How to Write A Narrative Essay

Writing excellent narrative essay. Narrative essay elements. Structure of narrative essay. Elements of narrative essay. Essay Brother team will be happy to guide you through any pitfalls of narrative essay writing. Choosing topic of narrative essay. You will get an excellent narrative essay without efforts.

What is a Narrative Essay

Narrative essay is a story about events, incidents, actions.

The expressive power of the narrative lies primarily in the depiction of events, phenomena, in a visual representation of actions taking place in time and space.

The purpose of a narrative essay is to report on developing events and their occurrence in chronological order.

In a narrative essay, the author tells a story from real life. In this form of essay, the presentation of events in chronological order will not be enough. The author needs to interest the reader, make the story as vivid as possible, so that the reader wants to become a part of the events described and can easily “transfer” to the story.

When working on an essay of this type, the author must answer the following questions: 

  1. Who? 
  2. What have you been doing? 
  3. Where? 
  4. When? 
  5. How?

The main role in the narrative is played by verb forms, they ensure the development of the narrative and visually represent successive actions, the flow of events (phenomena) in time and space.

The narration can be conducted in the first person (in which the narrator is named or indicated by the pronoun “I”/ “we”) or in the 3rd person, the so-called author’s narration.

What Are the Characteristics of a Good Narrative Essay?

Essay writing is one of the most important skills. Interestingly, magazines such as the New Yorker, and websites like Vice are known for the multi-page narrative essays they publish, sometimes referred to as long-form journalism. But an effective narrative essay can be as short as five paragraphs. As with other types of essay writing, narratives follow the same basic pattern: 

  • Introduction: This is the first paragraph of your essay. It contains a hook that is used to capture the reader’s attention and a thesis or theme that you will detail in the next section.
  • Body: This is the heart of your essay and is usually three to five paragraphs long. Each paragraph should contain one example, such as a personal anecdote or noteworthy event that supports your broader theme.
  • Conclusion: This is the last paragraph of your essay. In it, you will summarize the main points of the body and complete the narrative. Writers sometimes ‘embellish’ the conclusion with an epilogue.

Perfect Narrative Essay’s Components

Your narrative essay will be successful if:

  • Its statement serves as an impulse due to which further narrative develops
  • There are special sentences in the text that show the connection between events and help the reader follow the development of the plot
  • The text ends with a derivation of morality, an assumption or a message about the discovery made by the author


A narrative essay is a type of essay that has a single motif or central point around which the entire narrative revolves. In addition, in this essay, all incidents, events, and characters revolve around a single motif presented in the narrative.

There are essential elements that distinguish a narrative essay from other essays: a narrative essay consists of three required elements: character, theme, and dialogue.


The internal structure of the essay can be arbitrary. Free in composition, focused on subjectivity, the essay, at the same time, has an internal semantic unity, that is, consistency of key themes and statements, internal harmony of arguments and associations, consistency of those judgments in which the personal position of the author is expressed.


Narrative essay writing plan is as follows:

  1. Entry (location time of action).
  2. The beginning of the action, its development ‑ the plot.
  3. The climax of the action (the most intense moment of the plot).
  4. Decoupling.
  5. Conclusion.


It is important for the author of a narrative essay to establish a trusting style of communication with the reader; in order to be understood, he avoids deliberately complicated, obscure, overly strict constructions.

It is believed that a good essay can only be written by someone who is fluent in the topic, sees it from different angles and is ready to present the reader with a non-exhaustive, but multidimensional view of the phenomenon that has become the starting point of his reflections.

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Narrative Essay Types

Typically, narrative essays have two main components: a story and some analysis of that story. A narrative essay may focus on a specific issue, topic, or concept, but it uses a personal story to illustrate that idea.

A narrative essay tells a story and is typically a personal type of essay designed to share a meaningful experience. This type of essay explores the various challenges a writer may have had to face, and that is what makes it so fascinating.

In a narrative essay, you, as a writer, guide readers through a story without proving your point. However, personal narrative must include a moral aspect so that readers can extract some useful insights.

By writing a narrative essay, the writer learns to apply a creative approach to expressing own emotions and feelings. A narrative essay is informative, written in the first person, shares real personal experience, is conversational in nature, and presents people and events in a sequential order.

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How to write a narrative essay: step by step

  1. Choose an event you will be talking about.
  2. Formulate the theme and main idea of the future story, title it.
  3. Select the necessary material from your memories or collect it from other sources.

Make a plan, indicating in it the introduction, the plot, the climax, the conclusion.

What Is The Best Way To Begin A Narrative Essay?

Think about the topic that excites you the most, about some of the most memorable events in your life. Use logic and a consistent style of thinking and presentation, but do not forget to share emotions with readers.

