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Teacher Tips and Answers

Assembling Your Narrative Argument

By now you have completed drafts of an argument essay and a narrative. Great work! The two main components of your narrative argument are ready to go. Now comes the fun part—combining both forms into a single paper. Finding the right mix is not an exact science. You'll need to experiment with different arrangements to create your strongest argument. The activities in this lesson will help.

Combining Argument and Narrative

Follow these steps to blend your two separate essays into a narrative argument. As you work through the steps, remember that you can add, cut, rewrite, and rearrange parts of both original pieces as needed.

  1. Make your original argument essay the base of your paper.
  2. Read over both pieces one more time.
  3. Decide what portions of your narrative support your argument.
  4. Experiment with different combinations of narration and argumentation. Here are three common ways to organize a narrative argument:
    • One-After-Another: Start with your full narrative and transition to your full argument or vice versa.
    • Start-and-End: Start with a portion of your narrative, transition to your argument, and then return to your narrative.
    • Back-and-Forth: Start with your narrative or argument and transition back and forth multiple times between both pieces.

Narrative Argument Organizer

  1. Evaluate the results. Which pattern most effectively strengthens the argument? Which pattern is easiest to follow? Which pattern will most likely get readers to empathize with your position?
  2. Choose a pattern.
  3. Add parts (or all) of your narrative to your argument essay. If you are working in a word-processing program, you can simply copy and paste the parts. Reword sections as needed to improve the flow.

This lesson is a part of the Writing Narrative Arguments unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

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