Narrative Essay Writing Tips and Techniques

Narrative Essay Writing Tips

The type of essay you want to write always depends on the kind of topic you are entertaining. If your essay has a topic that requires firsthand experience with an event, you will go for narrative essay writing. Although narrative essay writing is quite a common type of essay writing, people usually get confused while writing narrative essays. It is important to know that narrative essays involve your personal experiences so they should be tackled in a different way than usual essays. To know more about narrative essay writing and tips to write an effective essay are discussed in detail in the following article.

First, we will have a look at what a narrative essay is.

What is a Narrative Essay?

Narrative essays are creative essays that usually involve storytelling. They follow the anecdotal approach where the author refers to experiencing something personally. You are expected to convey the story in an interesting and thought-provoking way.

Topics of a Narrative Essay

Narrative essays can be written on any topic that involves story telling or personal experiences. Some of the examples of narrative essay topics are as follows.

Unforgettable birthday experience

A trip you will never forget

An exciting vacation in the mountains

You will notice one similarity in all these topics that is related to personal experience. While writing on any of the above-mentioned topics, you will not entertain the stories of other people. You will recall something you have personally experienced and then explain it in the form of an essay.

How to Write a Narrative Essay

Writing a narrative essay involves the following points.

  1. Always choose a topic you feel inclined to talk about. It would not be a good option to write about something that does not interest you. If the topic does not interest you, it would be difficult to catch your reader’s attention.
  2. You should think about your past experiences that excite you and you want to share them with other people.
  3. Take a walk to extract all the interesting information from the storm of ideas in your mind.
  4. You can also use the internet for your benefit to select a perfect topic and useful ideas. You can also look for topics that are popular among your peers.
  5. You should start with a draft because it is not possible to explain a story without having a structure at your hand. It becomes easier to write when you follow a specific outline.
  6. Your narrative essay should include all the storyline elements that are setting, plot, character, and climax. Your story will be incomplete without involving these elements.
  7. You should have a clear point of view and why all these details are important for you and the audience. It is meaningless to write a text without explaining the purpose to your audience.
  8. You can also support your story using facts and claims if needed. It will also work in your favor, as the audience tends to believe more with evidence.
  9. Try to not include any kind of unnecessary information that does not relate to the text. This will just divert the audience’s attention from the main story and make the story boring for them.
  10. Convey all your thoughts clearly and use easier vocabulary. The simpler your thoughts will be, the easier it will get for the audience to relate to them.
  11. After writing your essay, check it for any mistakes or plagiarism. Rewrite the sentences to make them clearer. This step always helps you identify lots of mistakes that you usually ignore.

What is the Format of a Narrative Essay?

Most of the time, narrative essays follow the five paragraphs format. The narrative essay does not require some specific research or knowledge, it demands personal experience. However, narrative essays have a specific format which is as follows.

  • Introduction of essay

In the introduction of the essay, you first provide information about the topic. This part basically shows what you are going to talk about in your essay. You also mention here the purpose of selecting this certain topic and your reason for writing on it. The purpose of the introduction is to give something to your audience as a hook. This is going to be the first impression of your essay and will determine whether the reader is interested in reading it or not, so it should be written with extra creativity and effort. Then, at the end of the introductory paragraph comes the thesis statement.

  • Body Paragraph 1 (Rising action)

In the first body paragraph, you will include the rising action. This is the paragraph where you will mention events that will give a dramatic turn to your story. In all the stories, rising action comes after the exposition, so in narrative essays, we will assume that exposition is an introductory paragraph. This will make your first body paragraph the spot of rising action. This should include details that will increase the tension among the audience, and they will be inclined to read further.

  • Body Paragraph 2 (climax)

In the second body paragraph, you talk about the climax. In this part, you will mention the events where you encountered an interesting event, usually involving the time of difficulties. This gives your audience a moment to be hooked to the story completely and they are compelled to read the full story.

  • Body Paragraph 3 (falling action)

In the third body paragraph, you refer to the falling action. This is the part where all the events have been uncovered. The readers at this point know the whole story because of the rising action and climax. Falling action brings an end to the story by mentioning what were the consequences of events that were followed throughout the story. It also clears the purpose of your writing to the audience, as they get to know the consequences of all the characters’ actions.

  • Conclusion

In the concluding paragraph, you begin to close all the discussion by mentioning the results. You usually mention the lesson learned from the story. It would be useless to open any unnecessary discussions at the end of the essay. Try to close all the aspects of the story you talked about in your essay. End it with a concluding statement that is related to the thesis statement.

Although this format is the best for writing a narrative essay, narrative essays can be written following a free format. There is no restriction of following this format, as your story can be of any type. It can be possible that your story does not have a climax if it is just an explanation of an event you experienced. You are always free to explain your story in a style you would prefer. It is also important to follow the five paragraphs structure because it is an appropriate format to write an essay.

Writing a Narrative Essay Outline

The outlines help you to organize your thoughts in one place. It will further help you prepare the first draft and then the final draft. Write thesis statements and topic sentences completely while you can write your remaining ideas as incomplete sentences. You can later give a proper structure to your thoughts by completing these incomplete sentences and phrases. The outline for the narrative essay is as follows.

Narrative Essay Outline

How Long Should be the Thesis Statement of the Narrative Essay?

The thesis statement gives your reader an insight into the quality of your work. The better the thesis statement, the more it will attract the audience to read your work. The thesis statement of a narrative essay should not be too long. You should brainstorm for your topic, so you can know all the information you need. It should be brief and cover all the points you will be covering in your essay. If you know about all the main points you must cover, just mention these points briefly in the thesis statement following the same order as they will follow in the essay. A thesis statement must include the theme of your story before mentioning the main events of your story.

Editing your Narrative Essay

Editing of the essay is usually counted as the final step, as this part is used to eliminate the final mistakes. It involves improving the story, refining the story, and making your story strong by eliminating the weaknesses. You will also look for any mistakes in punctuation, pronouns, use of literary techniques, or repetition of ideas. After editing, your essay is ready to be submitted.


In conclusion, narrative essays are a little different from other kinds of essays. They have a different format and approach and require your creativity. You must mention all your personal experiences so all the ideas in the essay are nothing but mere creativity to convey the story to the audience effectively. If you follow all the tips, techniques, and outlines mentioned above, you are good to write a narrative essay.