Narrative essays often read like stories. As a result, conclusion techniques such as a summary paragraph or paraphrasing the first paragraph will probably fall short. The writer must strike the right emotional note, one that evokes meaning and helps the reader to understand why the subject of your essay matters to you, which is what really makes it worth reading. While other essays teach us about issues and events, narrative essays illuminate the human condition.
Project time forward to end a narrative essay. If the narrative took place ten years ago, you might write the conclusion from the perspective of someone who understands more now than you did then. Or you might write from the perspective of someone who is as baffled as ever.
If you take the perspective of one who now understands, be careful not to write a paragraph that sounds as if you are telling the reader what the moral of the story is. If possible, use sensory impressions to connote meaning rather than explain meaning. “Today I live in New York City. I didn’t make time to visit my mother near the end of her life, so she died lonely” explains. But this creates meaning without explaining: “Today I live in New York City. I still remember my mother frantically waving goodbye, both empty hands flailing the air, on the day I left her for the last time.”
Lead the reader into the conclusion with a final scene in real time as an alternative to projecting time forward. Describe a specific physical action or a final verbal exchange or a combination of those.
Avoid telling the reader how to feel. The conclusion of a narrative essay should resonate, not dictate. If you think of a movie about a character who overcomes adversity and emerges in triumph at the end of the narrative, you will notice that nowhere does the screenplay writer or director tell the reader to feel happy at the end. Instead the characters enact the end in a setting; we watch them, and thus we are transported to happiness. The end of a narrative essay can work in the same manner.
Include personal reflection in the conclusion, but avoid the temptation to explain everything. It’s not necessary to answer all the questions a reader might have. Like fiction, a narrative essay may imply meaning rather than prescribe solutions. It’s a sturdy genre that can work from metaphor, symbol and lyric language as well as describe and analyze.
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Writing a grant essay can feel like a huge task if you’ve never written one before. In addition to the pressure of writing a good essay, you may feel as if your entire future is on the line. How do you go about putting your entire life experience into 500 words? What if you don’t have any life experience? By following a few basic rules, though, you will be writing quality grant essays in no time.
- Determine the exact nature of the essay question. Believe it or not, many people don’t get the grant because they failed to answer the question asked. Read the essay prompt carefully, underline important key words and try to understand the fundamental interest of the grant-giving entity. The Writing Center at the Owens Group recommends researching the organization giving the grant to more fully understand their reason for asking this particular question.
- Take your time to consider the question from as many perspectives as you can conceive. Most grant essays focus on revealing your fundamental character. This might be done by asking you to respond to a greater issue based on research or it may be accomplished by asking you to reflect on important lessons learned through personal experience. If the question asks about personal experience, reflect on those areas of your life that have bearing on the question. Find a story that meets the question’s intention. If the question is more generally applicable, think of real-world issues that have relevance to your interests and research it well.
- Brainstorm your ideas by writing down the core concept and jotting additional related ideas around it. You can do this in a number of ways: by listing the ideas in columns, composing a bubble diagram or drawing symbols representing your thoughts. When you have run out of ideas, use this list, diagram or drawing to determine which idea most fully addresses the actual essay question and its intentions. Organize the supporting thoughts into an outline with a logical flow of ideas.
- Develop your outline with more detail. A more effective essay will include concrete examples, a compelling introduction, solid logical progression and a strong conclusion. The Owens Center also recommends using active, present-tense verbs and precise nouns.
- Research any uncertain points. This is, of course, essential if the essay question is a research-based question, but even personal essays can be enriched by a bit of research. A famous quote, a startling statistic or any other kind of real-world connection to the greater human experience might be just the hook you need for that compelling introduction.
- Flesh out your essay by stringing your outline notes into full sentences, adding transitional phrases between thoughts (paragraphs) and adding detail as necessary. At this point, much of the hard work is already finished in the development of your outline, so this is where you can get a bit creative in adding in your unique voice. Remember to keep the writing formal, though.
- Set your essay aside for a few days. Come back to it with a fresh mind and re-read the essay question. Then read through your essay. Does it answer the question as you understand it? Have you made a strong point or realization? Is your introduction compelling and your conclusion strong? Concentrate on the content of your paper at this point and make sure it says everything you want it to say in response to the question asked.
- Revise again, this time looking for structure. Are the paragraphs in some sort of logical sequence? Does each paragraph deal with a single main idea and remain focused on that idea? Are there appropriate transitions between paragraphs? Have you put the paper into the appropriate format including citations and reference list? All of these elements can be easily overlooked by the student, but can be quite significant to the grant-giving authority. Once you are satisfied, set the essay aside one more time.
- Check your completed essay a third time looking for typos, punctuation errors, grammar mistakes or other mechanical issues. Be especially careful about misspelled words. Although spellcheck works well to catch glaring errors, autocorrect does not always choose the correct substitute and there is enormous potential to use an incorrect word with the simple replacement of a single letter, for example, hats and mats.
To be successful in applying for education essay grants, you need to have a clear strategy of how to tackle the entire process. Writing such essays requires an in-depth understanding of the provided instructions, astute brainstorming, a proper articulation and outlining of ideas, and comprehensive editing and revision. Writing the winning essay will take time but the rewards will be fulfilling.
Overview of Education Grants
Education essay grants are made available to students from varied backgrounds and in equally varied fields of study. Some of these grants are judged based on the quality of the written matter while others have extra requirements including a description of one’s financial need or perhaps one’s GPA. Regardless of the type of essay scholarship, applying for education essay grants is an opportunity to allow your writing prowess and skills to help you pay for school.
Important Writing Aspects
In applying for education essay grants, you must ensure that the essay that is submitted to the judging panel is impressive. An essay will sway the judges’ award decision toward a certain applicant if it combines well-outlined thoughts and notable writing skills.
Most applying candidates wrongly suppose that the final decision has more to do with the fine quality of their grades. Education essays are assessed on the basis of the quality of analytical and coherent thoughts expressed therein, the writer’s articulation of ideas, and the resourcefulness of the writing style.
Best Writing Tips
A winning essay has the unique twin ability of being able to answer the required question or topic coherently and to give a vivid account of the candidate’s academic achievements. The essay provides details about the applicant’s assorted experiences that he feels make him qualified for the grant. Wherever applicable, therefore, candidates must provide clear descriptions about the projects they have been involved in and the impacts that these have had on them and the society affected by these projects. Further, applicants for education essay grants need to describe how they plan to contribute to society if they are awarded the grant.
Applicants should incorporate personalization when writing essays to give proper insights into themselves. They should provide the judges with their anticipated 1- to 5-year goals and plans and do so with measured conviction and passion to avoid giving the essay judges a feeling that they are bragging or forcing issues.
Points to Avoid
In writing for education essay grants, you must be careful to avoid the following:
- Beginning with a feeble paragraph that more or less dissuades the judges from continuing with the rest of the essay content.
- Including indistinct descriptions that communicate nothing unique or new.
- Straying in the course of writing–be careful to remain on the intended topic or subject. This will prevent you from giving or describing details that are not only vague but irrelevant.
- Using acronyms and failing to expound on their meaning.
- Incorrectly using jargon and slang; it is better to use conventional language rather than words and phrases that will result in miscommunication.
- Negative talk about colleagues and an excessive emphasis on personal achievements.