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Narrative essays

Narrative essays offer the writers a chance to think and write anything about themselves or an experience they know about. Everybody has memories and experiences at the back of their minds, some of which are worth sharing with the audience. Some of these memories are so merged with each other, prompting the writer to spend more time in the pre-writing stage.

Narrative essays are platforms of telling a story. In other words, they are anecdotal, experiential, and personal. They give the writer a chance to use his creativity in expressing himself. These essays use a defined perspective, which in most cases is the author’s, thereby creating a specific feeling and sensory details. They involve the reader in the elements and sequence of the story being told. As evidenced in some examples of narrative essays, they use vivid and precise verbs. The main point of the narative essay is in the opening or the closing sentence of the first paragraph.

Conversely, narrative essays hinge on personal experiences of the writer and take a form of a story. When using this technique, one must be sure that they incorporate character, plot, setting, climax, and ending. This essay must include all carefully selected details that explain, support or aggrandise the story. All these details must resonate with the writer’s main point of view. Look at different narrative essays examples for a better understanding.

As a writer, understand that the narrative essay:
  • Told from a specific perspective
  • Makes and supports a point
  • Must have clear-cut details
  • Makes use of vivid verbs and modifiers
  • Uses conflict and sequence
  • May incorporate dialogue

When narrative essays are not stories

If you look at other examples of narrative essays, you will find that narrative reports are meant to describe something. Many students write these reports thinking they are college papers or essays. Narrative reports lack higher order thinking but contain necessary information just like other forms of writing. They do not guarantee a student high grades. For instance, a book report is a basic narrative report example. It includes character, action, plot and some scene. This is just a description of the events that take place in that book but leaves out too many details.

Most often than not, narrative reports omit the underlying concepts, assumptions, arguments or the perspectives that the book or article is putting across. It leaves the discussion that contextualises what the text is all about. Simply put, narrative reports do not involve the author’s point of view or the purpose expressed via the article or book.

Writing a good narrative essay

These essays are common pieces of assignments to students at all stages of learning. The stories involved must connect with the themes of your class. With a proper approach, they can be fun to write. Even as you consult different narrative essays examples, this is how you should go about it.

1. Choose a good topic that illustrates a specific subject or theme

All narrative essays involve a story and the analysis of that story. They use personal stories to describe a point. Most of them have no outside references since they use personal story to support the point being made. They are common assignments that test a student’s creativity, story-telling techniques and how a student can connect some personal life elements to a topic under discussion in class.


2. Ensure your story fits the prompt

Look at narrative essays examples to see how and what you can use as the premise of the contents. Ensure that the story you are writing resonates well with the prompt that the teacher has provided.


3. Select a story whose plot is manageable

Narrative essays must tell a story using vibrant and luminous details. Since you are not writing a book, your story must be concise and contained. You must restrict your writing to the characters, plot and setting. When selecting what you want to write about, refrain from using something that takes months to unfold.
You also need to limit the number of characters that you introduce to the audience. You must use only the characters that are significantly essential to the story.


4. Go for a story with vibrant details

Good narrative essays must contain specific details, mental images, and language that bring the story to life for the audience. The sights and smells of your story ought to be discussed in specific details. Let your ingenuities fill in the gaps. These essays are non-fiction, meaning you cannot just make up a story. The events must have taken place for real. You ought to remain true from the start to the end.


5. Draft your narrative essay

  • You can outline your plot before you commence writing. Come up with a list of major points of the plot to ensure you have hit all the high places of your story.
  • Narrative essays do not have formal outlines unless your teacher has requested it.

6. Use a consistent perspective

As opposed to other narrative essays examples, narrative essays use the first person statements. This is entirely fine, irrespective of whether you are using dialogue scenes or a discussion of past events. Narrative essays are told in past tense.


7. Describe crucial characters

Some details of the story remain specific to a particular character you are describing. You can try writing a brief sketch of each crucial character in the essay using specific details that you remember about them.


8. Find the antagonist

The best narrative essays will have a protagonist, and in this case, you. The antagonist is the one who hinders the protagonist from getting what he wants. He or she does not have to be a bad person, and remember, the antagonist in some good narrative essays might be you.


9. Describe your setting

Write about the location in which the story is taking place. The details should be what you know about the place, what you can recall, and what you can find out. The probable research for your essay will probably revolve around this aspect. Find out anything about the setting and countercheck your memory to ensure it is right.


10. Make use of vivid details

Good narrative essay writing relies on vivid details. Use details that describe that specific thing you are writing about. Good writing gives details rather than telling facts. Even the most boring places of town can be made fascinating with the right kind of details included in the writing.


11. Revise your essay

This is a crucial part of writing. Understand that no one gets it right in the first run, even if you have seen examples of narrative essays. When you finish your draft in time, go back through the story and see how well to improve it. Eliminate all the mistakes in punctuation, grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. Ensure that your essay maintains clarity and conciseness.


Common pitfalls to avoid when writing narrative essays

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