Many students enjoy writing narrative essays more than other types of academic assignments. That’s not surprising because for college and high school students a narrative paper is a great chance to show understanding and knowledge of a subject, as well as to polish their skills of storytelling. Basically, a narrative essay is a story presented by the author. To catch the attention of the audience, you have to plan and structure it well. Find out how to do it with our step-by-step guide and increase the chances of getting an excellent grade for your paper.

What Is a Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay is a type of academic writing where a certain episode, event or experience from the author’s life is demonstrated in the form of a story. Through the words, the speakers develop a stronger connection with the audience causing their sympathy and revealing emotions.

Although not a few students believe that a narrative essay is similar to a descriptive essay, it is a common misunderstanding. A narrative paper always has a compelling and vivid plot. In contrast to it, a descriptive one aims to provide an image of a place, an object, or a person; it doesn’t demonstrate a chain of events and makes the plot vague or absent.

How to Start a Narrative Essay?

First of all, you need to choose the topic of your future essay. You won’t have to spend hours in the library or online doing thorough research, because a narrative essay is based on a person’s life experience which is converted into a story. Describe an event which you believe to be meaningful and care about to sound convincing to your audience. Create a draft to use it as your basic plan. The next step will be turning it into a detailed outline.

Things to Consider While Writing Narrative Essays

When you begin the process of writing, there are some important things to keep in mind.

  • Make sure that your essay has the elements common for all narrative stories such as the plot, description, setting, characters, etc. They help to attract the readers’ attention and make your work memorable.
  • It’s essential to give your audience a clear understanding of your role in the described episode. To do so, you should include meaningful details and explain your behavior, choices, and actions.
  • Make your language appropriate and literate, but avoid using flourishes or intricate figures. Simple words and clear phrases sound more convincing and get better feedback from the readers.
  • Describe the events in chronological order to avoid confusion among your readers and let them follow your thoughts with ease and interest.
  • It can be helpful to read the examples of other narrative essays before you start writing yours. This will give you a clear understanding of how to begin and end the story, build a well-developed plot and present your thoughts consequently.

Narrative Essay Structure Nuances

At their core, elements of a narrative essay are similar to those of other academic essays: there’s an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion.

The introductory part will become the setup of your story; it should include a catchy hook that grasps the attention of your readers, and a thesis – the main idea of the story presented shortly. Usually, it takes one or two paragraphs.

In the main body, you should allocate the key points of your essay and describe them briefly by providing vivid details. On average, three paragraphs are enough to present your story. You can start each section with a topic sentence, to create the proper tone and feel of it. Besides, you can end the paragraphs with the transition sentences to make the passage between them smooth and help the readers follow the flow of your narration easily. You should end the main body with an unpredictable twist.

In conclusion, you should reveal the outcome of the events and re-state your thesis differently. Tell what you’ve learned from the described episode and inspire the readers with interesting thoughts. The conclusion will be the last paragraph of your paper.

How to Write a Narrative Essay Outline?

The outline of a narrative paper follows its structure (introduction – main body – conclusion) described above. As a basis, you should take your first draft and enrich it with descriptions and bright details. Since you’ll be writing about a real experience from your life, all information will come from your memories. Try to remember as many details as you can and include the most important ones in your story. Remember to provide information in first-person and use the “I” statements, to stress that the event plays a significant role in your life.

Re-read your outline and make changes where necessary. When you are contented with the result, write the final version, and transform the outline into the actual essay.

How to End a Narrative Essay?

Make sure to revise the paper several times before handing it in. Ask your friends to read it for you and tell their opinion. Check the text for grammar, the right formatting, and plagiarism. Apply to an online writing service if you need help with your essay.

How to Make Your Narrative Writing Paper Memorable?

There are many good ways to make your essay stand out, but probably the best one is adding a little spice to it. Introduce an antagonist that interferes with your plans, include an unpredictable twist that changes the flow of events, add some jokes and funny details.

Some More Narrative Writing Tips to Remember

Here are a few more recommendations on writing an A-worthy narrative paper.

The purpose of a narrative essay is to catch and maintain the readers’ attention and help them visualize the story by providing expressive details. However, you should avoid providing too many insignificant details – they will confuse your audience. Remember the narrative essay definition – it’s a story, and to engage the audience, you should highlight its crucial moments, to show how they influence the outcome. Don’t forget to ask your teacher about the narrative essay format. Double check the guidelines and requirements you were provided with before you start writing.