How to Write a Narrative Essay

How to Write a Narrative Essay
How to Write a Narrative Essay

What Is a Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay is writing that tells a story about the writer’s personal experience. This essay type allows the writer to get creative and personal. Narrative essays test the writer’s ability to communicate their experiences creatively and convincingly while following a suitable narrative structure. You can also apply narrative writing techniques to write a personal statement for an application. Narrative essay topics range from trivial to important; the purpose is not so much about the story but how you tell the story.

Narrative writing tests your ability to tell the story concisely and excitingly. You are expected to determine how the story starts and how it ends, and how to tell it at a satisfying pace and eye-catching language. The skills required in narrative writing are relatively different from those required for formal academic writing. For example, you can write in the first person in narrative writing and use figurative language, suspense and dialogue.

Types of Narrative Writing

Narratives have been existence since the commencement of storytelling, from ancient poetry to folk tales. Here are the common types of narrative essays.

Viewpoint Narrative. This type of narrative is designed to convey a subjective personal experience or the viewpoints of fictional characters or the main character in the story. In viewpoint narrative writing, feelings, moods, and other sensory details are conveyed through the writer’s subjective viewpoint and life. When writing a viewpoint narrative, you should write in first-person narration. You can also use third-person omniscient narration, where the omniscient narrator switches between the points of view and private thoughts of several central characters. Viewpoint narratives allow for the probability of an untrustworthy narrator where the storyteller presents information subjectively in an inconsistent manner. This narrator can be deliberately deceptive, such as a trickster, or not deliberately misguided, which will make the reader question their storytelling credibility.

Techniques used in Narrative Writing

  1. Similes: This way of narrative writing compares two things, but one of the things is completely different from the other. The objective is to create a vivid description for the reader or make it more emphatic. A simile uses connective words, such as ‘like’, to complete a description.
  2. Personification: Narrative writing using personification gives life to lifeless objects by giving them certain human-like qualities or human characteristics. For example, “the rocks shuddered at the sound of the coming storm.” We know that rocks cannot hear or shudder, but the wind from a storm can make them shudder and move. In this context, personification illustrates how people feel when a big storm is coming their way. People shudder at the sound of severe storms, meaning that they can relate to the shuddering of rocks.How to Write a Narrative Essay.
  3. Metaphors: This is where a figure of speech is incorporated to equate two characters, situations, or ideas. Shakespeare has used numerous metaphors in his works, such as “All the world’s a stage.” In the literal sense, we know that the world is not a stage; this metaphor is used to pass an idea about how humanity cannot control how they enter or exit the world.
  4. Imagery: This type of writing creates a visual reference for the audience. It appeals to the reader’s senses through figurative language to make smells, sounds, and even sights seem real and tangible. The writer uses descriptive language to describe items contained in the narrative.
  5. Hyperbole: This is where the writer exaggerates to make a point. Hyperboles are used daily, for example, “I am so hungry I could eat a horse,” to describe how hungry I am. A hyperbole should not be interpreted in the literal sense. Its purpose is to provide a better description of the true happenings of an event or character.
  6. Alliteration: Alliteration creates repetition through the structures and rhythms of the real words that the reader is providing. Sentence rhythm is seen as a form of alliteration when the writer uses similar words or similar syllable numbers throughout a page or paragraph.

Purpose of Narrative Writing

Narrative writing is meant to share stories. Your task as the writer is to inform readers about a real-life experience, why you are telling the story, and its significance. What makes a narrative essay different from other essays? A narrative essay writer guides readers through the story without making arguments, criticizing, or trying to persuade them. Your job is to tell a story and let readers make their conclusions.

Narrative Essay Topics

Choosing a narrative essay topic can impact the grade you score on the narrative essay. The process of choosing a narrative essay topic can be made more uninteresting and difficult by not knowing what constitutes a proper essay. A well-written narrative essay should capture your reader’s attention and keep him engaged with the events and characters in the story.

How to Pick a Narrative Essay Topic

As stated above, knowing or not knowing personal narrative essay ideas will impact your score. Picking a topic of your narrative essay is advantageous because it allows you to write about a passionate subject. When choosing a topic, have in mind that a narrative essay topic can be a life event you have experienced. You can choose one memory and build a fascinating story out of it. You may discover that you have many memories waiting to be written down. If you are still struggling with choosing a narrative essay topic, you can seek the help of an online narrative essay writer.

Here is a list of 80 narrative essay topics for college and university students. You can use them to get a personal narrative essay idea for your creative writing.

