Narrative Essay

Narrative Essay: General Tips

How to Structure a Narrative Essay

A narrative is a term which is mostly termed as a ‘story,’ and they are normally written for college or also for personal use 'personal narratives' which tell a story in order to illustrate some truth.

1. The introduction
  1. The hook:

    Ensure that you have started your paper with a thesis statement which related to the story you are about to narrate. The thesis statement should capture the reader’s attention for example: make use of relevant quotes, use of questions, use facts and definition.
  2. Set the scene:

    Make sure that you have provided the information that the reader will need to understand the story: Who pose to be the major characters? Where is the narrative taking place and when is it taking place? Be clear if it is a story concerning something that has prior happened to you or the writer or if it is fiction.
  3. Thesis statement:

    A thesis statement of a narrative essay does play a different role as compared to that of an argument or expository essay. The thesis of a narrative essay can begin with the events of a particular story for example ‘It was indeed a cloudy and snowy outside when we started walking down the 5th avenue’; provide a moral or lesson learnt from the story: ‘I will never hike again when it’s snowing’; or identify a connecting theme that does connect the story to a big experience normally which everyone can connect with for example "travelling brings both struggle and happiness"
2. Body Paragraphs.
  1. 'Show and don’t tell'

    -Excellent storytelling techniques involves details and descriptions that assist the reader to understand what the writer did experience. Make sure you have used all the 5 senses which starts with the eyes (the sense of sight): You do not want to restrict yourself by just the look of things, but you want to describe how things appear by the use of words and by doing things you will enable the readers to see exactly what you are narrating about.
  2. This makes us to quick-forward to:

  3. The sense of smell:

    This is notably the most nostalgic when compared to all the other senses that we have. A human being can relate to some childhood memories when he or she comes in to contact as far as smell is concerned to a smell which brings back memories, For example when you smell green grass now you can remember the childhood memories during summer and the smell of overcooked potatoes when you visited grandmother over 20 years ago. Smell is associated with flashbacks in narrative writing, and the flashback helps the reader tp understand a past even in relation to the present story. Let’s not drift away from the topic- For narrative wiring, the evocation of the senses of smell is a wonderful way of saying lots of words using very few words. For example pizza that’s about to go bad, the smell of dust when it’s raining and others that you can relate to (personally I relate to the ones that I have listed).
  4. The sense of sound:

    When narrating about close proximity to the ocean then you can use shrieking gulls, waves breaking corals and the swaying of palm trees and if you are describing the sound that comes from an explosive you can use the word ‘boom’ when describing how the explosion could be heard, ‘bang’ for a gunshot or the slamming of a door and finally when you are describing a party where people were having fun and popped champagne as a sign of a jovial mood then you can say ‘popping champagne’ since a champagne bottle goes ‘pop’. Other adjectives that can be used to describe sound are: boisterous, low-pitched, shrill, brittle, mellifluous, silent, calm, melodic and smooth among many others
  5. The sense of taste:

    This sense can only be evoked under three circumstances; one which is eating and the other is drinking. When people are either eating or drinking or both then this sense can be used effectively and also when people are actively using their mouths, e.g., when kissing. You can use this sense the best way you can, you only need to be very creative in doing so for example: when narrating a story about the main character going home to his wife and hungry enough you can say that the main character could taste the chicken the wife was cooking over a kilometer away, if you are explaining the smell from the sea, you can as well say the taste of the breeze from the blue sea.
  6. The sense of touch:

    Touch can either be sweet, pleasurable and even painful. It all depends on how you want to use it. Touch can cause sensations such as feelings of coldness, hotness, smoothness, roughness, pressure, ticklish, itchiness, painful, vibrations, and more. You can describe all the, for example, cracked jawbone, a greasy bearing, a cold look, a warm handshake, a smooth path, etc.
  7. The sixth sense:

    This concerns unscientific and subconscious ability of the mind to analyze data in the fastest way possible and this would, however, take the mind much longer to decode. Using this sense when narrating can be the main source of revelation of dramatic dealings to come.
  8. Supporting Evidence:

    Your experience us the evidence as far as a narrative essay is concerned, and this proves your thesis statement. Lessons learnt, and the importance of certain actions to you should be demonstrated by the events in your story.
  9. Time passage:

    Start with how the story started following a chronological order to the end of your story (It all started by, next this happened, finally it had to come to this, during which this happened, after which all these came to pass when this happened, and later all this had to happen).
  10. Transitions:

    In writing a narrative piece of writing, the introduction of a new paragraph marks the change in the story, and this means that all paragraphs should be interconnected for a smooth flow of a story.
3. The Conclusion

Any conclusion as far as a narrative essay is concerned should be inclusive of a closing action of the overall event and also it should be inclusive of some sort of reflection or analysis of the importance of the events discussed to the writer. Questions arising can include: What lesson did you learn? Were the events discussed in the narrative have or had any impact in your life now or in the past?

4. Point of View

Always use the first person when writing a narrative essay. (I walked, I run, I ate) and most events are narrated in the past tense (I went fishing, She drove past the mall) Use present tense when referring to the events at the moment which basically means reflecting on those past events (Now I understand why walking at midnight in the Bronx is dangerous)

Just a recap:
  1. The introduction
  2. Body Paragraphs
  3. The Conclusion
  4. Point of View