How to Create a Narrative Essay and Get A +



Reading time

13 minutes

How to Create a Narrative Essay and Get A +

The narrative essay is one of the leading indicators of the student's intellectual development, his aesthetic taste. However, this process is too complicated and lengthy. And for several reasons, this type of work is the most difficult for a student. But we know how to make the process of writing a personal narrative essay easier.

The work consists of several key blocks:

  • choosing a topic and collecting material;
  • comprehending information, preparing a plan;
  • writing test text and checking it.

Collecting material means finding data that will be useful for writing text. These can be historical summaries, the writer's biography, personal experience, works of art, and much more. The collected information must help in the disclosure of the topic. Simultaneously, there should not be too much of it; there is a risk of getting confused and lost in data abundance.

Information needs to be thought over, structured. Make a work plan, what part will be discussed, which of the collected data you can apply. It would help if you did not ignore the paragraph with the plan's preparation, as it will help you navigate while writing the text and keep the direction of thought. Then the text itself is written; the topic is revealed, thoughts and ideas are transmitted.

After the text is ready, check it for spelling, punctuation, stylistic, logic, and other mistakes. Make corrections, additions, if necessary. The process is not difficult but painstaking. Now let's consider other features of this type of work.

The Meaning of Narrative Essay

Before we start practicing, let's give a narrative writing definition. The narrative is an essay that is told about an event with an orientation towards imagery and logic unfolding in time. The story can be about two or more events or related issues.

The narrative essay aims to uncover the student's story. Surely each of you has the experience and exciting situations that are worth talking about. Therefore, when telling a story, your task is to interest the reader and give examples from life to help others think about some questions.

The organizing role belongs to verbs, especially past tense forms. They designate events successively replacing each other, providing the development of the narrative. Narrative sentences are usually not too long and complex. The story's expressive and pictorial power lies primarily in the visual representation of actions, people's movement, and phenomena in time and space. The narration can be conducted from the first or third person, the so-called author's narration.

Differences Between Narrative Essay and a Short Story

A narrative essay contains many special elements such as format, motive, aspect for which the text is created. All text content revolves around one or more motives. A short essay's peculiarity is that the structure does not contain borders, format, and motives. That is, you can write about anything - this is a creative flight of fantasies.

Also, a short story does not always have a logical conclusion and may break off, forcing readers to think about what might happen next. In a narrative essay, it's the opposite. The beginning, middle, and end should lead to something meaningful. The reader must conclude himself, and you must convey what the situation you are describing can lead to. In essence, you are not allowing the reader to dream. You are the storyteller, and the ending depends on you.

What Are the Functions of a Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay helps people tell about an experience, which happened to them, thereby showing readers how it is possible or unnecessary. It is possible to equate this type of text with descriptive writing, but this essay is a story around the motive.

At the very beginning, you should uncover the motive so that the reader decides for himself whether it is worth reading the essay, whether he can find something useful for himself. Then you will reveal this motive more and prove to the reader that your reason for creating an essay was based on a particular story. Another function is to show that you need to accept any situation because it can serve as an experience.


Yes, everyone will write an essay. The practice has shown that preparing students for essays significantly improves literacy rates and increases the overall score. One of the essential points in writing an essay is literacy. So try to write a lot. This will teach you how to create grammatically correct texts.

Competent preparation for an essay involves learning grammar, formulating the author's and your point of view. It is also essential to learn how to express your thoughts concisely and very clearly. Below we have prepared detailed instructions on some points for which you need to prepare carefully.

Decide What to Write About

An essay is not a scientific work, so a topic's choice falls on the student's shoulders quite often. In this case, this issue must be approached with full responsibility.

It should start because the chosen topic should be of maximum interest to the student himself:

  1. Interest presupposes a good knowledge of the material.
  2. It will significantly simplify the search for sources of information for the abstract.
  3. Work on an exciting topic will go faster, and the process itself will be enjoyable.

It also happens that the student is asked to choose an essay topic from the teacher's list. In this case, it is worth dwelling not only on an exciting topic but also on a problem on which you can find a sufficient amount of relevant and reliable material. Information and literature can be gleaned from the reference and bibliographic list on the topic.

