How to Write a Narrative Essay: The Ins and Outs


Your professor just handed you a narrative essay topic. On the surface, it seems like an interesting subject to write on. The problem is, you’re not sure where or how to begin. 

Chin up! Narrative essays are not that hard to write. What’s more, they don’t require much research as they usually revolve around your life experiences. However, there are some rules that students need to follow. This article explores the nitty-gritty of how to write a narrative essay that will leave your professor in awe of your skills. 

What is a narrative essay?

Everyone has experiences lodged deep in their psyches that are worthy of sharing with the outside world. That’s where a narrative essay comes into play. It’s an author’s account of a life-changing event or series of events. For this reason, narrative essays are written in the first person and are lengthier compared to other types of academic writing.

Nonetheless, they have to match the theme your professor provides. Contrary to other essays which center on arguments and research, the narrative definition goes solely on well-crafted recounted details. 

Writing an amazing narrative essay: A winning example

The general structure of a narrative essay follows that of a memoir. It needs a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. You don’t need Shakespearean skills to write an epic paper. Just follow the steps below are you’ll be on your way to greatness.

Step 1: Carefully read the prompt

Despite narrative essays being a type of personal writing, students need to stick to a given prompt. Endeavor to write an essay within the scope defined by the topic in question. So, before diving into your whole life story, think about the prompt to get a grasp of what’s expected.

Step 2: Brainstorming

If there’s no predefined topic, then you’re at liberty to go crazy here. An array of thoughts might race through your mind as potential subjects to write on. Nonetheless, not all of them are fitting. 

For instance, no one wants to hear about that amazing steak you had a couple of weeks ago in your local downtown café. Sure, it might have been seasoned so perfectly that it made you question the meaning of existence itself. But in all honesty, no one cares.

Therefore, when brainstorming on different topics, select personal stories that resonate with your readers. Unless you’re emotionally invested in the topic, there’s no way you’ll produce a masterpiece.

Step 3: Introduction 

In comparison to other types of academic writing, narrative essay introductions are notably shorter. They set the stage for an author’s compelling story. While these papers are personal, they ultimately link to a bigger picture.

For instance, losing your first pet may serve as a trigger to reflect on life. Alternatively, losing your house keys could morph into a narrative essay on various types of loss.

It’s in this paragraph that authors introduce themselves and offer a background that’ll get their audience interested in the narrative. As seen in captivating short stories or fictional books, introductions don’t unveil what’s about to unfold. Instead, they keep readers yearning for more until they reach the end. That’s what makes a great page-turner.

Step 4: Body 

It’s the ’meat’ of your narrative essay as it contains the plot. Moreover, it can be arranged in different ways with the easiest being chronological. Here, students organize their thoughts about how the said events took place in time. 

Keeping readers hooked is vital in this section. You’ll have to figure out a creative way of sparking and retaining your readers’ curiosity throughout as the events unfold. Provide a flawless flow of ideas from one paragraph to the next. 

Integrate vivid descriptions in your writing to form vivid mental pictures and enhance interest in the narrative. Given that this type of essay describes personal experiences, an author needs to discuss the lessons learned from the events described. 

Step 5: Conclusion 

It’s time to wrap up the story. Describe how a resolution was reached from the events discussed in the body. Remember all those "makeover" shows that have the big reveal at the end?

That’s exactly what your essay needs to do. It may take the form of a unique twist or surprise readers don’t see coming.

Put your creativity to the test 

Narrative essays are artistic. They enhance creativity. They take readers on an intimate journey through your life experiences. They have the power to make them reach deep into their emotions and feel what you need them to. 

Use this article as a guide and test the creative limits of your writing skills. While it may seem challenging at first, with time and practice, writing narrative essays does get easier.

With that said, if you still have some reservations on what to write for your narrative essay, our team of competent writers are here to help. Get in touch with us today and we’ll craft a meticulous narrative essay for you in a jiffy.