The Narrative Essay

vignette (noun)
1. a brief evocative description, account, or episode.
“a classic vignette of embassy life”

2.  a small illustration or portrait photograph which fades into its background without a definite border.

vignette (verb)
1. to portray (someone or a moment in time) in the style of a vignette.

verb: vignette; 3rd person present: vignettes; past tense: vignetted; past participle: vignetted; gerund or present participle: vignetting
portray (someone) in the style of a vignette.


2. to produce (a photograph) in the style of a vignette by softening or shading away the edges of the subject.

“instructions had been sent to the shop to make a cropped, oval, vignetted copy of a family group portrait.”

A small five-year-old boy stood over a freshly dug gravesite at a Californian cemetery where his mother lay in a coffin.  He held a single rose in his hand.  As he prepared to drop it into the ground, he couldn’t see from his own perspective.  It was strange.  He felt like he was watching the rose fall to him instead of falling away from him.  The crowd stood apart from the boy, one could only see the boy standing over the hole with a group of somber attendees standing in black.  Their hearts went out to the little boy; for they knew he would have to grow up in this world without a mother.

[Tip: start your narrative story with a moment in time, a scene, a memory, a picture, or a landscape. Use words that enable any human being to imagine your story with their senses.]

An essay is aimed to show your personal opinion about the subject. These are just patterns that you have to fill with certain information and viewpoints. You are to understand the subject as well as be direct in expressing your ideas. For our third assignment, let’s start with the narrative.

1. Create an outline of a past memory.
2. Write by including who, what, where, when, how, and why + feelings, thoughts, and sensory input.
3. Write a vignette: a story that starts from a moment in time.
4. Conclude on something powerful, yet simple. Something you learned, something you cherish, or something you will try to never experience again.

10 Types of Essays

Descriptive – This type of essay is designed for describing the details of the subject. It can be written about any object and its features. You are to describe the way it looks, smells, or works. It can be compared with a detailed overview of the things you write about. In this type of essay, every detail counts.


Definition – The ultimate goal of the definition essay is to focus on the definition of the subject. It may focus on different things or various origins. 
The point of this type of essay is to explain something on a higher level than dictionaries do.

Here you are to delve into the subject to get an understanding of what it is, how people perceive it, and what it is associated with.


Compare and Contrast – This type of essay is aimed to dwell upon on differences and similarities between two objects, events, things, etc. The reader should receive a clear understanding of what certain things have in common and what is different about them. The writer has to be well informed about both subjects in order to provide the reader with a clear comparison of the two subjects.

Cause and Effect – This type of essay is destined to focus on the sequence of an event and its result of it. It reminds some of a study where you are to show what cause has led to a particular result. In case there are more causes than results or fewer causes than results the writer has to explore them separately. The cause & effect essay requires the writer to draw a logical connection between the reasons for a certain event.

To write a good essay of that type it is necessary to study the works on similar topics to have a better understanding of how such research is done.

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