Find Out What is Required of You

Having collected the required amount of material, you can proceed directly to writing the work. It's worth starting with drawing up a plan and structuring information, of course, if this has not been done before.

When working on an essay, you must adhere to a few simple rules. Particular attention should be paid to the volume. The text should not be too short. However, turning such work into ten sheets is also not worth it. The optimal length is 200-300 words, typed in 14 point size with one and a half line spacing.

As for the rest of the rules, teachers do not set limits. It is essential to stick to the basic structure here and not stray from the topic. This can be done as follows. You come up with a theme or recall a story that is based on real events. You have to give the text a specific mood. Further, as the situation develops, tell only the smallest vivid memories.

Find Evidence

This essay does not imply evidence from scientific papers or the work of authoritative writers. Evidence must be distorted from memories. Through memories, we identify ourselves and collect life events. Memories give us the ability to track and understand what we have lived and ourselves. Memories can increase wholeness awareness: the experience is analyzed. Memories can be a source of vitality. They help you feel your significance and uniqueness.

Memories can be shaped the way you want. Their meaning is multifaceted for each individual. In memories, you can focus on positive, pleasant moments and the heights achieved in life. Good memories give you strength. Even though difficult memories cannot be avoided, nevertheless, one can think about how the difficulties were overcome. Don't get too stuck on unsolvable problems.

Writing Process

Since the writing is highly dependent on what you write, there are a few guidelines to follow to simplify the writing process:

  1. Keep in mind why and for whom this text is written. This will help you stay on topic.
  2. Keep it short; respect the reader's time. Remember, the best text is specific text.
  3. Structure your text. Organized information is good.
  4. Remember formatting. It makes it possible to highlight accents and simplify reading and working with the material.
  5. Write your conclusions. After the end of the logical block summarize what has been written. If the reader wants to remember what the material was about, it will be enough to go over the conclusions.
  6. Check literacy, whether the beginning and end of the sentences correspond, whether there are spelling and grammatical errors. This can be done using the built-in dictionaries in the browser, which will underline the wrong words.

Also, below we have described the points to which you should pay particular attention.

Create a Structure and Outlining

The narrative essay is structured according to the scheme:

  1. introduction, in which the main idea, the thesis is voiced;
  2. the central part, which provides arguments and evidence;
  3. the conclusion that summarizes the above.

The introduction tells the reader topic. Here you can describe the relevance of the problem, its importance for society or an individual. Then you acquaint the reader with the history of the problem, with existing points of view. The introduction is the starting point for reasoning. Therefore, you need to determine your attitude to the topic since the arguments will already be presented in the next part.

In the central part, the author proves his point of view and convinces the reader of its correctness. Therefore, it is worth paying particular attention to examples. They can be both personal experience and the opinion of influential persons, statistical data, history, literature.

In conclusion, you need to summarize everything that was written about in the work. Explain once again the importance of the chosen topic and your attitude to it.

Write From First-Person

The narrative looks like you see through the eyes of the character. Essentially, the author and the character become one person. You are saying in the past tense, "I went to the store to buy chicken foil." To work out this type of story well, it is essential to convey all your feelings, experiences, sensations. If you are walking down the street and a memory from the past has descended on you, you need to reflect on how you reacted to it, how you felt. Or, say, you presented flowers on Mother's Day. How do you feel about this? What thoughts arise?

What are the advantages of such a story:

  1. The reader becomes more immersed in the world, in what is happening.
  2. This kind of storytelling is preferred.
  3. It is convenient to tell a story for aspiring writers.

The aspiring writer feels more confident. To one degree or another, we all paid tribute to the epistolary genre, so writing in the first person is more familiar. Moreover, the first-person narrative is perceived as an eyewitness account. It looks more believable.

Write About Characters and Places

Even if you describe a story, it is essential to decorate the text with details from the scene. This is especially true of the stories of those students who, thanks to this situation, changed their lives. All details about the place and character of events should be clear to the reader to imagine a picture.

Thanks to the fact that you describe the place, you will convey the atmosphere, and to a certain extent, the reader will feel like the main character. You can also add background information, thanks to which the reader can rethink the situation and draw conclusions in your favor. You may be able to influence the relationship of the reader directly to you.

