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What is a Narrative Essay

Narrative essays give the writer an opportunity to use their experience, as well as their imagination, for the purpose of narration in this type of essay, as opposed to definition and description essays. These essays are great for field research, as they represent experiences of the write and uses that to draw a conclusion, as opposed to only factual representation in descriptive and definition essays.

Everyone enjoys a good story, and narrative essays are like telling stories, and thus has the writer’s personal experiences, as well as points of view, are emphasized. Therefore, besides reading, there are other sensory inputs, as feelings and emotions.

Key factors of a narrative essay

As with writing any stories, a narrative essay will include the common points, such as an introduction to the plot, with proper characters and settings. The end of the essay should contain a climax to the plot along with the ending. These essays are accompanied by explanations, supporting details and embellishments of the story for an interesting read.

The basic points that one should remember while writing a narrative essay are as follows:

1. It should be told from the writer’s point of view: Consider a topic that is of personal interest, as this will make it easier to write.

2. The writing style uses conflict and sequence, as with any other well-written story. Readers have to be involved in the essay that can be backedwith a point of view and arguments; it should include supporting explanations, details, and embellishments.

3. Dialogues are allowed in this type of essay, and one can opt to write in the dialogue form to pique the reader’s interest.

Noteworthy points for a well written narrative essay

1. The narrative is written from the writer’s point of view, and therefore must not be written in the second or third person. The narrative has to be fromthe first-person point of view.


“I ran fast to get the bus before it departed”, is in a first-person voice.

“You ran fast to get the bus before it departed”, is in second-person voice.

“They ran fast to get the bus before it departed”, is the third person.

2. Writing well, also means that there are some details that are left to the imagination of the reader. Explaining each and every action will be redundant and boring to the reader.

3. Choosing clinical words that are passively constructed it tedious for the reader as it does not get to the point immediately.


I have been presented with an array of unpleasant photos in which many casualties are shown after automobile accidents. (Clinical and passive voice)

They showed me a book stuffed with gruesome pictures of people who’d been in car wrecks.

4. Limiting references is an important part of writing a narrative essay. Although MLA, The Modern Language Association, format mentions using citations in the essay, a citation will disrupt a story. Adding helpful references at the end is a better idea.

Writing vivid descriptions

To write vivid descriptions during a narrative, there are a few questions, one must ask themselves. What can the writer see, hear, touch, smell or taste? The writer has to then answer all these questions to ensure that they explaining their emotions and insights well to the reader.

Using concrete details for narratives

Providing the reader with concrete and supported details will allow them to get a clear idea about what is being narrated and explained by the writer. Writing abstract sentences can not only be a boring read, but it can also confuse the reader if the concept or the idea has not been explained well.


Abstract: I liked writing content, not essays.

Concrete: I liked writing short, informative content and hated rambling on about my thoughts in those four-page essays.


Abstract: Mr. Shipley was a great teacher.

Concrete: Mr. Shipley really knew how to help us turn our thoughts into good stories and essays.

When should a narrative essay not be a story?

There are times when a narrative essay should not be written in a story format, and instead, be written in an informative fashion as a reporter. A good example of such a situation is when a student is doing a book report. During a book report, the narrative will be an informative report with analyzations of characters and intentions of the plot.

While writing a narrative essay, the writer should be able to communicate the ideas in a clear and concise manner, while at the same time, it should be entertaining and descriptive with personalization using emotions to hook the reader.

Writing narrative story is easy with some practice; it is an honestly written piece of factual statements or evens of the writer’s life, that are supported by the writer’s experience and emotions, using vivid and concrete descriptionsNarrative Essays, personalized by the writer in an entertaining manner.


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