While the academic writer bases his arguments on facts and data, the literary writer often uses situations and the emotions they evoke to support certain ideas. This process can take longer than writing an academic thesis, and yet the result can often be more powerful. Also our phd writers will do the tasks for you. Just find ‘do my assignment for me‘ on our website

Narrative essay

What Is The Best Way To Choose Narrative Essay Topic?

Choosing a topic for your essay can be the hardest part. What you are looking for is a specific case that you can tell in a well-designed and well-organized essay or speech.

  • Embarrassing experience
  • An exciting football, baseball or basketball game
  • Your first or last day at work or at a new school.
  • Terrible date
  • A memorable moment of failure or success
  • An encounter that changed your life or taught you a lesson.
  • An experience that led to a change in your worldview
  • Strange or unexpected meeting
  • Experience in mastering new technology
  • An experience that left you disappointed
  • Frightening or dangerous experience
  • Memorable trip
  • Meeting someone you respected or feared
  • The time you experienced rejection.
  • Your first visit to a foreign country.
  • Circumstances that led to the breakup of friendship
  • An experience that showed that you need to be careful.
  • Significant or comic misunderstanding.
  • An experience that showed how appearances can be misleading.
  • Describe a difficult decision you had to make.
  • An event that was a turning point in your life.
  • An experience that changed your point of view on a controversial issue.
  • A memorable meeting with an authority figure.
  • Heroism or cowardice
  • Rebellious act
  • Experienced natural disaster
  • Important discovery
  • An experience that helped you grow up.
  • Your dream job and what it would look like
  • Invention you would like to create

And many other possible interesting topics! Essay Brother can help you to choose the best one!

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How Should A Narrative Essay Be Formatted And Structured?

Statement. The statement contains the main idea of the essay and outlines its structure. In a narrative essay, the representation of the action (event, phenomenon) to which the essay is devoted begins with a statement. It is better if the reader does not yet understand from the statement what exactly happened. Try to only hint at what will be discussed in the main part.

Body (Main part). The main intrigue is contained in the main part of the essay. Events can be told in different ways. Most often, chronological order is used. In this case, the reader, as they get acquainted with the text, sequentially learns about the events that have occurred: the first paragraph describes the beginning of the story (the plot), the second describes its continuation (development), and so on (until the climax and denouement).

Linking sentences. When the essay is organized chronologically, each paragraph ends with a linking sentence. Such sentences are needed to mark the end of a paragraph and connect the information reported in one paragraph with the information in the next paragraph.

Conclusion. Like other types of essays, a narrative essay needs a closing idea. In the last paragraph, you finish describing the event. The last sentence can serve two functions:

  1. In it, the author can derive a moral from the story told or share thoughts about what the characters in the story have learned from the event described.
  2. Also, the author can make a guess about what will happen in the future, or share his discovery (if he learned something new that he did not know before).

Outline for a Narrative Essay

Elements of a narrative essay: plot, character, setting, climax, and conclusion.

Usually found in a narrative essay:

  • Focus – Each narrative essay should focus on a main idea or plot that can be supported by the rest of the story and explained. This idea is the main argument of the narrative, and it should be structured in such a way as to place great emphasis on the significance of the main event, person or object.
  • Point of view – this area should be considered in the field in which the writer has chosen to focus. As mentioned earlier, most narrative essays are written in the first person, but third person can also be used. You can choose from both perspectives if your narrative essay is fictional, but if it’s non-fiction, then it should be written in the first person.
  •  Conversations – these usually need to be included because there is a story in a narrative essay. The conversations develop the story by expanding the plot, telling readers what is happening, it usually happens in chronological order, but not always. The setting of the story and the characters involved, the climax of events, the realization of the main argument of the story and the decision are explained.
  •  An element of conflict – a narrative essay should include a conflict that the protagonist must recognize and then overcome.
  •  Developing details – including detailing the essay, this will help keep the reader interested in the story as well as tell the story. These details should be clear and specific to support the main plot and ‘add color’ to the essay. This will help detailed descriptions of the scenery and situations.

The narrative essay thesis sets the ‘stage’ for the lesson to be learned or taught through fiction. In any case, it is important that the thesis is clear in order to effectively convey the author’s message.

In Malala Yousafzai’s memoir I am Malala, the thesis can be found on the first pages of her story.

“A year ago I left home for school and never came back. I was hit by a Taliban bullet and flew out of Pakistan unconscious. Some people say that I will never return home, but deep down I firmly believe that I will. Being cut off from the country you love is not something anyone should wish for.”

In this thesis, Yousafzai establishes the basis of her memoirs, which should tell the story of how she was forced to leave her home.


The introduction should contain some commentary on the narrative essay topic – perhaps definitions of key concepts or an explanation of how you understand the question. Also in this section, you need to list which aspects of the topic you will consider and why.

