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Howe Center for Writing Excellence
Narrative: The spoken or written account of connected events; a story
The introduction of a narrative essay sets the scene for the story that follows. Interesting introductions—for any kind of writing—engage and draw readers in because they want to know more.
Since narratives tell a story and involve events, the introduction of a narrative quite often starts in the middle of the action in order to bring the reader into the story immediately, as shown in examples 1, 3, and 5 below. Other effective introductions briefly provide background for the point of the story—often the lesson learned—as in 4 below and the first example on the reverse side.
Below are some strategies for writing effective openings. Remember your introduction should be interesting and draw your reader in. It should make your audience want to read more. If it’s a person , begin with a description of the person and then say why that person mattered. If it’s an event , begin with the action or begin by reflecting back on why the event mattered, then go into the narrative.
- “Potter...take off!” my coach yelled as I was cracking yet another joke during practice.
- Why do such a small percentage of high school athletes play Division One sports?
- It was a cold, rainy night, under the lights on the field. I lined up the ball on the penalty line under the wet grass. After glancing up at the tied score, I stared into the goalkeeper’s eyes.
- My heart pounds in my chest. My stomach full of nervous butterflies. I hear the crowd talking and names being cheered.
- Slipping the red and white uniform over my head for the first time is a feeling I will never forget.
- “No football.” Those words rang in my head for hours as I thought about what a stupid decision I had made three nights before.
- “SNAP!” I heard the startling sound of my left knee before I ever felt the pain.
- According to the NCAA, there are over 400,000 student-athletes in the United States.
- Unified: Ensure all actions in your story develop a central idea or argument.
- Interesting: Draw your readers into your scene(s), making them feel as if they’re experiencing them first-hand.
- Coherent: Indicate changes in time, location, and characters clearly (even if your story is not chronological).
- Climactic: Include a moment (the climax) when your ending is revealed or the importance of events is made clear.
- Remember the 5 W’s : Who? What? When? Where? Why?
- Write vividly : Include significant sensory information in the scene (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) to make readers feel they are there
- Develop “ Thick Descriptions ”
Clifford Geertz describes thick descriptions as accounts that include not only facts but also commentary and interpretation . The goal is to vividly describe an action or scene, often through the use of metaphors, analogies, and other forms of interpretation that can emote strong feelings and images in your readers’ minds.
“The flatness of the Delta made the shack, the quarters, and the railroad tracks nearby seem like some tabletop model train set. Like many Mississippi shacks, this one looked as if no one had lived there since the birth of the blues. Four sunflowers leaned alongside a sagging porch. When the front door creaked open, cockroaches bigger than pecans scurried for cover [...] walls wept with mildew.”
—from Bruce Watson’s Freedom Summer
- Does the story have a clear and unifying idea? If not, what could that idea be?
- If the story doesn’t include a thesis sentence, is the unifying idea of the story clear without it?
- Is the story unified, with all the details contributing to the central idea?
- Is the story arranged chronologically? If not, is the organization of ideas and events still effective and clear?
- Do the transitions show the movement from idea to idea and scene to scene?
- Are there enough details?
- Is there dialogue at important moments?
- Is there a climax to the story—moment at which the action is resolved or a key idea is revealed?
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How to Start a Narrative Essay
Last Updated: May 26, 2023 Fact Checked
This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD and by wikiHow staff writer, Danielle Blinka, MA, MPA . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 193,671 times.
A narrative essay tells a story, which allows you to flex your creative muscles. Your story may be fictional or nonfictional, depending on the requirements of your assignment. At first, starting your narrative essay might seem hard, but you can make your work simpler by narrowing down your topic and planning out your story. Then, you’ll be able to easily write your story’s introduction.
Choosing a Topic for Your Narrative
- If your instructor provides a rubric, read over it thoroughly to identify the expectations for full credit. Later, you can measure your essay against the rubric before turning in the assignment.
- If you have questions about the assignment, ask your instructor for clarification.
- List the first thoughts that come to mind when you think about the prompt or question.
- Make a mind map to sort out your ideas.
- Use freewriting to uncover story ideas. Simply write whatever comes to mind without worrying about grammar or making sense.
- Make an outline to help put your ideas in order.
- Don’t try to cover too much in one essay, as this will be too hard for your reader to follow.
- For example, let’s say the prompt reads: “Write about a setback that taught you perseverance.” You might want to write about an injury you overcame. To narrow down your story, you might focus on the first time you exercised your injured limb after the accident, as well as the difficulties you faced.
- For instance, the story about recovering from an injury might have a theme of overcoming hardships or persevering to reach a goal. You might want your reader to finish your story feeling inspired and uplifted. To achieve this feeling, you'd want to focus on your successes throughout the process and end the story with a positive thought.
Planning Your Story
- If you are a character in your story, you will still need to complete this step. It's up to you how much detail you want to write down about yourself. However, it's helpful to take note of your description, interests, and desires at the time the story takes place, especially if a lot of time has passed.
- A main character description might look like this: “Kate, 12 - An athletic basketball player who suffers an injury. She wants to recover from her injury so she can return to the court. She’s the patient of Andy, a physical therapist who is helping her recover.”
- A side character description might read like this: “Dr. Lopez is a friendly, fatherly middle-aged doctor who treats Kate in the emergency room.”
- For example, a story about overcoming a sports injury might include a few settings, such as the basketball court, the ambulance, the hospital, and a physical therapy office. Although you want to show your reader each setting, you'll spend the most time on the main setting of your story.
- You might list the following descriptors about the basketball court: “squeaky floor,” “roar of the crowd,” “bright overhead lights,” “team colors in the stands,” “smell of sweat and sports drinks,” and “wet jersey sticking to my back.”
- Your story may feature several different settings, but you don't need to provide the same level of detail about each one. For instance, you may be in an ambulance for a brief moment in the scene. You don't need to fully describe the ambulance, but you might tell the reader about "feeling cold and alone in the sterile ambulance."
- For example, you might introduce a young basketball player who is about to make a big play. The incident that kicks off the story might be her injury. Then, the rising action is the basketball player’s efforts to complete physical therapy and get back into the game. The climax might be the day of tryouts for the team. You might resolve the story by having her find her name on the team list, at which point she realizes she can overcome any obstacle.
- It’s helpful to use Freytag’s triangle or a graphic organizer to plan your essay. Freytag's triangle looks like a triangle with a long line to its left and a short line to its right. It's a tool that helps you plan out your story's beginning (exposition), an incident that starts your story's events, the rising action, a climax, the falling action, and the resolution of your story.
