Offer of the decade FLAT 20% off + sign up bonus of $20 Order Now

Offer of the decade FLAT 20% off + sign up bonus of $20 Order Now
    Add File

    Files Missing!

    Please upload all relevant files for quick & complete assistance.

    I accept the T&C and other policies of the website and agree to receive offers and updates.

    How to Write A Narrative Essay With Tips and Examples

    Home / Blog / How To Write A Narrative Essay

    How to Write A Narrative Essay With Tips and Examples
     Admin  Published On Aug 11, 2023 | Updated on Sep 19, 2023  Essay

    A narrative essay is where you tell a story. In most cases, it focuses on a personal experience and its importance. Writing narrative essays will test your ability to give words to your experiences compellingly. Often, students use the narrative technique to develop their personal statement for a college application.

    Detailed Guide on How to Write a Narrative Essay with Tips

    As a student, you may have to work on multiple narrative essays to articulate your thoughts and ideas about a specific subject in a standard format. Understanding how to respond to different topics and develop an engaging piece is important to meet your readers' expectations. This blog will cover everything about narrative essay writer to help you format and create a narrative essay.

    Defining What Is a Narrative Essay

    A narrative essay is a five-paragraph document focusing on your narration about life or past experiences. As a narrator, you may recall an experience, discuss a future scenario, or explore a hypothetical incident to give insight into who you are and what values you embody.

    In academic settings, narrative essays allow you to demonstrate your writing abilities and your ability to engage readers with different writing elements and personal details. Most times, you have to write a narrative essay to emphasize your life experiences on occasions like completing a class assignment, competing for an award, or applying for college.

    A great narrative story focuses on storytelling with a purpose. It should be entertaining and convey a message at the same time in a way to connect with the audience. Whether you are writing about your first heartbreak, a life-changing event, or a disturbing moment, your aim should be to take your readers on a journey and make them feel motivated, enlightened, or moved.  

    Since a narrative essay is a vivid story told from a narrator’s point of view, there are a few elements you should use as a writer – a beginning, body, and ending with an interesting plot, characters, setting, and climax. Your focus should be on the plot and the use of different details leading towards the climax. Make sure your essay:

    • Follows a chronological order
    • Defines a purpose, which should be stated in the thesis statement of your essay introduction.
    • Includes the use of dialogue to demonstrate emotional details.
    • Covers sensory details and descriptions focusing on the main point you are making.
    • Provides vivid details to help the readers feel what you felt while writing.
    • Highlights conflict and sequences and flashbacks and flash-forwards to build the story
    • Follows the first person, but a third-person perspective can also be used if mentioned.

    Types of Narrative Essays

    Before you start writing a narrative essay, learning about the different types is essential. Each narrative essay typer has a unique purpose and structure. Regardless of the type, each essay focuses on transporting readers to a different time and place and creates an emotional connection with the reader. Here are the different types of narrative essay writing:

    • Personal narrative: It is based on the writer's unique experiences or events, like overcoming a challenge or reflecting on something meaningful and impactful.
    • Fictional narrative: Such essays are based on a made-up story with the fundamental components of storytelling. Fictional narratives focus on different subjects, from science to romance.
    • Memoir: Memoirs are more like personal narratives but focus more on the specific time or theme of a person's life, like one’s struggle with getting over an addiction or one’s fight to get cultural identity.
    • Literary narrative: These essays focus on the narrator's literary journey and influence on their life. The writing typically focuses on the writer's significant moments and their impact on their writing, reading, or communication.

    Pros and Cons of Narrative Writing

    Writing a narrative story is an effective tool for self-expression and creative storytelling. But like any other form of writing, narrative writing has pros and cons. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of narrative writing you should know about:


    • The narrative style of writing is accessible as writers can use their voice of narration and have a direct connection with their work.
    • Narrative writing puts readers inside the narrator’s mind, understanding the narrator's portrayal of emotions and thoughts and developing a sense of empathy.
    • The narrative writing style is direct and allows readers to understand the writers' creative expression and unique tone.
    • Narrative essays allow writers to provide a clear identity to the text, say whatever they want as a part of the character, and allow self-reflection and growth.


