What is Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay is more of a short story where the author uses transitions, flashbacks, and other literary devices. There is normally a plot, a narrator, or a protagonist. Some of the characteristics of narrative essays include:


This is a narrative essay format where one describes the way an event took place right from the beginning through to the end. There is normally some form of transition so that the reader can make a connection.

There is a plot, characters and other details that surround them

Any narrative essay writer should ensure that they include all the details of an event in such a way that all these concepts are included in the paper. A high school narrative essay has a simpler plot and fewer characters as compared to a university narrative essay.

Personal experiences are described

Essays on narrative experiences are filled with personal experiences. It is common to use the pronoun ‘I’ and the protagonist is the writer of the essay. They write my narrative essay on what they saw or experienced.

Literary techniques are employed

A complete school narrative essay uses literary devices to attract the interest and appeal to the emotions of its audiences. Good narrative essays go to the extent of placing some of these devices strategically.

The story always has a moral

When you write a narrative essay, always ensure that there is a moral to the story, or the whole paper will not make sense.

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The ending contains suspense or is a complete part of a continuous experience

Writing narrative essays requires prowess in developing endings that leave the reader yearning for more.

Narrative Papers

If you want to know how to write a narrative essay, think of:

  1. Why should I write these narrative papers? What is my position in the paper?
  2. Who are my audiences? Personal narrative essays may be explicit, and it is important to include only relevant details. For example, narratives on fighting and drugs are not suitable for young children. A college narrative essay may be explicit because it is meant for adults.
  3. What ways should I cite my research materials if any? Should I have narrative essays APA citation? Is narrative essays MLA citation suitable?
  4. Where do example narrative essays of this kind applicable?

After answering these questions, check out sample narrative essays from other writers to have an idea over that which is needed.

Narrative Essay Writing: Do’s and Don’ts

DO: Tell a story that you love something that you know will catch the attention of the reader because it caught yours. You could even discuss your personal experiences or history or even events that you have gone through. Give a vivid yet complete description of an experience in an interesting manner.

DO: Always have an outline. It may be an experience that you have already gone through, but you need to have some form of organization. Focus on a particular line of thought so that you remain on the topic and have flow. An outline helps you find the transition from one paragraph to the next.

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DO: Narrative essay writing requires the clever use of literal language. Decide on the type of similes, metaphors and other literal devices that you can add to make your work more interesting.

DO: Check for grammar and spelling once you are done. You may be writing about a personal experience, but your grammar has to be on point.

DON’T: Avoid copying an experience that somebody else went through. Be very direct with the way you handle a variety of issues and make sure you are honest.

It is important to realize that narrative essay topics vary but they all have a personal touch to them. Always make sure that you maintain honesty when writing such papers.

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