Narrative Essay Handout

Narrative Essay : Coming of Age

You will write a narrative essay (1500 words). We have read several different authors’ takes on the writing of a coming of age piece. Now it’s your turn. Your narrative essay assignment will be complete once you have submitted each of the three drafts (First to be written by hand or on the computer and submitted in hardcopy. Second draft to be typed and taking into account my proofreading suggestions and comments and then peer edited in class. Final draft to be submitted via and taking into account the comments and suggestions of your peer editor.  Can’t wait to read your brilliant essays! Miss G-

Epiphany: A sudden realization. 

Elements of a Personal Narrative

Setting: Place and time – where is it? Be sure your reader can see where the action is taking place.

Persona: What are some characteristics about you that you want your reader to understand? How do you want your reader to perceive you? Describe your behavior in order to convey these points.

Tone and voice: How do you want readers to feel? Through voice and tone, you can help readers share your reactions to the experience you are recreating. Craft your essay with vivid description and varied syntax to unveil the nature of the events and your reactions to them.

Plot: You establish the plot by a causal linking of events. One event should lead to another.

Theme: The theme is the dominant idea expressed in the work. It should also be expressed in your thesis and developed in the body of your essay. As with any essay, your narrative essay must have a point.

Narrative Topic Suggestions

1)   A coming of age story might be an experience with sports, school, or family where you felt let down for the first time.

2)   Any occasion when things did not turn out as expected.

3)   Any incident which challenged your basic values or beliefs.

4)   Any humorous event, one you still laugh about, perhaps one that seemed awkward or embarrassing at the time.

5)   Any incident charged with strong emotions such as love, fear, guilt, anger, embarrassment, frustration, hurt, pride, happiness, joy.


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