Published 15 Apr 2022

How to Write a Narrative Essay

Unlock the art of crafting a compelling narrative essay with our expert guidance and essential tips on storytelling.
4 min read

a guy is writing

Among all the types of essays, narrative essays can be classified as the most enjoyable ones – they tell a story and usually don’t require particular evidence or research. It might be fun but it also can be quite challenging. Let’s find out how you can write a narrative essay and avoid common mistakes.

What Is a Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay sometimes can be compared to a descriptive essay because of a few elements in common. For example, they can both be written in a relatively free form and both can imply a creative approach. However, the main thing that a narrative essay is a whole story about an event (from your experience or hypothetical) or object that should be written from an author’s perspective and express their point of view.

A narrative essay can be a part of your homework if you study literature, creative writing, philosophy, sociology, drama, etc. It might be your reflection on some sort of hypothesis or your experience from the past – everything depends on the assignment. Once you understand the core principles and elements of a narrative essay, it will be no problem for you to write such an essay. Unless you don’t have the time and would like an essay writing service to do it for you. In this case, send us your request and the topic – we will do the rest.

But let’s find out how to write a narrative essay and what are the steps of writing.

Steps of Writing a Narrative Essay

Every essay is a challenging task that requires you to be focused and productive. When you know how to structure your work and have a solid plan, it’s much easier to organize your time and finish the task faster.

Step 1. Preparation and Picking the Topic

Any essay writing process starts with preparation. It all depends on whether you have a particular topic assigned by your teacher or not. If you have the topic on your hands, it might be both great and bad at the same time. If you don’t have the chance to pick a topic yourself, it saves you the time to figure out what you want to write about but also might be something that you are not that interested in. That’s why we would rather suggest you pick a topic yourself if you have the chance.

Whenever you are picking the topic for your narrative essay, make sure you pick the one that is interesting and deep enough, so you don’t have problems with word count or expressing your ideas. One of the most common topics for a narrative essay is the recollection of the author’s experience. For example, you can take some vivid memory from your past and make them into a topic for an essay with conclusions about what this event taught you.

Once, you have your topic, you can check some narrative essay samples to make sure you understand the format and what is expected from you. Now, you can start writing,

Step 2. Writing the First Draft

Why do we suggest writing a few drafts? Because it’s always hard to write a great and polished essay from the very start without correcting it. Especially when you are writing not about some common facts and knowledge but about your own experience and point of view. Sometimes you need to write the first draft to understand that you don’t meet the word count and thus add more details to your story or another paragraph about your understanding of an event, phenomena, etc.

When writing your narrative essay, be sure to follow the next rules:

  • Make sure you have a thesis statement that expresses the purpose and the theme of your essay. A thesis statement should be placed in the first or the second paragraph just as in an introduction to a classic essay.
  • Tell your story in chronological order. Usually, authors use past tense whenever they imply that the story happened in past. But you can also use the present tense or even future tense to add more emotion.
  • Don’t forget about a powerful tool – conflict, and consequences as a way to prove your thesis statement or highlight the drama
  • You can use flashbacks and flashforwards if your story requires it.
  • Be sure to use a colorful and emotional tone to make your essay more interesting

As you can see, writing a narrative essay can be pretty fun and there are hardly any rules that you must stick to unless your professor specifies any.

Step 3. Finishing Your Narrative Essay

The finishing step of your writing process is polishing and editing your essay to the maximum. You need to take a look at your text and use your critical thinking – what should be changed and what else you can do to make your essay even better? 

Make sure to edit not only the content and the tone, but also the grammar and punctuation. You can use various software to detect and correct mistakes in the text. Or you can also turn to our team as we offer proofreading and editing service. Make sure you have time before the deadline to complete your essay on time.

That’s it. Now you have a perfect narrative essay that your professor will definitely like. Make sure to check our other useful blog posts and college tips. Good luck!

Karen Palmer Karen Palmer
I am an only child (and not spoiled, really) who spent twelve years in Catholic schools and seven more off-and-on years in college, but my education largely took place at the Cahuenga Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. Decades later, not much has changed. I again live in L.A. and I still spend a lot of time at the library — if I had to choose between reading and eating, I’d be dead in a week.
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