english narrative essay

1200 words minimum. 1200 words equals approximately 4 full pages.

 -MLA format

-Dont use hard vocablery 


Project Space: Narrative Essay

During this project, you will write a narrative essay about an important place or space— somewhere that is important to you (or others) for cultural, social, or personal reasons. 

  • For example, if I were responding to this prompt, I might decide to write about how my views on environmentalism, wildlife conservation, and a deep personal reverence for nature and were influenced by my family tradition of camping every summer at a place called “Cow Camp” in Eastern Oregon.


To help get you started, we will be discussing the following essays and readings that are examples of writing about importance places and spaces:

          “Graffiti: Art or Vandalism”—Jessica Barahona writes about the Estrada Courts in East Los Angeles where street murals on buildings and walls are significant part of Chicano heritage in Los Angeles.

          “Sacred Ground”—Eric Bailey writes about a courtyard at the center of the Teteron Barracks military training camp, and how for him it symbolizes the dedication and sacrifice required of every soldier.

          “Richie Valens Park: Uniting Cultures”—This student essay discusses a park in the San Fernando Valley and how it provides a place for people of diverse cultures and socioeconomic classes to come together.

          “The Happiest Place on Earth”—This student essay examines why Disneyland is so beloved to so many people, and touches on its social and cultural significance as well.

          “Starbucks: A Cup of Nurture”—This student essays takes a look at Starbucks as both a business and a important place of community and social nurturing.


Some Questions To Think About Before Choosing a Topic: 

  • WHY is this place/space important to you?
  • Is it only important to you, or is it important to a group of people? Why? Are there cultural, political, or social reasons that this place/space is important?
  • Is the space connected to a specific community or subculture? How does it reflect that community or subculture? How is it that certain spaces come to represent a community or subculture?
  • What is the purpose of “culturally themed” places like certain restaurants or neighborhoods? Who do they primarily appeal to: people who are part of that culture or people outside that culture?
  • You might also consider: what happens when “space” that belongs to one culture or subculture is next to, touches, or overlaps a “space” belonging to another culture or subculture?  What happens in these “border zones”?


Sources: Outside sources are admired but not required for this essay. However, if you do not use outside sources, I will expect you to use your own direct experiences as examples/evidence (narrative) and to make connections to the readings we have discussed in class. We will discuss MLA format in class at a later date, so you will not be graded on MLA correctness, but please give it your best shot anyway when you cite your sources for this paper. You can find an MLA guide in Chapter 24 of Everyone’s An Author.


Length: 1200 words minimum. 1200 words equals approximately 4 full pages.




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