How to Write Narrative Essays?

More so than other types of essays, narrative writing allows the writer to think or reflect on themselves and write something accordingly. Every person has some experiences buried somewhere in their memories, and these are often worth sharing with others. However, these memories are frequently mingled together and, as a result, a considerable amount of the time it takes to write a narrative essay is often devoted to the early stage i.e. before writing actually begins.

In writing a narrative-style essay, the writer is recounting some type of story. A narrative essay is usually written from a definite viewpoint, usually that of the writer, so the essay contains feeling and frequently an amount of sensory detail to involve readers in the sequence and elements of the writer's story. The writer should use precise and vivid verbs. The writer is required to make a point in a narrative essay, a point that is normally made clear early on i.e. in the first sentence of their essay. However, this point is sometimes found at the end of the introductory paragraph i.e. it can be the last sentence of this paragraph.

Because narratives are based on the writer's own experiences, this type of writing is often story-like in form. In using the story-telling technique, the writer needs to employ the usual conventions that are used in storytelling i.e. their writing should have characters, a plot, a setting, a high point, and an end. These essays are normally full of carefully chosen detail to support, explain or enhance the writer's story. Every detail should in some way relate to the writer's main idea or point i.e. to the crux of their story.

To sum up, a narrative essay should be:

  • Relayed from a very particular viewpoint
  • Based on the main point, which the writer supports over the course of writing their essay
  • Full of accurate detail
  • Written in a precise manner with vivid and descriptive verbs as well as suitable modifiers
  • Based on sequence and conflict just as every story is
  • Filled to varying degrees with dialogue if desired.

A narrative's purpose is to describe or report on some particular thing. When students are asked to write narrative reports, many of them believe these are some type of college essay or paper. Although the information contained in these types of reports is fairly basic compared to other types of writing, a narrative report does not require the 'higher level of thinking that is expected in most essays. Therefore, in most cases, a narrative report does not usually fetch a very high grade, at least not in the case of most college and university courses. For instance, book reports are an example of a basic type of narrative report whereby these outline a book's content e.g. its characters, the actions of the characters, and possibly a plot and various scenes. Essentially, these reports describe the happenings in a book while still omitting a great deal.

Usually what is omitted from such a report is what an article or book is about i.e. any assumptions made by the author, any concepts that underlie the text, any arguments put forward by the author, or any viewpoint expressed in the article or book. Narrative reports do not include any discussion that gives context to the events or happenings in an article or book. What is the text about? Love? The fast pace of modern life? Society in general? Poverty? Or perhaps it is about power and wealth? Essentially, a narrative report does not consider any viewpoint the author expresses in their text or their purpose.

Once they have chosen a topic for their narrative, there are three rules or principles the writer needs to keep to the forefront of their mind:

  1. The readers should be involved in the narrative or story. Recreating an event for readers is a lot more interesting for them than just telling them about something.
  2. Identify a general point, which you can support in your story. This method is the only way a writer's own experience will have meaning for the reader. This general point need not involve the whole of the human race. It may concern only the writer or any women, men, or children of various ages and/or backgrounds.
  3. Undoubtedly, the story is the main element of any narrative. However, the writer needs to choose every detail carefully to explain, support, or embellish their story.

Narrative Essay Sample

Everything that we do or say does not disappear without a trace. It influences people around us, and it can change their lives. Once said, words made me look at my life from another angle. Thanks to those words I feel happy today. However, I will start from the very beginning.

That day started like all the previous days- I was late to school. I was running from the bus stop when I struck her. Oh, she was the prettiest girl in the school! We studied in parallel grades. She had never noticed me till that day. Her name was Jin Ae that means 'truth, treasure and love'. Jin was a real treasure... After we fell she did not scream at me. Jin started laughing, and her laugh was so contagious that I burst out laughing too. After that meeting, I rushed to the lesson in an excellent mood.

When I came to the class, I saw the unknown guy sitting at my desk. His name was Min Kyung. He was new in our school and town, as well. I did not have a lot of friends at that time. Frankly speaking, I had only acquaintances. That is why, I decided to help Min and show our middle school. I liked him and proposed to be friends. At first he refused. Later, I found out that his family was rich, and Min was afraid that everybody wanted to be friends with him only because of the money. He also tried to persuade me that friendship did not exist at all. Nevertheless, we were sitting at the same desk not only in the middle school, but in the high school, as well.

We had the same interests in music and films. We had always what to talk about. However, he could not accept the fact that we were friends. Min continued to say that friendship did not exist. As for me, I had never had such a good friend before. We never quarreled with him.

Once, he refused to meet with me on the weekends because of the meeting with the girl. I was very surprised to know that he was dating with someone. He answered that it was going to be their first date. On Saturday evening, I decided to go to the movies by myself. In the movie theater, I noticed Min. He was hugging Jin Ae. I froze in my place. At first I was very angry with Min, but later I realized that it was Jin who chose my friend instead of me. Moreover, I had never told Min about my love to Jin. No one was to blame. I decided to step aside.

We continued to be friends or, how Min thought - to be acquaintances. After high school, I decided to go abroad for studying in Johnson & WalesUniversity. Min agreed that it was a good idea, but I noticed sadness in his eyes. I said that we could check our friendship with the help of distance.

That year Min decided to marry Jin. I was very happy that he asked me to be the best man at the wedding. While celebrating his bachelor party I accidently mentioned that I used to love Jin. Min answered that he had never even thought that I had had feelings to her. However, he thanked me for not trying to take Jin from him. I said that if he did not believe in friendship that did not mean that it was a myth.

After entering the university, I moved to the United States. We do not see each other for months, but when we meet it seems to me that everything is like it used to be. I am convinced that distance can not become a problem for true friends.

Min visited me few weeks ago. He arrived to say that Jin was pregnant. I was very happy to hear such good news. However, it was not the only reason for him to come. He used to tell me that he was studying Latin in the university. Min brought me a postcard with one Latin proverb written by his hand- Amicus verus cognoscitur amore, more, ore, re (True friend becomes known in the love, the disposition, the speeches, the deeds). He said that he had been thinking about that proverb for a long time and came to the conclusion that all friendship exist. Moreover, he called me his best friend. Min explained that despite the distance he felt the invisible thread that connected us. Together we went through different difficulties and always tried to help each other.

Frankly speaking, I knew that one day he would agree that friendship exist. True friendship is unselfish. I was never interested in Min 's money. I have always treated him like my friend. I think that deep inside he had realized that I had always been his best friend.

Once said words that Min did not believe in friendship changed my life for good. At first, I wanted to prove that he was wrong. Later, I was irritated that he did not notice how close we became. Luckily, ancient Romans helped Min understand everything and believe in friendship.

To sum it up, true friend is the biggest treasure that is not easy to find. However, if you find him/her, you will be the lucky one.

Conventions or Rules of Narrative Essay Writing

The following are a few conventions to bear in mind when writing a narrative essay:

  • It is usual to write narratives from the first-person viewpoint, e.g., 'I.' It is, however, also permissible to use the third-person perspective, e.g., 'she,' 'he,' or 'it.'
  • A narrative is reliant on solid, sensory detail to get the point of the story across. Details of this type are used to create a strong and unified effect, a forceful overall impression.
  • Since they are stories, narratives need to contain the conventions of a story, e.g., plot, characters, setting, high point, and an end