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How To Write A Narrative Essay: A Comprehensive Guide

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Below you will find our guide for writing a narrative essay. In it, we provide detailed tips on writing a narrative essay to get you the best possible grade. If you need help with a custom essay, custom discussion board post, custom narrative essay or any other customer research paper, join the site, post your project, and you will receive your high quality custom paper in no time.



The core feature of a narrative essay is that it tells a story. While it is an essay that is centered around a thesis like a traditional academic essay, writing a narrative essay requires that you use a storytelling narrative. This means that you will either be using your own first-person perspective, or the third-person perspective of a given character to support your thesis. Rather than using objective scientific information to support your thesis as is the case when writing an academic, writing your narrative essay will force you to use storytelling to support your thesis through the plot that you choose to make use of in writing your narrative essay.

Writing a narrative essay requires that you understand that your primary purpose in writing such an essay is to use a narrative formed by a story to support your thesis so as to either make a claim, prove a point, demonstrate something, or put forth a moral argument. This represents the equivalent of a thesis in a traditional academic essay. What is different in writing a narrative essay is that you will not explicitly lay out your thesis in the third person. Rather, your thesis should be part of the introduction of your essay and will represent the core element of the narrative that all of your body paragraphs will refer to. While writing a narrative essay thus involves using a thesis, as would be the case in writing a traditional academic essay, this thesis takes on a new form because of how you are using a narrative storytelling approach.

For most narrative essays, you will be advancing a thesis but your thesis might not take on its traditional form. Rather, and because writing a narrative essay often involves using personal experiences, anecdotes and other types of informal information, the thesis that you will use in writing a narrative essay will be part of the story. Unlike a traditional academic essay in which the thesis is quite obvious, the thesis of a narrative essay might be more implicit because of how the thesis is a core part of the story. Keeping this in mind when writing a narrative essay is critical to getting an A+ because of how writing a narrative essay is so saliently premised on using storytelling.

Ultimately, the narrative essay is a type of essay that diverges significantly from the traditional essay because of how it uses storytelling to support its thesis. With this involving the use of the first-person perspective, dialogue and the absence of sources, a narrative essay is a unique type of essay. Keep this in mind as you write your narrative essay because you will be making use of tools and elements that you would not even consider when writing a traditional academic essay. Writing a narrative essay is unique and the process by which you write it will reflect the fundamental difference which storytelling brings about in writing a narrative essay.



The first step in writing any narrative essay is to choose a topic and then build a thesis or main point in relation to this topic. While your professor will sometimes assign a topic or general orientation for writing your narrative essay, you will typically have a high degree of freedom in terms of choosing your topic. When choosing your topic, make sure that you choose a topic for which it will be easy for you to come up with a thesis that you can integrate into a story and then support through at least three paragraphs of storytelling and a conclusion that is also based on storytelling. Because storytelling will be how you prove your thesis, make sure that you pick a topic that you can write about in story form before you begin writing a narrative essay.

Once you have formulated your thesis, you must write a narrative essay by transforming the logic that you will use to support your thesis into a story. This means that each of the body paragraphs of your narrative essay should detail one set of events that support your thesis in a specific manner. Organizing your body paragraphs in story format so that they all talk about different elements all the while supporting your thesis is likely the most significant challenge of writing a narrative essay.

Finally, writing a narrative essay requires significant organization. In reviewing the body paragraphs that you produce in writing a narrative essay, make sure that each of these body paragraphs provides a different element of support for your thesis or main point. You must also make sure that all of your body paragraphs tie back to your thesis. Unlike a traditional academic essay, writing a narrative essay means that you may include new information in your conclusion. Given that your conclusion will culminate your story by bringing it to an end, write your conclusion in line with the rest of the story and allow it to represent the logical conclusion of your storyline based on the specific approach to writing a narrative essay that you have taken.



When writing a narrative essay, your professor is likely to ask you to write it in MLA style. This is because most narrative essays are written in English classes. At times, you might be asked to write a narrative essay using APA or Chicago style. Regardless of the style that you are asked to use to write a narrative essay, ensure that you follow the template your professor provides or that you research the formatting style through a source like Purdue University’s style guides to maintain consistent formatting and citations, if applicable, when writing a narrative essay.

Once you format your narrative essay in the style that your professor has mandated, it is time to ensure that your formatting is appropriate in terms of the organization of your story. This mostly means looking over your narrative essay to ensure that your story is clear and that the different paragraphs that you have written all support one element of your thesis all the while connecting back to your thesis. Doing this is critical as the organization of your story in relation to your thesis will be one of the elements that your professor uses in grading your narrative essay.


The main difference between writing a narrative essay and a traditional academic essay is one of style. Because the narrative essay uses storytelling to support the thesis that you are putting forward, it will be less formal in its writing style than a traditional academic essay. When you are writing a narrative essay, you will be using the first person, incorporating dialogue, and likely not using any scholarly sources. Given that all narrative essays are essays but that not all essays are narrative essays, writing a narrative essay means taking into account these unique characteristics and adapting to them. Given that you will be graded on the quality of your prose, the vividness of your story, the connection between your thesis and your story narrative as well as the organization of your story, writing a narrative essay requires that you mirror the approach you would take when writing a traditional academic essay and adapting it to the storytelling that is intrinsic to writing a narrative essay.

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