For example, say you want to write a narrative essay about how your first day in high school helped you establish your identity.
You might discuss events like trying to figure out where to sit in the cafeteria, having to describe yourself in five words as an icebreaker in your math class, or being unsure what to do during your lunch break because it’s no longer acceptable to go outside and play during lunch.
A narrative essay is one of the most intimidating assignments you can be handed at any level of your education.
Where you've previously written argumentative essays that make a point or analytic essays that dissect meaning, a narrative essay asks you to write what is effectively a story.
But narrative essays work differently—you’re not trying to draw meaning from an existing text, but rather using an event you’ve experienced to convey meaning.
In an analytical essay, you examine narrative, whereas in a narrative essay you create narrative.Tips for writing effective narrative and descriptive essays: The word “abstract” might remind you of modern art.An abstract painting, for example, does not normally contain recognizable objects. Smith really knew how to help us turn our thoughts into good stories and essays.Unlike many creative stories, however, your narrative essay should be based in fact.That doesn’t mean that every detail needs to be pure and untainted by imagination, but rather that you shouldn’t wholly invent the events of your narrative essay.Like the stories you're used to reading, a narrative essay is generally (but not always) chronological, following a clear throughline from beginning to end.Even if the story jumps around in time, all the details will come back to one specific theme, demonstrated through your choice in motifs.Unlike other essay forms, it is totally okay—even expected—to use first-person narration in narrative essays.If you’re writing a story about yourself, it’s natural to refer to yourself within the essay.The structure of a narrative essay is also a bit different than other essays.You’ll generally be getting your point across chronologically as opposed to grouping together specific arguments in paragraphs or sections.