Why Do You Need to Know How to Write a Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay is a unique literary genre and in essence is aprivately written essay on a particular topic. The main featureof this work is its author’s design. The main features of theessay are a relatively small amount, the presence of the maintopic, and its subjective interpretation, a free composition, andan inner semantic unity and the ease of narration.

How to write a narrative essay in a professional manner? Thereare several different kinds of this literary genre. In thisarticle, you will learn about the main nuances of writingdifferent variations of the essay.

Guiding Thread of the Text

Narration is a story of how everything was happening. Thenarrative is a sequence of developing actions, a change ofstates, phenomena, and events. The plot of the work is based onhow the events were happening. By the way, the synopsis of thenovel is a pure narrative, sometimes sprinkled with enumerationof the main ideas of the work.

Narration is the thread behind which the text holds, if thenarrative in some place fails, the whole story falls apart andceases to be a connected story.

Although it would seem what can be simpler than a narrative. Allyou need to do is to list the actions: went, did, achieved, etc.,but the ability to write smooth narrative prose is an entire artthat writers perfect for years, develop their own style to createharmonious and convincing narratives.

At first glance, the narrative is an elementary form of speech,because every day we mainly narrate, but do not describe andreason. We tell about the day and the events that took place.However, when we need to fix oral speech on paper, we aresometimes lost, because in order to tell in detail such a simpleevent as going to the store, it is necessary to use a lot ofverbs, gerunds, to figure out the sequence of events, to fit indetails into the narrative, to flavor epithets and make this textunderstandable, readable, and interesting. It’s all about thestructure of the narrative, which is dynamic and must expresstemporal sequence relationships, that is, fix changes in thesurrounding world, rather than describe a static picture of theworld.

5 Characteristic Features of a Convincing Narrative

  • Plausibility – what is happening must be convincing, even ifit is a fictional world where other laws of physics operate.
  • Clarity – the reader should understand what is happening inthe text, and not get confused in the details and characters, forthis the author needs to monitor the consistency of the verbs,avoid frequent use of personal pronouns that replace the name ofobjects, do not abuse the specifying constructs.
  • Consistency – even an inverse narrative should be logical.The reader must understand what happened at the beginning, andwhat happened at the end. This is especially true for narrativesthat talk about simple everyday activities, in which authors areoften confused. This, of course, trifles, but because of suchshortcomings the narrative turns out to be unconvincing.
  • Stylistic purity and smoothness – any text that is full ofverbal, grammatical, and lexical errors repel an intelligentreader.
  • The consistency of the times – telling the story, the authorshould remember about the time chosen and, in accordance with it,decline all the sentences in order to avoid annoying mistakesleading to a nonsense and a semantic collapse that prevents thereader from understanding what and when the character did. Inorder to decline the times with each other, sometimes it is moreeffective to use the official parts of speech and adverbs,indicating the sequence of events, and other specifyingconstructions.

How to Write a Narrative Essay and Choose a theme?

If there are no topics you can select one for yourself, then youneed to consider the audience of the essay. It can be designedfor the following:

  • The teacher
  • The admission committee
  • The literary community
  • The employer

If your audience is your teacher, you need to know how he or shewill be evaluating your paper in order to pay attention to themain points. The topic you select should demonstrate yourabilities and help the teacher to evaluate the following:

  • Uniqueness
  • The ability to build proposals logically
  • Literacy
  • Professional qualities

When picking a theme from the list, give your preference to theone, which you have some knowledge of. If your audience is yourpotential employer, it is best to reflect your nature in both thetheme and the content of the paper. Show your uniqueness,sincerity, individuality, and humanity.

How to Start

Often a student who is eloquent enough and able to show his ideason paper, experiences difficulties in beginning a paper. Thinkingover the beginning may take a while, which makes the rest of thewriting process more difficult. Take advantage of the tips belowon how to write a narrative essay.

  • Before starting to write, form an idea, indicate anobjective, and find information and sources for the essay.
  • Apply the freeriding (free writing) method. Its idea is torecord all your thoughts without editing it and not keeping upwith punctuation, grammar, style, etc. This is a great way if youcan’t think of something good.
  • It is crucial not to get stuck in the intro part. The introcan be composed once you finish the rest of the paper. Then youwill already know the content of your essay and will be able tocome up with an interesting title.
  • One of the most common options is to compose a paper,beginning with a question and giving an answer to it later.

How to Draw Up an Essay Plan

You should not strive to make a perfect plan at once. In theprocess of work, it can be edited. It is not necessary to make aplan when writing an essay, as well as stick to the alreadywritten plan. The absence of restrictions and rigid frames is anadvantage of this genre. If it is easier for you to adhere to astrict plan, then it is worth taking time to compile it.

All the main thoughts should be reflected in the form of theitems of the plan. Then, detail it by breaking each paragraphinto sub-paragraphs.

Then read the plan, make sure that each item is in its place, andis sufficiently detailed.

The Essay Structure

The procedure for writing an essay usually comes down to threesteps.


Like any written work, the essay contains an introductory part. Awell-written introduction makes the reader become interested andread the essay to the end. The introductory part can contain theformulation of the problem and its essence, a rhetoricalquestion, a quotation, etc. It is important to create a specialemotional mood and bring the reader to the problem underconsideration.

The Main Part

In the main part, you can bring different points of view on theissue under consideration, touch upon the history of the issue.

Usually the main part consists of several sub-items, each ofwhich consists of three sections:

  • A thesis (the proposition to be proved)
  • The justification (the arguments used to prove the thesis)
  • A subpoena (partial answer to the main question)

Arguments are judgments made to convince the reader of the truthof a particular point of view. It can be different situationsfrom life, the opinions of scientists, evidence, etc.

The argument can be constructed in the following sequence:

  • Statement
  • Explanation
  • Example
  • The final judgment


In conclusion, all the outcomes drawn for each thesis presentedin the main part are combined. The reader must arrive at alogical conclusion based on the arguments given. In conclusion,the problem is re-introduced and a final conclusion is drawn. Ifthe goal of the introductory part is to interest the reader, thenthe goal of the last proposals is to add integrity to the overallpicture, leave the work in the reader’s memory, and push him toreflections.

Recommendations on How to Write a Narrative Essay

  • When writing essays, you should alternate short phrases withlong ones. In this case, the text will be dynamic enough to beeasy to read.
  • Do not use complex and incomprehensible words, especially ifthe meaning of the word is unfamiliar.
  • You should use as few common phrases as possible. The essayshould be unique, individualized, reflecting the author’spersonality.
  • Humor should be used very carefully. Sarcasm and insolencecan irritate the reader.
  • Reflection of personal experience, memories, and impressionsis a great way to confirm your point of view and convince thereader.
  • It is necessary to stick to the topic and the main idea,without deviating from it and not describing unnecessary details.
  • After completing the essay, you should reread it, making surethat the logic of the presentation is preserved throughout thenarrative.
  • The use of facts and research results in the essay is anexcellent option for giving credibility.
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