How to Write a Narrative Essay

Writing a narrative essay is an essential part of studying in college. It is an assignment students need to complete at least each week. This task quickly turns into a routine. Nevertheless, it requires concentration, creative thinking, knowledge, and conducting research. To master a piece, a student should know clearly what purpose it has, and how to structure a narrative essay, how the information should be presented so the paper will be noticed.

It seems, all the essays look like others and since you’ve written a few, you are able to master the next one, too. It is partially true. Mastery comes with practice. Skills you are adhering to writing an essay could be applied to further assignments without a doubt. Yet, each essay differs, and your success depends on how well you understand those unique features.

In this article, we will tell about a narrative essay and offer tips that will help you to write the one that will stand out from others.

What is The Narrative Essay?

First and foremost, it is a story. There is always a plot. There is a certain period of time during which something is happening. The main characters, like the place, people, events, are connected. It is an obvious chain of events. Everything is presented in close interaction.

First narrative essay

It is a story a person tells, so it is not obligatory, but usually, it contains the writer’s emotions, personal experiences, moods. It adds the essay vivacity. The writer is free to invent something that doesn’t exist, create unbelievable abilities, etc. Writing a narrative essay, an author has to remember it is a product of his impressions so it will sound better if the subjective point of view and unique perception won’t be hidden.

Rules To Follow To Write a Killer Narrative Essay

  1. Get Ready

They say a good beginning is half the battle. In our case, good preparation is what matters the most. Before actually writing an essay, you have to get ready for it.

To start, remember, the requirements weren’t created for someone else. They are for you to stick to. Did you get acknowledged with them? No? Then, go ahead.

After that, it is a perfect time to choose your narrative essay topic. Here are some exceptional tips to make the right choice:

  1. Your topic has to be interesting not only for you but your readers/listeners as well. After all, they decide whether your essay is good. Thus, if you are going to tell about your personal experiences, try to present it in a way each of your audience would relate to.
  2. It has to be fresh. How to check if it is? Google it! If you won’t find the same title, you’ve made the right choice. You can write about something common and usual, but your approach must be original. Telling the story as it was told by millions earlier is not a good decision.
  3. Focus on one aspect. Do not try to tell everything you saw or felt. Accuracy doesn’t matter. Your vision does. Concentrate on something bright, irrelevant at the first sight, controversial. Do not be afraid of being misunderstood. Your purpose is not being understood, it is being heard.
  4. Relax (But Not Too Much)

A narrative essay is a kind of college paper that allows students to fantasize and create. There are no strict rules a person has to follow. You are required to express your thoughts and impressions in a way that will excite the audience and encourage them to listen to you from the very first words.

Anyway, it is still an academic paper that should be formatted properly, be based on examples and evidence, and be a result of deep analysis, on one hand, and sensitive reflecting, on the other hand. Thus, let’s see where you can find inspiration for that.

Where to Find Evidence for Your Narrative Essay?

It is the best part of a narrative essay writing for those who have great imagination and a silver tongue. A narrative essay doesn’t require traditional research and citing the sources. Your main evidence is your thoughts, memories, impressions, conclusions. Write down anything that comes to your mind and let the magic begin.

  1. Write

Although you are not obliged to find hundreds of relevant sources, or surf the internet looking for the different opinions to defend yours appropriately, there are steps you need to take to keep on track.

Outline and Structure

Again, a narrative essay could be written without any outline, as it is your thoughts written down on paper. Still, even writers who use a stream of consciousness to express their feelings, make notes that serve as an outline as otherwise, your writing can turn into a private diary, and we don’t need such an outcome. So, how to structure a narrative essay?

Put your thoughts in order. Try to divide your future paper into three parts: the introduction, or hook, main part, and fascinating (or it could be boring in its visibility for you if that’s how you feel) conclusion. Put the most impressive thoughts in the beginning. They have to catch the audience’s attention, and then mix your ideas and feelings so the listener wants to know how your story ends.

It is hard to organize or structure a narrative essay as it looks like a true piece of limitless creativity, yet, it will help you to define the main issues your essay might have and work on them. Also, writing an outline is a tool you need to feel you make progress and not just writing some random thoughts down.

If it seems impossible to write an outline for your narrative essay, find some narrative essay examples online and try to grasp the idea of its structure from them. Anyway, it is ridiculous to mess up your narrative essay by ignoring simple rules. So, do this part of a job properly.

