Narrative Essays


When writing narrative essays you are basically telling a story that is often personal, experiential or anecdotal. This kind of essay provides a great deal of scope for you to be creative and put forward your own point of view. A good essay of this kind needs to include specific details to make the writing come alive. You should focus on re-creating an event and try to convey a particular mood. On this page we provide a few basic guidelines you can follow to write an effective essay of this type. This is not the only way to go about writing a narrative essay. You can find an alternative set of guidelines by clicking on the link towards the end of the page.



How to Write a Good Narrative Essay


1. Make sure the story is complete

You need to make sure you have an introduction, climax and conclusion with a plot, characters and setting. Keep your writing well organized. Have a clear introduction that sets the tone for your essay and establishes your purpose. Normally this kind of essay is chronological.


2. Your essay should have a purpose

You can think of the purpose or point of your essay as your thesis statement. Make sure the point of your essay is clear to the reader.


3. Make sure your writing is clear and concise

Your writing will be effective when your words are carefully and creatively chosen. Use language specifically and creatively to evoke particular feelings and senses in the reader. You also need to ensure that the events and characters in your essay seem real.


4. You can use the first person pronoun ‘I’

Although it is quite normal to use ‘I’ in this kind of essay you should not over do this. Using the third person (he, she, or it) is also typical.


5. Your essay can contain dialogue

You may well have people talking in your essay. This can add a great deal to the content and quality of your writing if used effectively.


After you have finished writing your essay, if time permits, spend some time away from the writing then read through the essay, thinking about whether you have effectively recreated events and experiences for your readers. Ask others to read over your essay if possible and give their opinions and ideas. See if you can identify any more details that could be included or elaborated upon. Also, consider removing any details or information that may be irrelevant or distracting. Basically, when proofreading, aside from looking for errors in spelling, grammar and style, you are looking to see if the essay is effective.



Don't forget to proofread your essay. This part of the essay writing process is often given too little attention. Proofreading however is a skill that you need develop to improve your writing, especially if English is not your first language. You can find out how to proofread here, and you can practice your proofreading with some exercises here.

You can click here for alternative guidelines for writing a narrative essay.


Leave narrative essays and return home

Go to Essay writing

Descriptive essays

Expository essays

Argumentative essays


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