Refining your narrative essay writing through various examples

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How to navigate your way through a narrative essay

If you were to ask any kid what’s their favorite memory from childhood, at least 1 out of every 5 children will tell you it was the ‘bedtime stories’. From an early age, we’re hardwired to find solace in stories. A reason for that perhaps maybe that they’re an escape from reality. Telling bedtime stories is an art every parent must master so that they can put their kid to sleep without them being fussy. After all, how else could you coax them into bed at 10 o’clock when the rest of the people have just begun enjoying their night out?

So, in case you’re a good storyteller, our gut feeling says you’re going to be phenomenal at narrative essay writing.Narrative essays are mostly written using the first-person narrative and follow a format that’s typically used for a story. However, you’re not required to adhere to a certain format. As long as you manage to get your reader’s attention, you’re good to go.Also, unlike most conventional essays, a narrative essay requires you to be personal and include minor details like your emotions and thoughts.

A narrative essay can be written when you have to describe a certain event and experience. The plot must be detailed and vivid so that you can paint a picture for the reader. Now, we understand, narrative essays can be confused with descriptive essays; however, we’ll give you a basic lesson so that you stay on the right track.

How to write a narrative essay

The topic

If you begin with asking yourself,what is a narrative essay? The answer would be recounting an event. It can be either fictional or non-fictional. Usually, in a descriptive essay, there’s no plot that’s drawn out, so that’s how you know it’s not a narrative essay. Then, before you put your pen to the paper, you have to narrow down the topic for your narrative essay. Now, this process can be time-consuming unless you have already brainstormed a bit beforehand.

First of all, your topic or theme of the essay must be something that’s personal and should be interesting for your audience, as evident by most personal narrative essay examples. If it’s not, there are high chances they will not be into reading the entire thing, which can be a huge bummer for you.

Hence, begin with thinking a bunch of ideas and then short-list topics on the basis of their uniqueness. A way of shortlisting the topics can be to cut down any topic that you feel has been done plenty of times before by other people. Another tactic can be to opt for a topic that’s the most interesting one for you so that you can indulge yourself into it while writing.

Prepare a draft

Once you’ve narrowed down the topic, think of how you’re going to piece in each element. Then, brainstorm all your ideas or make notes on a paper. With all your ideas in one place, you should be good to go to work on a rough draft. We’re calling your first write-up as a draft because, obviously, it’s very likely that you will have to give it a couple of tries before you hit the nail in the coffin and deliver a masterpiece on paper. To write a narrative essay, an outline will help you streamline your thoughts. Hence, you should pay attention to the structure. 

Elements of a narrative essay

A narrative essay consists of five parts. If any part’s missing, you will not be able to present a narrative essay that could be considered written by an intellectual. Anyone who reads the essay will assume it was penned down by a newbie who clearly needs more practice. So here are the give parts of a narrative essay:

  • Setting

It can be described as the environment or location where your entire story takes place. The reader must be able to visualize the setting where the characters are interacting; otherwise, they’d imagine a bland background that can make your story seem mundane. The setting plays a key role in world-building.

  • Characters

Your entire story will be based on your characters and how their lives are impacted throughout. It’d help if you were to describe particular characteristics of your characters so that your readers are able to relate to them or even conjure them up in their heads. However, make sure to give the limelight to your main character. Because most likely, the story will be told from their perspective.

  • Plot

The plot can be referred to as the story, which revolves around your main characters. To write a narrative essay, there must be a certain sequence to the plot and its aftereffects on the characters. This particular element makes a narrative essay unique from other essays. Because if you don’t have a plot, you might as well be writing a descriptive essay. It needs to be engaging.

  • Conflict

Often known as ‘the climax’ of the story. It can be an incident that heavily impacts your main character and its surroundings. It might involve your main character making a do-or-die decision. A narrative essay structure would involve a climax can be a shocking reveal that the main character never saw coming. On the other hand, if you manage to resolve the climax, that’d be the end of your story.

  • Theme

A theme marks the genre or the background of the story. In a narrative essay, it can be referred to as the reason an author chose this particular topic or the purpose served by the story. It can also be called as the central meaning the narrative aims to educate the readers about. It has to be expressed through the actions and thinking of the characters. For instance, you can write about friendship, family or nostalgia. Go for all three if you feel like you can do it justice.

Writing a narrative essay

To write a narrative essay, follow the typical format of an essay that involves an introduction, body and a conclusion, and you’d have to divide the pointers of your story accordingly.

  • Introduction

There are a couple of ways through which you can start your essay. Keeping in mind that you have to get your audience’s attention, you should begin with a hook or a quote that should get them pondering what the essay could be about. Other than that, you can include a shocking statistic or fact to garner their attention. Remember, you’re only introducing the story to the audience, so don’t go into the depth or details.

  • Body

Once you have your reader’s attention, you need to unfold the events of your story in a chronological order. This is the part where you can divulge into details of various things and explore the emotions of your characters. The storyline must be consistent and easy to understand; otherwise, it can be off-putting if it’s too confusing. Describe how each character is affected by the twists and turns that are in the story.

Your main character should be the main focus. Don’t let other characters outshine him. One of the key takeaways should be the growth of his character. How he was before the story started and how he turned over a new leaf at the end of the story.

  • Conclusion

Your narrative essay has to tie all the knots in this section and bring the story to a conclusive end. An example of a narrative essay ending could be that it should not be abrupt; otherwise, the reader is likely to assume it had no head or tail. It needs to be satisfactory or even inspiring if possible. You can opt for a typical happily ever after ending or a sad ending, depending upon the theme of your essay. But a life lesson or a thought worth pondering over would be the most suitable ending for any narrative essay. 


If you’ve studied narrative writing examples, you should be able to narrow down the issues that exist within your essay. Thus, allowing you to write another version of the same essay but this time including all the points you missed out the last time. You can also take note of any other mistakes such as grammatical errors, typos or even sentence structures that could’ve occurred subconsciously. Finally, if you feel like this essay was not your best work, you can take a second opinion from a friend or two. A fresh perspective will allow you to give a new insight to your essay.

At the end of the day, if you are still confused, you can hire assignment help UK to lend you a hand so that you can write a narrative essay that’s nearly perfect.

Example of a narrative essay

Reading a few narrative essay examples ought to give you an idea how to structure your own narrative essay. The important thing is you understand the details that are mentioned in the essay and why their use is essential in the said example.