The goal of a narrative essay is to recount a fictional or factual tale while outlining the occurrences of an event in an organized and creative manner.
Narrative essays include fictional compositions, poetry, biographies, and memoirs. This article will analyze the narrative essay outline, tips for hooking a reader in your narrative essay introduction, and provide some ideas to inspire your topic selection.
How to write a narrative essay step-by-step
- Choose a topic
The choice of a narrative essay topic depends on the question you’ve been presented with by your tutor. Specific prompts will provide the topic you are to write about, e.g., write about your first day in high school.
Open-ended questions, however, leave you with the onus of topic selection and only provide the general idea of the topic you are to write about. When handling an open-ended question, select a topic that addresses the theme prescribed in your essay prompt.
After selecting your topic, create your characters and define the role that each character plays in bringing out the theme. Make sure that you don’t involve too many characters as this could result in exceeding the word count.
Next, prepare a summary of each character’s involvement in your narrative. This will allow you to interlink the story, bringing harmony to your narration. The outline also helps you to analyze your plot and buff out various kinks in your narration.
Also, planning for each character helps you to coalesce your climax, thus ensuring that your story has a smooth flow.
- Draft your essay
After putting your story into perspective, draft your essay in the order that you have identified in your outline. It would be best to conjure images of settings, actions, and interactions to immerse your reader into your world and maintain their attention to the end of your narration.
- Edit and proofread
Finally, edit your essay for grammatical errors to ensure that you convey your ideas without any issues. You may consider delegating this step to experts, thus saving time for other assignments.
How to start off a narrative essay
e.g., Wise words. Speak when you are angry and you’ll make the best regrettable speech. How I wish the words of Laurence J. Peters resonated in my mind before blurting what I had just said. Would he forgive me? I doubt it. Disrespect of this cadre did not deserve pardon…
This narrative essay introduction not only sets a tense aura but also evokes your reader’s curiosity to determine your transgression. Be keen to avoid using cliché quotes or abducting a popular quote that barely relates to your topic and forcing it into your paper.
- Shocking statement
e.g., I’ll kill him. Cut off his throat and watch as his wretched blood coalesces on the floor. Grin to the thought of his cowardly soul beating a hasty retreat to the holes of hell where cowards gather.
The bold claim to commit murder grips your reader’s attention and creates a want to discover the reason behind your anger.
- Rhetorical questions
e.g., Is anger not a human response? Should a man be blamed for responding in a manner that he was goaded to behave? Was I wrong for roughing him up after the many months that he’d been asking for it?
This string of questions already informs a reader of the theme of your topic and sparks curiosity about the action behind the action. It is best to use questions that relate to your topic and to organize them in a manner that hints at the topic without giving out all the details of your narration.
Although they are not as effective as the aforementioned methods, you could also start your narrative essay by providing various statistics, telling an anecdote, or by defining a word.
How to end a narrative essay
- Show what you’ve learned – when concluding your essay, indicate the lesson that your reader should have learned by the end of the narrative.
- End your essay with a dialogue – you could also end the essay with a dialogue between your characters especially one where the antagonist and your protagonist have resolved their differences.
How long is a narrative essay?
A narrative essay ranges between five to ten pages. However, the length of the essay depends on the instructions provided by your tutor. If the word count is not provided, prepare a quality story that encapsulates your theme and exhausts the roles of each character.
Ideas for a narrative essay
- The most bizarre thing that occurred on prom night
- A time when you unearthed a mystery
- What is your most enduring memory from high school?
- The most enduring memory from college
- The most memorable gift you’ve ever received
- A valuable lesson you’ve learned in life