Barbara P
Barbara P

Writing a Narrative Essay - A Complete Guide With Examples

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Published on: Apr 19, 2023

Last updated on: May 19, 2023

narrative essay writing

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Essay writing is a major part of your language as well as other classes. Therefore, learning to craft the best essay is essential if you wish to earn good grades.

A narrative essay is also a part of academic writing, similar to descriptive essays. However, students enjoy writing it more than other essays as they get to share their stories creatively.

Writing and sharing stories have always been a part of a person’s life. Even if you don’t write for a living, you write as a hobby or just for academics. Writing about your personal experiences and lessons help you boost your thinking as well as writing skills.

Professionals believe that every piece of writing should be written to inspire, persuade, or inform its readers about a topic. So to learn how to write and deliver your thoughts and ideas professionally and in a presentable manner is helpful.

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What is a Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay is academic writing with one central idea on which the writer’s whole narrative is based. Thus, all the events, characters, and happenings revolve around one motive that a writer presents in an essay.

This essay gives an edge to the writers to think and write about themselves. There are many events and experiences in our memories that we believe are worth sharing with the audience.

Either you are writing to impress or influence, a narrative essay shares stories, personal experiences, and real-life situations of a writer. These essays are drafted with a certain defined point of view.

So this essay contains feelings and specific sensory details that connect readers with your writing and help them get involved.

A narrative essay is often confused by a short story as both the writings share stories and details. But some concrete differences divide the paths of the two academic writings.

Difference Between Narrative Essay and Short Story

In a narrative essay, there is a specific format in which a writer presents his story. Also, the aspects to be discovered in the narrative essays are specific. All the details in the essay revolve around one motive that a writer sets before writing the narrative essay.

In contrast to this, a short story doesn’t have a particular format or a preset-specific motive.

In addition, a narrative essay aims to leave its audience in satisfaction and without confusions and mysteries, while a short story wants its audience to discover more.

Elements of a Narrative Essay

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. These elements are as discussed below.

  • Plot

    A brilliant and unique narrative essay demands an unpredictable and very strong plot that can intimidate a reader. To make compelling stories and narrations, make sure to determine a plot and its impact on your story.

    Background information, a conflict or more, a climax, and the conclusion make the essay’s plot, giving you writing a sequence.

  • Scene Setting

    The setting of a scene is important to describe what you see and what your readers should feel.

    The setting includes the time, placement of the things and objects, and the whole environment.

    The setting details add life to your story.

  • Characters

    In this type of essay, you play with the actions and reactions of people to make a story. Providing a sketch of your characters can help you make your readers fall in love with them.

    When falling in love with the characters, the readers relate them with themselves and get connected to them and your writing as a whole.

  • Point of View

    The writer who writes a narrative essay should keep in mind that there is a motive that his writing follows, so to state your point of view is important.

    If a writer is telling his story himself, he should state clearly the motivation and the reason for writing the story behind it.

  • Theme

    A good narrative essay has a theme that is followed in the entire essay. Whatever you decide your theme is, make sure it is clear and explicit for the readers to make your essay understandable.

    A theme gives structure to the narration.

  • Conflict

    Without conflict or disagreement between characters, there will be no story or event to discuss. A conflict motivates characters and defines their purpose in the story.

    A reader gets to know the real nature when he sees him in a situation or a conflict.

How to Start a Narrative Essay?

The starting of your essay is a very critical point. It is the starting point that attracts the audience and makes your essay worth reading, so it should be perfect.

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.

The purpose of your narrative essay and story is served when a reader enjoys reading it. Therefore, to attract readers and make them read your essay and get your point, start a narrative essay with an interesting hook.

A hook is the first line of your essay to captivate the reader’s mind and attention. This hook works the same way as a hook used in fishing.

To motivate a reader to read your narrative essay, you can use any hook like:

  • Facts
  • Funny/sarcastic statement
  • Quotation
  • Anecdote
  • Question

Whatever hook you find fits the best with your narration or a story, use it.

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How to Write a Narrative Essay

If you’re still worrying about how to write a good narrative essay? Here we provide you a step-by-step guide. Follow these steps and draft an extraordinary narrative essay.

  1. Pick a Story

    The first step is to come up with a story that you wish to share with people. Remember, only a good story will help you write a good narrative essay. Think of a story that you believe is strong and inspiring or entertaining for the readers.

    If you already have given a topic to write an essay on, for example, you are assigned to write a narrative essay on the worst memory of your life, then just pick a moment or event and start writing about it.

    But deciding your own topic for a narrative essay is fun, and it lets you go creative and interesting.

    Remember that a good story is made when the sensory details are best provided for the readers.

  2. Rough Draft

    Even if you have a story to write on, never start writing a final draft of your essay instantly. Start off with a rough draft where you will roughly write what will be written in your essay.

