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Writing A Narrative Essay: What To Pay Attention To, Choice Of Topics

During the learning process, students are asked to create various types of essays and papers. All of them may vary in size and complexity. Narrative essays are one of those assignments learners have to deal with.

As a rule, a narrative essay is one of the most common forms of academic writing. Beginning from school years, learners of different educational institutions face this assignment pretty often. That’s why it is important to be aware of “what is the narrative essay” and how to write it.

Narrative essays’ core goal is to tell a convincing story. To write a narrative essay sounds simple, isn’t it? However, it appears to be complicated to tell an engaging story in practice.

Are you among students who have no idea how to write a narrative essay or have problems choosing a theme for the paper? Then this article will be useful for you since it contains everything you should know about this type of paper from its definition to tips for writing a narrative essay.

What is a narrative essay?

To begin your acquaintance with a narrative type of writing, there is a need to sort out its definition. As has been already mentioned, narrative papers tell a story. As a rule, this story can be about the author’s personal experience. Similar to a descriptive essay, a narrative paper lets the author show a personal and creative approach. This is what makes narrative essays different from other academic works.

According to the dictionary, narrative papers stand for a story or a description of a series of events. Thus, we can say with certainty that a narrative type of essay is an opportunity for learners to manifest their creative abilities and create an exciting story.

What is a narrative essay?

The author’s purpose is to share his/her experience rather than advance an argument or grant evidence to maintain opinion. This shared experience can be personal and even lived from the author’s life. Also, this experience can be imagined.

For example, you can talk about your first big achievement. Or you can imagine and tell what your life would be like in case you had been born under other circumstances. As a rule, narrative essay topics can vary from significant to trivial.

The purpose of the narrative essay

The narrative paper has its purpose as any type of academic writing. Knowing the essay’s goal would be easier for students to cope with writing this assignment. The core purpose of narrative papers is sharing stories.

Your task as an essay author is to tell readers about your experience (real or imagined) and at the same time specify clearly why you are proposing that specific story and why it is important.

Also, a narrative paper is a good method of checking the author’s ability to tell a story in an interesting and understandable way. It is expected learners have a clear idea of where their stories begin and end. There is a need to convey a story with attractive language and at a pleasant pace.

In your narrative essay, you should guide readers through the story. There is no necessity to make arguments, criticize, or try to persuade your readers. All you should do is tell the story and let them make their conclusions. This is probably the most distinctive feature of personal narrative essays.

Usually, you can get a task to create a narrative essay in high school or composition classes at your university. Moreover, understanding how to write a narrative essay enables you to utilize these techniques when you are going to write a personal statement for an application.

Basic elements of narrative essays

Before you proceed to narrative essay writing, there is a need to sort out the core elements of this type of academic paper. There is a different number of these elements in various sources. However, basic elements are considered plot, theme, and characters. Let’s have a detailed look at every element of narrative papers:

  • Plot. Being the main narrative writing structure, the plot manages the events of your story. Let’s consider an example of the world-known tragedy “Romeo and Juliet”. Romeo dies, followed by Juliet. We can say it is chronology. Romeo dies, and then Juliet dies because she can’t live without Romeo. Now we can say it is a plot.
  • Theme. One can consider a theme as the moral of a story. Also, it can be the essence of your story. What is the author trying to say? What does the author expect the readers to comprehend? What should readers take away from the author’s experience?
  • Characters. Being social creatures, human beings are the main characters of narrative essays. They drive the plot of the author’s story. Readers have the possibility to connect with a narrative only if they can see it through someone’s eyes. Thus, the goal of the author is to create brightly developed characters who will contribute to writing better narratives.

As with every other college essay, narrative papers have their constituents. Thus, if you are going to begin a story, do not forget to include important elements such as plot, theme, and characters. Without them, your story will hardly be called a narrative.

Difference between a narrative essay and story

When learners are asked to create a good narrative essay for the first time, they start to think there is a need to write a story. To tell the truth, narrative papers and stories have a few things in common. Both types of writing expect imaginative narrative from authors and utilization of descriptive words to hand over emotions and place readers inside the main events.

Still, the number of differences is great. Narrative essay writers should know them in order to create papers properly. For example, narrative papers require a clear presentation of ideas that organize the author’s thoughts. At the same time, stories do not require any structure.

Also, the goal of narrative papers is to inform. Readers expect to learn something by reading the author’s narrative essay. At the same time, the goal of stories is to entertain. Some stories can be regarded as fables that involve a moral that teaches a lesson.

How to outline and format a narrative essay?

Sorting out the outline and format of a narrative paper is likewise important before you start the writing process by itself. To begin with, the structure and format of a narrative essay are standard. Similar to other types of academic writing, narrative stories follow a 5 paragraph essay outline. They are the introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

Still, being different from other types of essays, paragraphs of narrative papers have specially marked purposes. Let’s look at each section of narrative essays more closely.