Remember that an essay is not a novel, so you need to choose only a few main arguments that reveal the topic. The introduction should give a clear idea of what will be discussed next, and the teacher should see that you are answering a specific set of questions.

Thus, a good introduction should:

  • Demonstrate your intention to answer the question;
  • Show that you understand the topic;
  • Outline the structure of your response and the main aspects that you will consider (your plan);
  • Acknowledge that you have done some research and cite one of your sources;
  • Fully correspond to the theme;
  • Be concise and take up about 8-9% of the total text (for example, 120 words in a 1500-word essay).


Start your essay with a key phrase that will indicate the direction of your answer. For example:

  • This essay deals with…
  • This assignment will examine

Use the same or similar wording as in the essay topic.

You can also use these words and expressions to emphasize your work plan, for example:

  • The essay is divided into four sections…
  • It will first consider…
  • It will then continue to describe…
  • , some conclusions will be drawn as to..

Thesis Statement

The thesis is a statement or central idea that the author puts forward at the beginning and will maintain throughout the subsequent text; the point of view that the author is trying to prove.

A thesis is a point of view that the author believes to be true, and which will be proven by means of facts or situations that support this central idea.

A strong thesis defines a topic for discussion, summarizes the main arguments, and persuades your audience to continue reading the text.

Typically, a good thesis has two components:

  1. Topic: tells the reader what your essay is about.
  2. Argument on the topic: proves and explains your logical statements and ideas on the topic; refutes alternative claims.

 In some cases, the thesis can stretch for two sentences, but it should be formulated briefly, and not discussed in a whole paragraph.

 A good thesis should be interesting and perhaps even controversial. It should draw readers into your work and encourage them to learn more.


The main body should explain each of the arguments using examples and illustrations. Information should be clearly divided logically – for this, the text is divided into paragraphs.

You need to think over the structure of the essay and make sure that the body of the essay logically leads to a conclusion.


The conclusion should summarize the ideas expressed. Here it is necessary to answer the question formulated in the narrative essay topic. Otherwise, depending on the topic, indicate the prospects or consequences of the problem under consideration.

Also, in this section, you can formulate related topics worthy of further reflection and express personal views – if they are supported by the arguments that you have given earlier.

 A good conclusion is:

  • Not only concluding. The conclusion should be a thoughtful conclusion to the work, for example, applying what is written to a real situation.
  • Quintessence, that is, a short list of the main ideas. It is worth referring to the introduction and drawing parallels using the same keywords or images, but using a different wording. Do not repeat word for word.
  • Reinforcement of the ideas of the main part of the work.
  • Perhaps a suggestive question, a vivid image, a quote, if appropriate.
  • As an option – a forecast of results or consequences, a possible solution, a call to action. 

However, there are points that should be avoided in the conclusion of the essay. You should never come up with completely new ideas. If they are really important, include them in the body.

According to many teachers, the conclusion is the most important part of the essay. In it, you demonstrate that you have a good command of the material and thoughtfully approached the consideration of the problem. But if you’re stuck with research papers writing you can buy research papers for sale from phd authors.

Paper Examples

“Looking back at a childhood filled with events and memories, I find it quite difficult to choose what leaves me with the legendary warm and fuzzy feelings. I have had the pleasure of traveling the United States on many touching journeys. I’ve been to the woods in Utah, stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon.”

“People face problems every day. There are many ups and downs in life and it is important to overcome the obstacles you face. Differences should not prevent you from fulfilling your dreams; it’s important to get through adversity, life can get tough, but you should always let your voice be heard, even when others hold it back. Due to health problems, I had to study in an inclusive school, and this was a big challenge for me.”


Narrative Essay Writing Tips

The sooner you start thinking about the topic of the essay, the more time you will have to collect material. When your brain is set to think about a question, the information seems to catch your eye.

To begin with, it is best to sketch out what you know about the topic of the essay: perhaps you know even more than you thought. This will give you ideas on which direction to go next.

To act purposefully, make a plan and formulate a preliminary set of questions. When you start to study the material, you will have new, more specific questions, and you will be able to look for answers already on them.

Do not overuse complex words and expressions, but avoid slang and abbreviations. In general, try to write in short, simple sentences, breaking them up with longer ones from time to time. The goal is to state the essence clearly so that the reader can easily follow the course of thought and not be distracted by extraneous reasoning.

If possible, use the active voice, do not complicate the sentences. For example, instead of “Crime was increasing rapidly and the police were becoming concerned,” write: “The rapid increase in crime was causing concern among the police.”

The logical transition from one paragraph to another sometimes causes serious difficulties for the author. To preserve the coherence of the text, it is necessary to guide the reader, give him signals. Introductory and linking words that perform various functions can help with this.

Essay Brother team will be happy to guide you through any pitfalls of narrative essay writing! You will get an excellent essay without efforts!

How to Write A Narrative Essay scaled
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Article was written by Lista Mn

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