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Become A Master Of A Narrative Essay: Topics, Examples, Tips

June 14, 2016 - Posted to How to: Essay writing tips
Become A Master Of A Narrative Essay: Topics, Examples, Tips


During your semester, usually in your first, your English instructor may assign what is called a narrative type essay. They may do it for various reasons; one of the few reasons being that it is a way to get to know you better. The narrative form of essay gives the student an opportunity to tell a story mainly about themselves. There are different kinds of narrative stories. For example, narrative environment is a contested term for the techniques of architectural and graphic design that tell stories in space and the techniques of virtual environment (video games). The same is right for narrative films (they tell a story filming reality), narrative poetry and history.

Unlike a book report, that summarizes what the reader thinks about another authors work, when writing a narrative essay, you as the author, is in the position to give detailed verbiage of what your experiences and feelings are on a specific subject, such as:

  • You Honeymoon
  • The day you delivered your first child
  • How you felt after an unfavorable health diagnosis


Point of View

These subjects demand that the writer come from his or her own point of view and give wider detailed descriptions that reflect their inner most reflections on the matter. For this reason, someone who is going to tackle this type of writing is better to learn the secrets of a good narrative essay. Also it's vital to choose among narrative essay topics that is close to their hearts for the best writing experience. You will be able to use the word “I” in this writing, which is normally frowned upon in academic and technical papers.

Also allowed in this type of writing is the invitation to the audience to feel along with you. As you pull your readers into your narrative, make the story reflective; they will connect to your words if you amuse them, enlighten them, or maybe even change them.

Because narratives are of a personal nature, many therapists use this type of writing as a tool in therapy for distressed individuals who need to get something off their chest. In these instances, new writers may need guidance on how to write my essay, or begin a journal.

Basic Writing Conventions

You are trying to leave an impression on your readers; be sure to keep your focus on the normal conventions that should be included in all stories. Just check out the narrative essay tips. Some of these are:

1. Plot

In narrative something usually happens, Throughout the paper you may be reflecting on one single action that happened and how it caught your attention, or a sequence of events, like going on a family trip. You would have a plot, which connects everything with a beginning, and middle a climax and then an ending.

Be mindful that every sequence that you write must follow distinct meanings that relate the main purpose, because you don’t want to ramble.

2. Observations

Details are what makes narratives memorable. Bring your story to life with the colors, textures, sounds, shapes, smells and moods that they can feel through the words on your pages. These are the tools that will make you believable to your audience. They will trust that you experienced what you are trying to convey to them, thus making your statements credible. Never be shy to check out a narrative essay example.

3. Looking for Topics

Normally, if the narrative is about something that only you experienced, you will have lived close enough to the details not to have to keep notes or search for a topic. On the other hand, if you are assigned a specific topic that takes a little more effort of your part, consider trying these tips.

  • Brainstorm
  • Make lists
  • Interview others
  • Free write
  • Map out your ideas


Always keep a notebook with you, or utilize the notetaking app on your smart-phone. Your memory may jog at any given moment about a topic for your essay, and you will be ready to jot it down.

You may have gone on a special trip with your entire family that lasted three days. Don’t try to cram the entire trip down your reader’s throats, and stay away from clichés’.

Try to use original content and dig into the family trip in sections, and from each section pull out the funniest or most profound incident to put into your essay. Connect all of these sections coherently by embellishing the connections with your own voice, and integrating some dialogue to make it more interesting, and stick to your topic to sum it all up.

4. Understand Your Audience

Narrative is such an open type of writing that it attracts all kinds of people. Human beings love the human experience; those who write diaries secretly want someone to read them one day, and who hasn’t wanted to read someone else’s deepest thoughts?

Some write narratives to reveal the horrors of their race, or their struggles in life such as women and minorities, or people of other religions or ethnic backgrounds write them to divulge the details of their experiences, like the Jewish people in the camps of Auschwitz.

Whatever you write, think of how your story will sound in the far future to any audience, because it may do a crossover from your intended audience and make an impression of someone else.

Be mindful to tailor your essay for the proper readers, especially if a narrative is requested for an entrance qualification into college. College writing essays can be tricky when they ask for narratives.

On one hand you want to engage them, and on the other hand you are writing for an academic audience, so keep it held back a little, remember they are not your friends. Stories told to friends are usually a bit brasher.

5. Creating Your Structure

Now that you have a topic and gathered all your information, it is time to put it all together. If you have watched television, movies or gone to plays, you already have a good idea of how this will go. In these types of media, we see foreshadowing, flashbacks, and sometimes they start at the end and work their way up to why the beginning is the way it is.

First, make sure that you know your word count and how many pages are required of you. As you begin to write make sure you are using proper transitional words and phrases like a little train that connects your incidents together.

Have fun in the middle leading up to the climax, or the epiphany that is had during the story. If you find that there is something that just does not belong once you get to the climactic part of your story, cut it out. You must stay with pertinent points in order for your story to continue to make sense to your audience.

This part of your story can be difficult; however, as long as you keep all of your smaller incidents lined up while you are writing, they will come to a revealing stage for you and your readers called the climax or epiphany, and you can have both. An epiphany is when your reader, or you, see things in a new way; this is sometimes called lightbulb effect because it is like a light went off inside of your head.

The use of images is also a good idea if allowed in your narrative essay. They show more depth and insight into what you are trying to convey, by showing a sequence of events.

You are now ready to write your first narrative essay, and if you need help writing an essay, there are always custom writing services that have blog content to help you along the way.

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