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How to Write a Narrative Essay: Beginners Guide with Examples

UserLucy Wilson time15 May,2020

As a student, there are numerous kinds of essays that you must complete. Sometimes it gets a little tricky to identify the differences between two similar types. Many students don’t know how to write a narrative essay as they confuse narrative essays with descriptive ones.

So, before proceeding to learn how to write a personal narrative essay for college, let us first understand what a narrative essay is.

How To Write Narrative Essay

What is a Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay has a central plot around which the whole narration revolves. All arguments, characters, discussions, and incidents rotate around the original idea that's presented in a five paragraphs essay.

For the students who are thinking of how to write a good narrative essay using the correct format, remember that the composition should involve dialogues, characters, and incidents.

How to Start a Narrative Essay? 9 Essential Writing Guidelines

Learning how to write a good narrative essay allows you to express your thoughts and showcase your understanding of the subject via storytelling. So, choose a topic that you can demonstrate from your point of view with passion and interest.

Before getting started with writing a narrative essay, take note of the following:

  1. The planning phase:

Keep some time for planning. Think about the topic you are planning to write and how you want to go about it. Make a note of everything that you require for writing your essay.

  1. Pick an exciting topic:

Any question can become a good narrative essay topic if you have a passion for weaving truth into it. If you want your essay to create an impact on the readers, you have to be expressive.

  1. Create an essay outline:

Make a draft of your essay, add whatever details you feel is suitable for the story, and keep polishing it until you are satisfied with the result.  

  1. Crucial elements:

If you are wondering how to start a narrative essay, recollect all the situations, settings, characters, and other components relevant to the storyline. Remember, every small detail is vital to creating a narrative masterpiece.

  1. Showcase your point of view with evidence:

You must state your idea clearly so that your readers can understand the significance of the plot and the reason behind a specific action. Highlight the vital points with evidence so that your reader can relate to its role in the story.

  1. Keep the language clean and concise:

Use a simple and straightforward style so that your readers can understand what you are trying to portray. Don't confuse your readers by introducing irrelevant sub-plots and writing wordy paragraphs. Follow the chronological order to describe events and avert confusion.

  1. Refer to narrative essays online:

The best way to develop ideas is to read samples of various narrative essays. The more you read, the better you get in developing the storyline. Numerous online videos are available where people share their life stories. Watch those and try to take inspiration for presenting your ideas appropriately.

  1. Read the requirements carefully:

Before starting with your essay, read the norms thoroughly. Understand the standards and guidelines. Consult your teacher if something confuses you.

  1. Revise before you submit:

Revising and editing can save your paper from unnecessary marks deductions. Look out for grammatical, typographical, and plagiarism issues. Remove the sentences that have loose ends. Make sure that every sentence sounds logical.

If you consider all these points, your essay writing process will undoubtedly become less stressful.

Narrative Essay Structure and Outline: How Long Should it Be?

Most students are confused about how many paragraphs are needed in a narrative essay. Relax! It's easier than you think. If you are unsure, consult your professor.

If not, try and keep it short. However, you must write enough to explain the plot in details with a relevant structure which would be enjoyed by all your readers.

Let’s now understand the narrative essay structure & essay outline.

  • Getting Started with the Introduction:

When you are writing the introduction, always remember that your readers were not there when the event took place. So, start with a catchy introductory phrase. Try to create an original thesis so that they get a fair idea of what they are in for. Wrap it up within 5 to 6 lines.

  • Writing a thesis statement for your narrative essay:

A thesis statement for a narrative essay states the first message that a writer is planning to deliver to its readers. So, your thesis statement must highlight the central argument or story in an exciting way to hook the readers to read further. Avoid stating generic facts and make it unique with a hint about the result.

  • Developing the Body of the essay:

Explain your entire story in 4 to 5 paragraphs. Introduce new ideas in every new section. You must emphasise on the crucial factors and its significance in the storyline. Provide all supportive details to back your arguments.

  • Drafting an outstanding conclusion:

So, what should a writer plan to include at the end of a narrative essay? How to end a narrative essay? Well, it’s simple. Just sum up what you have claimed throughout the piece. Restate the thesis statement and wrap it up in 4 to 5 brilliant concluding sentences.

Your narrative essay must give its readers something to think about. It should leave them with a satisfactory feel for investing their time and effort on reading your story.

A Narrative Essay Example to Help You Understand

Topic: A Trip To My Dream Destination

I have always enjoyed traveling. Being a woman in her late twenties, I had already visited almost all the countries in North America, Asia, and most of the Caribbean countries as well. Still, it was my dream to backpack in the European mountains. I used to daydream of being in London, Paris, Italy, but the first chance came as a sudden surprise.

A friend with whom I had lost contact due to my busy lifestyle messaged me on Facebook to congratulate me on my work anniversary. We spoke for hours, and later that night, I learned that he now works as a volunteer for human rights NGO in London, the UK. He invited me over for a grand fundraiser event, and I thought to myself, “Why not?” I immediately booked my air tickets at an unbelievable rate. I saw it as another sign telling me to pack my bags and leave for my dream destination. I was so excited that I didn't go through any traveler’s guide to plan my trip.

Needless to say, what I saw in London and in and around the UK turned out to be completely different from my expectations. My friend then explained to me that every region has its unique significance, and the UK is no exception.

Need Help in Choosing the Right Narrative Essay Format?

Contact the Experts at

Your essay isn't complete without proper formatting. Be smart and pick a narrative essay format wisely. Remember:

  • Always crosscheck with your professor about the referencing format. Every form is unique, so don't mix it up.
  • Make your paper one hundred per cent error-free. From title page till the last page, you must invest enough time to make your essay look flawless.

However, if you are still unsure, you can avail professional essay writing help from Our narrative essay writers are highly experienced in writing all kinds of essays. When you hire us, you get:

  • Top-notch educational assistance in 100+ subjects from 5000+ PhD qualified experts
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  • Professional referencing help in APA, MLA, Harvard, and other citation styles
  • 100% unique, well-researched solutions written from scratch
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Our writers can genuinely help you draft an excellent narrative essay. Place your order now and boost your academic grades.

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