All You Need to Know Before Writing a Narrative Essay
Once you become a college student, you will be regularly asked to write essays of various types. Since the ultimate idea of education is to help students build strong writing and speaking skills, writing essays is the best assignment for training and developing such skills.
A narrative essay is fairly among the most prevailing essay types out of the wide variety of college essays. This type aims to let you demonstrate how good your storytelling skills are and display your ability to understand and logically explain the topic. A narrative essay is a tool for allowing you, as a researcher, to discover the subject or a particular event, and then interpret it from your point of view.
While some students ultimately believe that composing a narrative essay is beyond their capacity, it is not like this. We have prepared a helpful guide for you to rely on if your purpose is to submit a winning personal narrative essay.
What is a Narrative Essay?
What many students enjoy so far is writing narrative essays. Unlike an argumentative or, for instance, cause and effect essay, it does not require a lot of argumentation and reasoning. Yet, it isn’t easy to find a single explicit narrative essay definition. As it appears to be self-explanatory from the name, a narrative essay implies describing some topic in the way you see it while drawing on some personal experience connected to the topic. Even though the narrative essay format still requires knowledge about the essay structure and a thorough research process, it is more personal than the rest of the essay types. In essence, what makes it sound personal is the storytelling way of writing: you tell a story by backing up on some subject, literary devices, personal experiences. Still, a narrative essay, just like all other essays, follows a precise structure, has an introduction, the main body, and closing remarks.
While the most well-known essay types revolve around the argument and prove its precision by backing up on some evidence, this is not the case for a narrative essay. On the contrary, what narrative essay places in the center is details from the writer’s perspective. The writer tells the story and indicates the essential information, and by doing so, he or she delivers the main point to the audience. These details might be events, people, incidents, dialogues: everything that contributes to the story and its implications in the future. However, a narrative essay is not the same thing as a story.
Difference Between a Narrative Essay and a Short Story
First of all, a short story focuses on the incidents: it tells about what happened and tries to evoke the reader’s feelings regarding the situation. Besides, a short story is smaller than a narrative. Plus, a short story doesn’t necessarily have a format, unlike a narrative essay. A narrative essay follows a specific format.
Another essential characteristic of a narrative essay is a motif. First of all, prior to writing an essay, the writer should develop a particular motive and revolve around it further. This is so because a narrative essay aims to convince the reader and deliver them a critical point by telling a story. Unlike a narrative essay, a short story does not pursue such a goal; instead, it aims at telling a story in the first instance.
The final difference is that a short story leaves some parts of the story undisclosed, making the reader curious to discover more. A narrative essay aims to fully disclose the story behind the motive and fulfill the audience’s curiosity. It doesn’t aim at making the reader interested at the end of the story; it strives to make sure that the reader understood the motive.
How to Choose a Topic for a Narrative Essay?
If you don’t know how to start a narrative essay yet, you will probably have trouble coming up with a topic. In essence, even though composing a narrative essay is rather a pleasant process, figuring out the topic is not. Whenever you are having trouble coming up with some catchy topic, trust us, you are not the only one struggling with this. Anyway, what you may do is take your time and think about the issues and topics that interest you the most. Try to figure out some top narrative essay topics that trigger your interest. Keep in mind that it is always the right decision to pick a topic that is entirely new for you. Provided that you already have a theoretical background about the issue, coming up with a story for your narrative essay and other details will be easy for you.
Another trick that will facilitate the topic selection process is to refer to a narrative essay example first. This will give you an understanding of how the narrative essay looks, as well as give you ideas for a suitable topic.
Finally, avoid too complicated and broad topics. Remember that a narrative essay aims to talk about the issue and tell a story connected to it. So, if you select a vast topic, your readers might have trouble interpreting your story and noticing the link to the issue.
Elements of a Narrative Essay
Writing a narrative essay implies taking all of its elements into account: character, motive, dialogue. Including all these elements contributes to the essay a lot. If you successfully incorporate all of them into your essay, you will end up with the best narrative essay that deserves an A+.
Character. Using characters allows you to make your story sound organic and easy to interpret. Whenever you tell a particular story, you always include characters, and a narrative essay is not an exception. The characters act in their own way, do their deeds, contribute to the story in a certain way, and so on. They pretty much explain why you are telling this particular story and how one can link the story to the thesis statement.
