Learn how to write a narrative essay step by step from beginners level to professional. These tips will help you to write your stories well. With over 100 narrative Topics and An exmaple, you are ready to go.
Definition Of a Narrative Essay
\Writing a narrative essay is probably one of the most exciting assignments any student can be given. This is because of the fact that just like the name suggests, a narrative is a story.
A narrative essay is a piece of writing where the author tells a story of his life, an experience he had or a certain situation he dealt with at some point in his life to express his perception on a certain subject.
He explains to detail the occurrences of the events that took place in the typical story elements, following the universal rules of literature.
Preparation for Writing a Narrative Essay
A narrative essay, just like any other form of essay requires proper planning.
- Rechecking your assignment requirements before writing
It is crucial to recheck your assignment to remind yourself of what is expected of your essay. This helps you to keep focus on the essays requirements.
- Your narrative essay topic
Choosing a topic is not at all an easy task. Your topic should be based upon ;
- A personal experience
- A story you are well familiar with
- Your point of view
- Your role and point of view in the story
This whole story revolves around you. You are the main character here. You are sharing your personal experience to prove a point. Therefore, you should know where you stand and express your point of view clearly to your readers from the beginning
- Organizing your ideas
Organize your ideas in a manner that is going to help you write your essay easily. It is always advised to arrange the occurrences of events in a chronological way. From the least important to the main points.
This way you are not likely to run out of ideas and content for your story.
It is also going to help your readers understand your story better without getting confused.
- Your story
Have full details about what you are going to talk about. Be specific. Use descriptive adjectives to enable your readers to visualize your characters and your setting.
Explain to core even the tiny details.
How To write A Narrative Essay
Note that it is recommended for your essay to have at least 5 paragraphs. That should make an introductory paragraph, at least 3 paragraphs for the body and the last paragraph for your conclusion.
Having many paragraphs makes your essay wordy and you might end being irrelevant in your narrative and confusing your readers.
How To Structure A Narrative Essay
A narrative essay structure consists of the following ;
The introduction part of the essay should ;
- Be captivating
- Have the thesis statement
- Describe the topic clearly
- The body
The body should ;
- Deeply explain the setting
- Provide full background information
- Mention and describe the people featured in the story
- Provide the Onset of the occurrences of the event
- Describe the most significant part of the story
- Provide the ending of the story
- The conclusion ;
The conclusion should state
- The lessons of the narrative
- How it is of concern to the readers
- What should your readers do after reading your story
How To Write Narrative Essay Introduction of The Story
This is how you start off your narrative. Make sure to grab your audience’s attention. The first lines of your story usually determines how your story will flow. It will show whether it is going to be boring or your readers are gonna read to the end.
To achieve getting your readers attention in the beginning, throw the hook into the sea. You could start out by asking a rhetorical question, stating a fun fact, throwing in a well known proverb, start by numbers or give your readers a shocking truth.
Whatever it is you choose to start with, make sure it well aligns with the topic of the narrative and that will well connect your readers to the story.
Ensure as soon as you start, you are already involving the readers in your story. From your introduction, the readers should be able to get a hint of why you are telling them the story. How significant is it to them.
Tell your readers your role right from the onset of the narrative, what function did you play in the story.
Provide your thesis statement towards the end of the narrative essay. Explain in one statement what the story is all about, the part you played, its importance to your readers and the moral of the story.
Don’t give too much details though. You are briefly telling the readers what the narrative is all about and why it is important for you to share it with them. In deed, Keep your introduction short and informative
The Narrative Essay Body Paragraphs
These section can be subdivided into:
- The plot
- The characters involved in the story
- The setting ( where the event took place)
First and foremost, remember you are the main character in this narrative. The story revolves around you as you try to prove your point. Clearly state your role.
Use the first place narrative‘’ I ‘’ in the entire story since this is your story and you are the one narrating it.
Explain in details your behaviour in certain points of the event. Use vivid description to describe your personality, your emotions and reactions to certain situations. For example instead of just saying ‘’ I was sad ’’ consider this ;
‘’ bitter tears were forming in my eyes. My heart broke into tiny pieces. It’s like my world had come to an end.’’
In the second example, your readers are going to sail in the same boat as you because of your description. They are going to visualize the pain and sadness you are going through and sympathize with you.
