How to Write a Narrative Essay Example & Tips

Furthermore, it is a time-saving experience against any distractions. Writing a narrative essay requires you to weave a convincing story using real-life happenings. The challenge with narrative essays is that you have a lot to write but are limited to a certain number of words at the very best. Writing a narrative essay tests the essayist’s narrative essay guide ability to retell a story in a few words but with enough to keep the reader glued to the end. One of the best ways to draw your reader into your narrative essay is to develop and utilize a strong voice. In writing, voice refers to the way you express specific things, the sentence structures you use, the different parts of speech, and so on.

  • Briefly explain why this topic is essential to you and how it affected your life – the theme of the essay.
  • Writing a good narrative essay can enable you to share your experiences with others in a powerful way.
  • 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.
  • If your prompt is open-ended, choosing a topic to write about can be tricky because there can be many possibilities.

Like multiple ingredients make an amazing dish, certain elements and components make a good and strong narrative essay. For example, plot, character, setting, point of view, and theme.


There are always limits to the amount of information you can give your readers. Even better, you will have much to tell hence failing to resist the urge to share as many details as possible. If you realize that you exceeded the word count, you should edit your story to be within the acceptable limit. Being a short narrative should not sacrifice the quality of your story. Let it be interesting and engaging to help the reader draw some meaningful lessons out of it. The right narrative essay should not be where the audience finds it challenging to decode the text. After proofreading, be sure that you delivered the theme of your story.

  • 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.
  • A good essay sample will demonstrate the techniques and explain them practically.
  • Describe a moment in your life that challenged your beliefs or values and forced you to reconsider your perspective.
  • The Internet is filled with loads of examples and samples, and finding a good one from them is not easy.
  • The opening statement, basically the hook, is the line of your essay that you write.

A hook is the first line of your essay to captivate the reader’s mind and attention. You can see the difference in the audience’s reaction when you start off your essay in a catchy way and when you randomly start your essay. This weather forecast for the future allows the reader to take their leave. Have the student consider the emotions they want to leave the reader with when crafting their resolution.


Although less formulaic than an expository or argumentative essay, your narrative essay format still needs to be well-structured and cohesive for it to be impactful. Like all essay types, the narrative format essay consists of an introduction, body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. However, this structure is less rigid than most essay types and mainly serves as a guideline. A narrative essay is often rooted in real-events, then extrapolated upon with fictional elements. Many of the challenges presented with narrative essays also exist with adapting a true story. In this next article, we look at how pro-writers like Quentin Tarantino, Charlie Kaufmann, and the Safdie Brothers adapt true stories with renewed creative license. A narrative essay is a prose-written story that’s focused on the commentary of a central theme.

Rather, you have to convey a broader message through your story. For instance, if you are writing about a visit to the beach, you can describe how the sun felt on your face. On top of that, making use of strong verbs and adjectives will also help to provide an engaging experience for readers. Usually, the introduction of the essay starts with this sentence. You may use a famous quotation, verse, or an interesting fact for this purpose. This sentence helps to attain the reader’s attention and persuade the reader to read the entire essay. Once you have your topic, it is time that you create an outline for your essay.

How to Write a Narrative Essay: a stepwise guide and length

You also want to show the reader that you are telling your own story. Make sure that you follow the same participle in the entire essay. Consistency is the key to writing an essay in a professional way. Make sure that you don’t get distracted by any irrelevant details.

narrative essay guide

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. Unlike other kinds of writing, body paragraphs in narrative essays don’t require to be opened with topic sentences. As your intro already contains the background information, the body paragraph should directly delve into the narration. In narrative writing, you’re the one who tells a story and describes an episode from the past or the future. Your tale can potentially represent a fictional or hypothetical situation too. A personal narrative essay aims to shed light on your personality, values, and traits you embody.

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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. A narrative essay asks you to tell a story rather than making an argument or providing evidence. But alternatively, it may elaborate on a fictional narrative, for example, how your life would be if a specific event hadn’t happened in your life. The purpose of your narrative essay and story is served when a reader enjoys reading it.

  • Since personal narratives are short, edit them to the suitable word count.
  • To improve their writing craft, students must know when to switch from story-telling mode to story-showing mode.
  • Dissertation help online can be a valuable resource for students struggling with editing their essays.
  • It is a type of essay that allows the writer to reflect on their past and share moments that impacted them in a significant way.
  • Flashbacks might work well in your mind but make sure they translate to your audience.

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. The conclusion is very important because it’s where you conclude the story and reflect on it.

Step 2: Make an outline

We have now arrived at the end of this guide, and we hope that you now have a much better idea of how to write a narrative essay. Here is a summary of some key points from this guide for your reference. The following sample narrative essay on birthday nostalgia follows the narrative arc and includes footnotes to highlight the major components involved. Go through the document and focus on how the story follows a natural progression.

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. It would be best if you write a story that includes a lesson for the reader, an element of surprise and some plot twists. You can build your story around a person or an experience that has taught you a valuable lesson, changed your view about the particular matter and affected your life immensely.

How to Choose an Essay Topic?

You will get there, but know that it is confusing to readers if you don’t master the basics first. Writing a good narrative essay can enable you to share your experiences with others in a powerful way. The narrative essay is a vehicle for sharing the world according to you with others. Typically, it’s nonfiction but may include some enhanced language to clarify or heighten the dramatic effect. A narrative essay typically tells a true story that may have a few elements changed for clarity or dramatic purposes.

C. Explain how these strategies helped you, and how they impacted your life, such as improved relationships, academic or professional success, or mental health. B. Explain how it affected your life, such as your relationships, academic and professional performance, or your mental health. Describe a time in your life when you faced a difficult decision that required you to choose between two equally compelling options. The moment I set foot on Central American soil, I was welcomed by the tropical rainforest, the vibrant colors of the flowers, and the sounds of exotic birds.

Listen to how people tell stories

It is important to proofread your essay carefully to ensure that they are error-free. You should also talk about what you learned from the situation and leave readers with something to think about. Starting high school as a timid and shy kid was a daunting experience for me. I craved new opportunities and friendships but was overcome by the fear of being judged. Unfortunately, my fears soon became a reality as I found myself being relentlessly bullied. C. Discuss how the experience has impacted your life, and what advice you would give to someone who is struggling with low self-esteem.

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. 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. A narrative essay is a form of storytelling where you have to provide sensory details of your personal experience. However, when writing a narrative essay, you will have to follow a set pattern and the guidelines closely.

Do’s and Don’ts of Narrative Writing

When you have this, you should start gathering ideas about your writing. Come up with a title – unless your essay has a set title – and consider how you will approach the story aspect of your writing. Several key components, or elements, make up this type of essay.

narrative essay guide

That is why some students are always looking for professional assistance. You should avoid over-exaggerating and only put in what is important.

We have an unbeatable record of providing the most affordable and quality essay writing service. In a narrative essay, everything should be written from your own perspective. By reading these short stories and samples, you will develop a good understanding of a well-developed essay and the way its title and basics are used. A well-written essay outline points the writer in the right direction and helps him stay focused. The opening statement, basically the hook, is the line of your essay that you write. Now that you have understood the narrative essay definition let’s take a look at the elements of a narrative essay. We have explained the dos and don’ts of narrative writing with the help of few examples here.