Undertaking college level studies is a challenge that can be hardly passed without any losses. 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. To keep that from happening, we suggest taking a closer look at one of the particular types, namely the narrative 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. Thus, leading us to pop the question of what is a narrative essay? Simply put, it encompasses telling a story to demonstrate a particularly unique insight. It allows paper 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.
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, and to nail it here are a few great tips.
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 Essay 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:
The introduction opens with a hook - a leading statement about the story that catches reader’s attention. Then, essay 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. The introduction closes with a thesis statement that informs the reader about the truths or insightful experience resulting from the reported story.
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 progression of the story as well as hints to its significance. And the third paragraph describes the end action - what has been done to reach a resolution and lessons learned from it. During the process of writing this type of essay, it is important to list feelings, smells, sounds, tastes that the writer experienced during the story.
In other words, the writer should draw the reader in so they vicariously share the experience, while avoiding to make it sound like just another summary. It is important to use transitional words to make the text flowing and easy to perceive.
The essay ends up with a conclusion in which the author presents us his/her reflection and analysis of the situation as well as highlighting 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:
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).”
(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 provided a significant experience
- Make a point - explain why the event is so important, make it clear and concise
- Make an outline - create a catchy hook, describe the events in body paragraphs and give a personal reflection of it in the conclusion
- Describe the feelings, colors, textures and help the reader feel the moment, not just read an emotionless summary
- Use transitional words
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 from our tutoring service to cope with stressful situations.