Introduction to Research Paper/Narrative Essay

For my third and final experiment I will attempt to do sort of a hybrid combination of a narrative essay and a research paper. My origin piece along with my first two experiments were much more focused in a creative style of writing, so I decided something a bit more research based for this experiment. According to Purdue Online Writing Lab, narrative essays “are often anecdotal, experiential, and personal”. I intend for this experiment to be written about the effects a breakup has on someone, and I believe including some of my personal experience will be essential. The combination of a narrative essay and a research paper will allow my experiment to be informative relating to a relevant topic among college students, yet still true to the personal nature of my origin piece. Since my origin piece is an original song I wrote about my experience with heartbreak/a breakup, I want the essay to maintain the emotion of the song without having to include much creative expression. I’m leaning towards using my second experiment as my final project, and I hope that exploring the emotional effects of a breakup in a research based context will contribute to the success of a creative piece. 

Writing for Literacy Education Online, Judith Kilburn states that narrative essays are typically written in the first person, utilize sensory details that create a unified impression, and are sometimes formatted with the progression of a story. Combining these conventions with academic research will definitely change the way both of my “genres” are typically written. I want it to be a piece that uses research to get a point across with a personal voice. The personal voice will come from anecdotes from my own breakup, and the research will come from academic sources cited in MLA format. 

Though the personal aspects of this experiment are what will make it original, the genre conventions of a personal narrative will not be used for the formatting/organization of the piece. Based on some samples of narrative essays that I’ve read, they are usually always organized as a story with a plot. I intend to format and organize this experiment like a research paper, just with a more free and personal style. Purdue Online Writing Lab discusses research papers being either argumentative or analytical, and I will definitely draw more from the analytical conventions. Instead of centering the writing around an argument one is trying to prove, an analytical approach to research papers focuses more on drawing some sort of conclusion based on research. My intent is not to convince my audience of anything, but to give them insight into the feelings associated with a breakup. Primary and secondary sources will be referenced and analyzed, all with the intention of the reader obtaining more knowledge of the topic informatively and emotionally.

4 thoughts to “Introduction to Research Paper/Narrative Essay”

  1. Hey Nicholas!
    I like how you decided to take a more researched based approach for this experiment! I think it will be very cool to read about the effects a breakup has on someone from a research viewpoint, and your idea of incorporating personal information is great too! Lastly, I know you mentioned you plan to use your second experiment for your final project—I loved your sample for your second experiment and I think including the research from this experiment will make it even more amazing! 🙂

  2. Nick,
    I think this is a great idea. If you’re leaning towards using your second experiment as your final project, I wonder if it might be helpful to seek out primary sources for this paper that are similar to the characters in your screenplay, so that it could serve as content research of sorts? The idea of combining personal experience with research is interesting here to see if there are any universal elements of a breakup.

  3. You took the words right out of my mouth after you said how you were going to use the narrative essay to help flesh our your screenplay. I think it’s a great idea to map out a story without the constraints on only being able to use dialogue and action directions. I had the same trouble writing my screenplay! You said you’re going to focus on analytical research – do you mean that you’re going to analyze your relationship or analyze research done on breakups in general?

  4. Hey again!

    I really like that you’re approaching this from a less creative style of writing! I think I am especially interested in learning about this because of its relatability and because of its more factual, research-based nature. It’d be nice to learn about such an awful, emotional subject from a more scientific standpoint. I think one of the pitfalls of this type of genre is the lack of a human quality, so adding this through creating a hybrid-genre will make for a stronger piece. I genuinely enjoyed your last piece, so I am super excited to see how this one unfolds!

    All the best,

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