The Narrative Essay Format: A Simple Guide for Every Student
At some point in every student’s life, they have to write one or several narrative essays. While one might think that this is an easy process, almost 70% of students encounter problems selecting the right narrative essay format. Although the writer has more control determining the events to discuss, students find themselves wondering how to write a good narrative essay. This guide provides useful tips about the correct format of a narrative essay that every student can benefit from.
What is a Narrative Essay?
A narrative essay is a vivid account of events presented from a personal point of view. A narrative essay is a special kind of essay because the writer discusses events from his or her personal life. The author of a narrative essay has the freedom to present events in a way that he or she finds to be most relevant. This is because the author knows the events to be discussed better than anyone else. However, a good narrative essay needs to be written in a creative way in order to keep the reader interested. Below is a step by step guide to help every student write a great narrative essay.
How do I Prepare to write a Narrative Essay?
Just like other types of essays, a narrative essay requires a lot of planning. There is a common misunderstanding that a narrative essay involves nothing much than just writing down your thoughts. However, even these thoughts need to be organized in a relevant way. Start by thinking about important personal experiences that relate to the context of the required narrative essay. Often, the teacher will provide the general instructions on what to include in the narrative essay but it is always up to you to select the best topic for your narrative essay. Here are several tips to help you choose a suitable title.
- Think broadly about the prompt provided by the teacher and various personal experiences
- Narrow down your thoughts to a specific event in life that you feel relates with the prompt
- Search online if you can find narrative essays on a similar context by other authors
- Consider each title given to each narrative essay and how it appeals to you
- Now think about what your audience would like to read in your essay
- Your title must give them a promise that what they are interested in reading will be covered in the essay
- Give your essay a simple, interesting and unique title
After choosing the best narrative essay title, what next?
Now that you have a good title chosen, it is time to visualize your essay even before you start to write it.
- Consider how the experience that you selected affected you and evaluate the emotions associated with it.
- Then, ensure that the selected experience is significant enough to write an essay about
- Write down the most important details as your main narrative essay ideas.
What is the correct narrative essay writing process?
Just like any other essay, a good narrative essay must follow a given process to ensure that it has a smooth flow of ideas. The following steps should help you develop your narrative essay effortlessly.
1. Develop a detailed narrative essay outline
A narrative essay outline is crucial because it helps you visualize your essay even before you finish it. An outline is a skeleton showing your main ideas and how they will be presented in your narrative essay. An outline is meant to provide you with a guide to avoid mixing up your ideas as you write your essay. Therefore, it should be developed by noting down simple points on each section of the narrative essay as discussed in the following subsection.
2. Develop a narrative essay structure
A good narrative essay must follow a profound structure to ensure that your ideas flow smoothly. This will ensure that your audience remains interested from the beginning to the end of your narrative essay. You should, therefore, follow the follow this process when writing your narrative essay.
Formulate an introduction with a clear thesis statement.
The introduction of your narrative essay is meant to give your audience a reason to read your essay. For this reason, you need to write it in a way that makes it interesting and informative at the same time. If your audience loses interest at the very beginning of your narrative essay, be sure that they will not read all the other parts no matter how good they really are. You should, therefore, take the opportunity to explain why and how your narrative essay relates to your topic and the narrative essay prompt provided to you. A successful narrative essay introduction should include the following components.
- The hook
- A clear setting and context
- A description of your narrative essay’s topic
- A statement on the significance of your topic
- A well-developed thesis statement
Develop well-structured body paragraphs
Your narrative essay must have at least two or more body paragraphs. The body paragraphs explain in detail a personal account of the specific events that happened. You should also strive to explain how these events relate to your thesis statement and the overall message in your narrative essay. You should, therefore, start each body paragraph with a topic sentence that tells the reader what the paragraph will cover. Then, provide a supporting statement that seeks to explain your argument. Sometimes, you can use your own experiences to support your arguments, especially when writing a narrative essay. However, there are times when you will be required to weave specific course materials within your narrative essay to demonstrate how they apply to your life. in such a case, make sure to use reputable sources to support your arguments. At the end of each body paragraph, ensure that you use an appropriate transition statement. A transition statement shows your audience that you have finished discussing a certain idea, and it also prepares them for what you will discuss in the next paragraph.
