When writing a narrative essay, a story is being told. A world is created for the reader as they are transported through time and space into the world depicted. This is a very important element of narratives. The language used should be as vivid as possible. Preparation for this kind of essay tends to be extensive owing to the source of the essay – one’s memories. Chronological order of events is imperative. Overall, narratives impart lessons gleaned from personal experiences. This should have a focal point in the essay
The narrative’s importance is to impart some life lessons learnt or deal with the topic offered. This should come out clearly in the introductory paragraph. The purpose of the essay is usually stated in the opening statement of the first, or introductory, paragraph. This is not a rule but helps set the tone of the essay. This statement may also be placed at the end of the paragraph to lay the foundation of the entire essay.
The narrative should be developed in the paragraphs that follow. The order of thoughts is crucial to the reader’s experience of the essay. The main aim of a narrative is to engage the reader’s mind and imagination so that they experience the events in the essay as if they were present. This helps the reader identify with the writer and will be in a better position to agree with any lessons or maxims offered.
The conclusion of the narrative should harmonize with the thesis set at the beginning. Any further communication on the significance of the lesson learned is expressed in the concluding paragraph. This reflection heightens the sensitivity of the reader towards the entire experience and may serve to impart some perspective.
Common Topics of Narrative Essays
Narrative essays tend to focus on personal experiences undergone by the author. Some common prompts include a childhood memory where the author can choose from many one that gave a lasting lesson; a realization that may perhaps infer to a philosophical turning point or a moment of failure that provided some important life lessons. Another common area is a book review, which is a personal response to a book read.
The narrative follows the format of most essays. The rudimentary structure of a typical essay is as follows:
- An introduction
- A body
- The conclusion
Being a more personal essay than most other types, a narrative is usually presented in the first person hence use of the pronoun I is acceptable. Third-person pronouns he, she or it may also be used. This type of essay is subjective as a particular perspective of the writer is given. There are usually no citations unless it is a book review since the content of the essay is from memory and personal experiences.
The introduction should set the pace for the rest of the narrative. The body contains the bulk of the information. Details matter in this kind of essay as they help the reader understand and connect with the writer’s world. The conclusion should ideally be one paragraph long. The main idea of the essay is reiterated in this last paragraph to tie it in with the rest of the essay.