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What is a narrative essay?

What is a narrative essay?

Narrative essay is a type of an expository writing, which allows students to talk about their own personality, thoughts and experience. Our mind is full of memories that are worth sharing with the audience. However, such memories are often lost among other moments and it may be quite difficult to decide what to write about.

When you work on a narrative essay it is necessary to tell a story. Such essays always support a certain point of view, usually of the author himself. That is why a narrative essay gives readers a feeling that they are a part of the story. Your language should be precise and colorful, filled with details and multiple elements.

You should also make a certain statement and point, which is usually placed in the first, opening, sentence. Another important feature you should consider is including all the necessary storytelling elements: plot, main characters, setting, a climax and, of course, a final. Your essay should be full of details, which are thoroughly chosen, explained and supported. All of your details should interlink with the main statement you are willing to make.

To sum everything up, a narrative essay:

  • Is always told from a certain point of view;
  • Makes a statement and supports it;
  • Is detailed and precise;
  • Has a vivid language and modifiers;
  • Has a particular sequence;
  • Can include dialogues.

The main goal of a narrative essay is to make a description. Unfortunately, majority of students thinks that narrative essays should look like regular college papers. However, they do not require such a strict attention to thinking and academic performance. In addition, they usually don’t influence final grades and have quite a different goal.

The best example of a narrative essay is a movie report, which includes description of characters, main actions, the plot and interesting scenes.

As you see, it misses out such details, as arguments, assumptions, concepts, various points of view and other analyzing details. Such an essay doesn’t include a discussion, which explains the basis and background of the story. It doesn’t answer such questions, as whether a movie is about love, how people are described and so on. A narrative essay is simply not interested in the main points of view, pictured in a movie, book or any other analyzed piece.

Once you decide what to write about, you need to pay attention to three basic principles:

  1. Always involve the audience in your story. You need to go beyond a plain text and try to recreate events to engage readers and make them a part of the story;
  2. Distinguish a generalization. This means that you should decide what idea your story is going to support. This way your personal opinion will have meaning for the audience. It doesn’t mean that your generalization should concern humanity. It can just include a certain person or a specific category;
  3. Pay attention to details. Although the story is the central component of every narrative essay, you should choose details, which will explain, support and back your story.


examples of narrative essays
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Examples of Narrative Essays
narrative essay examples
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Narrative Essay Examples
narrative essay format
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Narrative Essay Format
narrative essay outline
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Narrative Essay Outline
personal narrative essay
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Personal Narrative Essay

Basic principles of a narrative essay

When you work on the assignment, here are the things you need to keep in mind:

  • In most of the cases you should write your narrative essay, using a first person. However, sometimes tutors may ask you to use a third person instead;
  • Use sensory and concrete details. They must create a comprehensive effect and a solid impression on the reader;
  • All of your narrative essays should follow a general structure and consist of a setting, climax and ending.

Here are some of the topics, which can make up a great narrative essay:

  • The moment of my success;
  • The best journey;
  • First day of school.

Remember, the topic you select must be interesting and important, because the most prominent essays are always completed on the topics, which don’t leave the writer indifferent.