The sole purpose of narration, also known as the ability to tell stories, is to describe and transmit both fictional and factual tales. You engage in narration every time you tell a friend or relative about something that happened to you. The distinction between factual and fictional narration is found in the number of “proofs” the storyteller provides to the listener. For made-up or imagined stories, the writer is in charge of creating the characters and events that appear relevant to the story.
Another distinction between the two narratives is the writer’s motivation. Factual storytellers, such as memoirs and biographies, attempt to describe and explain events as they occurred or as they recall occurring, whereas fictional storytellers, such as novels or short stories, may deviate from real events or people because they do not intend to retell a factual situation.
Below is a detailed guide with narrative essay ideas to help you succeed every time you write to help you better understand the concept and its various stages.
What Is A Narrative Essay?
A narrative essay is a piece of writing that is used to create and communicate a story, complete with characters, conflicts, and settings. Almost every piece of writing, whether fiction or nonfiction, employs narrative writing. It has a central point around which the entire narrative revolves, including incidents and characters. The format of a narrative essay is similar to that of a simple five-paragraph essay. It differs only because it is a narrative with characters, incidents, and dialogues. Poetry, anecdotes, and novels are examples of narrative writing.
Finally, whether the story is true or not, narrative writing attempts to convey a series of events in an emotionally engaging manner. If you want to know how to start a narrative essay, you should ask yourself one fundamental question: what is my purpose? You want your story to move your audience, which could be accomplished through laughter, sympathy, fear, anger, and so on. Your audience is more likely to be emotionally engaged if you tell your story clearly, considering the best style and approach to communicate your idea.
Elements of A Narrative Essay
A narrative essay is defined by three fundamental elements: character, theme, and dialogue.
Characters are very important in this type of writing; even if the essay is autobiographical, the person writing the essay becomes a character who interacts with other characters who behave, act, and do things similar to the rest of the participants in novels and stories.
It is centered on a theme or motif, which is presented in a thesis statement divided into three parts. These parts are further elaborated in the text by characters in body paragraphs that follow the essay structure.
Finally, dialogue between characters is used to capture a conversation. It is the third most important factor in determining how the narrative essay writer will tell the story.
Types Of Narrative Essay
If you don’t know what you want to say or how to say it, writing a narrative essay can be difficult. Narrative essays are classified into three types: fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
- Fiction is a fictional narrative based on the writer’s thoughts, ideas, and feelings and presented as a series of events. It can be a novel, folktale, short story, or play.
- Nonfiction, on the other hand, qualifies as a personal narrative essay if it is based on true information, facts, or events. The most common non-fiction writings are biographies, journals, and diaries.
- Poetry: Because poetry is a narrative in which the distinctive style and rhythm give the expression of feelings and ideas intensity, it can be both fictional and non-fictional. The most popular types of poetry are sonnets and epics.
How to Format And Structure A Narrative Essay?
An introduction, a thesis statement, the main body, and a conclusion make up the narrative essay format. The first two paragraphs provide an overview of what your entire text will cover; the main body will introduce and develop your characters, settings, and dialogues before concluding with a summary of the story.
The introduction should include a hook sentence that grabs the reader’s attention, a thesis statement that explains what your essay will be about, and a clear explanation of why the topic is relevant to you.
The conclusion must address the story’s moral or the significance of the event; it may also include a call to action.
Narrative Essay Outline
One of the most critical considerations is elaborating a relevant point where the reader can understand the connection between the story and the topic you chose. This includes writing concisely and clearly, as well as using clear and crisp language with frequent use of descriptive words and phrases. Keeping a dictionary nearby to look up synonyms and new words is a great way to ensure an excellent essay.
You only need to consider three essential parts when creating your outline: introduction, body, and conclusion.
As previously stated, the introduction is the most crucial part of any essay. It should be compelling enough to entice the reader to read the rest of the paper. The first introductory paragraph is the most important; ensure it grabs the reader’s attention. If you’re having trouble with this section, write down the paragraph or sentence and ask a friend or relative to look it over and tell you if they’d read the entire essay.
The main body of the story should include all of the story’s details, such as background, characters, thoughts, and more, as well as share facts and guide readers through the plot. Use vivid descriptions of events to help the reader visualize the events. Dialogues also aid the story’s presentation, bringing it to life and adding to the atmosphere. Characters are the people who act out and behave in the story. Give detailed descriptions and explain their role in the story.
The conclusion is the last section of the essay and provides the story’s outcome. It is as essential as the introduction paragraph and should include the moral of the story or the lesson you learned from it. If needed, include a call to action.