Top Tips From the Experts on Writing Narrative Essays

Writing a narrative is a mini-story. The narrative describes the sequence of actions, events. Writing this type of essay involves answering several questions: Who? Where? When? What have you been doing? The choice of the event in which the narration will be conducted is key to the composition. It can be either a real story or an invented one. We also recommend using these tips:

  1. Start in the middle. It would help if you didn't get too hung up on the introduction because most of the time, readers are interested in the central part. Therefore, start your essay by constructing the central part. When your body is ready, you can find the right suggestions for the introduction.
  2. No need to explain. We will agree with the reader in absentia. He will already guess about the moments from the character's life that formed your situation and the story's historical or cultural overtones. This is all unnecessary. This is not the place and time. In general, if the reader can learn about something from another source, there is no need to explain what is at stake. Descriptions of things or events are needed if they do not exist or did not happen in reality but are fictional by the author. All additional information is in footnotes below the text or notes.
  3. How do others write? It's always a good idea to analyze a few examples of creative writing from established writers. Look at the structure where the story begins. How will it end?

Write About Strong Motifs

Motifs are the main block around which a narrative essay is built. Your task is to make the reader understand what you want to convey with the essay's help. It would help if you also decided for yourself with symbols or events to tell a story. These will be your motives. Please pay special attention to them. Further, when you go to the central part, you need to prove your thesis with motives. All reasons should complement each other and reveal the topic.

We do not recommend using clichés as motives. The pre-crafted phrases will tire your readers. For example, if you want to say that love is like a thorny rose, use a famous person's best quote. So they will believe you and even conclude that you are a well-read person. If you want to describe your eyes with the help of a deep ocean, then use just unusual eyes - turquoise, emerald, heavenly. Keep your motives and writing style in the same tone, and you will manage to achieve a good result.

Use First-Person

Essays are very popular in literature, where the hero talks about himself. Such novels and stories plunge us into another world.

Benefits of 1st person storytelling:

  • the reader feels a connection with a person who seems to be talking to him;
  • the narrative is perceived as an eyewitness account and may appear more believable;
  • more comfortable to show the evolution of the hero;
  • allows you to define the character's relationship to the events described clearly.

To do this, one must become that very person. You must understand exactly what the person you are writing about lives. What can he say, what to think about? What can be hidden in the head of such a person or the one about whom you write there? And it would help if you thought about what you would tell yourself. This will ensure that the story is alive. You write a work about yourself. It will be easier to create the text.

Write Truth

Writing about yourself is a great occasion to reflect on timeless topics. Who am I? What kind of person am I? What do I love? What do I dislike? What do I want to become in the future? Everyone will have their answers. Learning to think, analyze, know yourself, formulate, and present thoughts on paper are very useful. Writing has a genuinely therapeutic effect. To prevent the story from becoming a flight of absurd ideas, stick to the truth in the story.

To keep the essay coherent, stick to the mainline throughout the story. It can be your personal quality, hobbies, peculiarities of relationships with relatives, exciting life experiences, and worldview. They must be intrigued by the text. In the introduction, interest the reader, for example, by the fact that you have an unusual hobby. But do not lay out everything immediately as if in the spirit. Throughout the story, refer to examples from personal experience, outline the formation of your character, and only in the end, reveal the whole idea.

Use Dialog

Dialogue is another tool that can be used to create a great narrative essay. A well-structured dialogue can be a highlight of the text and attract the attention of many readers. However, it would help if you did not get carried away. If you want to describe the moment with dialogue, then it should be 5-10 replicas. If you write more, then there is a chance that you will not be able to cover the topic to the end, because very often you have a limited number of words. Dialogue is only an addition to the text, but you do not need to build the whole plot on it.

Use Sensory Descriptions

Cognition of the surrounding world begins with the perception of objects and phenomena. All other forms of cognition - memorization, thinking, imagination - are built based on perception, resulting from their processing. Perception is a direct, sensory reflection of reality in consciousness, the ability to perceive, distinguish, and assimilate the external world's phenomena.

To make your text look more engaging, you can use a sensory description. If you describe an event from personal experience, use sensory details such as taste, smell, and hearing. Only in this type of essay you can use it. So why not take the opportunity?

Originally published Jun 27, 2017, updated Jan 18, 2021

Confusing homework?

Get expert help in any course or subject

Get Help