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    #1

    Narrative Essay opening sentence. Fracking and children


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    Today, 21:54
    Opening sentence for a Narrative Essay about fracking and children

    I was told by a writer that when writing a Narrative Essay the opening sentence should be vague and ambiguous. Is this a true statement?

    My narrative essay is about fracking but it is told through the eyes of an environmentalist lawyer who speaks with a frantic 10-year-old girl concerned about her friend's life. They had been playing in a pond and not soon after her friend is hospitalised. Therefore she suspects it had something to do with the pond. The lawyer will put two and two together as she tells him the story. It will be like banter, her telling him aspects and then him asking questions to dive deeper into the details, therefore gathering sensory information about the scenes.

    Anyways, here is my opening paragraph. Tell me what you think of the opening sentence, should be changed or scrapped completely? Please give your critique of the rest as well. Thank you

    The day I met Sarah is one I will never forget. Working as an environmentalist lawyer for a small firm in Pennsylvania, I come across a lot of cases; Sarah’s was one that moved me more than any other. I remember when I met her; it was about a year ago to this day. The misty morning dew was ever-present, and vapors filled the air of the street corner overlooking my office trailer. Sipping a cup of decaf and reviewing a few old papers I glanced out the window to a see girl no more than 12 years old. She was vigorously zigzagging her pink bicycle throughout the fog. I could tell she was distressed by the frantic look on her face. As she got closer she eventually tossed her bike to the ground, slightly bending one of her bike mirrors. Her footsteps were quick and direct as her shoes sloshed through the mud from the rainstorm the night before. As she gradually walked up the stairs of my office, I contemplated what she might say. Her fist pounded on my door “BANG! BANG! BANG!”. “Come in” I said. As the door slowly crept open, a sad and gloomy face appeared before me. In an uneasy and shaky tone she said “Mr. Dre



  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Narrative Essay opening sentence. Fracking and children

    I don't know what the person who told you meant when they said "vague and ambitious."
    Your opening sentence is fine.
    What is not fine is the change in mood.
    Is her face "frantic" or is it "gloomy"?
    Are her footsteps "quick and direct" or does she she "gradually walk"?
    Why would she be "zigzagging" if she is in such a hurry?
    (Dew is not "misty" and dew is not ever present -- it evaporates soon after the sun comes up.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: Narrative Essay opening sentence. Fracking and children

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I don't know what the person who told you meant when they said "vague and ambitious."
    Your opening sentence is fine.
    What is not fine is the change in mood.
    Is her face "frantic" or is it "gloomy"?
    Are her footsteps "quick and direct" or does she she "gradually walk"?
    Why would she be "zigzagging" if she is in such a hurry?
    (Dew is not "misty" and dew is not ever present -- it evaporates soon after the sun comes up.)

    I revised. What do you think of this? be mean the more critiques the better! :D

    The day I met Sarah is one I will never forget. Working as an environmentalist lawyer for a small firm in Pennsylvania, I come across a lot of cases; Sarah’s was one that moved me more than any other. I remember when I met her; it was about a year ago to this day. The morning’s fog was ever-present, and the scent of rain and earth filled the air of the street corner overlooking my office trailer. Sitting in my rustic leather chair and blowing the steam off from atop of my coffee cup I slowly sipped it while I sifted my fingers though a few environmental court papers. Suddenly, I saw something out of the corner of eye. I turned my head and glanced out my hazy window to see an obscured pink figure furiously moving throughout the fog. Steadily I laid my papers upon my desk as I leaned my creaky chair forward to get a closer look. I could now tell it was a girl, anywhere from 10-12 years old in a pink sundress peddling her bicycle. As she made her way to my office she entered the now muddy lawn. She fiercely tossed her bike to the ground as she began to head towards my office. Her footsteps were quick and direct as her feet sloshed through the mud. Soon I heard a thundering knock at my door “BANG!...BANG!...BANG!”, “come in” I said. As the door crept open, a tearful and distressed face appeared before me. Droplets of tears and rain from her damp red hair pitter-pattered the floor beneath her. In an uneasy and shaky tone she said to me “Mr. Dreicer, please help me…I don’t know who else to talk to…I think my friend got sick because of this nasty pond and no one knows why.” What she began to tell me would change my life forever.

    Oh, and I can't use the word "is" in my essay. How could I reword the opening sentence?

