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Practical Guidelines For Composing A Winning Narrative Essay On Julius Caesar


You can think of writing a narrative essay as telling a story to your audience. This type of writing is often about personal experiences (e.g., learning an important lesson, overcoming a trial, making a new friend, etc.). Therefore, if someone instructed me to write a narrative essay on Julius Caesar, I could interpret it two ways:

  1. that I’m supposed to write about Julius Caesar’s life, kind of like a mini-biography (or I might want to consider focusing on a particular aspect of him)

  2. that I should pick out an experience from my own life to connect to a theme or event in Julius Caesar’s life - in which case I would probably still include some background information on Caesar.

Here are some practical guidelines you might want to consider - kind of like a brainstorm, to get you started:

  • What theme/idea do you want to focus on? Regardless of how you interpret the prompt, you need to find a way to string everything together and get something bigger out of it. That’s a key part of essay-writing. The facts are all there for everyone to see; you need to interpret them. So what can you get from Julius Caesar’s life? Was he a great ruler or a power-hungry tyrant? How did he make a difference? Maybe you’ll decide that the recurring patterns in his life reveal an important aspect of human nature - as long as you can support that. If I remember correctly, you have a lot to work with, as Caesar had quite an interesting life (though possibly an even more interesting death).

  • Why is Julius Caesar important? He’s a dead ancient Roman guy. Why do we care about him? Why should your audience care about him? Why do you [maybe pretend to] care about him? Think about how he might be relevant today.

  • If you’re going to undertake the daunting task of synthesizing your experiences with Julius Caesar’s life, can you identify with him on anything? Maybe you’ve experienced a similar betrayal by a close friend, or maybe you have the same desire for power.

  • Your paper should have a point. That seems pretty obvious, but it’s kind of easy to lose the purpose when writing narratives.

The introduction and the conclusion are two of the most important parts of any paper. For a “winning” essay, these two, in particular, should be artfully written. It’s very difficult to give a good first impression if you begin with “Julius Caesar was a great man” or “Julius Caesar was born in [when was he born again?]”. Come up with something original and attention-grabbing instead of a generic opening sentence - easier said than done, of course. Since narrative essays are often written in a more personal style, it is acceptable to use personal pronouns - yet it’s still advisable to use them sparingly and maintain a formal-ish style. (One of my biggest mistakes learning to write was that I kept trying to be “cute” - needless to say, my English teacher was not impressed.) You should also keep in mind that language is important; you’re telling a story, so use the right words to get your point across.

Finally, the conclusion, like I said before, is one of the most important parts. You should use it to summarize your points and direct your audience’s attention back to the focus of the paper. In addition to this, your conclusion should include some personal reflection and insight into your topic. The conclusion is the part of your writing that leaves the aftertaste, so it’s important to make it a good one. Follow these practical guidelines, and before you know it you will surely have composed a winning narrative essay on Julius Ceaser!

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