【英文论文写作经验文章】什么是Narrative Essay(叙事散文)?

根据来自Google的定义:“A narrative essay is a story written about a personal experience. Writing a narrative essay provides an opportunity to get to know and understand yourself better. One of the best ways to reveal who you are is to write about how you became aware of something, gained a new way of seeing the world, a new insight.”

其实Narrative Essay其实就是我们常说的讲故事,基于一定的个人经验,和读者分享某些经历、某些事情,通常从作者的角度,提供读者参与故事的各种细节和元素,开展叙述。在这个过程中通过思考,写作者获得更好的观察视野和洞察力。Narrative Essay通常在文章的开篇或者第一段的最后一句中提出这篇essay写作的目的(或观点)。

由于Narrative Essay依赖于个人的经验,所以一般按照story的形式写作,按照通常的格式包含:情节、人物、背景、高潮和结束。并且通常情况下,Narrative Essay需要包含大量的细节来使故事丰满,这些细节也是为了支持作者的主要观点。

Narrative Essay一般包含:

1. 包含组成完整故事的所有要素;
2. 从特定的视角或角度开展叙述;
3. 有明确的写作目的或者观点;
4. 细节!细节!细节!
5. 使用生动的动词和形容词;
6. 呈现吸引人的冲突、对比、变化等情节;
7. 可以包含对话;
8. 一般使用第一人称(但第三人称也可以使用)。

选择怎样的主题?

在任何时间,任何地点,在你的身上可能都有着不同寻常的故事,而你自己却可能没有注意到。你需要认真回想你自己的过往经历,你的每次经历可能都是一个潜在的好故事:

1. 你有没有某些信念因为某个事情或者某些事情破裂?你能回忆到随着这一系列事情导致信念变化的过程吗?
2. 有没有某次你观察到的,或者你经历的某种经历对你的生活产生了深刻的影响?
3. 有没有某个人对你有很大的影响?
4. 有没有某次你不得不做出某个决定的经历,或是你面对过某个巨大障碍和考验?
5. 在你的人生中,有没有过决定作出改变面对全新未来的经历?
6. 你每次的尝试经历是如何的?(成功?失败?可笑?痛苦?)

写作过程

在写作过程中,你需要注意:

1. 选择一件值得写的事件或者经历;
2. 发现事件中的相关性内容;
3. 挖掘细节信息,以便打动读者;
4. 包含完整的故事情节。

例文:

EMPATHY
by
Julie Smith

According to the dictionary, empathy is defined as “the understanding of another’s situation, feelings, and motives”. I find it difficult to understand that a person could lack such consideration and compassion for another living creature, but, clearly, I have seen otherwise.  On many occasions, I have witnessed disconcerting behavior both aimed at myself, or other individuals and have questioned the our society’s complacent moral standards.  For as long as I can remember, my ability to treat others with kindness has been second nature, and a vital part in my moral practices and beliefs.  Faced with many challenges during my childhood, my empathetic disposition was not only enhanced, but, undoubtedly, the strongest building block in my ethical foundation.

Naturally, my mother was a pivotal person in creating my moral standards, but my peers were equally important.  My parents divorced when I was six years old, and shortly after my older sister and brother moved out on their own.  At this point in her life, my Mom had never worked, and suddenly she found herself financially vulnerable.  It was just Mom and I, and as she liked to say, “It’s you and me against the world.”  As do many kids, I wore the hand me down clothes, and often did not have the money to participate in extracurricular activities with my friends. Do not get me wrong– I was very happy. My Mom and I were extremely close, and even though I did not have the best clothes, the best housing, my Mom gave me so much love and generosity in other ways, that I felt I was the luckiest kid in the world.  Yes, I was lucky in unconditional love, but I needed more than just my mother’s acceptance in this world.  Less privileged financially than my peers, overweight, and extremely buck toothed, I became the target of much teasing.  A particular group of children at a bus stop were especially mean. Along with their ringleader, Marianne, those kids were so incredibly cruel to me, that I vowed never in my life would I intentionally inflict such pain on another living soul.  Peer pressure, unfortunately, is an obstacle that children must contend with.  Humiliating as the experience was, it taught me firsthand the profound effect our words and actions can have on others.

