Narrative Essay Examples
In a narrative essay you tell a story, often about a personal experience, but you also make a point. So, the purpose is not only to tell an entertaining tale but also show the reason for the story and the importance of the experience.
There are four types of essays:
- Exposition — gives factual information about various topics to the reader.
- Description — describes in colorful detail the characteristics and traits of a person, place, or thing.
- Argument — convinces the reader by demonstrating the truth or falsity of a topic.
- Narrative — tells a vivid story, usually from one person's viewpoint.
A narrative essay uses all the story elements — a beginning, middle and ending, plot, characters, setting and climax — all coming together to complete the story.
Essential Elements of Narrative Essays
The focus of a narrative essay is the plot, which is told using enough details to build to a climax. Here's how:
- It is usually told chronologically.
- It has a purpose, which is usually stated in the opening sentence.
- It may use dialogue.
- It is written with sensory details and bright descriptions to involve the reader. All these details relate in some way to the main point the writer is making.
All of these elements need to seamlessly combine. A few examples of narrative essays follow. Narrative essays can be quite long, so here only the beginnings of essays are included:
Learning Can Be Scary
This excerpt about learning new things and new situations is an example of a personal narrative essay that describes learning to swim.
The Manager. The Leader
The following excerpt is a narrative essay about a manager who was a great leader. Notice the intriguing first sentence that captures your attention right away.
This excerpt from The Climb also captures your attention right away by creating a sense of mystery. The reader announces that he or she has «this fear» and you want to read on to see what that fear is.
The following narrative essay involves a parent reflecting on taking his kids to Disneyland for the first time.
The Sacred Grove of Oshogbo by Jeffrey Tayler
The following essay contains descriptive language that helps to paint a vivid picture for the reader of an interesting encounter.
This excerpt from «Playground Memory» has very good sensory details.
This excerpt from «Christmas Cookies» makes good use of descriptive language.
When writing a narrative essay, remember that you are sharing sensory and emotional details with the reader.
- Your words need to be vivid and colorful to help the reader feel the same feelings that you felt.
- Elements of the story need to support the point you are making and you need to remember to make reference to that point in the first sentence.
Narrative Essay Examples | AcademicHelp.net
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начинающим может быть интересно (работа над narrative essay)
Я послал свое эссе одному из преподов для критики, вот его ответ. Мне показалось очень интересным, потому что дает четкие советы…
Hi, Aydar. Welcome to the Essay Center! Thank you for submitting your writing to us today. My name is Alicia S., and I am happy to be working with you on your essay.
In the future, you may want to provide a more detailed description of your assignment under the purpose section to enable us to respond more effectively. I am not quite certain as to what kind of assignment it is supposed to be. It looks as though it might be a narrative, so I am going to respond to it as such. Just be aware of this in case it is not the purpose.
* Strengths of the essay :
You do a nice job of framing your essay by repeating the image of the butterfly again in your last sentence. This signals a clear conclusion. Now let’s see what suggestions I can provide for further developing your essay.
Main Idea/Thesis: A thesis statement is important because it provides your reader with a map of your paper. It lets the reader know what you intend to discuss and your position on the subject. The rest of your paper should function to prove your thesis. An effective thesis statement is normally placed at the end of the introduction and should do the following:
- deal with a subject that can be adequately treated given the nature of the assignment
- express one main idea
- assert your conclusions about a subject
- take on a subject upon which reasonable people could disagree
In a narrative you may want to add an element of surprise, so your thesis does not have to be as specific as other thesis statements, but you may want to keep your prompt in mind as you write. For example, if my writing prompt calls for me to write a pargarph about a day that changed my life, I would want to give some indication of the event in my thesis:
I consider February 15th of 2005 the most significant date of my life because I met my future husband on that day.
Then my readers know I am going to explain what happened on that day in my narrative. Let’s take a look at your current thesis statement:
“I was lost in time and space, browsing through clubs and restaurants, looking for my medicine.” You may just want to develop this a bit more to indicate that you did find your “medicine”.
