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How To Write Narrative Essay For A+

College tutors assign students narrative papers to assess their storytelling skills. Most students prefer narratives to other academic papers since they get to tap on their creative side. They write a particular event or experience with a personal perspective that captivates the target audience.

This article aims to offer a deeper understanding of a narrative paper, explaining how to compose an effective essay step by step.

What Is It About?

We all have different experiences in our daily lives. These form part of our memories, which we can narrate later to people in writing. For instance, when you travel, you view the world and interact with different people from different cultures. Thus, it widens your perspective because of various encounters. Eventually, these experiences might change your life because you have gained new insights. In so doing, it molds you into a good narrative writer. Therefore, the primary purpose of writing a narrative essay is to vividly describe a personal experience to connect people, entertain, or offer insight on various issues.

When Do We Choose To Write Narrative Essay

Narrative papers are academic assignments in high school, college, or university. It is part of the mandatory assessment that tutors often use to gauge students’ performance. When you get an assignment with the prompt to narrate an experience, event, or episode, choose a narrative essay.

Below are ideas of narrative essay topics:

  • The most memorable day in your life.
  • A tragic event that turned your life around.
  • The worst betrayal from your friend.
  • An embarrassing moment you will never forget.
  • Your favorite childhood memory.

 What Is The Difference Between Narrative And Descriptive Essay?

Narratives entail storytelling from a writer’s perspective. It has to incorporate a particular theme with a lesson for the target audience. In contrast, descriptive papers involve detailed descriptions of various entities.

Below is a list of differences between narrative and descriptive essay:

 NarrativeDescriptive
ContentInvolves personal tales of events, tragedies, and episodes in the writer’s life.Illustrates particular places, objects, or people. The content is purely descriptive.
PerspectiveDepict the writer’s point of view using first-person narrationDescriptive essays aim to present a particular entity.
ActionStories are often action-packed since narratives comprise sequential eventsContaines descriptions of things.
OrderHave a chronological order because the story progresses as the plot builds towards the end.Descriptive writers can decide the order they want to follow without a particular rule.
PlotComprises a plot, characters, and setting of the story to complete the entire setup.Contains only the descriptions of the places, people, or objects.

How To Choose A Right Story?

A narrative essay should be a relevant story illustrating a particular topic. Though it is often a personal narrative with a real event, experience, or episode, it must be relevant to the essay prompt. 

Below are examples of narrative topics and the theme depiction:

  • The saddest day in your life – Life episode
  • Discuss the importance of friends for personal development – Relationships
  • The day you lied to your parents – Morality
  • Your favorite movie character – Interests
  • Your most memorable vacation – Traveling

Thus, ensure you select the right topic that will align with your story. Sharing your personal experiences helps you to connect with your audience and attain effectiveness. Also, consider your target audience and research what narrative will be more captivating.

Don’t Make The Narrative Essay Too Long

A compelling narrative contains a specific story. While you may have numerous memorable experiences, do not narrate your entire childhood. Pick one specific example of your life experiences and expound on it. Moreover, include few characters that are relevant to the experience to avoid sprawl from the theme. 

It can be a topic on “The best weekend vacation with my family and best friend.” You can write about your friend and the family members present during the vacation.

Remember, it is a narrative, not a novel. Do not make it too long because it will bore the readers. Thus, be clear and concise while limiting the number of characters as per the plot and setting. 

Broad narratives are not sufficient since you have to squeeze an entire life story into a few paragraphs. You might end up missing out on the message or moral lesson. 

A topic like “My life in high school” is too broad and requires more details to narrate your high school experiences. Therefore, select a single memory or event and make it interesting. 

Add Vivid Details To Your Narrative Essay

Vibrant details captivate readers more since they create imaginary pictures of the narrative. While crafting your narrative, include specific information about the story setting, images, the attitude of the characters, language, and more. Adding vivid details brings life to a story and makes it more captivating. Include the smell of particular places and the breath-taking sights.

