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Key Notes on How to Write a Narrative Essay

by Feb 23, 2017Writing

You must have dreaded to write essays while in school or during competitions. Teachers in schools usually ask you to write different types of essays as part of assignments. Writing essays are also very common in examinations to test your creative skills.

Writing essay is truly an uphill task in itself. It involves recalling a number of ideas and facts, organizing those and penning those in a compact set of words. It takes a lot of reading and practice to master.Read about basic steps on how to write an essay.

Narrative essays are those in which you need to write about a personal storyin the context of a larger theme. For example, you can write an essay on some significant event in your school days which taught you an important life lesson.

Some points need to be kept in mind to learn how to write a narrative essay appropriately.

Deciding on the topic

  • Readers expect a captivating story. So choosing an appropriate topic is must.
  • Most of the times a theme will be provided to you for writing a narrative essay. It makes your work easier to frame your essay title. In case the theme has not been mentioned you need to think of a past experience which has an appealing theme for the readers.
  • Recall a specific event from your past which can communicate a bigger message to readers.
  • Sequence of thought or ideas is very important. Think of tiny but significant parts of the story, as even the tiniest events can be significant to attract readers’ attention.
  • You may consider those events where you overcame any obstacles, incidents that brought changes to your personality or when you faced social discrimination.
  • In order to know how to write a narrative essay, you must remember that your essay must be non-fiction and has to be based on stories that really happened. Do not cook up a random story.
  • Your topic should have an emotional connection with the readers.
  • Limit the number of characters in your story to keep the essay concise.
  • Brainstorm as much as possible on your ideas and experience to frame the topic.

Working on the draft

  • Once you’ve decided on a topic, start your essay with an apt introduction.
  • State a purpose or argument at the beginning of your essay. The message you want to portray to readers should be inherent in your argument.

You may either emphasize a statement with the essay or contradict the statement in the course of the essay.

  • Create a setting for the story to unfold. Do not jump to the crux of the events directly. Create a mood for the reader to get curious about your story and intentions.
  • Write the actual narration of your experience in the body of the essay. Use vivid descriptions in your narration to keep readers engrossed.A narrative essay must be more informative than descriptive. For example, instead of writing “I left the spade in the garden and ran inside to pick up the phone” you can write “I heard the phone ringing. I somehow knew that call was from the university. I could not resist but leave the spade in the garden and ran inside the house to get the phone”.
  • Walk the readers through the story and involve the readers.
  • Use dialogues among your characters to make the essay more interesting.
  • If your plot permits, insert roles of antagonists and protagonists in your story. It varies with the stories that you have in mind. Remember that readers take a lot more interest in stories with protagonists trying to prove a point.
  • Write the narrations in first person. Extensive use of ‘I’ in your essay emphasizes your intent. The events can be written in the past tense.
  • Maintain a consistent point of view throughout the essay.
  • Write sufficient number of supporting ideas along with your main argument.
  • End the essay with a conclusion. Do not keep suspense for the readers. The readers must be well aware from the beginning what your underlying message is going to be.
  • Restate your purpose in the conclusion and allow the readers to draw conclusions themselves.

Reviewing your essay

  • An important aspect of how to write a narrative essay is to review your draft. Go through what you have written and double check whether you have conveyed the message to readers.
  • Check if your narration is chronologically placed.
  • If you feel your narrations have not been able to bring out the intended essence among readers then format your essay.
  • Remove any unnecessary characters or dialogues.
  • Obviously, look for syntax errors and grammatical corrections required. You don’t want to publish or submit an error prone essay.

Go by these steps, read and analyze more essays to learn how to write narrative essays.