* Requested Overview comments on Content Development: I am not seeing a clear connection between the piano playing and your insomnia. Perhaps you can provide more detail regarding how you felt that first night when you were finally able to sleep.
You indicate you were very moved by the playing, but I didn’t see a clear connection between that and the insomnia.
Perhaps you can explain this a bit more as well.
* Requested Overview comments on Grammar & Mechanics: You have some issues with passive voice. The noun that is performing the action should appear before the verb in order to keep your sentences active.
Here is an example of passive voice:
The dog was hit by the car.
In order to make this active, you would move “car” before the word “hit” since it performs the action in the sentence:
The car hit the dog.
Now take a look at the sentence from your essay: «What a boring night…», — thought I, as she appeared in front of the audience.
How can you change this so that you are not using passive voice when you get to the act of thinking? Look closely at the previous examples. <\p>
Summary of Next Steps:
Aydar,here are my revision suggestions based upon our session today:
· Develop a clear thesis identifying your position.
· Form clear topic sentences and paragraphs to prove your thesis.
· Avoid passive voice.
· Read your paper aloud to help identify potential problem areas. <\p>
I’ve enjoyed working with you today, and I hope you find my suggestions helpful I hope you visit us again soon. Good luck with your revisions! Alicia S.
Please look for more comments in your essay below.
Two years ago I had a bad insomnia.[You do a nice ob of establishing early on what this is about. Good job, Aydar.] Not sleeping enough led me to apathy and depression. I was lost in time and space, browsing through clubs and restaurants, looking for my medicine.
One of such misty nights, as I sat at the table, the DJ announced the name of a young performer. «What a boring night…», — thought I, as she appeared in front of the audience. Seventeen or nineteen years old, dark blond, wearing a long black dress, a scared to shame conservatory student.
[I’m a bit confused by what “a scared to shame” means”]
I started impatiently looking for the waiter while she sat at the piano and… In the whole world clocks stopped. It was as if a colorful butterfly, following the shiny cold creek, flew into my soul, bringing the fresh breeze on its tiny wings. At her gentle touch of the keyboard, I saw how beautiful she was. From the music she played her face started pouring out light and her skin glowed as the surface of the moon. Her music gushed into my veins infusing me with life. For a moment I thought, «She must be a goddess.»
The harmony of her music gave her confidence. She artfully talked to the black and white keys persuading them with striking chords. It reminded me of my childhood; easy, curious, satisfied and simple. And when she finished, she bowed down in front of everybody. And before disappearing behind the curtains, she looked at me and smiled for a short while, as though she knew me.
[Perhaps you can add more here to indicate how this could have caused the subsequent events.]
That night I came home and slept all night and all day.
After a while, insomnia came back. I never saw her again and nothing helped. Wanting to refill that gap, I took piano classes and learnt how to play.[Can you add more details about this?] Since then, every time I practice my piano, the magic butterfly comes back, and when I go to bed I sleep as sweet as a child.
Narrative essay writing help, ideas, topics, examples
As a mode of expository writing, the narrative approach, more than any other, offers writers a chance to think and write about themselves. We all have experiences lodged in our memories, which are worthy of sharing with readers. Yet sometimes they are so fused with other memories that a lot of the time spent in writing narrative is in the prewriting stage.
When you write a narrative essay, you are telling a story.
Narrative essays are told from a defined point of view, often the author's, so there is feeling as well as specific and often sensory details provided to get the reader involved in the elements and sequence of the story.
The verbs are vivid and precise. The narrative essay makes a point and that point is often defined in the opening sentence, but can also be found as the last sentence in the opening paragraph.
When the writer uses this technique, he or she must be sure to include all the conventions of storytelling: plot, character, setting, climax, and ending.
It is usually filled with details that are carefully selected to explain, support, or embellish the story. All of the details relate to the main point the writer is attempting to make.
