How to Write a Narrative Essay and Charm Your Audience

If you’re plagued by a question of how to write a narrative essay, then it is that time of the year again — time when college professors decide to get their students to do creative yet challenging task. Narrative essay is a piece of non-fiction writing where authors talk about a memorable event or situation that happened to them, including as many vivid details as possible. Some students love narrative essays because they stimulate imagination, letting share their story and disclose some more personal information.

But other young people tend to be intimidated by the idea of narrative essays. They don’t know its structure, guidelines, or even what exactly they should write about. Getting a bad grade is an unpleasant perspective, especially if this paper has power to affect one’s overall score and productivity. If you are among these anxious students, don’t worry! After reading the tips and info below, you’ll see narrative essay writing as an exciting opportunity, not a chore.

What Is a Narrative Essay: Essential Writing Tips

So, how should students approach process of writing good narration? Learning its definition and purpose is good start, but it’s not enough. You should also know some strategies that will guide you, and that’s exactly what we offer below.

  • Pick a topic you want to discuss. From the first time students try writing narrative essay, they start recognizing the relevance of their topic choice. It doesn’t matter whether they study at high school, colleges, or universities — if they hate what they’re exploring, few people would enjoy it. The same principle concerns narrative essays. Since it is personal task, make it count! Choose an event that affected you, made you re-evaluate something, or decide on something important. It could be an adventure, tragedy, or happy event.
  • Pluck only the most meaningful details. Since narrative writing format requires to focus on memories, some young writers mistakenly assume they should describe everything that happened step by step. For example, when telling story about how they were mugged when traveling, they start telling every little thing that occurred on that day. They include stuff about packing their bag, having breakfast, brushing their teeth, and other insignificant things. Before they know it, essay comes to its end, and they still haven’t gotten to the main point. So, focus on relevant events. Outline them in advance.
  • Learn about appropriate structure. How long is a narrative? There are several answers here, but you should get definite one from your professor. In most cases, it has five paragraphs, but other rules might apply as well. Narrations could take even 10 pages — everything depends on requirements. Apart from the size, you should also learn about proper structure. Check one of sections below if you’d like to know more rules about it.
  • Check your vocabulary. Narrations have unique style: they need more descriptive words than you’re probably used to. We all possess different vocabulary levels, so in case yours isn’t as developed as you would have prefer, check dictionaries with synonyms or adjectives. This could help impress your professor while also giving an educational value to you as student.

How to Write a Narrative Essay Outline?

Outlines are extremely important. Many students decide on skipping them because they don’t want to waste even more time on writing, but it’s a mistake. Imagine that you are standing in the dark, with nothing to see or concentrate on. When you check your surroundings again, you notice a light coming from the lantern. You follow it, and eventually, it leads you out into the real world again.

How to do a narrative essay in this context? Create an outline and include all your intentions in it. Name each paragraph, describe every point you plan on making, and when you feel unsure regarding your writing direction, you’ll be able to look back at it and let it lead you. As an example, student might have brainstormed and come up with a big plan & all smaller ideas in the evening. Then they forgot about it for a few days, and when the essay deadline became urgent, they realized they don’t recall what they’re going to write about anymore. If they made an outline, they would have to simply look at it to make the picture clear again. If not, they’d have to start from the beginning.

Writing a Narrative Essay: Breaking Structure Down Into Parts

How to create a great structure for an essay? Narrations differ from most other papers. Their body has many different components, and writers should know what each of them entails.

Introduction. In general, introduction in narrations is the same as it’s in other pieces of academic writing. Present situation: start with the hook. It could be a joke or funny quote, something that makes readers interested. Background comes next: explain what happened, when, & why, though be brief about it. Narration essay should have a thesis, so express the point of your work in it as you would elsewhere.

Body. Here comes a complicated part. First time writing it could be difficult, but with detailed guidelines, problems will be minimal!

  1. Outset. Like every narrative essay format dictates, there should be an outset where writers show how everything started. For instance, in a story about mugging, they’d describe place of events & the feeling of calm they’ve been experiencing. Describing the new country or city, their first impressions, joy, or hopefulness would be fitting here. Everything is fine at this stage, nothing speaks of relevancy that will come after another paragraph.  
  2. Rising tension. Slowly, writers should lead things up toward situation itself. Tension should be rising at this stage, bad omen occurring here and there, with feelings of nervousness overwhelming readers just like it happened with the writer themselves. Approach confrontation point, describing people responsible for it and your first encounter with them. Outline for narrative essay should include all these details — you wouldn’t want to miss any important moment.
  3. Climax. Tension reaches a crucial point here. Application of all poetic tools could be useful — readers should feel fascinated and nervous, watching the confrontation unfold with all vivid elaborations. If an author was worried, audience should be worried as well. If they feared for their life or were devastated by the loss of an important item, these feelings should be conveyed properly. This part is major, so it should take the biggest amount of space. If an essay is long, dedicate at least several paragraphs to it — focus all your attention on it.

Conclusion. At this point, students start wondering, how to end a narrative essay? It’s not particularly difficult: after climax happens, things are supposed to calm down. Do some follow-up — tell readers what happened next. For example, writers could mention whether they called the police after mugging, if they needed to visit a hospital as well as how they got back home. Then, provide an analysis of the event itself, explaining what it taught you. Describe how your life changed along with all its consequences, making it clear why you decided on writing about it in the first place.

Settling on the Worthy Topic

If students are unsure about their topic, there is plenty of advice they could use for making their final choice. Discussing it with classmates is often effective, but if it’s not an option, look at the narrative format lists we’ve prepared. They have many different topics every person could use for their essay: they are all original and pre-approved by professors from different US schools. So look through them and feel free to use whichever option you prefer.

Check Examples For Writing Better

Checking samples is always a good idea. When students see how narrative papers should look like, they get a clearer idea of what they should be doing with their own work. So, if you have this chance, use it to your advantage. We have quite a collection of samples with narrative essays. Whether you need a whole paper or narrative essay outline example, you can see all that on our website.  They have different lengths, content, situations, and even writing styles, so finding the best option won’t be a problem. After you read them, you’ll understand essence of narrative essays from a practical side, not just theoretical ones.

Have Fun With Writing

Writing could be both an adventure and a chore, whether it’s done for the first time or not. Personal narrative essay is great opportunity for avoiding boredom, re-living an interesting event, and sharing it with a curious audience. Remember: when students enjoy their topics, they stand higher chances at succeeding. Pick something that excites you and makes you willing to talk — that will serve as the best foundation for any work your teachers have assigned. Keep all rules, tips, and advice we provided above in mind because they’ll help you in this journey through your past up to your good grade.

But even learning narrative essay definition and every part it should have isn’t always enough. Students’ lives are full, complete with personal troubles, worries, traumas, and other unpleasant things. Tiredness plays a big role in them, too, so if you don’t feel like working on an essay, leave it for us to do. Our team has writers with years of writing practice behind, so just drop us a word, give explanations, and let us work. We guarantee that you won’t be disappointed: we’ll describe situation you shared with us or come up with something as per our own scenario. You’re calling the shots, we’re executing your wishes. 

Elizabeth Baldridge

Elizabeth provides educational materials, conducts research, explores and solves student challenges. Her posts are always helpful, innovative, and contain interesting insights.

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