Samples of Narrative Essays
Narrative Essay Examples 1
In this first essay example, we will look at a lesson on death:
It was my second day at work. I was sitting in my ostensibly gilded cubicle, overlooking Manhattan, pinching my right arm to ensure its authenticity. Condé Nast Traveler offered me an internship. Every aspiring writer I have ever known secretly wished they could live like Anthony Bourdain. Travel the globe and write about its most vibrant pockets.
When my phone rang, it was Mom telling me that Dad had died of a heart attack. He did not survive. I felt as if the perfectly carpeted floors had collapsed beneath me. Now that I have made it through, I realize Dad left me with a hefty stack of lessons. Here are three ideas I’m sure he would have wanted me to embrace.
First and foremost, you must be able to stand on your own. Our parents, as much as they love and support us, can’t go to our school and tell the principal that we stole a candy bar from Sara. That is something we must do. They can’t even walk into the Condé Nast office and land a job for us. Even if we aren’t, we must put on our “big girl pants” and be brave at some point.
There is also a distinction between love and co-dependence. Being grateful to have someone to whom you can turn for love and support is not the same as needing someone to whom you can turn for love and support. With my father’s death, I have also lost my sounding board. All I can conclude from that is that it is time to examine myself and make proper assessments. If I can’t make sound decisions with the tools I already have, I’ll fall for anything.
Finally, memories may be the only thing that can never be taken away from us. Will I miss my dad? Each and every day. What can I do in those circumstances? I can open our suitcase of memories and choose my favorite to dream about, talk about, or write about. Maybe I can’t call him anymore, but that doesn’t mean he’s no longer alive.
I will be in Istanbul next week to explore the city’s art scene. I picked up the phone to call Dad as soon as I read the email from my editor. Then I realized he’d never return my calls. I blinked back tears, stood up to make a cup of peppermint tea, and added a new note to my iPhone titled “Istanbul Packing List.”
Life, in the end, goes on. I’m not sure why he had to leave during the most challenging period of my life. So I won’t dwell on it. Instead, I will stick to these three principles and write about Karaköy in Istanbul’s Beyoglu neighborhood. Dad will accompany me every step of the way.
Narrative Essay Example 2
The following is an example of a short narrative essay in response to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself.”
I have always preferred science and math over the humanities since elementary school. My instinct was to regard these subjects as more solid and serious than classes such as English. Why bother, I reasoned, if there was no correct answer? But I recently had an experience that taught me that my academic interests are more adaptable than I had previously thought: I enrolled in my first philosophy class.
I was skeptical before entering the classroom. I waited outside with the other students, wondering what philosophy would entail. I had no idea. Long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life were what I envisioned. But I got something completely different.
My name is Mr. John, but people call me Jones and you can call me the same. He was a young man in jeans, not the white-haired, buttoned-up older man I had half-expected. Rob engaged us on our level rather than drawing us into pedantic debates about obscure philosophical points. We examined our own choices to discuss free will. We discussed ethics by looking at ethical difficulties that we had encountered. I would discover by the end of class that I was skeptical before entering the classroom. I waited outside with the other students, unsure of what philosophy entailed. I imagined long, stilted discussions about the meaning of life. But what I got was completely different. Questions with no correct answer can be the most intriguing.
Not just because it was a philosophy class, but the experience taught me to look at things more “philosophically.” I discovered that if I let go of my preconceived notions, I can learn much about previously dismissed topics. In more ways than one, the class taught me to approach things with an open mind.
Narrative Essay Example 3: My Identity
It is possible to identify a person’s defining characteristics by observing their immediate surroundings. My personality and the constant interactions in the environments I have been in since I was a child can explain my identity. Finding one’s identity is not a one-time event. I believe that self-definition is an ongoing process. After all, psychologists contend that one’s identity evolves and shifts over time. Understanding myself is essential for me to live well, interact smoothly with others, and achieve my goals. I realize there are many things with which I identify: my family, gender, college, community, race, religion, and even the decisions I make every day. My choices and the factors over which I have no control contribute to forming my identity and role in life.
Tell your story in your next narrative essay. It is possible to focus on yourself while teaching or informing the reader. Encourage them to move on from a terrible loss or to maintain hope in an otherwise hopeless foster system. Narrative essays are related to short stories. This article is your best guide on how to write a narrative essay if you feel compelled to share another story, fiction or nonfiction, with the world. Who knows how many lives your words will brighten and shape. Remember, they have tremendous power.