Ideas for a Narrative Essay

narrative-essay-tips

The overall purpose of writing a narrative essay is to unfold a story that will grab your reader’s attention. This story typically concerns your personal experience and that is why it is so easy to make it riveting. The most valuable piece of advice you might ever encounter is to choose topics for narrative essays from the sphere of your interest and “infect” your audience with this passion. Furthermore, if you strive for making this story appealing, choose narrative essay topics, about which you are knowledgeable enough.

The Core Elements of a True Narrative Essay

When it comes to the purpose of writing a narrative essay, it might be divided into multiple groups. Nevertheless, all of them have the following features:

  • The narration evolves around one central point.
  • The supporting details of that central point are also presented.
  • For the time dimension, it should be concreted and clearly organized.

As far as the writer often presents the chain of events of their own life, there is no need to follow strict structure regulations. Remember to keep a narrative essay narrative but not personal. Despite the fact that a personal essay also belongs to the sub-genre of narrative essays, it has some emotional considerations that lie behind the events. It means that in the personal essay your feelings and worries are the focal point, whereas in the narrative essay you need to use only factual information and be more objective.

Striking the balance between these two types is vital as far as your narration should appeal to the audience with the help of sensory details. Tell about your strong desires, the obstacles you overcame on your way and the tough challenges that almost led you astray, and insert humor into your writing. Your unique and unparalleled style will help you to fascinate the reader. While reading your piece of writing, a person might draw parallels with their life and the situations outlived, as well as smile or whine with you. The more connections can the reader find, the more impactful your writing will be.

The following principles will do a great favor for your future narrative essay:

First of all, it would be more interesting for a reader not just observe the events from the distance, but to put themselves in your shoes. Recreating the event and adding some sensory details will involve the reader in the action.

Second, the theme or, in other words, generalization, which supports or summarizes the whole essay, would be of a great value. It does not need to define the course for the sustainable development of the entire planet or even deal with global issues. Find something small, relevant, and applicable to the character, writer, men, women, and kids of all ages and backgrounds.

Third, the fundamental component of the narrative report is the plot itself, so make sure to include supporting unified details. As good butter will not spoil porridge, vivid details will enhance your essay.

Tips on Writing Good Narrative Essays

Under present-day conditions, it is hard to impress the audience with some out of ordinary events. The situation, which you might perceive as unique, could have happened with thousands of people during the whole course of history. What conclusion do we arrive at? You have to wear your heart on your sleeve and forget about embellishing the facts. Sincerity is valued.

As it has already been mentioned, you have one central topic supported by some ideas closely related to it. Reflections of nothing or even interesting facts, which are irrelevant to the topic, are not appropriate. Stick firmly to your main idea and do not allow yourself to get side-tracked.
Furthermore, the whole essay should be logically structured. It should include all the storytelling conventions, such as the setting and characters, a plot, a climax, and an ending. The flow of narration should not be broken by any flaws. In addition, the conclusion that will sum up the essay and provide an outcome of the events described is strongly appreciated. Besides, you are allowed to implement any stylistic devices that will come to your mind and the usage of the first person singular is not forbidden. Create your own writing manner in order to captivate the audience. The more engaging your style is the bigger your audience will be.

Last, but not least, you should follow your paper requirements. Despite being a flexible type of essay, a narrative essay must be written according to the instructions given by your tutor or professor.

An Introduction for a Narrative Essay

If you are puzzled with how to choose the format for a narrative essay, how to structure your writing, or how to start a narrative essay, relax. The thing that should occupy your mind is an introduction. This part exerts a drastic impact on the audience, and it captivates their minds. It is of the utmost importance to compile a powerful opening of the great narrative essay and the following tips will come to your aid: 

  • Brainstorming. Before delving into writing about the very first event that sprang to mind, think of three or four situations that had some effect on you. With the range of available choices, it would be easier for you to find out which story will be more engaging for the audience.
  • Hook. It is definitely not something new for you but still an integral part of your essay. It is always the first sentence that hooks your readers and evokes the interest in them.
  • Theme. In other words, your thesis statement. There should be something that unites the whole essay and that runs through each sentence. The last sentence in the introductory paragraph always sums up the whole writing.
  • Unfolding. Your story should kick off in the middle sentences of the introductory paragraph. Concentrate on the background information and details, such as characters, the setting, time, weather, etc., which will be the basis for the ensuing events. Introducing a leading character either yourself or someone you know personally in the introduction is vital, as your audience is not interested in making wild guesses.
  • Description. As far as this type of essay is considered to be a non-fiction kind of writing, it would be a good idea to use various descriptions in your first draft. Later, you will have an opportunity to eliminate some unnecessary details, but still, it is easier to erase or shorten than add, isn’t it?
  • Inserts: dialog, quotation, or humor. You might use any of these inserts to introduce your story. Nevertheless, make it brief in order not to distract the reader.
  • Transition. Do not spend much time on writing an introduction. If making it brief and precise seems an insurmountable obstacle, leave it as it is and move on. After finishing your draft, you will have enough time to polish the introductory paragraph. 

How Frightening Are Narrative Reports?

Calm down as they are not frightening at all! It is a common knowledge that writing an essay requires “higher order thinking” and narrative reports lack it. A book review that you usually compile for your literature course is a notable example of a narrative report. In this report, you need to simply outline a book, paying special attention to the characters, some scenes, and the plot itself. Not the hardest task and that is why you will not get many points for doing it.


Being a piece of cake, a book report leaves many stones unturned, for instance, it does not take into account the book’s underlying concepts, arguments, assumptions, motifs, themes, etc. Retelling the sequence of events, it bypasses the meaning and purpose of the writing. To cut a long story short, it overlooks things that make literature literature.

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