Writing a Narrative Essay
Last modified: October 26, 2015
Writing an essay of the narrative type is usually one of the mandatory requirements for all students, right from school. Narrative essays are nothing but a form of story writing. Narrative essays should also be written in the same manner of story writing, like the setting, the characters, the climax and the conclusion. An introduction and a plot are used to bind these elements together and form a good story.
Just like any other essay, the main point or your thesis is important. This should be included in the introduction, and the story should flow from it in a logical sequence of events or actions.
Narrative essays are usually written in the first person, but the narrator need not always be the author, but can tell the story from the point of view of an imaginary person too.
The language and imagery are very important in narrative essays. Formal and dry academic language should be avoided. Language that would appeal to the feelings and senses of the reader should be more appropriate.
The characters in the narrative should be ‘fleshed out’ or described in such a way so as to bring out their personalities and individual traits – physical and behavioural – and create more interest to the reader. Remember, the reader has to get all the necessary information and details in order to form a clear idea of your characters and narrative. If the details are incomplete, the reader may form an idea that is different from what you intended. But at the same time, you cannot ramble or go out of the topic.
The narrative essay can be represented by a roughly triangular diagram, with the introduction as one base, the climax at the apex and the conclusion on the other base, that is again connected to the thesis in the introduction. The climax of the narrative should make the reader eager to know the ending.
The most important part of the narrative essay is the conclusion or ending that brings a closure to your thesis stated at the beginning. Good narrative writers end with a surprise or a dramatic ending, but that is not always possible for a student. But even simple endings can be effective if the narrative is planned well.
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