- You can find a Freytag's triangle template or a graphic organizer for your narrative essay online.  X Research source
- The most common types of conflict include person vs. person, person vs. nature, and person vs. self. Some stories will have more than one type of conflict.
- In the story about the young athlete who gets injured, her conflict might be person vs. self, as she’s having to push through her pain and limitations.
- In most cases, a personal narrative will use the 1st person “I” point-of-view. For example, “Over my last summer with my grandfather, I learned more than how to fish.”
- If you’re telling a fictional story, you might use the 3rd person point of you. Use your character’s name, as well as the appropriate pronouns like “he” or “she.” For instance, “Mia picked up the locket and opened it.”
Writing Your Introduction
- Start your essay with a rhetorical question. For instance, “Have you ever faced losing something that’s important to you?”
- Give a quote that fits your essay. You might write, “According to Rosa Gomez, ‘You don’t know how strong you are until a setback breaks you.”
- Provide an interesting fact that’s related to your story. As an example, “About 70% of kids will stop playing sports by the age of 13, and I was almost one of them.”
- Use a short anecdote that relates to the larger story. For your essay about overcoming an injury, you might include a short story about your best moment playing sports before your injury.
- Start with a shocking statement. You might write, “As soon as they loaded me into the ambulance, I knew I might never play sports again.”
- Let’s say your main character is you. You could write, “As a tall, lean 12-year-old, I easily outplayed the other girls on the court.” This gives the reader a picture about what you might look like, as well as your interest in sports and athletic ability.
- If you’re telling a fictional story, you might introduce your character like this: “As she walked toward the high school debate podium, Luz exuded confidence from her Kate Spade headband down to her thrift shop Betsey Johnson pumps.” Not only does this help the audience picture Luz, but it also shows that she puts effort into her appearance. The fact that she shops at thrift stores might indicate that her family isn’t as wealthy as she portrays.
- You might write, “It was my 7th-grade year, and I knew I had to make varsity if I were going to get attention from the high school coaches.”
- Sensory details trigger your senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. As an example, “My shoes squeaked across the court as I dribbled toward the goal line, the red basket in sight. Sweat made the ball feel slippery against my fingertips, and its salty taste coated my lips.”
- For instance, you might write, “I never expected that pass across the court to be my last for the season. However, recovering from my injury taught me I’m a strong person who can accomplish anything I set out to do.”
Sample Introduction and Outline
- A narrative essay will always tell a story, so make sure your essay has a clear plot. Thanks Helpful 2 Not Helpful 0
- Don’t borrow someone else’s ideas for your story or copy someone else’s writing. This is plagiarism and can result in severe academic penalties, including loss of credit. Thanks Helpful 37 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://www.nova.edu/tutoring-testing/study-resources/forms/planning-narrative-essay.pdf
- ↑ https://spcollege.libguides.com/c.php?g=254430&p=1697470
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/essay_writing/narrative_essays.html
- ↑ https://human.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Literature_and_Literacy/Writing_and_Critical_Thinking_Through_Literature_(Ringo_and_Kashyap)/02%3A_About_Creative_Nonfiction/2.02%3A_Elements_of_Creative_Nonfiction
- ↑ https://penandthepad.com/start-narrative-essay-english-7667341.html
About This Article
If you’re struggling to start your narrative essay, find a way to encourage your reader to keep reading and introduce your main characters. Since opening lines can pull a reader in, choose something catchy that’s related to your story. For example, if your essay is about loss, you could open with a question like, “Have you ever faced losing something that’s important to you?” Then, add some details about your story’s setting that will interest the reader, such as describing how your trainers squeaked as you dribbled across the court if your story is about sports. You should also include enough information about the main character to peak the reader’s interest, like “She was a tall, lean 12-year-old,” but not too much so they know everything. For tips from our Writing co-author on how to plan out your entire narrative essay before you start writing, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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A Step-by-Step Guide to Write a Narrative Essay
There are numerous kinds of essays you may be assigned to complete. Sometimes, it can be hard to understand the difference between two similar papers. A narrative essay is commonly confused with the descriptive one. This article will lead you through all the necessary steps and help you write a successful piece adhering to the particular formatting rules.
What Is a Narrative Essay?
The primary purpose of a narrative essay is to tell the reader about events, interactions, and experiences that have happened to the author during a particular period. It always has a vivid plot. On the contrary, the descriptive essay aims to provide an image of a person, a place, some experience, or an object without demonstrating a chain of events. The plot is absent or vague.
To write a breathtaking narrative essay quickly, let us introduce you to the most compelling step-by-step sequence:
Before your creative process starts, you should learn more about the general requirements inherent in this kind of paper, choose the topic, and collect some relevant information to reference.
What to Write About?
Your potential theme should be interesting for both you and your audience. The topic of the narrative essay usually refers to the writer’s experience, and there is no need to use any data from outside sources. Besides, there are 3 signs of a successful title for your essay , whether it is narrative or something else:
- You could barely see it on the web;
- It’s pretty narrower than wide;
- It encourages reading the first sentence of the paper.
How to choose a topic to impress the tutor? Professionals give several tips to follow.
Tip 1. research.
What is narrative writing for a student? It is an excellent opportunity to create a fascinating story about things that interest them. It is not obligatory to select a scientific topic about innovations or discoveries. On the one hand, one can write about love, friendship, hobbies, and many other things. On the other hand, essential topics attract the attention of target readers. When reading different literature, students learn about what is happening in the world. So they feel more knowledgeable and inspired to write.
Tip 2. Brainstorm
Narration is a story that describes different topics beautifully. Students are often full of gorgeous ideas, but they forget them quickly. Brainstorming is the method of collecting ideas and selecting the best one. Students should sit and jot down everything that comes into their heads. Afterward, one can study the approached ideas and select the most intriguing one. This step should be done after research because a student already has much information to discuss. So, finding something that still needs their attention will be simple.
If you’re still struggling to come up with a topic, don’t hesitate to seek assistance. You can ask for input from friends, family, or peers or even seek guidance from a writing tutor or professor. Additionally, professional writing services are available online that can help you with your narrative essay or any other type of academic writing. Just choose a reputable service and avoid plagiarism by providing your original content. Remember, the key is to select a topic that genuinely interests you and allows you to showcase your unique perspective and writing style. So, take your time, brainstorm, research, and choose a topic you are passionate about and confident in. With the right topic and proper preparation, you’ll be well on your way to writing a compelling narrative essay that will leave a lasting impression on your readers. If you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out for help and say write my essay for me to get the support you need.