To summarize, the narrative essay
- is told from a particular point of view
- makes and supports a point
- is filled with precise detail
- uses vivid verbs and modifiers
- uses conflict and sequence as does any story
- may use dialogue
The purpose of a narrative report is to describe something. Many students write narrative reports thinking that these are college essays or papers. While the information in these reports is basic to other forms of writing, narrative reports lack the «higher order thinking» that essays require.
Thus narrative reports do not, as a rule, yield high grades for many college courses. A basic example of a narrative report is a «book report» that outlines a book; it includes the characters, their actions, possibly the plot, and, perhaps, some scenes. That is, it is a description of «what happens in the book.
» But this leaves out an awful lot.
What is left out is what the book or article is about — the underlying concepts, assumptions, arguments, or point of view that the book or article expresses.
A narrative report leaves aside a discussion that puts the events of the text into the context of what the text is about.
Is the text about love? Life in the fast lane? Society? Wealth and power? Poverty? In other words, narrative reports often overlook the authors purpose or point of view expressed through the book or article.
Once an incident is chosen, the writer should keep three principles in mind.
- Remember to involve readers in the story. It is much more interesting to actually recreate an incident for readers than to simply tell about it.
- Find a generalization, which the story supports. This is the only way the writer's personal experience will take on meaning for readers. This generalization does not have to encompass humanity as a whole; it can concern the writer, men, women, or children of various ages and backgrounds.
- Remember that although the main component of a narrative is the story, details must be carefully selected to support, explain, and enhance the story.
Conventions of Narrative Essays
In writing your narrative essay, keep the following conventions in mind.
- Narratives are generally written in the first person, that is, using I. However, third person (he, she, or it) can also be used.
- Narratives rely on concrete, sensory details to convey their point. These details should create a unified, forceful effect, a dominant impression. More information on the use of specific details is available on another page.
- Narratives, as stories, should include these story conventions: a plot, including setting and characters; a climax; and an ending.
Here are some popular essay topic examples for your narrative essay type:
- First Day at College
- The Moment of Success
- A Memorable Journey
The essay topic you choose should be interesting and important to you, because the best essays are written on the topics that really matter to the writer.
How to Write a Narrative Essay — A Research Guide for Students
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Narrative essays evoke emotion in those who read them.
As the author of a narrative, your job is to not only deliver a factual account of a deeply personal event, but to also convey to your readers what the aftermath of that event was – and you must do so in a way that leaves your readers with something of value.
You might even consider starting your narrative by presenting your audience with a question that they can ponder as they read the rest of the paper. Just be sure to provide a response or some sort of tie in to the question in your closing statement.
Writing a narrative requires, at least to a certain extent, a small degree of story-telling capability. In a typical narrative paper the author recounts a personal experience and shares not only what happened but also what the overall outcome or lesson learned was.
There are many different schools of thought when it comes to the best practice for writing narrative essays, however, few are as straightforward as the Five Step Method for Writing Descriptive Narratives. Following this method, anyone writing a narrative paragraph, for example, college students, would follow consecutively that five processes below.
The initial stage is, without doubt, the most important. In the conceptualization phase, writers are asked to call upon past experiences that correlate to the theme of their assignment.
Topic examples might be ‘write about overcoming a fear’ or ‘write about rekindling a friendship.
’ When choosing an experience to share, be mindful of the fact that even seemingly insignificant events have the potential to make for a superior narrative paragraph if it is meaningful to you – we speak passionately about the things that we are emotionally connected to!
After you’ve decided on a topic, invest time into writing down your recollection of suitable events and recalling as many details as possible. Remember to include the date, time of year, people that were present, important objects, etc. Creating a timeline for the narrative will help the details and storyline to flow with ease.
- Drafting the Narrative Form
Before you can create your finished copy, use the outline created previously to make a draft copy. This is the time to really make your story come to life.
- Narrative essays that are written in first person are often the most well received. Using the descriptor ‘I’ will help to engage the reader by creating the illusion of immediacy.
