Storyteller’s Tips on How to Write a Narrative Essay

You might not believe it, but only some forms of writing need research. Some types do not need so much research, while some do not need research at all. Narrative essays are one of the latter.

Narrative essays are a form of writing that combine storytelling (of a personal nature) with academic arguments and logic. They paint a picture of some of the author’s experiences and their world view based on these experiences. This article highlights some fundamentals of a narrative essay or a story essay. You might have also asked or been wondering, “what is a narrative format?” We will answer all of these here.

What is a narrative essay?

Also referred to as a personal essay, narrative essays are an aspect of creative nonfiction where writers tell creative and honest stories of their experiences in life. It is an essay about a story you have experienced. These essays usually tell of an experience that led the writer to specific realizations of life.

Narrative essays are similar to short stories, although they have distinct writing techniques. However, they arrive at the same conclusion: a powerful story with a beautiful theme, topic, or idea that readers can see and understand.

Here are a few other things you should note about narrative essays:

  • They are always nonfiction stories and are typically autobiographical.
  • They are written with a measure of flair and creativity as opposed to the fact-based, objective style we know academic writing to be.
  • They are usually a part of academic coursework for high schoolers and can also serve as a criterion for some college admissions.

Some helpful tips for narrative writing in highschool and college

Writing a narrative essay entails using subjectivity and objectivity. One needs to be objective enough to identify the significance of a situation or an event to understand how far you can go when exploring it. You also need to be subjective enough to add your thoughts and feelings as accurately as possible to prove your point.

This makes you the thinker and the object of the thoughts, which is a free place to be when writing. However, as with other forms of writing, you need to follow some tips to ensure you are always on the right path. These tips will help you to deliver an essay that is unique and in line with the generally accepted standards of narrative essay writing. Here are some of these tips:

  1. Define your plot and chronology and stick to it

It is always a good idea to define your plot and chronology and stick to it. For example, you can start by looking for a dramatic and momentous period and use it as the introduction. Make sure this period and event can hook your readers. You can also place flashbacks in significant places. However, good stories are good and readable when they go chronologically, so adjust only when you want to and not because you see everyone doing it.

  1. Play with language

A hallmark of creative writing is the temptation to describe things more than needed. This usually displays itself in much use of adverbs and adjectives. However, you will gain more readers if you describe activities and scents instead of directly telling your readers that they are in a plaza. This is where one asks, “How long is a narrative essay?” Just be moderate, okay? The essay’s length may also depend on the requirements.

  1. Pick and use one point of view

One thing that makes narrative essays unique is the choice of one point of view. Novels might take more than one, but it is best to choose one point of view for your narrative essay while writing in the past tense. Also, refrain from switching perspectives midway.

  1. Spice up your conclusion

An unforgettable closing scene is always a good choice as it helps heighten your readers’ satisfaction. Don’t forget to use the body of the narration to work up the plot to a thrilling climax. You do not have to opt for something shocking or fantastic; you only need to give it an exciting ending.

Readers should grab the essay’s moral, idea, or takeaway without hassle. Also, as always, seek to show rather than tell. Instead of outlining what has been learned, narrate what you plan to do. This will help you highlight your story and moral without being too preachy about it.

  1. Don’t overuse “I”

Using “I” in a narrative essay is necessary, as it is one person’s perspective (probably yours) throughout. However, there is such a thing as overuse when it comes to this first-person pronoun. You will know this when you are reading through it, and it gives you a vibe of redundancy and self-centeredness.


To write a narrative story essay is not beyond you; you just need to learn how. With a good narrative essay, you can engage readers more, which is the goal of every reader. Ensure you apply the tips in this article when writing yours to get the best narrative essay the world has seen. You can read through other people’s work if you find it difficult.

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