    Thanks

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    #4

    Please critique my narrative essay

    The day I met Sarah is one I will never forget. Working as an environmentalist lawyer for a small firm in Pennsylvania, I come across a lot of cases; Sarah’s was one that moved me more than any other. I remember when I met her; it was about a year ago to this day. The morning’s fog was ever-present, and the scent of rain and earth filled the air of the street corner overlooking my office trailer. Sitting in my rustic leather chair and blowing the steam off from atop of my coffee cup I slowly sipped it while I sifted my fingers though a few environmental court papers. Suddenly, I saw something out of the corner of eye. I turned my head and glanced out my hazy window to see an obscured pink figure furiously moving throughout the fog. Steadily I laid my papers upon my desk as I leaned my creaky chair forward to get a closer look. I could now tell it was a girl, anywhere from 10-12 years old in a pink sundress peddling her bicycle. As she made her way to my office she entered the now muddy lawn. She fiercely tossed her bike to the ground as she began to head towards my office. Her footsteps were quick and direct as her feet sloshed through the mud. Soon I heard a thundering knock at my door “BANG!...BANG!...BANG!”, “come in” I said. As the door crept open, a tearful and distressed face appeared before me. Droplets of tears and rain from her damp red hair pitter-pattered the floor beneath her. In an uneasy and shaky tone she said to me “Mr. Dreicer, please help me…I don’t know who else to talk to…I think my friend got sick because of this nasty pond and no one knows why.” What she began to tell me would change my life forever.


    Be mean, the more criques the better

    Thank you

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Narrative Essay opening sentence. Fracking and children

    Quote Originally Posted by Whyte92 View Post

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    Today, 21:54
    Opening sentence for a
    narrative essay about fracking and children
    I was told by a writer that when writing a narrative essay the opening sentence should be vague and ambiguous. Is this a true statement?

    It can be, but it doesn't have to be. It can be a pointed declaration, a probing question, a trenchant observation, or lots of other things.

    My narrative essay is about fracking, and it is told through the eyes of an environmental lawyer who speaks with a frantic 10-year-old girl concerned about her friend's life. They had been playing in a pond, and not long after, her friend was hospitalised. Therefore she suspects it had something to do with the pond. The lawyer puts two and two together as she tells him the story. It will be like banter, her telling him aspects and then him asking questions to dive deeper into the details, therefore gathering sensory information about the scenes.

    Anyway, here is my opening paragraph. Tell me what you think of the opening sentence. Should it be changed or scrapped completely? Please give your critique of the rest as well. Thank you.

    The day I met Sarah is one I will never forget. Working as an environmental lawyer for a small firm in Pennsylvania, I come across a lot of cases; Sarah’s was one that moved me more than any other. I remember when I met her; it was about a year ago to the day. The misty morning dew was ever-present, and its vapors filled the air of the street corner overlooking my office trailer.

    [1. You could tighten that last sentence. for instance: "The morning mist filled the street corner...." If it's ever-present, then it's not just present in the morning, it's present always. So "ever-present" might not be exactly what you mean.

    2. Overlooking? Unusual, but not impossible. See notes below.]


    [New paragraph. Before, you were setting the stage. Now, you're on stage.]
    Sipping a cup of decaf and reviewing a few old papers, I glanced out the window to a see girl no more than 12 years old. She was vigorously zigzagging her pink bicycle through the fog. I could tell she was distressed by the frantic look on her face. As she got closer she eventually tossed her bike to the ground, slightly bending one of her bike mirrors. Her footsteps were quick and direct as her shoes sloshed through the mud from the rainstorm the night before. As she slowly walked up the stairs of my office, I contemplated what she might say. Her fist pounded on my door “BANG! BANG! BANG!”.

    [New paragraph- customary with a quote.] “Come in”, I said. As the door slowly creaked open [I think. Doors are more prone to creaking than creeping.], a sad and gloomy face appeared before me.

    [New paragraph - different speaker.] In an uneasy and shaky tone she said “Mr. Dreicer, please help me…I don’t know who else to talk to…I think my friend got sick because of this nasty pond and no one knows why.”

    What she told me would change my life forever. ["Began" implies that she didn't finish.]

    Oh, and I can't use the word "is" in my essay. How could I reword the opening sentence?

    ThanksI don’t know who else to talk to…I think my friend got sick because of this nasty pond and no one knows why.” What she began to tell me would change my life forever.

    Oh, and I can't use the word "is" in my essay. How could I reword the opening sentence?

    Thanks


    The first sentence was unnecessary and in the way, so I took it out. The next sentence makes clear that you'll never forget that day.

    Personally, I'd use fewer semi-colons. A period, comma, or colon will generally do a better job. More on semicolons

    Later in the story, I hope you'll explain why your office is in a trailer. That's unusual.

    And since the street corner looks down on your office (also unusual), Sarah should be walking down a stairway to get to your office. Maybe your office looks down on the corner. Or out at it.

    Good start!

    [/QUOTE]
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 27-Apr-2015 at 22:01.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  3. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Please critique my narrative essay

    PS - After writing that, I looked at your profile and found that you're an American. Two things:

    1. Because you wrote "hospitalised" instead of "hospitalized" I assumed you use British English.

    2. Whether you're American or British, why are you using an ESL site for help with a paper? There must plenty of sites for English-speaking English students.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 28-Apr-2015 at 14:43.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Please critique my narrative essay

    So have we started accepting homework essays for correction?

  5. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Please critique my narrative essay

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    So have we started accepting homework essays for correction?
    What can I say but "Oops!"?
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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