  • Introductory Paragraph. This section gives a representation of the story and indicates the purpose of the writing. The introduction should involve an amusing element to hook your readers. To create this powerful hook, an intriguing question, interesting fact, quote, or enthralling statement can be utilized. This will assist to create a desire for your readers to keep reading your essay further.
  • Main Body. As has been already mentioned, the body of your narrative essay can consist of 3 paragraphs. Its length should depend on the general word count of an essay. The main body is one of the most significant narrative essay parts. Within these paragraphs, you should tell your story, share important facts, and drive readers through the plot of your paper.
  • Conclusion Part. The conclusion is a section where authors can give a few final comments about their stories. In the conclusion part, you can restate some of the key ideas specified in the main body of your essay. What’s more, the author’s task is to highlight the lessons he/she has learned from a certain situation. This, in turn, will leave food for thought to readers.

Do you want your essay to get a high grade from the educator? Then you should not underestimate the importance of the format and outline of the narrative essay. Creating a narrative essay outline will make the whole writing process less stressful and quicker.

Narrative essay writing tips

If learners want to write the best narrative essays, they should be ready to dedicate some time and effort to this process. Narrative papers are simple to create only from the first point of view. However, when learners proceed to narrative essay writing, they will understand how wrong they were.

If you face complexities during the creation of your paper, do not hasten to worry. Instead, you can familiarize yourself with the following tips on narrative essay writing. With them, students will surely write flawless narrative stories.

  • Simplicity is key to success. Your narrative story should be simple to read and understandable. Avoiding too complex phrasing and syntax is recommended.
  • Write in the first person. As we remember, narrative papers describe the real-life experience of the author. For this reason, it is advisable to write essays in the first person rather than in the second person.
  • Include dynamic words. Keep in mind that your paper should be dynamic and interesting. Make your content clear and simple and utilize passive voice economically.
  • You can spice up your essay with the assistance of some conflict.
  • Various descriptive techniques can be utilized, for example, power words, transitions, and more.

Are you looking for methods to ease essay narrative writing? For this, you can take advantage of the above-discussed tips for writing a narrative essay that will improve your content in a better way.

How to write a narrative essay in a few steps?

Professional narrative essay writers are aware that the writing process of this type of academic assignment does not differ greatly from other homework tasks. Let’s consider a detailed guide on how to create a narrative story. With its assistance, you will not only obtain a high grade from your educator but also pleasantly impress your readers.

  • Step 1: Select a Topic. It will be great if your educator permits you to choose a topic for your paper by yourself. You should simply take your time and brainstorm some good ideas for narrative essays. The main rule is to come up with a topic that will be interesting both for you and your readers.
  • Step 2: Create an Outline. Narrative papers do not require special research to maintain your argument or thesis statement. This type of writing is about the author’s personal experience. However, there is still a need to organize your thoughts to write a good narrative essay. For this, the creation of an outline for a narrative essay will be your best solution.
  • Step 3: Proceed to Draft. It is time to go to essay narrative writing. This is where you should likewise organize the content of your paper properly. Your task is to divide the outline of a narrative essay into three parts such as plotting your story, its main part with the culmination, and conclusion. After that, you should describe every part following the course of events.
  • Step 4: Revise a Completed Draft. Before proceeding to revise your draft, it is advisable to put it aside for some time. You can go for a walk with friends, take a nap, drink a cup of tea, etc. Your task is to abstract yourself from the essay for several hours. This will assist you to evaluate your content from a fresh perspective. After some time, you can return to your paper and read it attentively. Check that every element is included in your essay.
  • Step 5: Edit your Essay. You should not underestimate the editing process since with its help you can discover rough spots in your paper. Then, you will be able to proofread an essay, fix spelling and grammar mistakes, and change its language and style if necessary for better readability and clarity.

Do not you know how to start a narrative essay? Then, you can consider the easy-to-follow steps above and create a top-notch paper.

Video Guide: How to begin a narrative essay?

How to choose a topic for a narrative essay?

Learners should choose topics for narrative essays carefully. It will be a bad idea to write a paper on the first theme that appeared in your mind. Instead, you should take some time to brainstorm.

Or you can heed the following narrative essay tips concerning topic selection:

  • Take your time and remember your past experiences or try to dig into memories to find something really exciting.
  • You should memorize that narratives tell stories. Your selected topic should enable readers to connect to your personal experience and valuable life lessons.
  • Think about what worries you and what stories you would like to share with readers.
  • Select only useful ideas for discussion. If you like something, choose problems that you have struggled with. This will let you write about something that does not make you yawn.
  • Take a break to refresh and come up with good narrative essay topics.
  • Do not forget about the planning stage. Since your essay is going to prove a certain point, you should necessarily verify how much information you need to gather on various themes.
  • Take advantage of the internet. It is recommended to look through social media, online blogs, and magazines that will assist you to find out the stories of your peers. This, in turn, will be useful for discovering what things they are interested in and what themes they discuss.