  1. My favorite family vacation destination
  2. A trip I will never forget
  3. My most memorable Christmas
  4. My first day in college
  5. Getting help from a stranger
  6. The first time I lost a close family member
  7. My first pet
  8. A life lesson I will never forget
  9. How I met my best friend
  10. When disaster struck
  11. Helping a total stranger
  12. Our unique family traditions
  13. Why it is important to know your culture
  14. How media influences culture
  15. How culture defines me
  16. Defining culture in a multi-racial family
  17. My teenage years
  18. Family traditions to hold onto
  19. Going to school away from home
  20. The first time I had a baby
  21. Getting COVID-19 and recovering from it
  22. When my whole family contracted COVID-19
  23. Dating in the technology era
  24. How alcohol ruined my life
  25. My experience as a teenage mother
  26. Raising a physically challenged child
  27. Terrorism took away our breadwinner
  28. Handling anxiety during exams
  29. How to get over stage fright
  30. Life as a university student
  31. Going to college abroad
  32. My first novel
  33. Why I enjoy hiking
  34. I wish I knew what I know now
  35. How technology has changed my life
  36. Why do we feel the need to impress others?
  37. Why do people seek validation from others?
  38. What I learned about love from my parents
  39. This is how I would spend a billion dollars
  40. When my best friend died
  41. What I would do if I were the president
  42. Things I do for stress relief
  43. People who have impacted my life
  44. Cities I wish to visit someday
  45. How I lost my arm
  46. Living with an autistic sibling
  47. Living with a father suffering from PTSD
  48. Why I chose to be a doctor
  49. The reason I am a teacher
  50. My first heartbreak
  51. The day thieves broke into our home
  52. This is how I want to change the world
  53. When my parents divorced
  54. Political leaders who inspire me
  55. The most difficult period of my life
  56. My best childhood memory
  57. How I wish to do in old age
  58. My favourite movie
  59. The day my dog saved my life
  60. My favourite author
  61. The day our family dog died
  62. Getting caught up in a bank robbery
  63. Quarantined for 14 days
  64. Meeting the president
  65. How I dealt with bullying
  66. The day I was humiliated
  67. Our janitor committed suicide in the school bathroom
  68. Life after college
  69. My doctor’s negligence almost cost my life
  70. The accident that put my sister in a wheelchair
  71. A rat burned our house down
  72. Helping the needy in the community
  73. School bullying that turned tragic
  74. Vacationing in Africa with my friends
  75. The wildebeest migration in Kenya
  76. How I handle challenges
  77. How I handle disappointments
  78. Be your first cheerleader
  79. Believe in yourself
  80. Be a good role model

Narrative Essay Format

A narrative essay follows the standard essay format that contains five paragraphs. The first one is an introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and one conclusion paragraph. But, narratives essays differ from other essays as each of their paragraphs has specifically designated purposes.

  • Narrative essay introduction: State the writing purpose, makes an insight into the narrative and includes an engaging phrase or statement to hook the reader.
  • First body paragraph: Rising action
  • Second body paragraph: Climax
  • Third body paragraph: Falling action
  • Conclusion paragraph: States the lessons learnt

How to Start a Narrative Essay

When writing a narrative essay, follow the steps below

  1. Brainstorm for ideas
  2. Choose a suitable topic
  3. Define your writing purpose
  4. Plan your story, including rising action, a climax, and falling action, and draw reasonable conclusions from it.
  5. Develop a narrative essay outline

Narrative Essay Outline


  • Use a hook to engage readers in your story. You can create a powerful hook by using a quote, fact, question, or an intriguing statement to make readers want to read more.
  • Set the scene and inform the readers about what is happening. But, do not tell the whole story, just a glimpse, to keep your readers fascinated.
  • State the purpose of your writing. Your narrative essay introduction should provide a sneak peek at the story. Briefly let your readers know what’s to come without stating the lessons you got from the situation. Keep the readers engaged.

Thesis Statement 

The thesis for narrative essay is a significant part of your narrative essay. The thesis statement should appear in the introductory paragraph, and you can restate it later in the conclusion paragraph to strengthen the effect of the essay. A thesis statement is your essay’s main argument whose primary goal is to introduce the conflict or problem you will tackle in the paper and elicit your reader’s interest.

An excellent thesis statement should provide a sneak peek into the issue, briefly explain it, and hint at the outcome. It should not be a general truth or a fact; neither should it be a question, recommendation or suggestion.

Main Body

This is the most important section of your narrative essay. This is the point you tell your story, share details and facts, and direct readers through the plot. Consider the following points when writing the main body of your narrative essay.

  1. Include relevant and vivid details: A narrative essay is about creating a scene and a mood to follow. Take your time writing and include useful details, but do not spam your paragraphs with literary symbols. Each sentence should serve a purpose.
  2. Integrate dialogue: Engaging the reader in dialogue is an efficient way to revive their attention. Using dialogue is an effective way to give life to a story and support its atmosphere.
  3. Write chronologically: It is difficult for readers to comprehend the sequence of events in an essay unless the writer is blunt. Keeping things in order is an excellent way to organize your paper.
  4. Avoid narration departure: If your essay is about a personal experience, it would be best to write in the first person. If you heard the story from a friend or a family member, it makes sense to write in the third person.


Give your final comments about the story in the narrative essay conclusion paragraph. You can also restate your thesis statement and some important ideas and details mentioned in the main body. Also, emphasize the lessons learnt from the situation and leave your readers with some food for thought.

Who Will Write My Narrative Essay

We understand that storytelling is not a skill that everyone can possess. It takes effort and time to acquire this skill, which sometimes makes writing a good narrative essay challenging. When you are completely stuck and do not know what to do or write your narrative essay, it is good to buy a narrative essay. Our company is an online custom essay writing service that assists students in writing different academic essays.

Our essay writing service consists of a team of writers that can create a narrative essay for you. We will assign you a narrative essay writer with relevant experience and skills once you place your order. Apart from providing custom essay writing, we also edit and proofread your essay. Before we give you your paper, our editing team triple checks it to ensure that there are no grammatical errors, spelling errors, no plagiarism and that the writer has followed the required narrative essay writing structure. Contact us today and give us a chance to write your narrative essay with a guarantee of a high-quality paper that will give you a good score. Our customer support team is available 24/7 to respond to all your questions.

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