How to Write a Narrative Essay: Example, Outline

narrative essay

Undertaking college level studies is a challenge that can be hardly passed without any help from narrative essay writing service. Things take a turn for the worst when students get stuck and are flooded by assignments without the ability to navigate amongst the variety of types of academic papers. There are loads of types of essays, research papers, and bibliographies. And if the individual does not perceive the differences between an expository and narrative assignment, then the fulfillment of academic tasks turns into a deep analysis of types of papers. o keep that from happening, we suggest taking a closer look at one of the particular types, namely the narrative essay. The best way to see how one should be composed, though, is to pay for essay. This way, you will have a perfect sample completed by a professional from essay writing services.

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how to write a narrative essay

Check related articles at EssayHub blog: how to write a reflective essay and how to write a poetry analysis essay.

How To Define This Type Of Assignment

Among other types of academic works, narrative papers prove to be the most creative and personal ones. This leads us to pop the question of what is a narrative essay. Simply put, it encompasses telling a story to demonstrate a particularly unique insight. In addition, it allows writers to express themselves creatively and share their experiences with others.

Any writer can select from the following two writing styles. The first one takes a form of a story and should have the same structure and elements: introduction, characters, plot, setting developing into a climax and finishing with a conclusion. Meanwhile, the second one can take a form of an informative narrative and does not necessarily have to be in the shape of a story. This type is useful when there is a need to write a narrative essay for making book or film reviews.

Also, there is a literacy narrative essay, a type of autobiographical essay. This paper focuses on personal experience and confirms the relevance of such rhetorical episodes in a person's life. You can check out literacy narrative essay examples online to have a deeper understanding of its concept and structure.

Thus, a narrative essay definition can be formulated as a paper that describes a significant personal experience of the writer.

How to Start a Narrative Paper Successfully

The answer to the question "How to start a narrative essay?" starts by making a point. Namely, what is being narrated and for what reason is it explained to us? The point of the paper is highlighted by its thesis statement, allowing us to gauge the purpose of it immediately. Thesis statements also have their respective structures.

After the point has been defined, the next step will be outlining the paper. In other words, there is a need to create a skeleton of the work. This will carve out a structure helping the writer stick to the topic and not lose the narrative thread. Here, classic essay structure may be applied consisting of an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

Making Up An Outline

As mentioned before, to write a successful paper it is necessary to have a clear image of its final structure. In essence, one must always be aware of their narrative essay outline. Here is an explicit sample of it:

narrative essay outline


In narrative essay structure, the first part is an introductory paragraph, as in every classic essay.

The introduction opens with a hook - a leading statement about the story that catches the reader's attention. Then, writers should proceed with setting the scene. When did the event happen? Where? Under which circumstances? Being able to answer these questions will allow the audience to delve into the story and will be mesmerized by it until the very end. Finally, the introductory narrative paragraph closes with a thesis statement that informs the reader about the truths or insightful experiences resulting from the reported story.

The introduction to a narrative essay is as important as the entire story itself, as it's the first thing reader's going to interact with. So you should make it worthwhile to engage readers.


Further, in the body part, the main story develops. Usually, it consists of three paragraphs that are divided as follows.

The first one entails the engaging action - a trigger or the catalyst of the events described in the narrative. The second one illustrates the middle stage - the story's progression and hints at its significance. And the third paragraph describes the end action - what has been done to reach a resolution and the lessons learned from it.

In the writing process of this type of essay, it is important to list feelings, smells, sounds, and tastes that the writer experienced during the story. In describing this kind of thing, some can link it with a descriptive essay structure.

In other words, the writer should draw the reader in so they vicariously share the experience while avoiding making it sound like just another summary. In a good narrative essay, it is important to use transitional words to make the text flow and be easy to perceive.


In narrative writing, the essay ends with a conclusion in which the author presents to us their reflection and analysis of the situation and highlights why these events are significant to us as the audience.

Need Narrative Essay Ideas to Write About?

Since the assignment is a paper that should be related to a personal experience, the most suitable topics stem from examples of life changing events that have a particular significance to the author. It may be a story about the first visit to a library, a summer vacation spent in a camp, or about the first day at school. It can be anything as long as it has a special meaning to the writer and successfully connects with the audience through this insight.

Here are a few narrative essay topics:

narrative essay ideas

A Short Look At Narrative Examples

To illustrate how to write it, here is a sample narrative essay on the topic "A Holiday That Never Ends." For convenience, the text has been divided into three main parts discussed before.

A Holiday That Never Ends


(tip: catch reader’s attention)

“Like any other family, mine has its traditions and our unique holidays (a hook). This one, in particular, was made up by my father when he had just started dating my mother. The lesson to be learned from this is that the tradition still exists in our family and serves as long-term proof that family values should be appreciated and preserved (a thesis statement).”

Body Part

(tip: develop a story)

“It happened when both my parents were young and desperately in love. They were living in the same neighborhood in a small town in Northern Pennsylvania (setting the scene). My mother lived with her parents who were very strict and did not allow her to date or go out with boys. Meanwhile, father lived alone and was assembling custom-made bikes for a living.

Since they lived close, mother met him every morning on her way to school. He picked her up at the street corner, so her parents would not see him, and took her to school. This ritual repeated itself every morning thus becoming routine. However, one morning she did not come to meet him as usual. He felt obligated to check up on her at the parent's house and see if she was alright. It ended up badly as my grandfather did not know that mother had a boyfriend. She was told not to meet with him.

In desperation, my father came to her yard every evening and stood in front of the door so her parents might see him and sang the same song - “Strangers in the Night.” After one month of singing, my grandfather approved of their relationship, and they married soon.


(tip: give an insight)

They have been married for 25 years now, and each year my father makes a romantic gesture for his wife on the day when my grandfather said “Yes.” Ironically, the song still resonates at every family holiday. It is our unique tradition that makes our family stronger, and this story taught me that it is important to chase your dreams with all the passion in your heart to create something extraordinary (insight).”

It constitutes one of the narrative essay examples, which includes the main elements that have to be incorporated into the paper.

Things To Remember

To sum up, these are the major steps when it comes to writing a narrative essay:

  • Choose a major life event that provides a significant experience.
  • Make a point - explain why the event is so important, and make it clear and concise.
  • Outline - create a catchy hook, describe the events in body paragraphs, and give a personal reflection in the conclusion.
  • Describe the feelings, colors, and textures. Help the reader feel the moment, not just read an emotionless summary.
  • Use transitional words.

For more understanding, you can always search for the topics for narrative essay and practice before writing your short story.

Still Need Help With The Assignment?

Following these steps contributes to creating a well-structured and flowing personal narrative essay, but completing a paper may be a time-consuming and complicated task. However, when being swamped by deadlines coming up at the end of the term, or the writer simply has not experienced anything suitable for this type of work, then one may seek academic assistance on write my essay online service to cope with stressful situations.

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Ryan Acton

Ryan Acton is an essay-writing expert with a Ph.D. in Sociology, specializing in sociological research and historical analysis. By partnering with EssayHub, he provides comprehensive support to students, helping them craft well-informed essays across a variety of topics.

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