Writing a Narrative Essay

University / Undergraduate
Modified: 13th May 2020
Wordcount: 269 words

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Definition:

“A narrative essay tells a tale, usually a personal experience, in the form of a story. The point of view is usually personal and description is very important to contribute to the overall feel of the narrative. However, narrative essays can also be used for book reports etc.”

When writing a narrative essay, it is important to remember that the main purpose is to entertain. You are trying to involve your reader in the story you are telling so try to appeal to the senses as well as to recount an event.

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It is worth looking at how professional short stories are written before beginning to write a narrative essay as what you are trying to achieve is in many ways a short ‘short story’. For this reason you will need to pay close attention to the main features of a short story such as plot, characterisation, setting and a strong ending.

The narrative essay should be quite detailed, particularly in the descriptions. You should try to involve the reader with the characters so that they care what happens to them and to connect the plot with characterisation and setting. It may also incorporate dialogue. Narrative essays are usually written in the first person (‘I’).

Unlike other essays, the narrative essay relies heavily on the personal input of the writer to succeed. It is best to write about something that you know, as this will make it easier to personalise your writing and make the characters etc. seem real. Narrative reports, such as a book report, still place the emphasis on personal response.

 

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