Tip 3. Read more
Can you build a house without materials? Of course, you cannot. The same can say about essay writing. How to start a narrative essay without a decent vocabulary in your memory pocket? People who read a lot learn new words daily. It is essential to explore various sources to get acquainted with words of different complexity levels. Fairy tales are full of excellent comparisons and metaphors. Scientific periodicals provide us with high-level English. Newspapers inform us about the latest events and true-life stories. So, an educated student has more chances to find a worthy topic and introduce it on the required level in the narration.
Tip 4. Ask your tutor or senior students
Some tutors want to check papers about specific topics. So, it is wise to discuss the topic choice with a teacher. Educators can either concretize it or give selection criteria. Another variant is to ask advanced students about things that deserve attention in your college. They have performed many written tasks, so they know what college tutors like and dislike.
Tip 5. Turn to professionals
Custom writing agencies hire experts only. They are educated and specialize in various college disciplines. Consequently, they know what topics need research and how to describe them in a paper on a top level. They guide students throughout their writing and can edit and proofread a paper to make sure that your paper is top-notch.
What is Required of Me?
Asking to compose such a specific kind of academic paper, professors don’t demand their students to follow strict rules as for other writing assignments and only give them a basic structure. The idea is simple: you take a story from real life and dwell upon the most vibrant points as far as events unfold. The narrative’s parts should be coherent and convey a particular mood.
Where to Search for Evidence?
You may take them from your memories since you started writing them. Forget about the exhausting web research and let your memories pour out on paper. Another option to consider for your essay writing is to hire a professional essay writer. Custom writing agencies often have experts who are knowledgeable in various college disciplines and can provide guidance throughout the writing process. These essay writers can help you with topic selection, research, and crafting a well-written paper that meets your assignment’s requirements. They can also provide editing and proofreading services to ensure that your paper is of top-notch quality. Hiring an essay writer can be a valuable resource, especially if you are struggling with finding evidence or organizing your thoughts. So, don’t overlook the option of seeking professional help to improve your narrative essay.
#2. Writing Process
This stage is the most time-consuming. It can be less if you take into account the following:
Where to search for evidence? Students deal with two types of sources – fiction and nonfiction.
- Fiction deals with something imagined and unreal . Even though some books take root in real-life stories, their authors create another world, add new characters, change appearance, and provide other alterations. Its main goal is to entertain the reader. To get the idea, a person should read it from the first to the last sentence.
- Nonfiction is about actual events and personalities . It includes newspapers, textbooks, encyclopedias, documentary literature and movies, and more. Its main goal is to teach the reader. Such books and articles contain photos or detailed illustrations that echo reality. One can read extracts to get the required information.
If a person needs verified data, students should prefer nonfiction. Their authors research, experiment, and add visual evidence to prove the integrity of the introduced information. The best variants are magazines, journals, newspapers, and scientific publications. Except for traditional sources, students often search for reliable facts online. Reputable websites are updated, have Copyright signs, and are authors of publications. If posts have no authors, there should be a company logo or something similar.
Fiction is good for narratives because novels have lots of bright stories. Students can use them to support the main idea with an excellent illustration. It can be a novel, a poem, a short story, or a comic.
It is essential to mention all the sources used in the footnotes or the bibliography section. Furthermore, it helps students avoid problems with plagiarism. Moreover, all references must be formatted following the narrative essay format. MLA, ASA, APA, Chicago, Harvard, and IEEE are the most popular citation styles. Students introduce the applied works by giving information about their authors, titles, publication years, companies, and places in a specific order. The examples below show the main difference:
- Staff, Science. “Scientists May Have Solved Stephen Hawking’s Black Hole Paradox.” Phys.Org, 18 Mar. 2022, phys.org/news/2022-03-scientists-stephen-hawking-black-hole.html. (MLA style)
- Staff, S. X. (2022, March 18). Scientists may have solved Stephen Hawking’s black hole paradox. Phys.Org. https://phys.org/news/2022-03-scientists-stephen-hawking-black-hole.html (APA style)
- Phys.org. 2022. [online] Available at: <https://phys.org/pdf566828469.pdf> [Accessed 30 June 2022]. (IEEE format)
As you can see, all three formats differ. That is why students should find information about the required format in the assignment and stick to it.
Making a Structure and Outlining
Divide your plot into three parts: a setup, the central part, a climax, and a thrilling conclusion. In the introduction, you should hook a reader and make them read the rest of your essay. Allocate the significant points of the essay and describe each of them briefly in the body and end up your story with an unpredictable twist and a delightful punch line. In its turn, outlining helps you find the best details of the disclosed issues in the narrative essay.
Regarding academic writing, some assignments can be highly urgent and require immediate attention. Urgent essay writing service providers can be an excellent option for students who have tight deadlines and need professional help to complete their essays quickly. These services are designed to help students meet their deadlines and submit high-quality essays on time. They have a team of experienced writers skilled in different academic fields and can work under pressure to deliver quality work within the given timeframe. While planning your writing process is essential, an urgent essay writing service can be a lifesaver when time is running out.
How to write a narrative essay?
It is essential to keep to an academic structure that includes an introduction, a body, and a conclusion for most writings. What are the general requirements for each part?
- An introduction must be hooky. It should intrigue the reader. Professionals usually use so-called ‘hooks’ such as provocative questions, impressive facts, jokes, life stories, retrospection or prosecutions, etc. Besides, it has a thesis statement. It informs about the core message of the essay within fewer than 40 words or two sentences. An introductory part should take not more than 10% of the essay volume.
- A student develops the idea of the thesis statement in the body . If students speak about some event in the first part, they will explain how it has changed them or their life. For example, “That day made me stronger” will be followed by a story full of influential details such as characters, deeds, weather anomalies, miracles, and more. This part is the longest and takes over 80% of a paper’s length.
- Finally, the writers conclude in the last paragraph . They highlight the value of the received experience or evaluate the situation that has happened to them or someone else. To leave a pleasant aftertaste in a reader, they often use quotes, questions, and other techniques to put their target audience in the desired mood. For example, “Have you ever experienced the same?” or “Would you like to live in a world without adults who control you all the time?” Like an introduction, it takes approximately 10% of the essay’s length.
Many educational and custom-writing websites have narrative essay examples. They mirror both demands for the content and formatting. If you study them, you will see that most authors try to show a story but not tell it. Such a writing approach is very successful. It lets readers imagine everything in detail. Partial description evokes feelings.