At this point, you are already engaging them in your emotions and that is the goal right?.
Give background information about the story. Describe the setting and the people involved. State the importance of each character and their significance in the event. Use descriptive phrases to describe them physically.
Describe their personalities, their behaviour, their emotions and reactions every step of the way.
Let your readers clearly identify the climax of the story. This is where main actions took place, the impact it brought about and the reaction the characters had to it.
Conclude your story in the last paragraph of the body paragraphs. Tell the readers how your story ended and what happened thereafter.
Don’t leave your readers hanging in suspense. Let them sigh in relief and give something to think about as the events of the story sink into their heads like it happened to them.
They should be able to see the connection between your story and the topic. These acan be achieved by connecting the plot, Choosing characters well and setting the narrative story.
How To Write Narrative Essay Plot
The second element of telling a story. The plot is a brief overview of the narrative. Here you can mention the characters and the setting of the event. Tell your readers who they are going to meet in the narrative and what role they played. Also, mention where the story took place.
Tell the readers what exactly happened. Be descriptive and precise when you mention a certain person, an act, a reaction or an emotion. Remember your readers were not there when the event took place so you should give as much details as possible.
How To Select Narrative Essay Characters
Characters are the people and the animals involved in your story. As you go on with your story and significant events that took place starts to unfold, it brings in more characters to the narrative.
This could be your pets, your relatives, Your friends or even strangers. Mention this character’s names and clearly state what part they played in the story. For example ; Instead of just saying ‘’ My friend rescued me. ‘’ Consider this ; ‘’Jonathan, a friend of mine whom we’ve known each other for ten years, came into my rescue‘’.
The first example only tell your readers about a mysterious guy who rescued you while in the second, you go a little deeper, you mention this guy’s name, that he was your friend and that you have known him for ten years.
This engages your readers by making them feel like they already know this friend of yours.
Tell your readers how this characters came into being part of the event and what impact they brought about. How important were they to you and what difference could it have made if at all they never appeared in the story.
Describe their characters, their personalities, their strengths and weaknesses in regards to the story.
Remember characters, of the 5 elements, are the main focus in the whole narrative.
To Set Narrative Essay Story
This is where the event took place. Was it at school, at home, in some hotel on a vacation or was it by the road.
Describe the place in details. How it looked like. How many people were there. What was the weather like. Was the event planned to take place there or it just happened that the event occurred there. What was the characters’ behaviour there. Would it have been any different if at all the event took place somewhere else.
How had the characters positioned themselves. You should be able to create a clear picture of the setting of the story in your readers mind. From your narration, they should be able to visualize it.
How To Write Narrative Essay Conclusion
Now that your story is complete, end your narrative by telling your readers the moral of the story and what’s your point of view concerning the narrative. Besides, what you learned from it and what lessons they should also borrow.
As much as Your readers should already have known the significance of the story to them whilst reading, remind them how the story is of concern to them.
Particulery, restate the thesis statement.
The ending of your story should satisfy your readers. Reflect back on the major occurrences. Tell your readers why you told them the story, what it meant to you and what effect it had on your life. End by asking a question that your readers will be able to answer.
Make sure your readers are able to relate with your story.
In this part is where your tell your audience the moral of the story, what lessons to learn and what they should borrow from the narrative.
How To Ensure You Avoid Mistakes While Writing A Narrative Essay.
To Begin with:
Make sure you avoid ;
- Using slang in your essay – As much as you are narrating your own story, don’t use slang.
- Linking your story to other sources to elongate your essay ie your experience is what is needed here and is enough.
- Choosing a topic that doesn’t align with the story.
- Choosing a story you cannot fully tell.
It is important to;
- Describe every scene to detail.
- Arrange the events from the least important to the major ones.
- Use transitional words to connect scenes, characters and their behaviour.
- Employ use of descriptive adjectives
- Use the first person narrative ie ‘’ I ‘’
- Remember to include all the elements of a story ie introduction, setting, plot, characters and conclusion
Get Bonus tips on how to write a narrative essay;
- To captivate your readers from your very first line, start with a question, a fun fact or a shocking truth.
- Be very descriptive
- Involve all the five senses ie seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, tasting
- Be creative in your imagination
By implementing all the above explained guidelines should enable you to write an excellent narrative essay.