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Narrative Essay Writing — Use Our Tips!
Sometimes teachers, instructors, and professors tend to go overboard by giving strange assignments to students. They get so carried away that they forget to tell them how to do it. Or, perhaps they tried to, but you were absent or weren't listening to their explanation. Sometimes, we get so stressed out about them that we don't understand the instructions and spend hours googling for answers on how to deal with these assignments.
Since you are reading this, you want to know how to write narrative essays. Even having your professor's instructions, you may lack some vital details, which is why you have to do a bit of research before working on your assignment. It is always a good idea to use several sources and study some essay examples.
In this guide, we will provide some valuable tips for writing a narrative essay. With those, you will fear nothing when your teacher assigns you a written task like that.
What Is a Narrative Essay?
Not being a scientific paper, a narrative essay is an entirely different type of writing in that it narrates instead of investigating, arguing, or persuading. Therefore, if you feel that writing research is not your thing, relax a bit. However, there are lots of features you have to consider. If you've already googled the narrative essay definition, you know what we're talking about.
This type of paper wants you to tell a story and, as a rule, a topic of the story has to bear on the subject you're studying at the moment. If you were to define this type of writing, you would find out it has a lot in common with other essay types. Therefore, a narrative essay is a form of writing with a central object, point, event, or character around which you have to develop your narration.
Does the Narrative Essay Format Differ from Others?
Typically, you can use a five-paragraph structure for this paper. However, several important bits make it rather specific, along with individual factors that may influence the format of your narrative essay. When writing it, always keep in mind these three "must-haves."
You can't write a narrative essay without characters. To achieve a realistic story, you will need someone who will follow a specific behavioral pattern, act in different situations, and do other relevant things.
- Motif (Theme)
A theme of your piece of writing should be presented in the thesis statement and dwelt upon in the body paragraphs.
Writing this essay requires you to include dialogues in your narration. With their help, you'll capture the conversation between characters, for instance, the protagonist and the antagonist. Besides, dialogues make characters look more realistic and "alive."
Working on the Narrative Essay Structure
The structure of this piece of writing is identical to that of your usual 5-paragraph paper. That is why your text should be divided into three main parts: introduction, main body, and conclusion. The first and the second one will be divided as well.
If you don't know how to start a narrative essay, keep in mind that your introduction has three subparts: the hook, scene setting, and thesis statement. The main body should be divided into three paragraphs that start with a topic sentence. For example, while describing a situation, break it into three logically connected segments, with each of the paragraphs providing no fewer than three critical details of your narration.
How to write a narrative essay introduction
If you cannot figure out how to begin a narrative essay, use these strategies. As we've said, the best way to grab the attention of the reader is to start your paper with an intriguing hook. What can be used as the hooking sentence? Depending on the topic and content of your essay, you can use a famous person's quote, a saying from literature, or a funny anecdote. These are also less conventional ways of starting an essay such as asking your readers a question, stating an unusual fact, adding some statistics, or describing a setting. Choose what you feel is essential so that it is clear what mood you want to create in your paper from the very beginning.
Our narrative essay introduction example will help you choose the best idea for your paper.
"Have you ever faced a situation when your help and good intentions turn against you? My school experience shows that this is a common situation, and I have come to understand that any action has the potential of producing unexpected results."
Working on a thesis statement
Thesis statement from a narrative essay shouldn't outline the whole paper. However, it has to give hints to readers what this article will be about, making them interested and motivated to continue reading. For example, as per the introduction we referred to earlier, the thesis might be:
"If you're not afraid to take on bullies harassing your classmate, be prepared that teachers can blame you for what happens next."
Hints for your conclusion
Now, we move on to the final section of your paper and see how you can end a narrative essay.
Do you need to summarize the narration, or will the story itself be enough in this case? Even though you are focused on it, you undoubtedly learned some lessons from the situation described in your paper. That is why the conclusion should mention your point of view, some experience that made you better or changed you in some way, etc.
10 More Tips for Writing a Narrative Essay
Writing this paper looks easier until you start it. If you still think your storytelling skill needs to be improved, you can use our tips for inspiration.
- Use descriptive language. Your narration should set the scene creating a picture in the reader's mind. Merely retelling the events makes the essay flat.
- Write your story in chronological order. Make an outline for yourself if it helps you keep the consistency.
- If you're writing about a person, don't forget to describe their appearance, character, and behavior.
- When writing about a place or a specific object, provide your readers with all details describing why this thing matters to you.
- If the main topic of the essay is an event, try to describe your actions, what happened to you at this time, and how it influenced you.
- Keep your readers interested in dialogues and details of your story because narration should have certain suspense.
- Provide fewer details in each paragraph of the body (up to 3) to avoid overloading your story with lots of unimportant information.
- Proofread and edit your work. Start writing your narrative essay earlier so that you have enough time to complete it before the deadline.
- Make several drafts before submitting the final paper. Writing an excellent narration on the first try is impossible.
- At this point in your college career, you should already know the weaknesses in your writing, so pay attention to them.
Good Narrative Essay Topics
Choosing a good topic for a personal narrative essay is no less important than following general recommendations. When you like the subject, you will have fun and be inspired when writing about it. Remember to use lively language and vivid descriptions.
- Describe the most memorable trip you've ever been on. What makes it so important?
- What decision in your life was the most difficult to make?
- Three things in my life I'd like to change right now.
- The book or article that helped me a lot in thinking outside the box.
- The best memories of my childhood I would put on the wall.
- Imagine you are the only daughter (or son) in a family of six sons (or daughters). Do you think it would have anything to do with who you will become?
- The time I went to the store and stole something from there.
- Have you ever faced a situation when things didn't work out the way you planned?
- Why I find it important to have best friends.
- Describe a moment or a situation when you started acting in a way you never did before. What made you do it?
- Imagine a popular TV show is going to make a program about your city. Describe three locations worth showing.
- How can you identify your musical taste? What people or events influenced your choice of music?
And that's a wrap on our guide! Read it a couple of times for higher efficiency and get to work.
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