Narrative Essay - A Complete Writing Guide
A narrative essay is an important essay assignment in which you need to narrate an experience, event, or interaction.
If you got an assignment of writing a narrative essay, then no need to worry. Take it as an opportunity to improve your storytelling skills.
This article will provide a complete writing guide to draft a strong narrative essay with examples.
What is a Narrative Essay?
A narrative essay is a type of essay where the writer tells a story from their real-life experience. Everyone has some experiences to share with others. Narrative essays offer a chance for writers to think and share their personal experiences. They can tell a short story while writing a personal narrative essay.
This type of essay is written from a defined point of view that may include some sensory details such as:
- Character setting
These details will explain and support the story by making the reader understand and get involved. Furthermore, a narrative essay is quite common in high school and college, just like a descriptive essay and argumentative essay.
Therefore, a compelling narrative essay is fun to write and interesting to read.
Elements of a Narrative Essay
The most essential element of a narrative essay is its plot. Therefore, it should be discussed with enough detail to craft an interesting climax.
It is usually stated in the introduction and should have a purpose. Moreover, an engaging plot must have the above-mentioned sensory details that follow a chronological order.
How to Start a Narrative Essay?
A good story always makes sure to have an impressive introduction as it will grab the reader’s attention. Similarly, readers will also enjoy an essay with an engaging start. It will definitely compel them to go through the rest of it.
It is also beneficial for the writer to use a hook statement in the introductory paragraph. The following things can be mentioned while stating a hook sentence.
- A quotation
- Statistical data
- An anecdote
- A question
- Facts and figures
A good hook sentence will help you grab the reader’s attention. It sets the overall tone of your story. So it is important to start off your essay on an interesting foot.
Narrative Essay Outline
Creating an outline is the most important step while writing an essay. It helps to organize and structure the ideas by maintaining a flow throughout the essay.
Here we have attached a simple narrative outline to help you understand better.
Narrative Essay Outline (PDF)
The structure is simple yet straightforward to follow. The narrative essay outline consists of the following sections.
- Thesis statement
- Body paragraphs
Let’s discuss each part in detail.
The introduction should contain the main idea of your essay topic. It should be specific, to the point and precise. Moreover, the introductory paragraph should be attractive enough to compel the readers to read more. A maximum of three to five lines is enough for the introduction.
The thesis statement is the main argument of the essay. It is supposed to attract the reader’s interest by introducing them to the problem you want to discuss. However, this statement shouldn’t be a question, suggestion, recommendation, fact, or general truth.
Usually, there are three to five body paragraphs containing general information about the topic. Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence. Moreover, do not discuss more than one new idea in a single paragraph.
It is the last section of your essay that summarizes the whole information given in the body paragraphs. Moreover, this part should also be specific and precise, like the introduction. Restate the main argument and the thesis statement. Also, avoid discussing any new information that may confuse the readers with an open-ended question in their mind.
How to Write A Narrative Essay?
Here are the guidelines that you can follow for writing a good narrative essay.
1. Select the Topic Wisely
A writer should be able to weave the truth into a story. Therefore, he should be expressive enough to share his experiences with others.
2. Write the First Draft
You cannot write an engaging story without planning it. Therefore, it is necessary to create a well-structured outline to organize all ideas you want to include in your essay. This technique will help you write your first draft.
3. Ensure to Include All Storyline Elements
All compelling stories contain elements like description, plot, and character set. A good writer should make sure that his essay should have all these elements written chronologically with correct grammar.
These components will also help the reader to clearly understand your role in the story.
4. Support with Arguments
A good narrative essay should not only consist of opinions. Nevertheless, arguments in the form of facts and references should also be provided to support the truth. Similarly, avoid including unnecessary details that may confuse the reader.
5. Use Simple Language
A writer should use simple words and appropriate language in the essay. The clearer the readers will understand your point of view, the better their feedback will be.
6. Using Proper Tone
Your narrative essay should have the right tone by using personal pronouns. Similarly, everything should be written in the past tense.
7. Read Some Narrative Essay Examples
You can take help in your essay writing by having a look at other people’s work. Moreover, you can also watch their videos describing their personal experiences. It will help you present your ideas in a proper manner.
8. Revising and Proofreading
After writing the essay, check it for grammar and plagiarism. You can also ask someone to proofread your work. Make changes according to those suggestions.
9. Highlight Important Details
A writer should highlight the crucial details for the readers to easily identify them.
Narrative Essay Format
Now you must have known the purpose of a narrative essay and how to write a perfect one. However, you should also be aware of choosing a proper essay format. Below tips will help you with that.
Select the Appropriate Format
A writer should select the appropriate format according to the instructions from his professor. These formats include APA, MLA, Harvard.
The title page is the very first thing that your professor will notice. Therefore, spend enough time to make it look great and error-free.
Order of the Text
As discussed earlier, every type of essay has a specific order that includes an introduction, body, and conclusion. Therefore, it is necessary for a writer to follow this writing style for essays.
Make sure to cite the original sources to avoid the risk of plagiarism. It also makes your essays even more authentic and credible to read.
Narrative Essay Example
Personal narrative essay examples make it easy for the writer to learn essay writing techniques. There are a lot of essay examples available on the internet to go through before starting writing. However, we have also attached an example of a narrative essay pdf here for you.
Personal Narrative Essay Example
This example will demonstrate all the details to explain the essay practically.
Writing narrative essays are similar to novel writing but have some specific rules to follow, such as:
- General standards
- Right structure
- Plagiarism check
- Selection of appropriate topic
- Grammar and spelling check
Following these practical rules and reading free essays can help you craft an amazing piece of writing.
Narrative Essay Topics
Here are some interesting essay topics that you can choose from if you have not decided on the topic yet.
- Your first trip abroad.
- A moment when you felt alone.
- Talk about the best day of your life.
- The best gift you have ever received.
- The influence of the media on our young minds.
- A story of you having a conflict.
- A tough decision you had to make.
- A time when you were really embarrassed.
- Meeting a stranger.
- A moment when you felt depressed.
- The day when you became a leader.
- Your favorite vacation with your family.
- Your favorite birthday party.
- The role of TV and social media in your life.
This article offers a complete writing guide to students who are struggling to write an engaging narrative essay.
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