Learn the Simple Steps for Writing a Narrative Essay in a Professional Way

Posted on: 14th April 2020

There are various types of storytelling essays; the narrative essay is one of them. It is usually written from the writer’s point of view, making it one of the fun articles to write. Not to be biased, of course. It is like that crazy day experience you would tell a friend in detail, now put on paper.

Custom Writing Bee not only cares that you get good grades in your academic writing but also that you improve your writing skills immensely. We have compiled a guide entailing all you will need to know to turn you into a narrative essay writing guru.

What Is a Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay is one that tells a story, mostly from the author’s point of view, of an experience in detail. Your college instructor may also ask you to write a personal narrative essay, which is of personal experience and written in first-person.

Ultimately, a narrative essay allows you to expand your level of creativity.

“Any narrative, whether fictional or not, must be approached as though it happened to you. It’s the only way to get inside the characters and make the narrative. It’s a storytelling tradition, and I think to come off as genuine, then you have to approach it that way.” (Jason Isbell).

What’s the Purpose of a Narrative Essay?

As a leading custom essay service, we understand the various challenges associated with writing. That’s why we purpose to break down every aspect of writing an essay, for better understanding. With that said, the essence of a narrative essay is to tell your reader a story. 

Here are all the reasons why you may write a narrative essay.

  • Sharing an experience with different kinds of people
  • Revealing your understanding of a particular event
  • To emit excitement from the audience
  • Supporting others who might have lived your experience

As the writer, it’s also your job to show the reader why you’re telling the story and why it’s worth sharing. 

It’s also quite easy! Unlike other types of college essays that require you to persuade your reader or argue a point, writing a narrative essay requires you to recount your experience and leave the reader to draw their conclusions.

We have lots of narrative essay examples you can check out for inspiration!

Qualities of a Good Narrative Essay

Here’s something important to note! A narrative essay is not equivalent to a short story. It’s not a work of fiction. It is an academic paper that recounts an event that happened in reality. When you write a fictional story, it no longer counts as a narrative essay. 

Here are some qualities of an excellent narrative essay.

  • It involves the reader from the beginning
  • Makes the imagery come alive in the reader’s mind
  • Contains details of places, emotions, events and describes even the smallest details like scents and sounds
  • It is unrestrained. Do not be afraid to create conflict that will evoke feelings like sadness and anger in the reader
  • Written from the author’s point of view
  • Suspenseful and leaves room for the audience to guess

Need homework help with a narrative essay? Take a detour to our Resource Center and check out some narrative essay examples. You’ll see all the qualities we’re talking about first-hand!

Writing a Narrative Essay Step-by-Step

As you consider the length of the narrative essay you are about to write, remember the length specifics your instructor might have mentioned. With that said, be sure to have a relevant structure that the reader will love without being overly wordy. 

When writing a narrative essay, you must keep the reader in mind at all times. By doing so, you’ll keep the story as vivid as possible by connecting the ideas. 

Here is a simple way for you to do that.

1. Pick A Topic

The most suitable topic for a narrative essay is one that not only interests you but the reader as well. Pick an item that will engage your mind more than your internet search for points. After all, you are writing from experience, and in most cases, personal experience. After picking a suitable topic and giving it some thought, you’ll be in a better position to develop a coherent story. 

Now that we have mentioned it,

2. Build up your Story

Any typical story comprises an introduction, a body, and a conclusion, in that order. 

When writing your narrative essay introduction, make it captivating. Also, strive to tell your reader, in brief, what the story entails, while setting the tone of the paper. 

Character development and description of events go in the body section. Here, you should be as vivid as possible, as the body contains the backbone of the story. 

Finally, give it a beautiful, impactful ending like that bow tie finish on a nicely wrapped gift.

3. Outline your Essay

Creating a narrative essay outline could mean the difference between you scoring an A+ or getting your paper panned. A good plan helps you to organize your ideas coherently, as opposed to writing blindly, or winging it. 

Don’t know how to develop a narrative essay outline? Don’t worry. The process is quite simple. 

First, start by making a sketch that you will use for the rough draft. As you prepare the plan, keep in mind any specific requirements by your instructor. 

Our custom essay writing experts like to see the narrative essay introduction as the starter course of a meal. Your starting paragraph should answer these three questions.

  • Why? - Because of course, there is more to the reason you have picked this story other than good grades, right?
  • How? – Covers the structure you choose to write your essay if your instructor didn’t provide guidelines.
  • What? - Explains the nature of the essay. For instance, is it fact or fiction?

Answering these three questions will hint to the reader what to expect in the body. 

When it comes to the main course, the body, you should pick the main points and their subtopics to assist in the buildup of the story. Here is an example of a narrative essay outline.

I. Introduction

A. Attention Grabber

B. Introduction of Topic

C. Thesis Statement

II. Body Paragraphs

A. 1st Body Paragraph

1. 1st Subtopic

2. 2nd subtopic

B. 2nd Body Paragraph

C. 3rd Body Paragraph

1. Subtopic

III. Conclusion

A. Reaffirmation of thesis

B. Wrap it up

4. Craft your Narrative Essay Thesis

A narrative essay thesis carries the main idea of the essay in one statement. It is meant to evoke the reader’s interest without making a suggestion, asking a question, or making a recommendation.

There’s no unique approach for writing a thesis. How you write your compare and contrast essay thesis is the same way you write a narrative essay thesis. If you need more information, you can check out our article on how to write a thesis statement.

5. Write your First Draft

With an outline in hand, you can now make a rough draft that you will refine until you are satisfied. Be sure to have elements in your story to help in building it up. These include the characters, plot, setting, and description.

When crafting your first draft, you must adhere to the narrative arc. Given that none of your readers were present, your writing must be clear enough to create a mental picture in your audience. 