- Remember your role as the story teller – don’t skimp out on the small details. The reader was not there, they need for you to paint a clear visual of the moment just as it happened. Leave no stone unturned.
- Start your narrative with a thought provoking statement or by asking a question that anyone reading your report can think about as they continue to read your narrative paper.
- Rely on descriptive adjectives and words that create clear visualizations. It is your job to engage with your readers. Connect with them – don’t just tell them what happened, explain how it happened. Consider this sentence: “When she left me, I felt as if my heart had been torn into pieces. My entire world shattered.” It holds much more significance than had the writer simply stated, “I was sad that she left me.”
- Call upon your natural storytelling ability to create a text that is both informative and engaging – but remember that a narrative essay is NOT a short story and, therefore, should not be written as such. It must be authentic and compelling.
When revising a narrative essay, writers will read, modify and reformat their paper with the main objective of creating the best project possible. When revising your essay, consider the following:
- Is the essay written in a manner that is not only easy to read and understand but also makes sense to the average audience?
- Am I involving the reader in my recount of the experience? Should my writing definition have more detail or is there so much detail that I run the risk of confusing my readers?
- Are my word choices informative or descriptive?
- Have I successfully conveyed the big picture message? Is the reader able to grasp the connection between the event and the meaning of it all?
When you attempt to define a narrative essay, remember it is up to you to determine when the best time is to reveal the importance of the event or experience.
Some choose to bridge this connection in the initial paragraph, while others may go for a more climactic reveal closer to the end.
There are benefits to both: Disclosure in the beginning helps the reader to better understand the story as it progresses, whereas waiting until the end will leave the reader with more to ponder.
Given the personal nature of a narrative essay, sharing it with readers can be daunting but is almost always worth it. Consider the feedback received to be part of an invaluable learning experience.
What is a Narrative Essay
A narrative essay is just as it sounds – an essay that tells a story. Not just any story though, narrative essays are experiential, circumstantial, personal and always factual.
Narrative papers require the author to call upon personal experiences that relate to the chosen or assigned topic and clearly convey to the reader what happened, how it happened, and why that event was meaningful and relevant.
Please feel free to use our Teacher Plagiarism Checker for the texts you have written.
Here are a few tips and techniques for creating an A+ narrative essay.
- When written in story format, the essay must include all of the key components of a good story – this includes the introduction, the plot, the relevant character profiles, the setting, the climax and the conclusion.
- The essay should have a relevant point. The reader must understand the connection between the topic and the story.
- You must write concisely and from a clear viewpoint. Using the descriptor ‘I’ helps to better engage the reader.
- Use clear and crisp language. Call upon descriptive words or phrases (you might find these descriptive examples online) that spark emotional response to make the reader feel as if they are a part of the story.
- Use an organized format. Your essay must have a clear introduction, body paragraphs that are not only sequential, but also transitional, and an ending that leaves the reader with something to think about.
Narrative Essay Structure
As with all other essay types, a narrative essay requires a functional outline that clearly details all of the parts of the paper and what key points are needed.
There are three main parts to the structure of a narrative essay. They are: the introduction, the body and the conclusion.
- The hook
- The thesis statement
- A clear description of why the topic is significant
- An overview of the setting, background, etc.
- All of the key people involved
- Some semblance of foreshadowing
- The onset of the event
- The climax
- The resolution or the ending
- What was the moral of the story?
- How was the event significant?
- What is the call-to-action?
Narrative Format Examples & Tips
- Always start a narrative essay with either a question, a verifiable fact, a writing definition, a famous quote or some other relevant and thought provoking fact.
- Try to evoke all five senses in your writing. What did you hear? What did you see? What did you smell, etc.
- Avoid using slang.
- Try to be as descriptive as possible.
- Use varying sentence structure to engage the reader and keep them interested.
- Always describe events in chronological order. Not only is this the easiest way to tell a story, it is always the easiest way to make sure that your readers do not get confused or miss important details.
- Use transition words to describe what happened and when.
