Braided Narrative Definition Essay

I’ve posted two fine examples of the Braided Essay for those of you who wish to use this unique structure. For some background on the form (it’s also called the lyric essay), visit this site. As I said in class, the form consists of three distinct narrative lines–a personal story, research, someone else’s story–that each speak to a chosen theme. The lines need not be overtly related, but they do need to build toward your theme in some way.

To get an idea of how this works, read the two examples I’ve posted below, “The Bone Road,” written by USU alum Brandon Schrand, and “Agent Orange,” by Ben Quick.

If you have questions or specific ideas that you’d like to run by me, send me an email or talk to me in class.

The Bone Road, by Brandon Schrand

Agent Orange, by Ben Quick

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Watch and Learn
Everything was loud. The overstuffed bus of children was leaving the school parking lot for its normal route of sudden stops, unforgiving bumps, and of course, transporting students to their destinations. Opposite from every other child on the bus, I sit quietly in seat fourteen listening to the screaming laughter and shrill excitement of the conclusion of another school year. I sit there in silence because I knew that it would be my last bus ride home. I was trying to take everything in: the smell of the old brown bus seats, the half opened windows that tried to keep us cool, the pleasantly plump and incredibly sweet bus driver, and the jovial and rambunctious sounds of kids cackling and yelping. At every stop, I could…show more content…

On his days off, my father would take me there to play games and eat pizza. Filled with bright flashing lights, fun filled games and amazing food; it was a place of fun and a mecca for all young children. Usually, I would just sit and eat pizza and play in the ball pit. But this particular time that we went, I wanted to play a game. Being the child that I was, I just wanted to hop right up to it and go. My skeptic father on other hand just sat back and watched the people in front of us play. This arcade game was so complicated yet so appealing to the eyes of a young child. The flashing blue lights and the loud whistle-like sounds would draw you in to play. The objective was to put a coin token in a slot, slide it down a ramp, and try to aim it at one of the other slots that were spinning inside the game. The anticipation was pounding through my veins, and like any other five year old, I was impatient to try the game. My father, however, was patiently and silently observing, only furthering my desire to play. After a while, he let me play; I lost immediately. My father on the other hand stepped up to the game, deposited the coin, and easily made it in one of the slots. I watched in awe as the tickets poured out for my dad. My dad had won the game by simply observing and learning. When the class had ended, I scooped up my things and hurried out. I just wanted the day to be over, but I had yet to deal with every new


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