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How to Write a Narrative Essay Step by Step
Sometimes teachers, instructors, and professors tend to go overboard by giving their students strange assignments. 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 you weren't listening to their explanation. Sometimes, we get so stressed out about them that we don't understand our teacher's instructions and spend hours googling for answers on how to deal with these assignments. Since you are reading this, you definitely want to know how to write a narrative essay step by step. Obviously, you have your teacher's instructions, so you need to check them out first. The instructions explaining how to write a narrative essay might lack some important info, which is why you have to do a bit of researching before you start working on your assignment. It is always a good idea to use several sources and check out some essay examples. In this guide, we will provide some valuable tips about writing a narrative essay lest you get scared next time your teacher assigns you with a written task like that.
What is a narrative essay and why do we write it?
Not being a scientific text, a narrative essay is an entirely different type of writing. Therefore, if you feel that writing research papers is not your thing, relax a bit. However, there are lots of peculiar features you have to pay attention to. If you've already googled for "what is a narrative essay?", you might know what we're talking about. Basically, this type of essay wants you to tell a story of your life. 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 that a narrative essay definition has a lot in common with other essay types. Therefore, a narrative essay is an essay 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 use a five-paragraph structure in this type of essay. However, there are several vital moments which make it rather specific. Besides, there are several factors that may influence the narrative essay format. When writing it, always keep in mind three "must-haves."
- Must-Have 1 - Character.
It is impossible to write a narrative essay without having characters. To achieve a realistic narration, you will need someone who will follow a specific behavioral pattern, act in different situations, and do other relevant things.
- Must-Have 2 - Motif (theme)
A theme of your essay should be presented in the thesis statement and dwelled upon in the body text of your essay.
- Must-Have 3 - Dialogue(s)
Dialogues play an important role in the narration. With their help, you'll capture the conversation between characters. Besides, dialogues make characters look more realistic and exciting to readers.
Working on narrative essay structure
Before starting brainstorming, ask yourself a question "How do you write a narrative essay?".
The structure of a narrative essay is identical to that of the usual 5-paragraph essay. 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 yet, keep in mind that your introduction may have three subparts - the hook, scene setting, and thesis statement. The main text should be divided into three paragraphs. Start each of them with a topic sentence. For example, while describing a situation, break it into three parts, i.e., three logically connected parts, with each of the paragraphs providing no fewer than three critical details of your narration.
How to write a narrative essay introduction
If you still cannot figure out how to begin a narrative essay, use these successful strategies. As mentioned above, the best way to grab the reader's attention is to start your essay with an interesting hook. So, 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, literature quotes, or a funny anecdote. These are also less conventional ways of starting an essay, such as asking your readers a question, stating an interesting fact, adding some statistics or describing a setting if you feel it's essential to create a particular mood from the very beginning.
Our narrative essay introduction example will help you choose the best idea for your essay.
"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, with any action having a potential of producing unexpected results".
Working on narrative essay thesis
Thesis statement for a narrative essay shouldn't outline the whole paper. However, it has to give hints to readers what the essay is going to be about, making them interested and motivating them to continue reading. For example, as per the essay 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 narrative essay conclusion
Now, we move on to the final sections of your paper. How to end a narrative essay? Does one need to summarise narration or will narration itself be enough in this case? Even though you are focused on it, you undoubtedly learned some lessons from this situation. That is why the conclusion should mention your personal point of view, some experience which made you better or changed you in some way, etc. Why do you need a conclusion for the narrative essay? First of all, it will leave your readers with a sense of closure. Additionally, a conclusion reveals why this story is so important and what you as one of the heroes have learned from it.
Tips for writing a narrative essay
The task of writing a narrative essay looks easier until you start to write it. If your "how to write a good narrative essay" problem keeps you awake, use more tips and examples for inspiration.
- Use descriptive language. Your narration should set the scene, creating a picture in the reader's mind. Find the best way to do it. Merely retelling the events makes the whole essay flat.
- Write your story in chronological order.
- If you're writing about a person, don't forget to describe their appearance, character, and behavior.
- When writing about a place or specific object, provide your readers with important details describing why this thing is meaningful to you.
- If the main topic of the essay is some 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 additional details.
- Proofread and edit your work. Start writing your essay earlier so that you have enough time to complete it before the deadline.
- Make several drafts of your essay before submitting a final paper. Writing a good essay 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 good narrative essay topics is no less important than following general recommendations. When you like your topic, you will have fun and inspiration for writing about it. Use lively language and vivid descriptions when writing this type of essay.
- 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?
- Are there any childhood memories which become ever brighter with each passing year? Describe them.
- Three things in my life I'd like to change right now.
- Write about strategies which help you think outside the box.
- Have you ever faced a situation when things didn't work out the way you planned?
- My first day at the university.
- Describe a moment or a situation when you started acting in a way you've never acted before. What made you do it?
- Imagine a popular TV show is going to make a program about your city. Describe locations worth showing.
- How can you identify your musical taste? What people, or what event, influenced your choice of music?
And that's a wrap on our guide! Read it a couple of times for better efficiency, and get to work. And if something looks way too daunting... Well, you're already on the website of the best custom writing company out there. The Order button is right there!back to all posts