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English 1301 – FALL 2020
Short Essay #1 –Narrative Descriptive Assignment Sheet
Due: Week 5, Monday – September 7 (Labor Day, via BB by 11:59 p.m.)
Purpose: Tell a story OR describe an image using exposition and appeal to sensory details to create a vivid picture in the reader’s mind
For this assignment, students will write a narrative-description essay meeting the following criteria:
Use of first person point of view
Tell a personal story OR describe an image, object, scene, person, career choice, community, issue, etc.
Use adjectives to make your story or image come to life in the essay, make it vivid
Use many details, but choose them carefully and only the most significant
Use of appropriate transitions
Include a creative title – snatch the reader in immediately
Include a clear thesis statement
3 – 5 pages / MLA format is a MUST!
Avoid 2nd person point of view (you, your, yours, yourself, yourselves) at all times
Visit the Academic Success Center before turning in your essay; extra credit given
In narrating a story, use chronological order and choose a story that happens within 24 hours. A 24-hour timeline helps maintain control and avoid tangents. Stories can be true or imaginative.
Descriptions can be objective or subjective (imaginative). Objective descriptions are literal, factual and report the subject directly—as it is experienced or seen. Subjective descriptions are figurative and may turn a subject into symbol, simile, metaphor, or other creative intention. In this latter case, students should attempt to evoke emotion and create a mood in the audience-reader by interpreting details at liberty.
Be sure to include transitions that move the essay along smoothly and sequentially.
Students must have a focused idea. The thesis (purpose) statement announces the main idea or choice for the subject.
Include logical, pertinent body paragraphs to unfold the thesis statement (the main idea); these paragraphs need to include supporting details to make the story or image vivid in the reader’s mind. Keep in mind that the audience-reader has not experienced the story or has seen the subject, so students will need to make that story or subject come alive textually. Students need to be selective in the details chosen to include in the essay.
The essay must be in MLA format: double spaced, 1” margins, a header with required information, student last names with a page number in the upper right hand corner, and font 12 point in size throughout. Do not do fancy lettering and/or designs with the title. Only use appropriate initial capitalization in the title.
Remember:  I take off many points for the use of 2nd person point of view, unless it is used in a quotation.
Mostly, have fun writing!! Include entries about or on this project in your e-folio (Wix).
Brainstorm; choose a topic that is fruitful! Students need to be able to give solid examples and details in the body paragraphs.
Narrative/Descriptive (Tell a Story) – Your Story, 1st person point of view

  1. Choose a story that happens within a 24 hour period
  2. Avoid too much background in the Introduction
  3. Use chronological order
  4. Avoid too much dialogue
  5. Use Transitions to move your story along
  6. Use the body paragraphs to divide your story into parts
  7. Give specific examples and details to help the reader-audience experience your account

Narrative/Descriptive (An Image)
Possible prompt questions to address about your image:

  1. What is the image? What does it look like? Spatially, topographically, from left to right, from top to bottom…what’s in the background? What’s the foreground or focal point?
  2. Why did you choose this image?
  3. How is it significant to your own life?
  4. What kind of audience is the image meant to attract?
  5. Does the image have cultural value? If not, why? If so, how so?

Cultural value is defined as:
Belief systems or standards put in place by a country that dictate what is acceptable or what is not acceptable; it a system of behavior and lasting ideals that define a peoples way of life; cultural value determines what is important and what is not so important.
Examples of cultural value:
American Values — freedom • equality • individuality • work hard but play hard (these lead to success) • the sky is the limit • mobility • safety • competition • efficiency
Japanese Values — obligation to the group • behaving according to status • harmony • effort • self-improvement • self-criticism • collectivism
European Values — appreciation for aesthetics • intellectualism • socialism • tradition • leisure • sensuality • family and friendship

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