If you do not have time to come up with a theme for your paper by yourself, you can ask your teacher to assign a topic for you. Also, you can select one of the topics for the narrative essay that we are going to consider further.

10 Good topics for narrative essays

Intriguing Topics for Essays for College Students:

  1. Role Model I Followed When I Was a Child
  2. My First Childhood Experience that Assisted Me to Grow Up
  3. The Personal Experience That Assisted Me Reconsider My Values And Appreciate Life More
  4. The Time I Fell in Love Firstly
  5. My Volunteering Experience in South Africa
  6. My Viewpoint Concerning Euthanasia
  7. The Most Complicated Choice I Had to Make
  8. The Greatest Lie I’ve Told When I Was a Child
  9. The Most Memorable Event of My Life
  10. One Day Spent at My Mum’s Work

Interesting Essay Themes for High School Students:

  1. My Most Memorable Birthday Celebration
  2. Favorite Fairytale Character of My Childhood
  3. How I Surmount Kid Bullying at High School
  4. How My Educator and I Became Best Friends
  5. The Craziest Thing That Occurred with Me on Prom Night
  6. The Funniest Event That Occurred in Class
  7. My Favorite School Subject That I Used to Underestimate Before Now
  8. My Childhood Teacher with Whom I Still Keep in Touch
  9. The Moment When Math Was Really Handy in My Life
  10. How My Best Childhood Friend Influenced My Whole Life

Exciting Paper Topics for University Students:

  1. The Greatest Mistake I Have Ever Made in My Childhood And Still Regret It
  2. My First Time Trying out Japanese Food
  3. Time When I Saved My Classmate from Bullying
  4. Stories About All of The Jokes, Hoaxes, Pranks, And Anecdotes I Have Fallen For
  5. The First Time I Have Become a Leader in Sport Team
  6. The Moment I Understood That Partying is Destructive and Made a Decision to Stop
  7. How I Made a Friend in an Interesting Way
  8. The Time I Have Done Something Stupid
  9. My First Time I Got into a Fight with My Best Friend
  10. The Time I Met My Friend’s Parents Firstly
topics for narrative essays

Example of a narrative essay

Now, let’s consider a short essay narrative sample on the topic “The case when I learned something about myself”.

Since college, I have always favored subjects like history and philosophy over applied science. My opinion was always these subjects are more solid and interesting than classes like math. However, some time ago I had an experience that showed me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I went to my first chemistry class.

I was skeptical before I came into the classroom. I stood outside and thought about what chemistry would be —I had no representation. I imagined complicated things: formulas, rules, experiments. But it appeared completely different from my thoughts.

A middle-aged man, Mr. Smith was a typical chemistry educator that I had half-expected. However, instead of pulling students into unclear and hard formulas, Mr.Smith engaged a class on our level. To talk about chemistry laws, we supported them with interesting but safe experiments. By the end of class, I’d found that chemistry is not as difficult a subject as I thought.

This occasion has taught me something! I discovered that if I refuse my preconceptions, I can really learn a lot about subjects I was treated with disdain before. The first lesson taught me in many respects to look at things unbiasedly.

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  • compliance with all set requirements and deadlines;
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FAQ of Narrative Essay

1. How can I write a narrative paper?

The writing process of narrative papers does not differ from creating other types of academic essays. There is a need to select a topic, outline your essay, write a draft, revise a completed draft, and edit your document. If coping with this assignment seems challenging for you for some reason, you can hire competent authors online and buy a narrative essay of the highest quality.

2. What are the signs of a good narrative essay?

There are important elements that should be included in every narrative paper. They are plot, theme, and characters. With these elements, your narrative paper will be considered good and high-quality.

3. Where can I find an essay narrative sample?

To make the writing process simpler, you can make use of narrative essay samples for college taken from the Internet. Also, you can familiarize yourself with the narrative essay example mentioned in this article above. These examples will help you to have an idea of what your paper should be like.

4. How should I begin an intro for a narrative essay?

When you prepare an introduction for a narrative essay, it is recommended to start with a powerful and persuasive hook. It can be a question, fact, quote, or statement. With its assistance, you can grab readers’ attention and make them immersed in your essay.

5. How do narrative and descriptive types of essays differ?

At first, it may seem that narrative and descriptive essays are the same. However, these types of writing have many distinctions. The main difference is that a descriptive paper is intended to describe a certain place, object, or concept in detail. At the same time, narrative papers are meant to tell a full story.

6. When should I proceed with writing my narrative paper?

Narrative essay writing requires time and effort as any other academic task. That’s why it is advisable to start the writing process as early as possible. This is a guarantee you will include interesting content on every page of your paper and deliver a ready essay timely.

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