First Person Statements

Academic writing implies using “We” statements, as usually thesis papers are the result of several experts’ work, and due to the traditional established norms.

A narrative essay, on the contrary, implies using “I” statements as it underlines the importance of your perspective. There is no need to feel awkward using “I” in this kind of essay. It is what makes it a personal story as it has to be. It is one of the pleasant rules you can follow easily.

Observe and Notice

Train your observation skills and abilities to get the tiniest insignificant details from your memories. Though a narrative essay doesn’t usually include detailed descriptions of nature or architecture or descriptions of faces, you can put some interesting facts you noticed somewhere in your essay. They allow the audience to understand you better and draw a more realistic picture.

Do not describe what color of hair a girl from your story was. Do not say it was curly, red, or long. Instead, add something catchy about it. Like, at the moment that is crucial in your narration, how she touched them, how they laid on her shoulders, etc. Create a mood. Your task is to make feelings more tangible. Use these details as background to highlight the significance of the moment itself.


There has to be an unpredictable turn of events in the narrative essay. When you feel you can lose the audience’s attention, for example, the sentences are too long, or you start missing the point, it is time to start a paragraph with something spicy.

Refer to something surprisingly amazing or awful that could change the audience’s perspective significantly. It may be a surprising fact about the author, the circumstances he is in. For example, you can write about a beautiful theatre performance and feeling it provoked, and then suddenly mention the person who watches the performance is blind. All the facts mentioned before will sound different now.

Somewhere in the middle of your narrative essay, you have to catch the audience’s attention again, this way they’ll listen to it till the end willingly and excitingly.

  1. Edit

Like preparing, editing is a crucial part of creating a brilliant narrative essay as well. Never neglect it. After finishing writing, put your essay aside for some time, go for a walk, have lunch, and then get back to it. No doubt, you’ll grasp moments that need improvements and definitions that need refinements.

You can edit the first draft or you can use this sample as a base and rewrite the whole piece adding new details and ideas. Yet, do not let yourself get too unsatisfied with the first draft. It is an understandable feeling, every writer experiences it, but your first draft represents the real you. Do not be afraid to sound too sincere. Actually, it is a key to success.

When you made changes in your plot and added something important you’ve missed in the first draft, it is time to work with the language and narration. To do editing right, follow these rules:

  • Express your thoughts plainly. Often, writers want to use difficult and long sentences thinking it adds them more points. In fact, it just makes the paper harder to perceive and as a result harder to relate to a story you tell;
  • Avoid using idioms or quotations. They don’t add value, but show you lack your own words to describe your feelings;
  • Do not repeat what you’ve already said. Treat your audience as intelligent and sensible enough to get your point at first try;
  • Use simple words that you use every day. Thesaurus is a friend only if you need to find a more appropriate synonym.
  1. Proofread

Certainly, the narration and the plot are what you have to worry about the most. Still, your typos and misspellings deserve your attention, too. As if you won’t fix them, all your efforts could become fruitless. Even the teeny-tiny mistake caught by your professor could worsen his overall impression and decrease your grade.

So, after everything sounds great to you and you are satisfied with your narrative essay, give it a final check. There is an efficient method to catch all the possible grammar mistakes. Try to read your paper backward. This way, you won’t be distracted by the plot and will focus on the grammar.

How to Proofread a Narrative Essay So It Becomes Flawless?

  1. Check the paper yourself and use special applications and online tools. It is better to involve all the tools and people you can. The best option, of course, is to ask a professional editor or proofreader to look at your paper.
  2. Check if there are some technical issues, like double spacing, formatting inaccuracy, repeats.
  3. Check if the punctuation is appropriate.

The best way to make sure the essay is worthy and potentially interesting is to present it to your friends or relatives and get their feedback. Also, they can catch some inaccuracy you didn’t see as you have written it and can’t perceive the piece impartially.

The Best College Assignment You Can Get

In general, the narrative essay is one of the most pleasant college assignments a student can get. It has a space for creativity, it doesn’t require you to use certain words and definitions, and it is comparatively free of traditional formatting.

Writing a narrative essay, you are the boss, and it changes everything. You decide what to write about and what to be silent about, what to underline and what to hide. It is your play and your win depends on your ability to sound interesting, exciting, and persuasive.

Be yourself but act within the rules of the genre, and everything will turn out amazing.