Techniques In Writing Narrative Essay


A narrative essay is a form of academic writing that is built around a narration of a certain event or situation. It is a short form of a narrative novel. Its main objective is to tell a story that it is both engaging and interesting to the reader. A narrative essay, more than any other type of essay, allows you to be creative as a writer.

Though a narrative essay might seem like a short story, narrative essays focus on personal experience that hint at a lesson to be learned, and is therefore non-fiction.

Steps for Writing a Narrative Essay

  1. Figure out the plot. You should never start writing your narrative essay before you come up with the plot for it.
  2. Make a sketch of events you plan to show in chronological order.
  3. When starting your introduction, begin by setting the scene for the situation you will narrate about. Here it is best to go into details and make the imagery as vivid and colorful as possible so that readers will be able to clearly picture the setting in their minds.
  4. As you
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Samples for Writing a Narrative Essay

Violence Can Be an Answer

I was rather small and skinny, and because of this, I had been dumped into toilets, locked into lockers, pushed around, called names, and I was finished with it. No one was going to bully me anymore. That is how I felt in the fifth grade, when for years I ...

The Ultimate Chess Game

Ideally, the ultimate chess game would be between the two highest rated chess programs, which can even kick the world champion to the curb (which is possible right now). However, I will be writing from personal experience rather than hypothetical situation...

Life-Long Best Friends

In blistering Nebraska, it was America's Independence Day. As usual on every Independence Day since I was five years old, George and Terry, my two best friends, and I, went ...

Writing an engaging personal narrative essay requires you to focus on both the key points of information to be conveyed as well as the many details which make the narrative essay interesting. 

Writing an Impactful Personal Narrative Essay   

A personal narrative essay is about a personal experience, so it is usually written in the first person. To maximize its impact, the essay should:

  • Be written to have an emotional impact on the reader
  • Include a lot of references to sensory perceptions and emotions
  • Use vivid details and imagery

Structure of the Essay

  • The opening of the essay needs to let the reader know the essence of what you will be describing and your point of view.
  • The body of the story needs to give the reader a very clear idea of what happened and how you (the author) feel about that. The story can be told chronologically or the facts may be grouped by importance or type.  
  • The final paragraph needs to wrap up and state the point of the story, whether it is a lesson, an idea, or just a learning experience.  

Writing the Essay

Writing a good narrative essay requires you to include interesting information in an engaging way. Here are some tips:

  • Record yourself telling the story. That will help your organize your story and make the writing flow.
  • Include anecdotes and dialogue in the essay.
  • Use transitory words to connect sentences like: therefore, however, or for example.
  • Vary the structure of your sentences to make the writing more interesting. Try adding some compound, complex, or interrogative sentences. 
  • Make the words lively, descriptive, exciting, active, emotional, and precise.  

Example of Narrative Writing

Here is an example of writing used in a personal narrative essay. Notice the tone and words that set the mood. You can almost feel the heat and humidity.

“It was the middle of springtime and across from my house where the incident took place. There was a lake there in which my brother and I loved to explore from time to time. The humidity and water drops where reminiscent of a fully functional sauna. The onslaught of heat and burning glow of the sun was relentless.”

Types of Essays

An essay is a short piece of writing which is either analytical or speculative. Most essays are written from the author’s point of view.

The word “essay” began to be used in 1588 when Michel de Montaigne published a book called Essais and the word represents a short work written on a particular subject.

There are many kinds of essays, and following is a short explanation of a few of them.

Persuasive or Argumentative Essay

The persuasive or argumentative essay picks a certain viewpoint and offers support of it with data, statistics, and other evidence. Its purpose is to make the reader agree with the proofs and conclusions. In other words, the reader should share the viewpoint of the writer.

Persuasive essays need to have logical and clear reasoning supported by facts and arguments.

Comparison Essay

A comparison essay will compare two things and point out their similarities and differences. The writer needs to find as many similarities and differences as possible so he will need to do some research.

It does not matter in what order the facts are presented, as long as they are easy to understand by the reader.

Descriptive Essay

Descriptive essays answer the questions: how, what, why, when, and where.  They can be written about any subject; a place, person, animal, event, thing, or memory. The writer will share with the reader what he feels and perceives.

The tone should be sensory in nature so the reader can almost see, smell, taste, hear, and feel what the author experienced.

Narrative Essay

A narrative essay tells a story that has a point to be made. The reader may receive an idea or a lesson from the essay. The story is told using sensory details and emotional language.

A narrative essay usually reflects something of a personal nature so many times it becomes a personal narrative essay. 

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Tips for Writing a Personal Narrative Essay

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Writing an engaging personal narrative essay requires you to focus on both the key points of information to be conveyed as well as the many details which make the narrative essay interesting. 

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