How to Write a Narrative Essay

How to Write a Narrative Essay

Narrative essays are assigned to students at different stages of their academic careers. Most often, this task includes sharing a story from the student’s own life that relates to the class topic.

Part 1: Choosing a Good Topic

  • Select a story that relates to a topic. Choose a particular theme, issue or idea. Use your personal narrative to illustrate it.
  • Ensure your story suits the instructions. You should know the instructions thoroughly to make sure that you may fit your narrative into it. Depending on the prompt, you may tell about an adversity you’ve experienced, about the way you dealt with the consequences of your failure, or about the transformation of your personality.
  • Compose a manageable plot. Make your story concise and well-contained. Remember that’s not a novel. Limit the amount of characters and setting changes as much as possible.

Part 2: Writing a Draft

  • Make an outline of your plot. Do it before you begin writing. Develop a list of major points of the plot and make sure that you comprise all necessary details. See which points you will include into the beginning, middle and the end of your story.
  • Describe significant characters and the setting. Include the people who are important to your story. Give details about their appearances and behaviors. Think where the action is taking place. Is it outside or inside any building? What are the surroundings?
  • Find the antagonist. Most probably, the protagonist (the character who’s struggling with a situation, a condition, or a force) is you. And you also need to have an antagonist. It can be a person or a thing that keeps you from attaining your goal.
  • Use vibrant details. If the details you use are vivid, you can turn even the most boring setting into a place the reader can easily imagine.

Part 3: Checking Your Essay

  • Ensure that your topic is illustrated evidently. After completing the first draft, read it and see if your topic is clear. No matter what purpose you set with your story, you need to be consistent with your topic.
  • Use scenes and summaries. When it comes to writing narratives, there are two types of writing: scenes and summaries. Scenes happen when you add certain details regarding a part of your essay. They’re the brief moments that take time to read. Summaries are narrated between the scenes. Obviously, they’re the longer moments that are read faster.
  • Format dialogues properly. Check your narrative essay for proper format. Pay specific attention to formatting the dialogues.
  • Revise your essay. This part is extremely important. Keep in mind that even professional writers never create masterpieces from the first draft. So, read and reread your narrative several times. heck everything very carefully and think how else you can improve it.


Good luck with writing your narrative essay!