Narrative essays are fun and interesting ways to convey personal experiences, however, they are not ‘short stories’ and should not be written as such. Narratives, while descriptive and capable of creating emotional connections, must always be truthful and relevant.
The best narratives will leave the reader with something to think about.
How to Write a Narrative Essay: Easy Guide and Useful Tips
Narrative essays are on the list of basic essays that students have to be familiar with. For some, these are the hardest to write, for they require fantasy and writing style.
We examined the tips available online and now offer you the basic rules that professionals at our custom writing service use for writing a narrative essay.
To make these guidelines even more valuable, we also share some of our professional essay writing tips that come directly from our experience.
Writing a Narrative Essay: Getting Started
First of all, let’s take a closer look at narrative essay definition.
A narrative essay is a story about your experience, either imaginary, or real. It can also tell a story of somebody’s life.
We tell stories every day. So, when you ask “How to write a narrative essay,” you should think of a story you want to write about and choose the most exciting concept for the thesis.
It is a great idea to talk to somebody about the story you are to describe. Your interlocutor can have an absolutely different point of view or memories about the fact. Their perspective can add some interesting details to your essay.
Don’t forget to make some notes of the parts that are to be the highlight of the essay and create an outline.
Before you start, here a simple steps to writing a narrative story:
- The planning phase: think about the essay topic and how your life experience correlates with it.
- Even a small fact, idea, or goal can become good narrative story ideas.
- Think about your emotions. The more passionate you will be – the more effective your assignment.
- Another good idea when you are wondering how to start writing a narrative essay is to recall details of your story: people and objects, setting and season, events sequence. Think about the sequence of events and remember; no detail is too small.
Remember: the small details reveal big ideas!
Writing a Narrative Essay. Introduction
Well, you have chosen the topic of your future writing, created an outline.
You should understand the narrative essay structure. Let’s start with an introduction.
The introduction is an important part of your essay paper as it grabs the reader’s attention. And here are some basic guidelines:
- Start with an introductory phrase. It has to be short and catchy. An unexpected point of view is always interesting to get acquainted with.
- State the thesis.
- Write supporting sentences. Give reasons why the story you are sharing is significant.
Professional writers at Custom-writing.org love the saying: “Don’t tell. Show.” It’s not interesting to read about the garage sale. But it is fascinating to see, feel and experience the one. Don’t be greedy on details.
Remember that the reader was not there when the story happened. He is trying to catch up with it while reading. Be polite and thoughtful and don’t get into useless details or get swept away by a story, leaving your reader wondering and wandering.
Writing a Narrative Essay. Check the Main Body Peculiarities!
Your entire story is concentrated in body paragraphs: from three to as many as you wish.
Check the general guidelines on how to write a good narrative body:
- Provide one idea per paragraph.
- Your story has to follow some logical pattern, and chronological is the easiest one.
- With every new paragraph emphasize the significance of experience and the universal truth the story brings to the audience.
Narrative Essay | Essay Samples Blog
Since the time I first travelled to Japan, I fell in love with this country at once. I think that a lot of people can understand me, as it is really hard not to be fascinated with it. I think that there is everything necessary for successful life and work – well-developed traditions, the latest technologies and safety.
Read more »
Everybody has their own way of relaxing and escaping from gloomy and mundane everyday life. As for myself, whenever I feel blue, disappointed with anything or just bored, I go shopping.
Read more »
In my opinion, the most important thing in a person’s life is the attainment of happiness. However, before attaining it, one should define it first.
Read more »
It is not exactly the place where the person lives – it may be some house or flat from the past, for example, the one he or she lived during childhood in.
But what is so specific about it that it plays such an important role in the culture of many nations of the world?
Read more »
It is hard for me to remember much about my first trip abroad (to Egypt, namely), because it was about fifteen years ago and I myself was almost a child at that time, so a lot of memories have been lost somewhere on the way. Read more »
I belong to people who actually take examinations seriously, and for the entirety of my student life I suffered because of it.
