Remember that time you went to a rock camp or decided to cook meth with your chemistry professor? If not, don’t worry, you’ve still got dozens of stories that make up your life. Just pick one, write it down, and your narrative essay is ready!
Need a little more guidance on how to write a narrative essay? Follow our step-by-step mini-manual, and by the end, you will feel like a real writer who has just completed the first book.
Write a Short Story, Not “Ulysses”
Before you bring out your grandfather’s typewriter from the attic, take another look at your narrative essay format and prompt. If your professor expects a 1,000-word paper, don’t turn in your version of “Ulysses”. Select an event that is vivid enough, yet can be described in a few passages. There won’t be enough volume to go over every year of elementary school, but you can cover that time you forgot your lunch at home and found a friend in a sweet girl who shared her PB&J sandwich with you. If you had to go to a hospital afterward because you were allergic to peanuts, the story would turn out even better.
Devising an exciting topic can be difficult. You can use our list to find the best narrative essay topics that will get you an A.
Narrative Essay Introduction Is All About Shock
If you’ve ever bought an ebook on Amazon, you must love their peek-in feature. It’s often enough to see the contents and a couple of first pages to decide, whether you should be spending your buck on the book. Narrative essay introduction is precisely that - a chance for a reader to peek into your story by reading the first paragraph. Make it exciting, captivating or shocking, and your readers won’t be able to put the paper down until they are through. Use a short anecdote or an unusual perspective as a hook to make the narrative essay introduction memorable and attention-grabbing.
Use Narrative Essay Outline to Stay on Track
Once you sit down to write, you will notice your thoughts running wild. And all of a sudden you will decide to add an extra twist here and a subplot there. To curb these urges, take 5 minutes to jot down a narrative essay outline that will be your guiding star. You don’t have to follow it to the letter, but a plan will keep you on track. Using a narrative essay outline doesn’t mean you have to forgo foreshadowing and misdirection to keep the readers guessing. Just make sure you know where the story is going at all times.
Avoid Rookie Writer Mistakes
A narrative essay format is essentially a short story. So you can use writer’s tricks to make your paper engaging:
- Use active instead of passive voice. It makes the story easy to read and more dynamic.
- Eliminate excessive adverbs. When you tell without showing, adverbs leech vividness from your text.
- Choose the tense and stick to it. You can either use Present or Past tense, but don’t skip from one to the other within the text.
- Select the point of view and be consistent. First person perspective is acceptable, as well as the third person writing, and it should be the same throughout the paper.
Explain Everything in a Narrative Essay Conclusion
You are not a TV show writer, so there is no need to finish your narrative essay with a cliffhanger. There should be an appropriate narrative essay conclusion. It doesn’t have to be a happily-ever-after, but your final passage should give readers a satisfying sense of closure. You can make a full circle and come back to the thesis statement, repeat and explain it. Share the thoughts and feelings the story’s events provoked in you. You can even finish with a question, to make your readers think about what they would have done in your place.
Do Not Submit Your First Draft
You don’t think publishers print the first draft of the book, do you? Writers go over the text several times, creating second, third and fourths drafts, and that’s even before submitting the book to editors. So don’t hurry to turn the paper in as soon as you have finished the narrative essay conclusion. Let the paper rest for a while, then come back to edit it ruthlessly.
First, make sure you have followed the narrative essay format and guidelines. Then, check whether the storyline is consistent and the events flow logically. Only after you are satisfied with the story, you can start proofreading. You can either use specialized software to check for spelling, grammar and punctuation errors, or ask someone else to read the paper and proofread it for you. Once you are 100% sure you’ve made the paper immaculate, you can submit it to your professor.
Now you know how to write a narrative essay that will get you the highest grade. All you need to do is follow the prompt, come up with an exciting introduction, write a consistent story and complete it with a satisfying conclusion. Editing and proofreading are just a cherry on top that will ensure you get the grade you deserve after all the hard work.
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