How to Write a Narrative Essay

How to write a narrative essay

Narrative essay is a type of expository writing assigned to school students. According to a narrative essay definition, this is a kind of paper which instructs you to tell a story based on personal experience, which fits into the framework of a given task. Most of time, narratives are assigned to test your storytelling and creative thinking abilities.

Is it difficult to do a narrative? Not at all! In fact, a narration is the easiest written homework in school. However, there’re a number of peculiarities and intricacies you have to bear in mind to turn in a top scoring composition.

3 Cornerstones of Narrative Essay Writing

First and foremost, narrative essays are basically stories told in a vivid, imaginative fashion. Done in a first person singular, the papers imply dwelling on a memorable, flamboyant and captivating moment in your life, or a person who influenced your worldview, tastes, life choices, etc. Sounds exiting already? It surely must, since narrative essays appear perhaps the most thrilling papers for students to write.

Secondly, a narrative has to make a point. Your story isn’t told just for the sake of it. On the contrary, your essay has to serve a particular goal – making a statement and delivering a message. As far as any story goes, there’s the end-game – a certain lesson or moral an author (you!) wants the audience to learn and relate to.

And thirdly, as any good story your narrative should feature a well-thought plot having a coherent sequence of events, depiction of scenery where a story takes place, characters key to plot development, and other details you find necessary. From a stylistic point of view, you’re free to use colorful descriptions, peculiar details, epithets, metaphors, quotes and even dialogues, if you find it fit.

Narrative essay ideas to get you started

Doing a narrative essay is meant to be an exciting and generally positive experience. It’s one of those written assignments which can actually bring you some pleasure doing it. There’re no strict requirements and limitations, rather than delivering an interesting story which fits into the prompt, engaging narrative and consistent food for thought at the end of the story.

The only restriction is the word count. By default, standard essay length is approximately 1000 words. You won’t believe it, many students get so carried away and immersed into the process, that they basically need more space to tell everything planned. And here lies one of the pitfalls of narrative essays – you have to present a complete story which does fit into the limit of words. Are you up for the challenge? An instructor will definitely want to check this too.

What should you write about? Choosing narrative essay topics is a real mind-cracker. Point out that besides providing a story, there has to be an analysis to it. That’s why when contemplating on a paper topic, opt-in for a theme which will be fun and captivating personally for you to work on. If you’re enjoying writing it, a teacher will take up the positive mood and enjoy evaluating it.

Can’t get your creativity juices flowing? Got stuck in writer’s block unable to think of a nifty topic? Start off with downloading a narrative essay example on the web. Every year thousands of students are tasked with narratives, while many of them upload the papers online. Get a couple of such essays and see how others aced the task. Then, all inspired and fired up proceed to crafting the masterpiece of your own.

Best narrative essay outline (time-tested by professional writers)

Narrative essay format isn’t any different to what you’re accustomed to regarding essays. Same structural patterns are applied, while the only exception is made to embedding dialogues and not referencing the quotes, since all citations are taken from your head.

From the point of view of exposition, a strong narrative features:

  • Introduction
  • Rising action
  • Climax
  • Falling story
  • Lessons learned

Note that this narrative essay format falls into a classic Freytag’s pyramid – one of the most widely spread dramatic structures in the literature. Write a paper in this key and your instructor will be pleased beyond limit.

From the point of view of draft structure, a traditional essay pattern is applied:

  • Introduction – Serves the purpose of grabbing reader’s attention, sets the scene to a story and prepares the audience for what is about to happen in the main body; defines a thesis statement of a narrative; standard length – one paragraph;
  • Main Body – Depending on an assigned length, the main body may include 3-5 paragraphs, sometimes more; serves the purpose of developing the plot from rising action to climax and falling story;
  • Conclusion – Short one-paragraph passage which re-states your narrative essay purpose, dwells on lessons learned and offers readers some mental pabulum, should you be aiming for ‘A+’.

As a rule, narrative compositions don’t require any formal outline. However, fetching a solid writing plan is a great idea, it helps you keep track of all story events, characters, plot twists, etc. Relying on Freytag’s pyramid as an outline of your essay will definitely help score a top grade.

10 narrative essay topics to steer you in the right direction

In all times, picking the right essay topic was half the job done. Please, check out these narrative essay topic examples to kickstart your mind gears.

  • First Day at School
  • A Journey to Egypt
  • Mother’s Day in Paris
  • How I Got Lost in the Mall
  • Me Growing Up in a Big Family
  • Best Cat I’ve Ever Known
  • Fishing with Grandpa
  • My First Martial Arts Teacher
  • Future Profession
  • My Favorite Movie Theater

Write a thriving essay with these hints

To tell a good story, you might consider using a couple of professional hints for a better result. That being said, the prime piece of advice is spending good amount of time meditating on your essay topic. Think of a couple of variants which suite the subject matter most, decide which one is better and then stick to it.

A great hint is to get into teacher’s boots and come up with a topic she could actually be interested more than in any other. For example, in case a teacher is a dedicated theater goer, write an essay depicting your experience with a venue you might’ve visited while traveling to Europe with parents. Do it and an extra credit will be in your pocket.

5 Proven Tactics to Improve Your Essay

Another recommendation is mind your p’s and q’s in terms of creative freedom. Although there’s a spacious room for oeuvre which comes with a narrative paper assignment, you still have to be consistent in what you write. Going all rebellious and absurd is unacceptable.

Apply lush epithets and vivid descriptions as well. Boring, monotonous, poorly academic language is one of the don’ts of narrative essay writing, so avoid being meagre at any cost. Seek to derive please from the process, rather than going through the motions.

By the way, do you make use of essay examples? Always do yourself a favor of checking out other students’ writing. Analyzing papers available online normally offer plenty of insights into how a certain assignment can be done and what approaches, hints, techniques were used. Plus, it can be entertaining too.

On a final note, in case you either lack time or motivation to tackle this type of assignment, delegate it to professional academic writers. hosts a strong team of English authors who can do the essay for you from scratch, fast and up to par. Narrative, compare and contrast, argumentative, persuasive? You name it. Order any type of paper and get it back customized A to Z according to every order instruction. Save time writing, turn in a quality essay before the deadline.