Topic: Weekend Getaway At My Grandmother’s Place

“My grandmother was an undiscovered chef, and time spent with her meant days filled with special meals. Every morning, I woke up to the delicious smell of sweet corn and spiced tea. Not forgetting the spectacular view of her farm from my bedroom window. It was always a sight to behold.”

When picking a story, ensure it has room for specific expressions that allow your creative side to flow. Moreover, stay truthful in your narrative since it is a personal experience and not a non-fiction story you are forming in your mind.

Make An Outline For Your Story

Before you embark on writing, make sure you have a proper outline to guide you throughout the narrative. It is imperative to understand where the narrative starts and ends. Start by writing the main points in the narrative in sequential order. 

Having an outline helps you to avoid digressing from the topic and adding irrelevant characters and information. Select an exciting starting point to hook your audience; continue building your plot with vivid details and documenting the significant events until the climax point. 

Remember, limit characters and pick relevant points that resonate with the theme. You don’t have to craft a formal outline for a narrative essay.

Develop Main Characters

Though the paper depicts a personal story, it is paramount to build other characters to make the plot more credible and exciting. Thus, identify the main characters by reviewing your story and the people who were present. 

If your narrative is about a “memorable event that occurred in high school,” ensure you write about a few friends who made that event unforgettable. Select a few characters and bring them to life in your story while capturing their physical appearance or personality. 

Characters build the plot and help in bringing out the message to the target audience.  Moreover, you can achieve character development through dialogues and vivid descriptions.

Put A Conflict In The Story

An effective narrative usually depicts conflict through an antagonist. Thus, incorporate a protagonist and an antagonist to make the story more interesting. The main character is the protagonist in many stories. So, the writer automatically becomes the protagonist. In a narrative, the protagonist always has a goal to achieve something, but the antagonist tries to prevent it from happening.

However, the antagonist does not have to be evil in your story. The aim is to introduce conflict that gives readers a particular perspective away from the writer’s viewpoint.

The Day I Regretted My Actions

“It was a normal day, nothing out of the ordinary. I knew that I had to attend my class lectures as usual and later got to football practice. But my roommate, Peter, had other plans. He convinced me that he had better plans for us. Instead of listening to my gut feeling, I followed my roommate to a casino a few blocks away from our hostels. By the end of that fateful day, I had turned to become a gambler, smoker, and social drinker.”

The antagonist in the story is Peter, the roommate. He convinces the writer to skip classes and choose to have a fun day in the casino. What follows later is conflict in the writer’s life since he becomes addicted to gambling, smoking, and drinking. 

Show The Setting Of The Story

The setting of a story is a crucial aspect that reveals the narrative location. You need to describe the setting of the story and let it integrate into the narrative. Did the event occur in school, at home, or in another city? Ensure you capture the details to capture your reader’s imagination.

A Holiday To Remember

“That evening, the sun set quietly behind the shadows of the forest. Tom, my brother, was deeply engrossed in his favorite football match. The air felt cool as I was home for the holidays after my first semester in college. It was serene, but I was not ready for the events that would unfold after a few days of bonding with my family.”

Try to bring out the details and develop a vivid imagination to keep the audience glued to your plot.

Checklist For Narrative Essays

After completing your paper, it is imperative to conduct a thorough check before turning it in to your professor. Apart from editing and proofreading, ensure you follow the checklist below to polish your paper:

  • A clear theme in the introduction.
  • Include a hook sentence to capture the audience.
  • Answer the “Who, Where, and When” about the occurrence.
  • Craft the story in chronological order.
  • Paragraphs should have a transitional flow.
  • Each paragraph must have one idea.
  • Incorporate dialogue for main conversations.
  • The story must have significance to the audience.
  • The story must have a moral lesson or a message.

You can also use personal pronouns, such as ‘I”, to connect with the readers. The first-person narration is acceptable by MLA format. However, do not overuse it on your paper. Compose your story in the past tense since the plot is about past experiences. Finally, proofread your work and eliminate all syntax and grammatical errors.

Follow the guide above and compose a top-notch narrative essay that will earn you impressive grades. Think about significant events and memories to help you write an attention-grabbing essay.