or sequence of steps
3.  personal adaptation--explanation of how the author dealt with their problem
--Kaye and Carly

 

 

Personal Narrative Characteristics

 

1. A personal narrative describes and focuses around a specific event or series of events that hold significance in the life of the author.

 

2. Personal Narratives are written in the first person and are structured with a clear beginning, middle, and end.

 

3. The author's thoughts and feelings are conveyed through dialouge and expressive details to help the reader connect with the story

 

Danni Boyd

 

1.  awareness of rhetorical moves

2.  description

--Joe Mancuso, Ashley Sims

 

A personal narrative should introduce a character and

show a specific negative characteristic. Ex. Smith’s mother and

her improper speech.

•       It should include an anecdote that shows change in this

character. Ex Smith’s mother move north, finds a new job and

begins to learn to speak well.

•       It should include then an ending that shows a revamped

character, typically over-coming their negative characteristic.

Ex. Smith calls her mother and we learn that she speaks with

her “new mouth”.

•       Finally the speaker should also have a “realization”

where they sum up the story and share their ideas about the

topic they’ve chosen.

Jeff Behanic