Other significant tips are logical flow and word selection. Students must connect all essay parts logically. One can use either transition words or stick to the idea without informational gaps. Depending on the academic year (school, college, university), students should choose words that reflect their educational experience. One should use synonyms and stylistic devices and avoid overused phrases and repetitions. Rotating complex and straightforward short sentences is smart to guarantee good readability.
Providing Information in First-Person
The narrative is very personal, so you should underline the significance of the ongoing events for your identity. That is why it is common to use “I” statements without switching a perspective in favor of another person.
Describing the Characters and Places
Even though it’s not a descriptive essay, try to adorn your story with vivid details of crucial objects mentioned in the plot. Mainly, that goes for people who affected the outcome of the whole case; their personalities should be disclosed as comprehensively as possible.
Mention places are where the action is held because it reflects the picture’s ambiance. Background information that may change the reader’s attitude to characters or even the meaning of your idea must also be provided.
Adding a Little Spice
What a narrative without a zest! Dilute your smooth passages with a detail that will turn everything around. It may be an antagonist character eagerly interfering with your purposes, an unpredictable twist and embarrassing ending, or funny jokes and coincidences that make your audience laugh.
This is where a professional paper writer can be a valuable resource. A paper writer is an experienced and skilled individual crafting academic papers for students. They have the expertise to conduct thorough research, develop compelling arguments, and present ideas clearly and concisely. Hiring a paper writer can save students time and effort and help them improve their grades by submitting high-quality papers. Additionally, a paper writer can provide valuable feedback and suggestions for improvement, helping students develop their writing skills and become more confident in their academic work. Whether it’s an essay, research paper, term paper, or any other type of academic writing, a paper writer can provide the necessary assistance to ensure a successful outcome. So, if you’re struggling with your academic writing, consider hiring a professional paper writer to help you achieve your academic goals.
After crafting the first draft, revise it thoroughly. You will find one, two, or a few rough spots while looking through your essay. Make sure you don’t miss any critical points.
Tips for successful editing:
- Don’t start to search for mistakes right after finishing the essay. Have a rest and only then take a fresh look at it;
- Transform big and complicated sentences into simple ones to make them compelling;
- Avoid using terms with many meanings;
- Find all repeats of ideas or arguments and delete them;
- Verify all citations and formatting in general with a guide;
- Paraphrase where it is hard to grasp the sense;
- Reconsider the structure of the essay.
Dissertation help online can be a valuable resource for students struggling with editing their essays. After crafting the first draft, it’s important to revise it thoroughly to ensure it is free from any mistakes or rough spots. However, it can be challenging to identify and correct errors independently, especially when you’ve been working on the essay for a long time. This is where dissertation help online can come in handy. By seeking assistance from qualified professionals, you can get a fresh perspective on your essay and receive valuable feedback on areas that need improvement.
Many students deem this guide’s subtitles 3 and 4 the same. But it is not so: when editing is all about content, style, and paragraph structure, proofreading is performed to detect misspellings and grammar errors. Also, it is the final phase of writing.
What Should I Do During This Process?
- Check grammar yourself or use some applications such as Grammarly.com or other services from Infographics below, but do not rely on them heavily;
- Remove double spacing;
- Replace misspellings with correct words.
Simple tools for proofreading and editing can come in handy.
- Google Docs You can write your paper there and correct typos on the spot. The system marks the wrong lexis or misspelled words. Nevertheless, it deals with the set rules of either British or American English. So, one should look at what the system explains or set the document with either British or American requirements.
- Grammarly This tool is excellent, especially its pro version. This software points to grammar errors, readability problems, clarity inconsistencies, and plagiarism warnings. The only disadvantage of this tool is that it lacks human factors. Therefore, it is essential to study each remark attentively and click only correct suggestions.
- blue is for overused adverbs;
- green is for passive constructions;
- purple is for phrases that have simpler analogs;
- orange is for hard-to-read sentences;
- pink is for very hard-to-read sentences.
- Copyscape Plagiarism is a way to nowhere. This simple, though not free, the tool helps people identify stolen information in their papers.
- Quillbot This tool is a magic wand for those with poor vocabulary or who must paraphrase sentences to avoid plagiarism.
It is necessary to read papers after applying the tools. One can use five good techniques to do that:
- search for specific mistakes per one proofreading (for example, missed or wrongly used punctuation marks or typos);
- rest before checking to gain maximum concentration;
- read the text backward;
- verify the used facts;
- hire an editor if you want everything to look perfect.
It will be more effective if you entrust someone else to reread your piece: your friends, parents, or college mates. They may notice mistakes you missed and share their general opinion on the essay.
As you can see, the narrative essay is not complicated at all. It is one of the most pleasant forms of writing assignments due to the significant involvement of your personality in the paper’s body. Even the rules and requirements can’t get you down – they are practically absent or are as simple as a pie if the professor mentions a structure. Please turn on your imagination and start crafting a brilliant piece adhering to our recommendations.
Assignment writing help can also be a valuable resource during the proofreading process. If you feel unsure about your grammar or spelling skills, you can seek assistance from professional assignment writing services. They can provide expert proofreaders who thoroughly review your paper for errors or mistakes. Additionally, assignment writing help services may also have access to excellent grammar-checking tools that can further enhance the accuracy of your paper. By utilizing assignment writing help, you can ensure that your paper is polished and error-free, leaving a positive impression on your professor or reader. Don’t underestimate the importance of proofreading in the writing process, and consider utilizing assignment writing help services to ensure the quality of your work.
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Author: Patricia Jenkins
Patricia Jenkins is the senior writing advisor at FastEssay blog for international students that seek quick paper assistance. In her blog, Patricia shares useful tips on productivity, writing, research, references. Sometimes Patricia goes off topic by sharing her personal experience peppered with lively humor and healthy irony. View all posts by Patricia Jenkins
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Detailed Guide on How to Write a Narrative Essay with Tips
Defining What Is a Narrative Essay
We can explain a narrative essay definition as a piece of writing that tells a story. It's like a window into someone's life or a page torn from a diary. Similarly to a descriptive essay, a narrative essay tells a story, rather than make a claim and use evidence. It can be about anything – a personal experience, a childhood memory, a moment of triumph or defeat – as long as it's told in a way that captures the reader's imagination.
You might ask - 'which sentence most likely comes from a narrative essay?'. Let's take this for example: 'I could hear the waves crashing against the shore, their rhythm a soothing lullaby that carried me off to sleep.' You could even use such an opening for your essay when wondering how to start a narrative essay.
