Guide to Narrative Essay Writing

Essays have always been a big part of academics. They seek to test a student’s ability to express their ideas and points on paper. Essays require a lot of focus and care when composing and therefore sometimes students encounter problems while trying to write theirs. This text provides some of the basics to take into consideration when writing a narrative essay.

What Is a Narrative Essay and What Does It Involve?

When we ask ourselves “what is a narrative essay?” here is what we need to consider. The word ‘Narrative’ is derived from ‘narrate’ which means give a written or spoken account of something. This means that a personal narrative essay is supposed to be a story whereby a writer is supposed to show a series of occurrences and events from their point of view. Unlike other essay types, narrative papers give students the freedom to express their views, beliefs, likes and even dislikes. They are mostly based on real-life experiences but can also be made up depending on the creativity of the writer.

Basic Guidelines on How to Write a Narrative Essay

Need to know how to write a narrative essay like an expert? We have highlighted some of the most important tips to take into account when writing this type of essay.


This is a very important step that students take for granted. In preparation, a student is supposed to arrange their ideas in a logical manner that will give the best possible presentation of the story. A student should also gather all the materials they need to compose the essay and also avoid distractions.

Capture Interest

The goal is to entice the reader to continue reading your essay to the end. Capturing interest can be done by appealing to their emotions and making it personal. Using the first person has proven to be one of the most effective methods of capturing a reader’s interest. They will feel like they are part of the story. The interest needs to be captured from the very beginning with a good topic and an opening paragraph that hooks the reader.

Show Don’t Tell

This is one of the most sacred rules in this form of writing. It means that the student should try and appeal to most of the senses of the reader. This is by giving vivid descriptions of what you see, hear, touch, smell or taste in your story. This will paint a clear picture of the events to the reader.

Edit Your Work

This comes after completing the essay but still needs to be stated. Students should go through their essay many times depending on the time available.

You should do this to:

  • Identify and correct unclear statements
  • Correct spelling and grammar errors
  • Confirm smooth flow and neat transition of events.

You can even seek a second opinion by letting another student proofread your narrative essay.

Structure of Narrative Papers

When it comes to narrative essay format, we consider the common format of all essays. This means that it will still have three parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

First, we should explore how to start a narrative essay well. Starting an essay can be problematic sometimes. Since the introduction sets the tone of the whole essay, one needs to be very careful when crafting the first section.

The best way to start narrative compositions is by providing a compelling hook. The hook is the selling point for almost all types of essays. It can determine whether a reader will continue reading your essay or not. A good hook will make readers want to know what happened or what happens next in your story.

In the introduction, the student is supposed to create the setting for the story. After the hook, you can describe the scenery relevant to the story and even introduce the reader to the various characters. The introduction should only equip the reader with the necessary information before diving into the action.

The body is where all the events occur. The events are supposed to be connected logically to ease the reader’s journey. Paragraphs should portray a good flow of ideas and follow the common essay rules.

Finally, when creating a conclusion, you should ensure that the reader’s curiosity has been satisfied. The events of the whole essay are summed up, and the writer gives the morals or lessons learned.

Selecting good topics goes a long way in writing nice essays. The best narrative essay ideas will mostly come from a past occurrence for example during a period in childhood. Selecting topics from personal experience will make the writing journey easier.

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