At the age of thirteen, my life began to change dramatically for the better, but still there were difficult circumstances beyond my control. My mother had been dating a wonderful man named Jack, and they decided to get married.  Not only was I blessed with a terrific new stepfather, but a beautiful new home in a great neighborhood. The braces for my buckteeth were in the near future, and my wardrobe included brand new clothes from the “Pretty Plus” department at Sears.  Indeed life held new promises for Mom and me; however, the devastation from my first day of eighth grade was a hindrance that would be hard to overcome. I was nervous about going to a different school with new classmates, but excited about living in my new home in such a great neighborhood. I was proud to say I lived at 19815 Merryhill Street, and not the run down apartment my mother and I jokingly referred to as ”Sewer City.”   Sporting my new outfit and my head held high, I proudly walked towards the bus stop. When I arrived there all the kids just stared at me. I thought to myself, “Okay, no problem, this is normal.  I’m just the new kid, and they are wondering who I am.” Immediately, I noticed one girl in particular, Marianne, the most popular girl in the neighborhood.  She began whispering to all the kids at the bus stop, and soon everyone was laughing and pointing at me. “Fatty bucktooth!  Fatty bucktooth!” they began to chant in unison.  At that very moment, I thought I was going to die. I asked myself, ” How could they do this to me?”  Suddenly my confidence was shattered, my head had dropped down, and all I wanted to do was go home.  The chanting continued for what seemed like a lifetime, until finally the bus came.  After everyone else had got on board, I reluctantly entered the bus. I began to look for a seat, but Marianne had told everyone not to let me sit down. As I came to each row I would ask, “Can I sit here?” They would either say, “No”, or they would just scoot over so there was no room for me. I could feel the tears starting to well up in my eyes, as I continued to search for a seat.   Finally, the bus driver discovered what was happening, and forced a child to make room for me to sit down. That five minute bus ride was the longest, most humiliating experience I had ever endured at that point in my life.  From that day on, I never rode the bus again. Instead, I would get up extra early, and walk all the way to school just to avoid the name calling and utter cruelty of those children, the children in the neighborhood of my wonderful new home

Remembering the painful experience of that day at the bus stop, never again did I look at someone who was less fortunate or different physically and form an opinion based on his or her outward appearance. Although I feel I have always been empathetic, that morning strengthened my ability to identify and relate to others.  I became constantly aware of the impact my behavior could have on another individual.  People often do not give someone a chance because of their physical differences, and I cannot express enough how disappointing that is.  Approximately a year after this incident, I created a friendship with a girl that most kids either teased or stared at.  My new friend, Lurenda, had rheumatoid arthritis in every joint in her body, and it was apparent by her physical appearance.  Most of her joints had already begun to show the progressive signs of this vicious disease, and just walking was difficult for her.  She was bright, funny, warm-hearted, and more importantly, a genuine friend.  Lurenda has been my closest and dearest friend for over twenty-five years now, and I feel extremely fortunate to have her in my life.  Had those other children been less judgmental, perhaps they could have been blessed with such a great friend.

Certainly, in a perfect world people would be caring and considerate of other’s feelings. The blueprint of an individual’s ethical standards would automatically include empathy to the highest degree. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world. The best we can hope for is that somewhere along the journey we will endure experiences, of both positive and negative influence, that will shape our moral beliefs into something we can be proud of.  I feel fortunate to have endured my own hard times with such a generously loving and supportive mother.  She was a pillar of strength, while our comfortable life crumbled around us. As for the children who chose to ridicule that overweight and bucktoothed girl, I would thank them today. Of course, I thought my world would never be the same again after that morning, but I survived. Ironically, their negative influence promoted the most endearing quality of my ethical foundation, empathy.  Perhaps for some people the ability to be empathetic is second nature.  For others, nature may have to run its course, and teach the art of humanity through painful experience.  I have often wondered about those children at the bus stop. Although graciously accepted that morning so long ago, would that always be the case?  When would life present them with their own “bus stop”? When would they remember that overweight, bucktoothed girl, and regret their behavior?  Sadly enough, maybe they never would.

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翻译整理自以下网站:

  1. Purdue OWL https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/685/04/
  2. Gccaz.edu http://web.gccaz.edu/~mdinchak/101online_new/assignment3writing.htm
  3. EssayInfo http://essayinfo.com/essays/narrative_essay.php

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