Not because I was so afraid of every single exam – on the contrary, I never treated them as something frightening, for I knew that if you prepare for them properly, there is nothing to be afraid of. And so, I prepared properly.
The problem was that my idea of “properly” has always been somewhat different from what was expected by the professors, and successful passing of the examination usually could have been achieved by about 10% of the effort I actually applied.
Read more »
I have learned the truth of this proverb back in high school, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that to a certain extent it determined my lifestyle afterwards.
Read more »
It means that the value of any action should be judged according to how profitable would it be to do something else? The opportunity cost of doing any action is all the other actions that could have been done instead of it but weren’t.
If the action brings more profit than any of its alternative, then the decision is economically correct. If some of the alternatives can bring better results, then the decision is economically wrong.
Read more »
Every now and then we can hear hysterical voices, threatening that the humankind will exhaust all the natural resources of our Earth in 10, 20, 100 years (the exact figure varies according to the level of anxiety of every particular doomsayer). But how much credit should we pay to such predictions?
The history itself suggests that all the predictions of the end of the world in any of its senses have been false.
No matter whether it is atypical pneumonia, the Large Hadron Collider launch or the exhaustion of fossil fuels, there is, in fact, nothing any single human being can do about them but panicking.
Even if we believe that the natural resources will come to an end, how this knowledge may help us?
Read more »
Student Sample: Narrative Essay
The first class I went to in college was philosophy, and it changed my life forever. Our first assignment was to write a short response paper to the Albert Camus essay “The Myth of Sisyphus.” I was extremely nervous about the assignment as well as college. However, through all the confusion in philosophy class, many of my questions about life were answered.
I entered college intending to earn a degree in engineering. I always liked the way mathematics had right and wrong answers. I understood the logic and was very good at it. So when I received my first philosophy assignment that asked me to write my interpretation of the Camus essay, I was instantly confused.
What is the right way to do this assignment, I wondered? I was nervous about writing an incorrect interpretation and did not want to get my first assignment wrong. Even more troubling was that the professor refused to give us any guidelines on what he was looking for; he gave us total freedom.
He simply said, “I want to see what you come up with.”
What was my interpretation? I could think of a million different ways to interpret the essay, but which one was my professor looking for? In math class, I was used to examples and explanations of solutions.
This assignment gave me nothing; I was completely on my own to come up with my individual interpretation.
Next, when I sat down to write, the words just did not come to me. My notes and ideas were all present, but the words were lost. I decided to try every prewriting strategy I could find. I brainstormed, made idea maps, and even wrote an outline. Eventually, after a lot of stress, my ideas became more organized and the words fell on the page.
I had my interpretation of “The Myth of Sisyphus,” and I had my main reasons for interpreting the essay. I remember being unsure of myself, wondering if what I was saying made sense, or if I was even on the right track. Through all the uncertainty, I continued writing the best I could.
I finished the conclusion paragraph, had my spouse proofread it for errors, and turned it in the next day simply hoping for the best.
Then, a week or two later, came judgment day. The professor gave our papers back to us with grades and comments. I remember feeling simultaneously afraid and eager to get the paper back in my hands. It turned out, however, that I had nothing to worry about.
The professor gave me an A on the paper, and his notes suggested that I wrote an effective essay overall. He wrote that my reading of the essay was very original and that my thoughts were well organized.
What I learned through this process extended well beyond how to write a college paper. I learned to be open to new challenges. I never expected to enjoy a philosophy class and always expected to be a math and science person.
This class and assignment, however, gave me the self-confidence, critical-thinking skills, and courage to try a new career path. I left engineering and went on to study law and eventually became a lawyer. More important, that class and paper helped me understand education differently.
Instead of seeing college as a direct stepping stone to a career, I learned to see college as a place to first learn and then seek a career or enhance an existing career.
By giving me the space to express my own interpretation and to argue for my own values, my philosophy class taught me the importance of education for education’s sake. That realization continues to pay dividends every day.