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Writing a Narrative Essay Guidelines

It is impossible to imagine a student who has never heard of a narrative essay. It is always assigned at high school and college, as such a task is a simple way to check your writing skills, ability to process information and creativity.

A narrative essay definition is very simple and clear: it is a story that tells the audience about a certain experience from your life on a given topic. As a novel, it should also have a plot, characters and a certain conflict. Unlike most of other essays, a narrative one can be really interesting to complete with a proper approach and mood.

The main goal of a narrative essay is to tell about different events, experiences, and relationships which happened to you during your life. It introduces you to the reader and gives a chance to make personal conclusions, learning a certain lesson.

Here is a brief summary if you happen to forget what is a narrative essay:

  • It is written from your point of view;
  • It makes a statement and supports it;
  • Contains lots of details;
  • Is written in a vivid and diverse language;
  • Has a conflict;
  • Uses lots of metaphors, dialogues and other lexical instruments.

Your narrative essay may have a loose structure compared to an analytical, persuasive or any other paper. However, as with any good story, it requires a beginning, main sections, climax, and ending. Don’t forget to add a plot and characters to make your story complete. All of these elements are crucial for an interesting and remarkable story.

Here is a list of typical mistakes you should avoid if you want to get high grades:

  • Poor topic. If you don’t like your topic, the reader will hardly find it interesting, and your essay will end up in a bin;
  • Absence of structure. Try to follow a chronology or a certain sequence of events, presenting arguments and conclusions in a right way. This will help the audience to follow your thoughts;
  • Weak language and lots of slang. Although your story can have a free form and doesn’t need academic language, try to remain professional and use only clear and understandable language;
  • Forgetting about a hook. Always start your narrative essay with a hook sentence. It can be a joke, an anecdote, interesting fact or a rhetoric question, which will help to catch interest of the audience;
  • Insecurity. You should always sound confident when telling your story;
  • Lack of details. A narrative essay should never be general, so you should add details about all of the five senses to help the reader dive into the story.

Knowing all these simple but important details will help you to create a catchy and interesting narrative essay, even if the story behind it is quite common. Don’t forget to read your essay over and over again to make sure it has no mistakes and is smooth.

If you have doubts, ask your friends or relatives to read your essay and make comments. In addition, you can read it aloud and mark sentences which sound out of place.

What is a Personal Narrative Essay

A narrative essay is very personal, which is why it is often called a personal narrative essay. You open yourself up to the readers, telling them about the things that changed you and made you who you are.

That is why, if you want your personal essay to be as valuable as possible, it should:

  • Contain a bright and emotional language filled with colors, examples, and adjectives;
  • Consist of non-standard sentences, like interrogative and complex ones;
  • Have an influence on the audience with its moral or plot;
  • Contain lots of perception or emotional elements;
  • Include anecdotes, stories, and jokes if appropriate.

Don’t forget to select a topic that will have the maximum effect on the audience. Remember, it should not only be interesting for yourself but also remarkable for the reader, teaching him a certain lesson or giving a piece of additional information about yourself.

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Once you decide what result you want to achieve, follow the chosen track: entertain the reader, puzzle or excite him or even open up about dramatic periods of your life. Such personal narrative stories may help someone to overcome addictions, disorders or any other problems they may have. Always think of the ways how your narrative essay can be helpful.

Don’t forget that a narrative essay is a great chance not only to improve grades without a need to complete research but also an opportunity to find out more about your classmates, their life situations, and stories. You can also introduce the audience to your life and show your best sides.

Examples of Narrative Essays

Did you know that more than half of high school and college students download narrative essay examples to understand the task and get new ideas on their topic? There is nothing wrong with it and can’t be considered a fraud.

A narrative essay example greatly helps students and saves lots of their time on learning about the task and its requirements.

Narrative Essay Outline

As with any other written assignment, especially the one, which describes your own thoughts, a narrative essay follows a common pattern and consists of three main sections:

  • Introduction, where you state the key features of your essay;
  • Main paragraphs, where you describe the event, person, or any other issue the topic requires;
  • Conclusion, where you restate your thesis and explain what lessons you have learned.

Before starting the work itself, we recommend you to write a narrative essay outline. It is a plan of your future work, completed in a form of a list, where all the key points are collected.

With such a list, you will always remember what you wanted to include to your essay and won’t have to miss out on important details.

The format of a narrative essay is quite loose and usually doesn’t require any formatting styles. You don’t need a list of references or a strict word count, so the only requirement is a readable font and size.

Your essay should be pleasant for the eye and not distracting the reader from the text.

Good Narrative Essay Topics

In a majority of cases, your teacher will give you a chance to choose the topic on your own. Luckily, it is quite simple, as you will write about your own experience and won’t need to choose an idea, which requires lots of research and consideration

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However, it is still very important to select a topic that will interest the audience and motivate you. Here are the most common narrative essay topics where you need to talk about:

  • The first day at college;
  • A school trip;
  • The best place you have ever been;
  • A life-changing experience;
  • A situation which helped you to reconsider views on life;
  • An act of kindness which left you speechless;
  • An exciting day from your childhood;
  • A person who influenced your life;
  • A disappointing moment;
  • Your favorite movie or book;
  • The day you met your best friend;
  • An experience with your parents;
  • Unexpected meeting;
  • A scary storm you have been in;
  • A funny situation;
  • The best performance you have been to;
  • A situation, which helped you to leave your comfort zone;
  • The best vacation you have ever had.

Remember, knowing how to write a narrative essay and choosing the right topic will already be half of your success, so just read this article carefully and start working on your narrative essay at once!

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