    All the ideas, characters, and their actions in the setting should be roughly drafted first. This will help you look into the minor details, letting you make changes and improving your story for the final draft.

    Make an outline for your essay at this moment and give structure to your essay.

  3. Components

    The elements that add charm and magic to a narrative essay are the plot, theme, characters, setting, and conflict. Add and discuss them in detail in your essay to make it strong and attractive.

  4. Vocabulary

    A writer can not physically show what he is trying to portray to the readers. A writer aims to make the audience see and feel things in the same manner he experienced.

    This is done through words that a writer uses to describe everything in the story. So the vocabulary plays a major role in the description. It is mandatory to use related and appropriate words that depict the sound and mood of the described thing.

  5. Proofread and Editing

    After you have written your essay, it is very important to revise it as many times as possible to ensure the quality of your essay.

    First, you were just busy writing an essay and overlooked many details that are huge for readers. So now, become a reader of your essay to see how the actual audience will perceive your essay.

    Look for mistakes and correct them. Whether the errors are in punctuation, vocabulary, spelling, or grammar, correct them.

Narrative Essay Outline

An outline is the main feature of the narrative essay that distinguishes it from a short story. A narrative essay outline is a basic outline that all other essays use.

The outline of a narrative essay has three parts in which all the information is divided.

  1. Introduction

    The introduction is the earliest in order. The introductory paragraph establishes your narrative essay or story. It includes information like the hook, circumstances of the story you are about to share, and the thesis statement that works as a narrative report.

    Basically, a thesis statement in a narrative essay is a simple statement on which the entire essay or the story is based. This statement can be an argument or just a confession.

  2. Body Paragraphs

    In the body paragraphs of an essay, the story’s description, including its characters and events, is given.

    In these paragraphs, the plot, the characters, themes, and the setting of the scenes have presented that work as evidence for your thesis statement.

    Details provided in this part should have a transition between them. This is how the flow of the essay is maintained and leads to the conclusion.

  3. Conclusion

    The conclusion of the narrative essay is basically the climax. Based on the writer’s perspective and opinion, the conclusion includes the summary and the result of all the happenings in the story.

    In concluding paragraphs, a writer states a rephrased thesis statement and how everything proved it.

Narrative Essay Examples

Look at these narrative essay examples to see how they are written and how writers present their stories to readers.

Narrative Essay Topics

The significance of the topic in every writing is similar. The right or interesting topic helps get people’s attention to the content, making the writer’s purpose successful. To ensure maximum readership, the writer is required to choose an interesting theme or topic.

If you are in writer’s block and can not come up with a great topic, here is a list to help you. Choose a topic from the list provided and draft an impactful essay.

  • The most embarrassing experience of my life
  • The most memorable birthday party
  • Most valuable possession as a child
  • The first time I participated in a school event
  • Ten reasons why I love my maths teacher
  • My fear of rejection
  • How did I overcome my phobias?
  • How did my first love influence my studies?
  • How to deal with strangers?
  • How my habit of eavesdropping helped me in several situations

Whatever topic you choose to draft your essay, make sure it is interesting for you and the audience.

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Narrative Essay Writing Tips

Students look for simple tips and tricks to make their writings effective and impressive. However, knowing an essay’s planning and writing process is not enough to draft a compelling piece.

Following are some useful tips that can make your narrative essay stand out:

  • Choose simple words and syntax. Avoid using complex terms or terms that the readers are not familiar with. Keep all your ideas simple and clear.
  • Not every movement of yours is worth sharing, so choose only important actions and present them in your essay.
  • In your narrative paper, avoid using the second-person perspective to explain things. Instead, use one first-person perspective and draft the content accordingly.
  • Use appropriate and relevant words to describe objects, characters, and actions. The word choice plays an integral role in your narrative essay.
  • Avoid using several references and in-text citations. In a narrative essay, the references just disrupt the reading making the audience lose their interest in the text.

If all the steps are followed properly, you can draft an exceptional narrative essay. But if you still think you cannot draft a perfect essay and want someone to help you with your “do my essay online” queries, then let us deal with it.

Our professionals at provide all sorts of quality academic writing, including scholarship essays, college essays, and research papers, aiming to get our clients the best grades and reputation.

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Barbara P


Barbara P, Literature, Marketing

Barbara's qualifications include a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university and extensive experience working practically in the medical field. With her research experience on various health issues, she is skilled in writing papers that offer new perspectives on healthcare topics. Many of her works have been published across multiple renowned publications.

Barbara's qualifications include a Ph.D. in public health from an Ivy League university and extensive experience working practically in the medical field. With her research experience on various health issues, she is skilled in writing papers that offer new perspectives on healthcare topics. Many of her works have been published across multiple renowned publications.

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