In short, your body paragraph should include;
- A well-developed topic sentence
- Relevant support sentence either from personal experience or from reputable scholarly work
- A clear description of how your argument supports your thesis
- Most importantly for a narrative essay, include the who, where, why, and when of the discussed event
- A clear transition statement
Include a well-written conclusion
After presenting all your ideas in the body paragraphs, you must summarize them in the conclusion. The narrative essay conclusion must cover all the main ideas discussed in your narrative essay and show your audience how each idea relates to the essay’s topic and thesis. You should not introduce new ideas at this point to avoid confusing the reader. Writing a conclusion helps you determine whether you covered all the points that you intended to cover in the introduction and body paragraphs of your narrative essay. It also shows the reader how your narrative essay is linked to the broad topic. You should take the opportunity to present any moral lessons of your narrative essay at this point. The conclusion of your narrative essay must therefore include:
- A clear restatement of your thesis statement
- A summary of the main ideas discussed in the narrative essay
- A clear highlight of the moral lessons of the essay
- A personal reflection of how the discussed events shaped your life
- A call to action regarding the moral lessons
- Recommendations on how to achieve it
Useful tips on how to start a narrative essay
Many students struggle with the thought of how to start a narrative essay. Well, you have to start it in order to finish it. Right? The best way to start a narrative essay is to replay the events of the selected experience in your head in the order that they occurred. This creates a vivid picture of the event for your reference. The second step is to determine how these events relate to the narrative essay prompt provided by the teacher. Some prompts will want you to link your personal experiences with course materials while others might just require you to give a personal account of your experience. Either way, you must visualize the events in your mind first before you decide how to present them on paper.
Developing key ideas for a narrative essay
The key ideas refer to the most important things that you wish to communicate to the audience about your experiences. These are the things that should engage your audience throughout your narrative essay. Ensure that they cover the most exciting events in your personal experiences. It is also important to ensure that the audience can relate to the main ideas on a personal level. Each body paragraph of your narrative essay must focus on discussing one key idea to avoid bombarding your audience with too much information in one paragraph.
How to end a narrative essay
After discussing all your key ideas, you must end your essay the correct way in order to give your audience a sense off relief. As the ideas build up, the audience is intrigued to find out what happened. Do not leave them hanging. End your narrative essay by summarizing the key ideas and telling them how this relates to your life in general as well as the main takeaways from your essay. Show them how your narrative essay could impact their lives and this will make the time spent reading your essay worth their while.
Editing and proofreading a narrative essayEditing and proofreading a narrative essay
- Why is it important to edit your narrative essay?
Now that you are done writing your narrative essay, it is important that you go throw it a few times. The main reason for proofreading and editing your essay is to remove any grammatical errors and also to ensure that it has a smooth flow. Even the best writers make mistakes when writing their first drafts so you should not beat yourself up if you notice that your essay has a few mistakes.
There are times when you might not see some mistakes in your essay. This makes it necessary to have someone else go through your narrative essay and help you identify any more mistakes.
It is also important to evaluate your essay against the provided narrative essay rubric to ensure that you have covered all the areas that are likely to be examined. This will help you get a high score for your essay because a rubric provides you direction on how to address and format your essay.
- The best narrative essay proofreading tools
Since it is common knowledge that human is to error, do not shy away from using available computer software and tools to proofread your narrative essay. There are various tools available to you to help you identify mistakes that might sometimes be beyond your proficiency as a writer.
Writing a narrative essay can be hectic especially when deciding how to organize your thoughts. Most students struggle with the question, what is the format for writing a narrative essay? After reading this article, you will be in a position to write a good narrative essay that will earn a good grade. The secret to writing a good narrative essay is to choose a suitable title, develop an appropriate outline based on an elaborate narrative essay structure, and finally edit your essay to meet the necessary grammatical and technical requirements.