Getting started is always the most challenging part of writing a piece. Even the best writers, including the ones in our essay writing service, are faced with this issue. But how do they cope with it? It’s easy, really – just get started. Start writing and let your stream of consciousness flow. 

If nothing seems to be working, don’t worry. That’s why our online homework help service exists. Send us your instructions and have our experts customize your academic essay from scratch in a few short hours. 

6. Fine-tune Your Narrative Essay

After writing the draft and fine-tuning it to fit a narrative essay, be sure to revise it to correct any grammatical errors you might have missed. It may be a spot-on essay, but with error, it may put off the reader’s attention.

But first.

Put your first draft aside and wait several hours before returning to it. You can take a walk, prepare a cup of coffee or even retreat for a nap. Distancing yourself from your draft abstracts you from the essay, allowing you to evaluate your writing from a new perspective.

Finally, edit your narrative essay. The process of editing entails:

  • Proofreading – To rectify grammar and spelling errors
  • Revising – language and style to enhance readability and clarity

Before submitting your article, do yourself a favor. Let someone else read your work. If you can’t seem to find someone qualified, our assignment help specialists can still help proofread your homework and make the necessary amendments.

Narrative Essay Topics and Ideas

Here are twenty essay topics and ideas that will give you a jump start in case you run out of narrative essay topics.

1. How I overcome challenges

2. My favorite poet

3. Why I keep a memoir

4. Things I could tell my younger self

5. The role of Social media in my life

6. Enduring a pandemic

7. Modern-day farming

8. Forgotten

9. Seven minutes that changed a life

10. The Kidnapping

11. Growing up

12. Foster parents

13. Religion

14. Movies versus novels

15. The Police Department

16. Pros and Cons of keeping a dog

17. Why do cats land on their feet?

18. Evangelism

19. What influence do cartoons have on children?

20. Box gardening

If you still want more ideas, check out the narrative essay examples in our Resource Center for inspiration.

How to Start a Narrative Essay?

Do not limit yourself to one specific way of starting your narrative essay. Your beginning, after all, is what determines whether or not your reader will be captivated. Check out some of the approaches used by some of our top assignment help tutors.

  • A shocking statement - “I knew my life was over as soon as the strange figure grabbed my arm and banged my head against the wall.”
  • A startling question - “What is the treasure of Timbuktu? Tillie asked as the purple African twilight gave way to the onyx night. (A Kiss of Adventure by Catherine Palmer).
  • A quote - “It took me a while to understand why human being behave the way they do until I read a quote by Plato that says, ‘human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge.’”
  • A fact - ‘North Korea and Cuba are the only places you cannot buy Coca Cola.’
  • A rhetorical question - ‘Will a theatre still play the movie if no one buys the ticket to it?’

Narrative Essay Writing Mistakes to Avoid

When you hang out with us, we’ll always give you the inside scoop. Here are some mistakes college professors dread to see in your narrative essay.

Random Incidents

What’s a random incident? It’s an event that occurs in the story out of the blue and for no reason. An excellent example is a scene where you are explaining a robbery; out of the blue, you mention a salon appointment.

Contradictory Paragraphs

Paragraphs that contradict your topic and thesis statement break the flow of the narrative. Trus us, it’s not a fun thing to happen while reading.

Incoherent Sentences

Poorly constructed sentences negatively impact the article. If you feel unable to keep a steady flow of sentences, worry not. Our custom writing service has a vast pool of expert writers with impeccable academic qualifications at your service to assist you.

Punctuation Mark Errors

Punctuation errors make reading a piece very confusing, as there is no right separation between ideas. For example:

“You’ve eaten,”?

There is plenty wrong with this sentence, the first error being that the question mark is after the closing quotation marks. The second error is that the sentence is grammatically incorrect and with a spelling error on the word ‘eaten,’ which brings us to our next point

Grammar and Spelling Mistakes

Faults in grammar discourage the reader from appreciating your work no matter how creative it is. Let us look at the above example. The sentence, ‘you’ve eaten?’ is supposed to be a statement and not a question. The question mark changes the intonation of how the reader might read it, bringing about confusion.

Forcing A Plot to Work 

By changing a character’s personality, it contradicts how you initially set the figure out to be.

Not Using the First-Person Narrative

Since first-person narration is discouraged in other academic writing projects, this is a common mistake. It is, however, very much encouraged in this one, a requirement when writing a personal narrative essay.

Poor Spacing

Lack of proper spacing makes your paper uneven. It is somewhat messy when there is double spacing in some areas and single spacing in others. Proper spacing gives your writing an attractive general outlook that is inviting to the reader.

Narrative Essay Writing Tips

The following are some extra tips we have for you to better your work even more:

Keep It Original

It is easier to copy and borrow ideas from other people’s work. However, it’s not fun to be caught cheating. Aside from this, it feels good to receive a reward for a job well done and on your account, don’t you agree?

Do Not Replace the Tag ‘Said’

While writing dialogue, do not be afraid to use the tag ‘said’ in a repetitive manner. Replacing it with a synonym may cause more harm than good. Look at it this way. You have been passing by a specific banner for a while. Now that it has become inconspicuous and is no longer distracting, it is replaced with a statue. Isn't that confusing?

Keep It Focused

Since a narrative essay always tells a story, keep it focused on your topic of choice with systematic paragraphing to avoid confusing the reader.

Need Assignment Help Writing Your Narrative Essay?

That’s it on how to write a narrative essay. If you found this article helpful, then you’ll find the narrative essay examples in our resource center even more useful. When you have a lot on your plate and need assignment help, Custom Writing Bee will always be here for you. What is your writing need today? Whatever kind of online assignment help you need, you can always count on us. Order a custom narrative essay from our custom writing service now.

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