To further define a narrative essay, consider it storytelling with a purpose. The purpose of a narrative essay is not just to entertain but also to convey a message or lesson in first person. It's a way to share your experiences and insights with others and connect with your audience. Whether you're writing about your first love, a harrowing adventure, or a life-changing moment, your goal is to take the reader on a journey that will leave them feeling moved, inspired, or enlightened.
So if you're looking for a way to express yourself creatively and connect with others through your writing, try your hand at a narrative essay. Who knows – you might just discover a hidden talent for storytelling that you never knew you had!
Meanwhile, let's delve into the article to better understand this type of paper through our narrative essay examples, topic ideas, and tips on constructing a perfect essay.
Types of Narrative Essays
If you were wondering, 'what is a personal narrative essay?', know that narrative essays come in different forms, each with a unique structure and purpose. Regardless of the type of narrative essay, each aims to transport the reader to a different time and place and to create an emotional connection between the reader and the author's experiences. So, let's discuss each type in more detail:
- A personal narrative essay is based on one's unique experience or event. Personal narrative essay examples include a story about overcoming a fear or obstacle or reflecting on a particularly meaningful moment in one's life.
- A fictional narrative is a made-up story that still follows the basic elements of storytelling. Fictional narratives can take many forms, from science fiction to romance to historical fiction.
- A memoir is similar to personal narratives but focuses on a specific period or theme in a person's life. Memoirs might be centered around a particular relationship, a struggle with addiction, or a cultural identity. If you wish to describe your life in greater depth, you might look at how to write an autobiography .
- A literacy narrative essay explores the writer's experiences with literacy and how it has influenced their life. The essay typically tells a personal story about a significant moment or series of moments that impacted the writer's relationship with reading, writing, or communication.
You might also be interested in discovering 'HOW TO WRITE AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY'
Pros and Cons of Narrative Writing
Writing a narrative essay can be a powerful tool for self-expression and creative storytelling, but like any form of writing, it comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let's explore the pros and cons of narrative writing in more detail, helping you to decide whether it's the right writing style for your needs.
- It can be a powerful way to convey personal experiences and emotions.
- Allows for creative expression and unique voice
- Engages the reader through storytelling and vivid details
- It can be used to teach a lesson or convey a message.
- Offers an opportunity for self-reflection and growth
- It can be challenging to balance personal storytelling with the needs of the reader
- It may not be as effective for conveying factual information or arguments
- It may require vulnerability and sharing personal details that some writers may find uncomfortable
- It can be subjective, as the reader's interpretation of the narrative may vary
If sharing your personal stories is not your cup of tea, you can buy essays online from our expert writers, who will customize the paper to your particular writing style and tone.
20 Excellent Narrative Essay Topics and How to Choose One
Choosing a good topic among many narrative essay ideas can be challenging, but some tips can help you make the right choice. Here are some original and helpful tips on how to choose a good narrative essay topic:
- Consider your own experiences: One of the best sources of inspiration for a narrative essay is your own life experiences. Consider moments that have had a significant impact on you, whether they are positive or negative. For example, you could write about a memorable trip or a challenging experience you overcame.
- Choose a topic relevant to your audience: Consider your audience and their interests when choosing a narrative essay topic. If you're writing for a class, consider what topics might be relevant to the course material. If you're writing for a broader audience, consider what topics might be interesting or informative to them.
- Find inspiration in literature: Literature can be a great source of inspiration for a narrative essay. Consider the books or stories that have had an impact on you, and think about how you can incorporate elements of them into your own narrative. For example, you could start by using a title for narrative essay inspired by the themes of a favorite novel or short story.
- Focus on a specific moment or event: Most narrative essays tell a story, so it's important to focus on a specific moment or event. For example, you could write a short narrative essay about a conversation you had with a friend or a moment of realization while traveling.
- Experiment with different perspectives: Consider writing from different perspectives to add depth and complexity to your narrative. For example, you could write about the same event from multiple perspectives or explore the thoughts and feelings of a secondary character.
- Use writing prompts: Writing prompts can be a great source of inspiration if you struggle to develop a topic. Consider using a prompt related to a specific theme, such as love, loss, or growth.
- Choose a topic with rich sensory details: A good narrative essay should engage the senses and create a vivid picture in the reader's mind. Choose a topic with rich sensory details that you can use to create a vivid description. For example, you could write about a bustling city's sights, sounds, and smells.
- Choose a topic meaningful to you: Ultimately, the best narrative essays are meaningful to the writer. Choose a topic that resonates with you and that you feel passionate about. For example, you could write about a personal goal you achieved or a struggle you overcame.
Here are some good narrative essay topics for inspiration from our experts:
- A life-changing event that altered your perspective on the world
- The story of a personal accomplishment or achievement
- An experience that tested your resilience and strength
- A time when you faced a difficult decision and how you handled it
- A childhood memory that still holds meaning for you
- The impact of a significant person in your life
- A travel experience that taught you something new
- A story about a mistake or failure that ultimately led to growth and learning
- The first day of a new job or school
- The story of a family tradition or ritual that is meaningful to you
- A time when you had to confront a fear or phobia
- A memorable concert or music festival experience
- An experience that taught you the importance of communication or listening
- A story about a time when you had to stand up for what you believed in
- A time when you had to persevere through a challenging task or project
- A story about a significant cultural or societal event that impacted your life
- The impact of a book, movie, or other work of art on your life
- A time when you had to let go of something or someone important to you
- A memorable encounter with a stranger that left an impression on you
- The story of a personal hobby or interest that has enriched your life
Narrative Format and Structure
The narrative essay format and structure are essential elements of any good story. A well-structured narrative can engage readers, evoke emotions, and create lasting memories. Whether you're writing a personal essay or a work of fiction, the following guidelines on how to write a narrative essay can help you create a compelling paper:
- Introduction : The introduction sets the scene for your story and introduces your main characters and setting. It should also provide a hook to capture your reader's attention and make them want to keep reading. When unsure how to begin a narrative essay, describe the setting vividly or an intriguing question that draws the reader in.
- Plot : The plot is the sequence of events that make up your story. It should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, with each part building on the previous one. The plot should also have a clear conflict or problem the protagonist must overcome.
- Characters : Characters are the people who drive the story. They should be well-developed and have distinct personalities and motivations. The protagonist should have a clear goal or desire, and the antagonist should provide a challenge or obstacle to overcome.
- Setting : The setting is the time and place the story takes place. It should be well-described and help to create a mood or atmosphere that supports the story's themes.
