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How to write a narrative essay

Last updated on April 23rd, 2018 at 05:19 am

Unlike the argumentative essay, which was all about facts based arguments to support a particular viewpoint, narrative essays are all about personal experiences. Through a narrative essay, a writer can understand more about himself, his understanding of things and relate it to his own life.

What is special about narrative essays?

Such essays could usually be about some unique experiences which you encountered in life, which totally changed the way you look at things. Narrative essays represent a way of looking and going deep inside of you and bringing out the hidden things, which you were never aware of but got uncovered as a result of some chance.

It is thus an exposition of your life and yourself. For narrative writing, you really need to go back to the past and uproot out some memories. It is a combination of the kind of experiences you choose to write about and the kind of writing skills you use that leads to the creation of a very effective and powerful narrative essay.

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Narrative essays can be based on short personal anecdotes, stories, conversations- the essential attribute is that it should be personal. It should be able to engage and captivate the reader’s interest. It is, in a sense, a kind of story-telling. Narrative essays can be extremely entertaining, can be philosophical, can be educational and informative and provides a lot of learning on matters, we were not previously aware of.

When you write a narrative essay, you have to write it in a way; you would use to write a story. Except that in this case, you are telling your own story. So it has to be interesting and the details have to be built up starting from the context, the sequence of incidents, the details and finally the conclusion and learning point.

Steps to writing a great narrative essay

Having said that, when you start writing a narrative, you need to remember to do the following:

  • Select an incident which is worth telling; that is, which has important learning points. You can brainstorm about several possible incidents, which would have left a profound influence on you.
  • Ask yourself what is so great about that event or incident or person or object, which is moving you to write this narrative. How has that influenced you? Put that into your narrative. Your narrative should resound with that feeling.
  • Details. Details are of the essence to make this very a very convincing narrative. Use as many as you can so that you can engage the reader sensorially and with very, many vivid descriptions. But all of them have to be related to the main theme of the narrative.
  • There are different ways in which narratives can be written. One is in the form of a story. In which case, the narrative should have the following parts: introduction, plot, characters, setting, climax, and conclusion. Another form of a narrative is a book report. In this case, the writer has to provide an information narrative, in which he or she describes the impact of the book, and the insights obtained as a result of reading that book.
  • The narration has to be chronological. The details have to be built up as the story progresses. The purpose is stated in the opening sentence. The opening sentence should be gripping so that you can hook the reader. The conclusion summarises the whole narrative and the overall realization.
  • It should be organized and the purpose should be evident throughout the essay.
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