Home Blog Narrative Essay - A Complete Writing Guide with Examples

Narrative Essay - A Complete Writing Guide with Examples

Narrative Essay - A Complete Writing Guide with Examples

Every year when you went back to school, your teacher would have asked you to write about your summer vacation. That was narrative writing.

A narrative essay is quite similar to a descriptive essay but carries its unique aspects. These essays are a form of academic writing where the writer tells a story creatively.

Dive into the blog to know everything about narrative essay writing.

What Is a Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay gives writers a chance to write about their personal experiences. It is just like a short story; the only difference is, it follows a proper structure.

When you write a narrative essay, you tell a story to your reader. The story could be real, or it could be fictional, but it is defined from a particular perspective.

Narrative essay definition:

“It is a type of essay in which the writer tells a story from his point of view or personal experience. It provides sensory details to grab readers’ attention and makes them understand the story.”

It should incorporate the following points:

  • Develop a particular viewpoint
  • Make and support your claim
  • Include precise information
  • Use vivid verbs and modifiers
  • Add conflict and sequences
  • Use dialogue

The purpose of a narrative essay is to tell a real-life or fictional story to the reader. It usually relies on personal experience and is often written in the form of a story. For writing a perfect narration, the writer must include the conventions of storytelling, climax, setting, plot, and ending.

Personal Narrative Essay

In a personal narrative essay, the writer gets a chance to share his own story. It is usually written in the first person, as the writer is telling about his personal experience. See the sample; it will give you a better understanding of a personal narrative.

Personal Narrative Essay (PDF)

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How to Write a Narrative Essay?

There are numerous types of essays you get to write in high school and college. A narrative essay is the most simple type of academic essay among all kinds of essays. It is written just like a simple short story. Here is a step-by-step process to write an impressive essay.

Narrative Essay Format

A typical 5 paragraph narrative essay has one introduction, three paraghraphs in the main body, and one conclusion paragraph. If needed, you can change the number of body paragraphs according to the topic.

It usually has these five elements: plot, characters, setting, conflict, and theme.

  • Plot

    The plot is the incident that you intend to share in the story. It is about the sequence of events that occurred in your story.

  • Setting

    The setting is the location where the event occurred. It can be your house, your school, or any other place where you were at the time of the event.

  • Characters

    Characters are the people involved in the incident. You have to mention every person involved, whether it is the main or a side character.

  • Conflict

    Conflict is the problem faced by the characters during the incident. A moment of tension in the plot is considered a conflict that needs to be resolved.

  • Theme

    The essay’s theme elaborates on the story’s overall purpose and the writer’s reasons to choose the topic.

    Here is a sample essay that will give you a deep understanding of the elements mentioned above.

    Narrative Essay Format (PDF)

How to Start a Narrative Essay?

Start the essay with an exciting hook and engaging sensory details. You must set your essay’s tone from the beginning to grab the readers’ attention.

Following are different ways to start the essay:

  • Start with a mystery.
  • Use a quote from someone famous to catch your reader’s attention.
  • Add a funny or moving anecdote.
  • Ask questions; in this way, your writing will feel direct and more personal.
  • Start with a shocking statement or statistics that makes readers curious.

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Narrative Essay Outline

To write a good essay, the first thing you need is a good narrative essay outline. Creating an outline is an important part of a good essay.

Divide your essay into three parts.

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
  3. Conclusion


Add everything briefly and tell about what you are going to discuss in the main body. Tell the reader a good story but with limited details. Keep in mind the following points for writing a great introduction.

  • Introduce the topic
  • Include supporting sentences
  • State the thesis statement

Body Paragraphs

Once you have grabbed the attention of your readers, now you can start your story. Gradually unfold the events of your story chronologically.

The main body is the section where your entire essay is concentrated. Incorporate the following points in it:

  • Discuss one idea in each paragraph
  • Follow logical patterns and chronological order so that the reader can easily understand the storyline
  • Emphasize the experience and tell the universal truth that the story brings to the audience


End your essay with a powerful and strong conclusion. Your essay can have a happy or sad ending, depending on your story. Make sure that your essay serves the purpose and conveys your message.

Here are the points to consider to leave the aftertaste.

  • Summarize the key points
  • Remind your readers about the central message
  • Give your readers something to think about

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Narrative Essay Topics

Here are a few best narrative essay topics ideas for your successful narrative writing.

  • The most embarrassing event of my life.
  • The most valuable childhood possession.
  • An unpleasant personal experience.
  • An unpleasant experience that helped me grow.
  • Your first experience with love and its impact on you.
  • The most difficult decision I had to make.
  • A rebellious act from your life.
  • A time when you got lost somewhere.
  • A random act of kindness.
  • A conflict with another person.

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Narrative Essay Examples

The example essay helps you craft a perfect essay in no time. Here is a narrative essay example to let you know the essay structure.

Narrative Essay Sample (PDF)

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Narrative Essay - A Complete Writing Guide with Examples

Narrative Essay Examples

Personal Narrative Essay

Narrative Essay Topics

Narrative Essay Outline

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