    • Narrative writing is limited to a single story thread. Sometimes, it may not be an effective way of conveying factual arguments.
    • Narrative writing can make it challenging for the writer to balance their personal telling with the requirements of their target readers.
    • Effective narrative writing demands vulnerability and sharing personal details to give an insight into the protagonist's life. This aspect can make some readers and writers uncomfortable.
    • Narrative essays are subjective, and the narrator may appear self-indulgent or biased. It can become difficult for the readers to understand the writer’s interpretation.

    20 Excellent Narrative Essay Topics and How to Choose One

    You can write an effective narrative essay when you have the right proposal essay topic to work with. Here are some useful suggestions for finding the best ideas for your next narrative paper:

    1. Consider your own experiences: One of the best ways to find ideas for your narrative essay is to brainstorm ideas from your real-life experiences. Therefore, think hard about moments and events that have significantly impacted you. It doesn't matter whether it's positive or negative. Focus on explaining why it is memorable to you.

    2. Choose a topic relevant to your audience: Let’s not forget that you are writing for your audience, so focus on them and their interests before finalizing the topic. For instance, if you are writing for young adults trying to make their way in life, consider the events and moments that might interest or motivate them.

    3. Find inspiration in literature: Nothing is more inspiring than literature. Both academic and non-academic books are a great source of information for narrative essay writing. Therefore, consider the books or stories you have read that left a mark on you. Try to analyze how you can implement different elements to make your narrative of the story. So, start by referring to your favorite book.

    4. Focus on a specific moment or event: All effective narrative essays focus on storytelling. Therefore, it’s important to pick a special moment or event which you can never forget or that has significantly affected you. For example, you could develop a topic from your encounter with a homeless man and how his story changed your view of life.

    5. Experiment with different perspectives: Exploring various perspectives in writing helps to give depth to your narration and makes it more interesting for the readers to follow. For instance, you can pick an event and discuss its significance from multiple perspectives, or you can explore the feelings about the events from the perspective of a secondary character.

    6. Use writing prompts: A lot of students refer to writing prompts for inspiration to develop their essay topics. If you struggle to find a topic, refer to prompts relevant to themes like love, loss, or growth. Many use essay prompt generators to find unique prompts. You can explore that option as well.

    7. Choose a topic with rich sensory details: A good narrative essay should paint vivid pictures in readers’ minds to understand its significance from your perspective. Since you have to use the sensory elements to engage your readers, you could write about a topic that's rich with sensory details, like your trip to the mountains, highlighting the beauty of the hills, the smell of the wet trees, and the sounds of the birds chirping and streams flowing.

    8. Choose a topic meaningful to you: Ultimately, a good narrative essay resonates with you and is something you are passionate about. For example, you can write about a life-long goal you want to achieve and why or a hurdle you have overcome. Both these ideas will give you plenty of points to elaborate on.

    Here are some sample topics and ideas to inspire you:

    1. The most embarrassing day of your life
    2. A frightening memory from your childhood
    3. An event or experience that taught you life lessons
    4. An experience that taught you to be grateful
    5. An event that helped you overcome your fear
    6. A memorable day with someone dear whom you’ve lost recently
    7. A person you are afraid to lose
    8. Talk about the time you faced rejection
    9. Talk about the day when you had the worst argument with someone
    10. Discuss the importance of loyalty and trust in your life
    11. The most difficult decision of your life
    12. Your most rebellious act
    13. Talk about the incidents that bother you and why
    14. Morality issues and how you deal with them
    15. A decision that you regret
    16. Lies you’ve told that you regret
    17. Talents you have always wanted, and why
    18. The funniest incident you had with your best friend
    19. Talk about your most loved trip
    20. Your first day in college

    Narrative Format and Structure

    The structure and format are two key elements of a good narrative story. A well-structured essay makes it easier for readers to follow the narration, evoke emotions, and connect with the narrator. Regardless of the type of narrative essay you are writing, make sure you follow the listed guidelines.

