Narrative Essay: How-To, Structure, Examples, Topics

Posted: May 29, 2017 - to Guide
Content how to write a narrative essay

Narrative essays are most often used in subjects where student experience is the key. They often sound like they're harder than they actually are. If you're worried about your essay, don't worry. This guide will help you get it written with ease.

What is a narrative essay?

A narrative essay is one that details an experience you've had, and outlines it for the reader in a linear format. It's not just describing what happened, but also detailing what you felt at the time, how it affected you, and what you've learned from it.

Structure

Of course, your essay will be unique, as it's detailing an event that happened in your life. However, following a basic structure will make it easier to read and follow.

  • Introduction: Introduce the topic, and the incident that you're going to describe. Explain why it's important to you.
  • Thesis statement: Quickly sum up what you learned as a result of the incident you're describing.
  • Main body: You'll now talk about the incident involved. As you do so, make sure you're including all the important points. Who was involved? Where did it happen? Why did it happen? Describe exactly what happened, including your thoughts and feelings on the matter.
  • Conclusion: Refer to your thesis again, and how your experiences impacted your understanding of the topic at hand.

Steps for writing

  • Check the topic you've been given, and think about what personal experience you can use to write around it.
  • Write some notes on the experience. What happened? Write a rough outline of the event.
  • Do your research, and find evidence to support your learning in text.
  • Write your outline. If you use the structure above, it'll be easy to decide where everything will fit in your essay.
  • Sit down to write. Use the structure as a road map, and you'll find essay writing is a lot easier than it seems.
  • Proofread and edit. Even if you think your essay's perfect, give it one last read through before you turn it in. You'll be amazed at the errors that you can miss.

Topics

Narrative essays are, by definition, personal to you. That's why the topics will focus on something you've experienced in the past. For example, you may need to write about a time you felt disrespected, or when you feel you really succeeded in a job.

Examples of a narrative essay

If you want some practice, here are some topics you can try writing about:

  • What was the scariest moment of your life?
  • Write about a time you disagreed with someone. How did you resolve it?
  • Describe a time when you had to work hard to achieve something.

These examples will all let you explore what you learned from these experiences, and describe how you use those lessons in your everyday life.

With this help, you should be able to write an excellent narrative essay. Tell the story, but focus on what came of the events in question.

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