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How to Set Up a Narrative Paragraph


To set up a narrative paragraph, you must chose a significant life event. Next, you must explain the sequence of events in a logical but lively way. Finally, you will need to conclude it with a deep reflection on the meaning. If you plan for these parts from the beginning, you should have no trouble setting up a narrative paragraph.

The Right Story

To begin, you have to choose the right story to tell. The significance of the narrative will be reflected in your writing, so choose a life-changing moment. Make sure the story is something that can be explained in a few words but has the emotional depth and meaning that will create interest in a reader. When you tell the story, be sure to include your feelings and specific details you remember to enliven your narrative and help the reader experience the story through your eyes.

Plot Diagram

A plot diagram is a chart that breaks down a story into its significant events and labels those events based on how they are used in the story. The plot diagram helps a writer set up the events of a story and shows how those events work together so the writer can better reflect on the story's meaning.

Exposition

In this first step of the diagram, the story's characters, setting and problem are introduced. For a narrative paragraph, keep the exposition simple because this information will have to go in just the first few sentences of the story.

Rising Action

Next, you have the rising action, which consists of several events of the story that move the story along to the next stage, the climax. In a narrative paragraph, the number of events will be very limited, so it is important not to include any extra events that do not move the story forward.

Climax

The climax is the main event of the story. It is where the story's conflict gets heated. All the events so far in the narrative have led up to this critical stage where the reader can tell the conflict will soon be resolved. This part usually happens near the end of the story as there is not much left to tell after it happens.

Falling Action

This section is often very short. For a narrative paragraph, a sentence or two should suffice. In this section, the conflict is resolved and any loose ends of the narrative are wrapped up.

Resolution

Finally, there is the resolution, the part of the narrative where the results of the conflict are explained. It reveals what the characters learned from the conflict and how they live after the conflict. This part shows what has changed because of the conflict. For a narrative paragraph, it should be wrapped up in a sentence or two and used in the conclusion.

Reflection

When you finish plotting the narrative, you must reflect on the events to determine what it all means to you. What did you personally learn from the situation? What do you hope others will learn from it? Consider these questions and incorporate your answers into your conclusion along with your resolution.

About the Author

Based in central Florida, J. Jeremy Dean has written for 16 years and has written news and entertainment articles for "The Daily Commercial" in Leesburg, Fla. In 2002, he won the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors award for criticism. Dean holds a professional writing bachelor's degree from Glenville State College and a master's of education degree from National Louis University.

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