- Dialogue : Dialogue is the conversation between characters. It should be realistic and help to reveal the characters' personalities and motivations. It can also help to move the plot forward.
- Climax : The climax is the highest tension or conflict point in the story. It should be the turning point that leads to resolving the conflict.
- Resolution : The resolution is the end of the story. It should provide a satisfying conclusion to the conflict and tie up any loose ends.
Following these guidelines, you can create a narrative essay structure that engages readers and leaves a lasting impression. Remember, a well-structured story can take readers on a journey and make them feel part of the action.
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Narrative Essay Outline
Here is a detailed narrative essay outline from our custom term paper writing :
A. Hook: Start with an attention-grabbing statement, question, or anecdote that introduces the topic and draws the reader in. Example: 'The sun beat down on my skin as I stepped onto the stage, my heart pounding with nervous excitement.'
B. Background information: Provide context for the story, such as the setting or the characters involved. Example: 'I had been preparing for this moment for weeks, rehearsing my lines and perfecting my performance for the school play.'
C. Thesis statement: State the essay's main point and preview the events to come. Example: 'This experience taught me that taking risks and stepping outside my comfort zone can lead to unexpected rewards and personal growth.'
A. First event: Describe the first event in the story, including details about the setting, characters, and actions. Example: 'As I delivered my first lines on stage, I felt a rush of adrenaline and a sense of pride in my hard work paying off.'
B. Second event: Describe the second event in the story, including how it builds on the first event and moves the story forward. Example: 'As the play progressed, I became more comfortable in my role and connecting with the other actors on stage.'
C. Turning point: Describe the turning point in the story, when something unexpected or significant changes the course of events. Example: 'In the final act, my character faced a difficult decision that required me to improvise and trust my instincts.'
D. Climax: Describe the story's climax, the highest tension or conflict point. Example: 'As the play reached its climax, I delivered my final lines with confidence and emotion, feeling a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.'
A. Restate thesis: Summarize the essay's main point and how the events in the story support it. Example: 'Through this experience, I learned that taking risks and pushing past my comfort zone can lead to personal growth and unexpected rewards.'
B. Reflection: Reflect on the significance of the experience and what you learned from it. Example: 'Looking back, I realize that this experience not only taught me about acting and performance but also about the power of perseverance and self-belief.'
C. Call to action: if you're still wondering how to write an essay conclusion , consider ending it with a call to action or final thought that leaves the reader with something to consider or act on. Example: 'I encourage everyone to take risks and embrace new challenges because you never know what kind of amazing experiences and growth they may lead to.
You might also be interested in getting detailed info on 'HOW TO WRITE AN ESSAY CONCLUSION'
Narrative Essay Examples
Are you looking for inspiration for your next narrative essay? Look no further than our narrative essay example. Through vivid storytelling and personal reflections, this essay takes the reader on a journey of discovery and leaves them with a powerful lesson about the importance of compassion and empathy. Use this sample from our expert essay writer as a guide for crafting your own narrative essay, and let your unique voice and experiences shine through.
Narrative Essay Example for College
College professors search for the following qualities in their students:
- the ability to adapt to different situations,
- the ability to solve problems creatively,
- and the ability to learn from mistakes.
Your work must demonstrate these qualities, regardless of whether your narrative paper is a college application essay or a class assignment. Additionally, you want to demonstrate your character and creativity. Describe a situation where you have encountered a problem, tell the story of how you came up with a unique approach to solving it, and connect it to your field of interest. The narrative can be exciting and informative if you present it in such fashion.
Narrative Essay Example for High School
High school is all about showing that you can make mature choices. You accept the consequences of your actions and retrieve valuable life lessons. Think of an event in which you believe your actions were exemplary and made an adult choice. A personal narrative essay example will showcase the best of your abilities. Finally, use other sources to help you get the best results possible. Try searching for a sample narrative essay to see how others have approached it.
So now that you know what is a narrative essay you might want to produce high-quality paper. For that let our team of experienced writers help. Our research paper writing service offers a range of professional writing services that cater to your unique needs and requirements, from narrative essays to research papers, also offering dissertation help and more.
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- How to write a narrative essay | Example & tips
How to Write a Narrative Essay | Example & Tips
Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
A narrative essay tells a story. In most cases, this is a story about a personal experience you had. This type of essay , along with the descriptive essay , allows you to get personal and creative, unlike most academic writing .
Table of contents
What is a narrative essay for, choosing a topic, interactive example of a narrative essay, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about narrative essays.
When assigned a narrative essay, you might find yourself wondering: Why does my teacher want to hear this story? Topics for narrative essays can range from the important to the trivial. Usually the point is not so much the story itself, but the way you tell it.
A narrative essay is a way of testing your ability to tell a story in a clear and interesting way. You’re expected to think about where your story begins and ends, and how to convey it with eye-catching language and a satisfying pace.
These skills are quite different from those needed for formal academic writing. For instance, in a narrative essay the use of the first person (“I”) is encouraged, as is the use of figurative language, dialogue, and suspense.
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Narrative essay assignments vary widely in the amount of direction you’re given about your topic. You may be assigned quite a specific topic or choice of topics to work with.
- Write a story about your first day of school.
- Write a story about your favorite holiday destination.
You may also be given prompts that leave you a much wider choice of topic.
- Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself.
- Write about an achievement you are proud of. What did you accomplish, and how?
In these cases, you might have to think harder to decide what story you want to tell. The best kind of story for a narrative essay is one you can use to talk about a particular theme or lesson, or that takes a surprising turn somewhere along the way.
For example, a trip where everything went according to plan makes for a less interesting story than one where something unexpected happened that you then had to respond to. Choose an experience that might surprise the reader or teach them something.
Narrative essays in college applications
When applying for college , you might be asked to write a narrative essay that expresses something about your personal qualities.
For example, this application prompt from Common App requires you to respond with a narrative essay.
In this context, choose a story that is not only interesting but also expresses the qualities the prompt is looking for—here, resilience and the ability to learn from failure—and frame the story in a way that emphasizes these qualities.
An example of a short narrative essay, responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” is shown below.
Hover over different parts of the text to see how the structure works.
Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.
Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.
A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.
The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.
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If you’re not given much guidance on what your narrative essay should be about, consider the context and scope of the assignment. What kind of story is relevant, interesting, and possible to tell within the word count?
The best kind of story for a narrative essay is one you can use to reflect on a particular theme or lesson, or that takes a surprising turn somewhere along the way.
Don’t worry too much if your topic seems unoriginal. The point of a narrative essay is how you tell the story and the point you make with it, not the subject of the story itself.