Theme or motif. As you have already learned, the motif is the crucial point that distinguishes a narrative essay from a story. It also distinguishes a narrative essay from the rest of the essay types. The motif lies in the center of your narrative, and it is the reason you are telling the audience the story. You outline your motif in a thesis statement in the introduction of your essay and then depict your thesis’s elements in your story.
Dialogue. As long as you use characters in your narrative essay, it would be best if you made them fit the story organically. To accomplish this, you should introduce the third element – the dialogues. When you add dialogues to your narrative essay, the logic of your story becomes more comfortable to comprehend. But if you omit dialogues, some of your characters may merely make no sense, and the reader might ask themselves, “what is this character here for?”.
Narrative Essay Outline
The initial point you need to consider is to create an effective outline. Such an outline will not only let you save time writing your paper but also let your ideas flow logically and keep your text structured. Whenever you feel like you don’t know how to structure your essay and where to begin – consider drawing an outline. Here is what the outline comprises.
In the introduction, your role is to give a reader insight into the topic. You may introduce the essential background to give your readers a hint to what you will later talk about. Additionally, you may just introduce yourself to the reader to get a better idea of who you are. Don’t forget to indicate your thesis statement so that the reader understands what you will later talk about in your paper.
While writing a regular essay, you are mostly required to compose 3-5 body paragraphs, each of them supporting your thesis. However, this is not the case with a narrative essay: you may feel free to either extend the length of your main body or keep it short. The size of the main body will primarily depend on how you want to organize your proposal. Remember that the primary goal of a narrative essay is both to engage and entertain the reader and teach and convince them of your vision.
Conclusion, in the case of a narrative essay, implies the ending of your story. You shouldn’t necessarily summarize all the points given; instead, you may demonstrate how the story finished and what the implications were. Besides, you should restate your thesis and show the reader how the story contributes to your thesis. Always double check if you didn’t add any extra information which is not clearly linked to the main body.
Narrative Essay Examples
Even though you may first associate a narrative essay with a short story, these two concepts are somewhat different. If you feel pretty confused about whether you understood the gist of a narrative essay correctly, you may always refer to some brilliant examples. Here are a few of them:
Often, students come up with some writing issues while composing a narrative essay. Although the idea of an essay might be transparent, you may still face difficulties. Keeping plain but extremely useful tips in mind can help you write an essay that deserves the highest grade and ensure you don’t make any mistakes:
Focus on developing a precise, logical structure
If you want to decrease the time of writing and boost your paper’s quality at the same time, creating an outline will be the best option. An outline is a reference you create to build on to assure that you describe events in chronological order and make sure that transitions between the paragraphs are logical.
Don’t forget to describe characters and enrich the text with dialogues
While writing a narrative essay, the primary point to keep in mind is not forgetting to maintain the liveliness of your writing. In particular, you should enrich your narrative essay with dialogues and introduce critical characters, whose presence is critical for developing a story and revealing this story’s main point.
Proofread your text
Even the most flawless essay written by an expert writer might need proofreading. It is always a good decision to take a rest after finishing your work and proceed to checking it after a couple of hours. So, if time is not a critical factor, you may follow this tip and give your essay a fresh new look.
Take advantage of online editing tools
Even if you have proofread the paper you wrote, you may still use grammar checkers to make sure you haven’t missed any single detail. Online checkers can identify even the least apparent mistakes and raise your score. Besides, you may always use checking tools to identify accidental plagiarism.
All in all, even if you know the structure of a narrative paper and have acknowledged yourself with a multitude of writing tips, the overall impression might still remain vague. What you can do in this case is find some quality samples. These will ultimately make you grasp the idea of a narrative essay.
Writing a narrative essay is a fantastic process that allows you to express yourself fully and translate your artistic ideas into an academic paper. Since such a paper does not imply strict requirements and a particular format, you should feel free to express yourself.
Sometimes, regardless of how joyful essay writing may be, you may experience hard times and just find yourself incapable of managing all the workload. Don’t worry; if you feel like not ready to write a narrative essay – our expert writers will always support you in times of need. Simply provide us with your paper instructions, indicate your deadline, and relax a bit while your outstanding paper is being written.
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