Longer essays may also contain an introductory page that defines words and phrases of the essay's topic. Most academic institutions require that all substantial facts, quotations, and other porting material in an essay be referenced in a bibliography or works cited page at the end of the text. This scholarly convention helps others (whether teachers or fellow scholars) to understand the basis of facts and quotations the author uses to support the essay's argument and helps readers evaluate to what extent the argument is supported by evidence, and to evaluate the quality of that evidence. The academic essay tests the student's ability to present their thoughts in an organized way and is designed to test their intellectual capabilities.
Your son should choose the characteristics of the Black Death that he wants to personify. Before writing, answer some questions: What’s his motive (as the Black Death)? How does he feel about the “work” he is doing? Does he have a visible form or is he invisible? If visible, how do humans see him? Try to keep the personification consistent throughout. Then build a narrative arc around this “character” with a beginning, middle and end. Perhaps tell the story of visiting on a particular family. What does he learn from the experience? What is the point (thesis)?
The purpose of a narrative report is to describe something. Many students write narrative reports thinking that these are college essays or papers. While the information in these reports is basic to other forms of writing, narrative reports lack the "higher order thinking" that essays require. Thus narrative reports do not, as a rule, yield high grades for many college courses. A basic example of a narrative report is a "book report" that outlines a book; it includes the characters, their actions, possibly the plot, and, perhaps, some scenes. That is, it is a description of "what happens in the book." But this leaves out an awful lot.