Narrative essays are usually assigned as writing exercises at high school or in university composition classes. They may also form part of a university application.
When you are prompted to tell a story about your own life or experiences, a narrative essay is usually the right response.
The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.
Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.
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How to write a narrative essay [Updated 2023]
A narrative essay is an opportunity to flex your creative muscles and craft a compelling story. In this blog post, we define what a narrative essay is and provide strategies and examples for writing one.
What is a narrative essay?
Similarly to a descriptive essay or a reflective essay, a narrative essay asks you to tell a story, rather than make an argument and present evidence. Most narrative essays describe a real, personal experience from your own life (for example, the story of your first big success).
Alternately, your narrative essay might focus on an imagined experience (for example, how your life would be if you had been born into different circumstances). While you don’t need to present a thesis statement or scholarly evidence, a narrative essay still needs to be well-structured and clearly organized so that the reader can follow your story.
When you might be asked to write a narrative essay
Although less popular than argumentative essays or expository essays, narrative essays are relatively common in high school and college writing classes.
The same techniques that you would use to write a college essay as part of a college or scholarship application are applicable to narrative essays, as well. In fact, the Common App that many students use to apply to multiple colleges asks you to submit a narrative essay.
How to choose a topic for a narrative essay
When you are asked to write a narrative essay, a topic may be assigned to you or you may be able to choose your own. With an assigned topic, the prompt will likely fall into one of two categories: specific or open-ended.
Examples of specific prompts:
- Write about the last vacation you took.
- Write about your final year of middle school.
Examples of open-ended prompts:
- Write about a time when you felt all hope was lost.
- Write about a brief, seemingly insignificant event that ended up having a big impact on your life.
A narrative essay tells a story and all good stories are centered on a conflict of some sort. Experiences with unexpected obstacles, twists, or turns make for much more compelling essays and reveal more about your character and views on life.
If you’re writing a narrative essay as part of an admissions application, remember that the people reviewing your essay will be looking at it to gain a sense of not just your writing ability, but who you are as a person.
In these cases, it’s wise to choose a topic and experience from your life that demonstrates the qualities that the prompt is looking for, such as resilience, perseverance, the ability to stay calm under pressure, etc.
It’s also important to remember that your choice of topic is just a starting point. Many students find that they arrive at new ideas and insights as they write their first draft, so the final form of your essay may have a different focus than the one you started with.
How to outline and format a narrative essay
Even though you’re not advancing an argument or proving a point of view, a narrative essay still needs to have a coherent structure. Your reader has to be able to follow you as you tell the story and to figure out the larger point that you’re making.
You’ll be evaluated on is your handling of the topic and how you structure your essay. Even though a narrative essay doesn’t use the same structure as other essay types, you should still sketch out a loose outline so you can tell your story in a clear and compelling way.
To outline a narrative essay, you’ll want to determine:
- how your story will start
- what points or specifics that you want to cover
- how your story will end
- what pace and tone you will use
In the vast majority of cases, a narrative essay should be written in the first-person, using “I.” Also, most narrative essays will follow typical formatting guidelines, so you should choose a readable font like Times New Roman in size 11 or 12. Double-space your paragraphs and use 1” margins.
To get your creative wheels turning, consider how your story compares to archetypes and famous historical and literary figures both past and present. Weave these comparisons into your essay to improve the quality of your writing and connect your personal experience to a larger context.
How to write a narrative essay
Writing a narrative essay can sometimes be a challenge for students who typically write argumentative essays or research papers in a formal, objective style. To give you a better sense of how you can write a narrative essay, here is a short example of an essay in response to the prompt, “Write about an experience that challenged your view of yourself.”
Narrative essay example
Even as a child, I always had what people might call a reserved personality. It was sometimes framed as a positive (“Sarah is a good listener”) and at other times it was put in less-than-admiring terms (“Sarah is withdrawn and not very talkative”). It was the latter kind of comments that caused me to see my introverted nature as a drawback and as something I should work to eliminate. That is, until I joined my high school’s student council.
The first paragraph, or introduction, sets up the context, establishing the situation and introducing the meaningful event upon which the essay will focus.
The other four students making up the council were very outspoken and enthusiastic. I enjoyed being around them, and I often agreed with their ideas. However, when it came to overhauling our school’s recycling plan, we butted heads. When I spoke up and offered a different point of view, one of my fellow student council members launched into a speech, advocating for her point of view. As her voice filled the room, I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. I wondered if I should try to match her tone, volume, and assertiveness as a way to be heard. But I just couldn’t do it—it’s not my way, and it never has been. For a fleeting moment, I felt defeated. But then, something in me shifted.
In this paragraph, the writer goes into greater depth about how her existing thinking brought her to this point.
I reminded myself that my view was valid and deserved to be heard. So I waited. I let my fellow council member speak her piece and when she was finished, I deliberately waited a few moments before calmly stating my case. I chose my words well, and I spoke them succinctly. Just because I’m not a big talker doesn’t mean I’m not a big thinker. I thought of the quotation “still waters run deep” and I tried to embody that. The effect on the room was palpable. People listened. And I hadn’t had to shout my point to be heard.
This paragraph demonstrates the turn in the story, the moment when everything changed. The use of the quotation “still waters run deep” imbues the story with a dash of poetry and emotion.
We eventually reached a compromise on the matter and concluded the student council meeting. Our council supervisor came to me afterward and said: “You handled that so well, with such grace and poise. I was very impressed.” Her words in that moment changed me. I realized that a bombastic nature isn't necessarily a powerful one. There is power in quiet, too. This experience taught me to view my reserved personality not as a character flaw, but as a strength.
The final paragraph, or conclusion, closes with a statement about the significance of this event and how it ended up changing the writer in a meaningful way.
Narrative essay writing tips
1. pick a meaningful story that has a conflict and a clear “moral.”.
If you’re able to choose your own topic, pick a story that has meaning and that reveals how you became the person your are today. In other words, write a narrative with a clear “moral” that you can connect with your main points.
2. Use an outline to arrange the structure of your story and organize your main points.
Although a narrative essay is different from argumentative essays, it’s still beneficial to construct an outline so that your story is well-structured and organized. Note how you want to start and end your story, and what points you want to make to tie everything together.
3. Be clear, concise, concrete, and correct in your writing.
You should use descriptive writing in your narrative essay, but don’t overdo it. Use clear, concise, and correct language and grammar throughout. Additionally, make concrete points that reinforce the main idea of your narrative.