    1. Introduction: The narrative essay introduction sets the story's scene and introduces the main characters and setting. It should have an engaging factor or a hook to capture readers' attention and compel them to keep reading. If you are unsure how to begin, you can start with an intriguing fact or question or describe a vivid setting.

    2. Plot: The plot comprises a series of events with a proper introduction, body, and ending, each section building the plot for the next. Also, the plot should clearly state the issue or conflict the narrator should overcome.

    3. Characters: Characters are the people in the story. All characters should be well-developed with unique personalities and traits. The narrator should be clear about each character's goals, while the antagonist should challenge the characters to drive the story.

    4. Setting: The setting focuses on the time and place of the story. It should be well-described and set a mood supporting the story’s theme.

    5. Dialogue: Dialogues are the conversations between characters. It should be realistic, highlight each character's personality, and help develop the plot and drive the story toward the climax.

    6. Climax: The climax is the highest conflict point of the story. It should give the narrative a turning point and resolve the issue or conflict.

    7. Resolution: The resolution is the ending of the story. It should draw a satisfying conclusion and tie up the narration by answering the unanswered questions.

    These elements will help create a well-structured essay to engage the target readers and take them on an adventurous journey.

    Narrative Essay Outline

    Always make a narrative essay outline to plan everything you want to discuss in the introduction, the body paragraphs, and the conclusion. Here’s a basic outline of a narrative essay:


    • Hook: Start the introductory paragraph with an attention-grabbing fact, statement, anecdote, or question relevant to the topic to draw your readers’ attention. Example: “The hall was as silent as the grave, and my heart pounding with anxiousness, fearing the worst.”
    • Background information: You should provide sufficient context for the story, like the characters or the setting. Example: “I had been preparing myself to cope with this pain for days, shielding myself from heartbreak.”
    • Thesis statement: The thesis is the main point of the argument and gives a preview of the upcoming events. Example: “This experience taught me that nothing in life prepares you for the loss of a loved one, no matter how desperately you try. You are bound to end up with a void and relentless pain."

    Body Paragraphs

    • First event: Describe the first event with details about the setting, actions, and characters. Example: "As I heard the news, I felt my body go cold, and a sense of pain struck me."
    • Second event: Move to the second event and highlight how it is relevant to the first event and develops the plot further. Example: "As minutes passed, I returned to my senses and got a hit of the reality."
    • Turning point: Describe an unexpected or important change that changed the events. Example: "Even though it was difficult, it was time for me to make the most difficult decision of my life.”
    • Climax: Focus on the story’s highest conflict point. Example: "As the battle of life and death ended, I gathered all my courage and did the most dreaded bit: broke the news to my mother, thus passing the baton of pain to another."


    • Restate thesis: Summarise the thesis statement and state how the events in the story support it. Example: “Through this experience, I learned nothing in life is certain. Everything that begins has to come to an end. Ultimately, you must learn to live with the pain, irrespective of how deep the void is."
    • Reflection: Reflect on the importance of the experience and your lesson. Example: “Looking back, I realize that this experience not only gave me a reality check but also prepared me for the bitter truth of life."
    • Call to action: End your essay with a relevant call to action so your readers leave with something meaningful. Example: "I encourage everyone not to take anyone for granted because you never know when life will teach you a hard lesson."

    Narrative Essay Examples

    Narrative essays use vivid details and personal reflections to take readers on a fun reading journey and leave them with a powerful message. Here are two popular narrative essay examples you can refer to as a guide for developing your narration using your own voice and experiences.

