Why teach the narrative?

Culture Cat has an excellent presentation of reasons for assigning a personal narrative as a first essay in a composition course.

I have definitely assigned the narrative essay first in the classroom with some of these in mind, especially the ideas of assigning students what they personally know and as a means of assessing their abilities.

However, I also look at the narrative essay as a bridge for college English.  I don’t know where Dr. Ratliffe’s students are coming from, but many of my students have either never written anything in high school or have only written expressive papers.  By offering as a first assignment the narrative I affirm their intimate knowledge of their subject matter, themselves, and allow them their best chance at a successful writing experience because it is the most like their previous experiences.

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