How to Write a Narrative Essay. Narrative essays are commonly assigned pieces of writing at different stages through school. Typically, assignments involve telling a story from your own life that parts of a personal narrative essay with class themes.
It can be a fun type of assignment to write, if you approach it properly. Learn how to choose a good topic, get a solid rough draft on paper, and revise your narrative essay. Choose a story that illustrates some topic or theme. Generally, narrative essays involve two main components: a story and some analysis of that story.
A narrative essay may be “about” a particular issue, theme, or concept, but it uses a personal story to illustrate that idea. Most of the time, narrative essays will involve no outside research or references. Instead, you’ll be using your personal story to provide the evidence of some point that you’re trying to make. Narrative essays are a common school assignment used to test your creative story-telling skills, as well as your ability to connect some element of your personal life to a topic you might be discussing in class.
Make sure your story fits the prompt. Often, narrative essays are school assignments and they’re written based on a prompt you’ll receive from your teacher. Even if you’ve got a crazy story about the time you escaped from a deserted island on a hot air balloon, read the prompt closely to make sure your story fits the assignment. Choose a story with a manageable plot. Good narrative essays tell specific stories with very vibrant and luminous details. You’re not writing a novel, so the story needs to be fairly contained and concise.
Try to limit it as much as possible in terms of other characters, setting, and plot. A specific family vacation or weekend with a friend? A disaster holiday, or night out during high school? Bad narrative essays are generally too broad. My senior year of high school” or “This summer” are examples of stories that would be far too big to tell in the amount of specific detail that a good narrative essay requires. Pick a single event from the summer, or a single week of your senior year, not something that takes months to unfold. It’s also good to limit the number of characters you introduce.
Only include other characters who are absolutely essential. Every single friend from your fifth grade class will be too many names to keep track of. Choose a story with vibrant details. Good narrative essays are full of specific details, particular images and language that helps make the story come alive for the reader. The sights and smells in your story should all be discussed in particular details.
When you’re thinking of stories that might make for good essays, it’s important to think of some that are rich in these kinds of details. Let your imagination fill in the gaps. When you’re describing your grandmother’s house and a specific weekend you remember spending there, it’s not important to remember exactly what was cooked for dinner on Friday night, unless that’s an important part of the story. What did your grandmother typically cook? What did it usually smell like? Those are the details we need.