    Narrative Essay Example for College

    College professors expect certain qualities in their students, like adaptability, problem-solving, and learning from mistakes. When writing, keep in mind that your writing should demonstrate each of these factors, irrespective of the topic. Additionally, your essay should highlight your characteristics and creativity. If you have encountered a problem, talk about the approach you've taken to solve it and connect it to your area of interest.

    Let’s look at the excerpts of a narrative essay example for college students:

    “Today is Press Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, and I'm supposed to be at the fairgrounds by 9:00 A.M. to get my credentials. I imagine credentials to be a small white card in the band of a fedora. I've never been considered press before. My real interest in credentials is getting into rides and shows for free. I'm fresh from the East Coast, for an East Coast magazine. I remain unclear why they're interested in the Illinois State Fair.”

    Narrative Essay Example for High School

    High school is about taking lessons from the consequences of your actions. To develop a narrative essay for high school, consider the day you made an adult choice. Make sure you use different sources to get the best possible results. Here's an example to give you an idea:

    "After a time, tired by his dancing, he settled on the window ledge in the sun, and, the queer spectacle being at an end, I forgot about him. Then, looking up, my eye was caught by him. He was trying to resume his dancing but seemed so stiff or awkward that he could only flutter to the bottom of the window pane; when he tried to fly across it, he failed."

    Final Words

    Now that you know what a narrative essay is and its key elements, writing will seem less intimidating. If you are still stuck, you can get writing help from a professional writing aid provider. The assignment expert caters to your unique needs and offers flexible payment options. Connect today if you want quality guidance with your essay writing.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Q1. What are the best narrative essay topics?

    Some of the best narrative essay ideas are as follows:

    • A memorable trip you’ve taken as a child
    • Your saddest day
    • An event that changed your perspective of life
    • The day you met someone who changed the person in you
    • A loss you cannot get over
    • A unique experience or trip with family or friends

    Q2. How long is a narrative essay?

    Typically, a narrative essay is about 5 paragraphs long, with one paragraph for the introduction, three body paragraphs, and one for the conclusion. However, the count of the paragraphs will vary with the essay's purpose. For instance, a narrative essay for an award will have different length requirements than an essay written for a school assignment.

    Q3. How to start a narrative essay?

    The introductory paragraph of a narrative essay will always begin with a strong opening sentence or a hook to grab readers’ attention. Then, briefly summarise the narrative or background information in a few sentences. End the introduction with a thesis statement explaining the main focus of your essay.

    Do you want to share?

    Comments 0



    Recent Post
    Exploring Arthur Miller's Salem Witch Trials

     Admin  Published On Oct 3, 2023 | Updated on Oct 4, 2023

    The Metamorphosis' and the Theme of Transformation and Alienation

     Admin  Published On Sep 30, 2023 | Updated on Sep 30, 2023

    The Handmaid's Tale (TV series) - Essayhack

     Admin  Published On Sep 26, 2023 | Updated on Sep 26, 2023

    Redemption Through a Kite's Flight: The Kite Runner

     Admin  Published On Sep 22, 2023 | Updated on Sep 26, 2023

    Rhetorical Analysis Definition and Examples

     Admin  Published On Sep 5, 2023 | Updated on Sep 11, 2023



    Popular Posts
    50+ Interesting Quantitative Research Topics

     Admin  Published On Apr 18, 2019 | Updated on Aug 10, 2023

    Top 100 Persuasive Essay Topics/Ideas for Students

     Admin  Published On Sep 22, 2018 | Updated on Sep 12, 2023

    Discursive Essay Topics for Students

     Admin  Published On Feb 13, 2019 | Updated on Aug 10, 2023

    How to Write an Essay Introduction?

     Admin  Published On Apr 5, 2023 | Updated on Aug 10, 2023

    How to Write a Law Essay: Writing Guide with Examples

     Admin  Published On Jun 22, 2020 | Updated on Aug 10, 2023

    Subscribe Newsletter

    You can place your order for free now. Simply submit your order and see what our writers can Subscribe to get regular update!

    mob turntine
    Turnitin Report