4. Ask a friend or family member to proofread your essay.
No matter what kind of writing you’re doing, you should always plan to proofread and revise. To ensure that your narrative essay is coherent and interesting, ask a friend or family member to read over your paper. This is especially important if your essay is responding to a prompt. It helps to have another person check to make sure that you’ve fully responded to the prompt or question.
Frequently Asked Questions about narrative essays
A narrative essay, like any essay, has three main parts: an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Structuring and outlining your essay before you start writing will help you write a clear story that your readers can follow.
The first paragraph of your essay, or introduction, sets up the context, establishing the situation and introducing the meaningful event upon which the essay will focus.
In the vast majority of cases, a narrative essay should be written in the first-person, using “I.”
The 4 main types of essays are the argumentative essay, narrative essay, exploratory essay, and expository essay. You may be asked to write different types of essays at different points in your education.
Most narrative essays will be around five paragraphs, or more, depending on the topic and requirements. Make sure to check in with your instructor about the guidelines for your essay. If you’re writing a narrative essay for a college application, pay close attention to word or page count requirements.
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How to Write a Narrative Essay — A Step-by-Step Guide
N arrative essays are important papers most students have to write. But how does one write a narrative essay? Fear not, we’re going to show you how to write a narrative essay by breaking down a variety of narrative writing strategies. By the end, you’ll know why narrative essays are so important – and how to write your own.
How to Write a Narrative Essay Step by Step
Background on narrative essays.
Narrative essays are important assignments in many writing classes – but what is a narrative essay? A narrative essay is a prose-written story that’s focused on the commentary of a central theme .
Narrative essays are generally written in the first-person POV , and are usually about a topic that’s personal to the writer.
Everything in a narrative essay should take place in an established timeline, with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
In simplest terms, a narrative essay is a personal story. A narrative essay can be written in response to a prompt or as an independent exercise.
We’re going to get to tips and tricks on how to write a narrative essay in a bit, but first let’s check out a video on “story.”
How to Start a Narrative Essay • What is a Story? by Mr. Kresphus
In some regards, any story can be regarded as a personal story, but for the sake of this article, we’re going to focus on prose-written stories told in the first-person POV.
How to Start a Narrative Essay
Responding to prompts.
Many people wonder about how to start a narrative essay. Well, if you’re writing a narrative essay in response to a prompt, then chances are the person issuing the prompt is looking for a specific answer.
For example: if the prompt states “recount a time you encountered a challenge,” then chances are the person issuing the prompt wants to hear about how you overcame a challenge or learned from it.
That isn’t to say you have to respond to the prompt in one way; “overcoming” or “learning” from a challenge can be constituted in a variety of ways.
For example, you could structure your essay around overcoming a physical challenge, like an injury or disability. Or you could structure your essay around learning from failure, such as losing at a sport or performing poorly on an important exam.
Whatever it is, you must show that the challenge forced you to grow.
Maturation is an important process – and an essential aspect of narrative essays... of course, there are exceptions to the rule; lack of maturation is a prescient theme in narrative essays too; although that’s mostly reserved for experienced essay writers.
So, let’s take a look at how you might respond to a series of narrative essay prompts:
How successful are you?
This prompt begs the writer to impart humility without throwing a pity party. I would respond to this prompt by demonstrating pride in what I do while offering modesty. For example: “I have achieved success in what I set out to do – but I still have a long way to go to achieve my long-term goals.”
Who is your role model?
“My role model is [Blank] because ” is how you should start this narrative essay. The “because” is the crux of your essay. For example, I’d say “Bill Russell is my role model because he demonstrated graceful resolve in the face of bigotry and discrimination.
Do you consider yourself spiritual?
For this prompt, you should explain how you came to the conclusion of whether or not you consider yourself a spiritual person. Of course, prompt-givers will differ on how much they want you to freely express. For example: if the prompt-giver is an employee at an evangelizing organization, then they probably want to see that you’re willing to propagate the church’s agenda. Alternatively, if the prompt-giver is non-denominational, they probably want to see that you’re accepting of people from various spiritual backgrounds.
How to Write Narrative Essay
What makes a good narrative essay.
You don’t have to respond to a prompt to write a narrative essay. So, how do you write a narrative essay without a prompt? Well, that’s the thing… you can write a narrative essay about anything!
That’s a bit of a blessing and a curse though – on one hand it’s liberating to choose any topic you want; on the other, it’s difficult to narrow down a good story from an infinite breadth of possibilities.
In this next video, the team at Essay Pro explores why passion is the number one motivator for effective narrative essays.
How to Write a Narrative Essay Step by Step • Real Essay Examples by Essay Pro
So, before you write anything, ask yourself: “what am I passionate about?” Movies? Sports? Books? Games? Baking? Volunteering? Whatever it is, make sure that it’s something that demonstrates your individual growth . It doesn’t have to be anything major; take a video game for example: you could write a narrative essay about searching for a rare weapon with friends.
Success or failure, you’ll be able to demonstrate growth.
Here’s something to consider: writing a narrative essay around intertextuality. What is intertextuality ? Intertextuality is the relationship between texts, i.e., books, movies, plays, songs, games, etc. In other words, it’s anytime one text is referenced in another text.
For example, you could write a narrative essay about your favorite movie! Just make sure that it ultimately reflects back on yourself.
Narrative Writing Format
Structure of a narrative essay.
Narrative essays differ in length and structure – but there are some universal basics. The first paragraph of a narrative essay should always introduce the central theme. For example, if the narrative essay is about “a fond childhood memory,” then the first paragraph should briefly comment on the nature of the fond childhood memory.
In general, a narrative essay should have an introductory paragraph with a topic sentence (reiterating the prompt or basic idea), a brief commentary on the central theme, and a set-up for the body paragraphs.
The body paragraphs should make up the vast majority of the narrative essay. In the body paragraphs, the writer should essentially “build the story’s case.” What do I mean by “build the story’s case?”
Well, I mean that the writer should display the story’s merit; what it means, why it matters, and how it proves (or refutes) personal growth.
The narrative essay should always conclude with a dedicated paragraph. In the “conclusion paragraph,” the writer should reflect on the story.
Pro tip: conclusion paragraphs usually work best when the writer stays within the diegesis.
What is a Video Essay?
A video essay is a natural extension of a narrative essay; differentiated only by purpose and medium. In our next article, we’ll explain what a video essay is, and why it’s so important to media criticism. By the end, you’ll know where to look for video essay inspiration.
Up Next: The Art of Video Analysis →
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