Narrative Essay – A Complete Writing Guide with Examples

Jul 27, 2021 | 0 comments

Jul 27, 2021 | Guide | 0 comments

Narrative Essay

One of the most popular forms of essays to write as a student is a narrative essay.

Narrative essays are usually used for narratives or stories.

They’re very similar in form to descriptive essays but carry the unique aspects that distinguish them from other writing styles.

To better understand what makes this type of academic paper special, we must dive into its intricacies so you can be prepared when your teacher asks you to!

What is a Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay is a chance for writers to share their thoughts and feelings.

It’s like telling your own story, but you have creative license with the plot!

You might think that a story has to have some happy ending, but all it needs is an exciting and creative plot.

There are so many plots out there for you to choose from: mystery stories where the protagonist tries their best to solve puzzles; tales about epic battles between good vs. bad guys; romance novels with swoon-worthy heroes who always get what they want the end.

The possibilities are endless!

The purpose of a narrative essay is not merely telling a real-life or fictional story, and it also relies on personal experience, which is often written in forms like storytelling conventions such as climaxes, settings, plots, and endings.

Personal Narrative Essay

Writing a personal narrative is an opportunity to tell your story and share it with the rest of us. It’s usually written in the first person, from the writer sharing their own experience.

See this sample for more information on what that means!


How to Write a Narrative Essay

There are many types of essays you get to write in high school and college.

Some that might be familiar include the narrative essay, persuasive speech, expository writing prompts for a compare-contrast paper, or report on an experiment performed by classmates.

To start your journey into this vast pool of subject matter, there is one type that should come first: The Narrative Essay!

This is typically composed as a short story with three essential parts (introduction – setting up conflict; climax – protagonist faces an obstacle that causes them deep emotional turmoil; resolution).

Let’s look at how to take these easy steps step-by-step so we can make our stories even better than before!

Narrative Essay Format

A five-paragraph essay has three main body paragraphs and one conclusion paragraph.

Each section will go through a different part of the story being conveyed to make an argument or point for the reader.

This structure provides some flexibility so that you can change it around depending on your topic!


The plot is the “meat” of your story or what makes it interesting.

It’s about how these events unfold and come together to form a cohesive narrative that will excitingly engage readers.


The setting is more than just where the event occurred; it provides context for understanding a story’s significance.

The location of an occurrence can be as crucial to its meaning and impact as what happened there.


Characters are the people involved in an incident.

You have to mention every person, whether it is the main character or just one of many side characters that happened during this event.


The many conflicts that the characters face during these moments in time are what make up this incident.

Tension, obstacles, and more play an important role as they all need to be resolved before anything can happen again.


The essay’s theme elaborates on the story’s overarching purpose and the writer’s reasons for choosing this topic.

Here is a sample essay that will give you an in-depth understanding of the elements mentioned above.


How to Start a Narrative Essay?

Studies show that the average person has an attention span of eight seconds, so you have to hook them from the beginning.

But how? Start with a mystery or quote; create intrigue for your reader and make it engaging by adding in sensory detail like color, texture, taste, or sound. Ask questions to keep your readers interested as well!

Narrative Essay Outline

The first thing you need to write a good essay is a well-written outline.

This will not only help you stay on the right track, but it’ll also give your reader an idea of what they should expect when reading your paper.

The introduction sets up how this piece of writing will be structured and why it’s meaningful; the body contains all those paragraphs that are going to make sense out of everything else in there as long as they don’t contradict themselves or any other information given earlier; and finally comes the conclusion which wraps things up neatly by summing them altogether.


Some people think that a great introduction should be short; others believe in lengthy introductions. What is your opinion on the matter?

Body Paragraphs

Once you have grabbed the attention of your audience, now you can start telling them a story. Gradually unfold events chronologically to keep readers interested and engaged in what is happening. Fundamental points that need to be included are:

Discuss one idea in each paragraph – this will allow for logical patterns to make it easier for audiences who read your essay to understand how everything fits together (i.e., tragedy vs. comedy).

Follow chronological order while emphasizing significant experiences or universal truths brought about by these different stories!


End your essay with a powerful conclusion.

Your writing can have a happy or sad ending, depending on your story.

Ensure that you remind readers of the central message to leave them something meaningful to consider when they close their eyes for the day.

Narrative Essay Topics

Narrative essays are all about telling a story and getting your readers to feel as if they were there.

With so many narrative essays out there, how do you know which topic is the right one for your story? The following are just a few of our favorite essay ideas to help get your creative juices flowing.
Here are some best-of-the-best if we had to narrow down the list:

  • An unpleasant experience that helped me grow.
  • Your first experience with love and its impact on you.
  • A conflict with another person.
  • The most valuable childhood possession.
  • The most difficult decision I had to make.
  • A rebellious act from your life.
  • The most embarrassing event of my life.
  • A random act of kindness.
  • A time when you got lost somewhere.
  • An unpleasant personal experience.

Narrative Essay Examples

If you ever find yourself needing an essay in a pinch, don’t worry! There are always narrative example essays to help get your creative juices flowing. In fact, they’re so good at getting things started that I’ve even got one for you right here:


Get Help From Expert Writers

Do you need help with your essay?
If the writing is giving you a headache, contact EssayFreelanceWriters.Com and get in touch with one of our expert writers to provide accurate narrative essays that will be sure to impress any English professor.

We have highly qualified people who can write on all sorts of topics including descriptive papers-making it easy for students at every level!

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap