How to Write a Narrative Paper: Narrative Essay Writing

How to get a good grade for a narrative paper? It is a concern of many students who want to be successful in their studies. Should it be lengthy and full of details? Is it supposed to be fancy? What manner is preferable for this type of essays? Is there any strict requirement to the organization of ideas in this type of papers?

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Narrative Paper Definition

There is a specific narrative paper definition which presents this type of writing as telling a story in accordance with the chosen or assigned topic that is somehow related to the writer’s personal experience. Both at college and high school, the students get different assignments, and most of them find narrative essays enjoyable. The task to write a story may sound easy at first, but it will be effective only if the writer takes a proper approach. 

If you have already worked on academic papers, you know the typical structure of a good essay. A narrative paper is not an exception as it includes the same structure of traditional five paragraphs:

  • Introduction

It presents the main idea and the chosen topic in a single paragraph.

  • Body

Having minimum three paragraphs, it tells the story to the readers.

  • Conclusion 

It summarizes the ideas and the writer’s thoughts in a single paragraph.

How to Find a Good Topic for a Narrative Essay

The most challenging task in writing is to start. You have received a topic from your instructor. Try to focus on it and recollect some experience or story relevant to that topic. Remember that your paper is going to include not only the story itself, but also some analysis.

What you have is a particular concept or theme to concentrate on and develop into a story. You do not need any research or use of outside sources. Use your personal stories or the events from lives of people you may know to get inspired. To give a narrative paper to write is a perfect way to check how creative a student is and how good his or her skills of storytelling are. Besides, the students demonstrate how they build a connection between the given topic and their experience.

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How to Make an Introduction of a Narrative Essay Nice?

The narrative is good if it is presented as a particular story with bright details and a comprehensible plot. Do not try to turn a simple essay into a novel; instead, make sure that it is written in a concise manner with a limited plot, setting, and bright characters. Make the readers interested with the content that is close for them: weekends spent with friends, vacations at the seaside, spoilt trips, or any other experience like this will be great.

  • Do not make the story too broad!

It will be a bad essay if it tells about everything in the world. Do not start the essay with the words “This winter,” or “When I was a child” because you will not be able to have all the details included into one essay.

  • Pick a single event

If you tell about the summer or the years of your childhood, take some specific days or even hours to present.

  • Do not tell about many people.

The number of characters in your story should be limited. Only those, who are involved in the storyline, should be included. The readers will be tired to get acquainted with all your childhood friends; so, take only a few of them for your story. 

  • Choose a good title.

How to Make an Outline for Your Narrative Essay

Start the story with an outline. Define the beginning and the ending of the storyline. Note the most essential points and check if everything you wanted to include is there in the story. Make sure that the following elements of the story are included:

  1. Beginning
  2. Middle
  3. The end

It is easy to keep focused in writing and limit the necessary things with an outline. Do not sound too formal; just mention the key scenes and aspects for proper organization.

How to make a Conclusion of a Narrative Essay Nice?

Take the final step with the concluding part and say your final word. Take into account the following tips:

  • Conclusion should not be just an ending for the story, it should go beyond.
  • The final part serves as a continuation of the previous events shown.
  • The timeline should be clear for the audience.
  • Your lessons and discoveries should be presented for the readers here, in the final paragraph.
  • The readers should always get to know what happened at the end of the story.
  • A narrative style paper should keep the interest of the audience even when they are done with reading.

Storytelling in a Narrative Essay

An excellent story always has a good setting for the actions to take place. Make it clear whether the characters act in the village or the city, outside or inside the building. It is an important part of the narrative.

The illustration of the topic in the story should be absolutely clear for the readers. Reread the story twice after you have finished writing and check if all the included details are relevant. The readers should not ask questions after the story is read; try to give them all the answers beforehand.

A good narrative essay is actually a presentation of some interesting story. It necessarily includes a detailed description of the writer's personal experiences. The key point in writing a perfect narrative essay is in the writer's ability to choose an appropriate perspective and reconsider the events or topics discussed in the paper.

If you look at a superior narrative essay example, you will see that the writer has been extremely thorough and detailed reflecting on his or her personal experiences. So, if you have to write this kind of essay, be prepared to make a story that will keep the reader in tension until the very last word.

No matter what narrative essay topics you want to discuss in your paper, make sure that your paper includes all major components of successful academic storytelling.

Major components of successful academic storytelling:










or outcome

In the introductory statement of your narrative paper inform the reader of your viewpoint and perspective. At times, narrative essays are written in the form of a book report. If that is the case, you will have to follow the same structure, although you will report the experiences described by another person.

Formatting Your Narrative Essay

All narrative essays are to be formatted according to the following principles:

  1. You should not be afraid of using the first person, since you are narrating the story that has happened in your life and has affected you.
  2. The type of detail you include in your narrative essay should produce a strong, lasting sensual impression on the reader. Actually, emotions represent one of the central components of a good narrative paper.

You can use different ideas to write your exemplary narrative essay. You can derive these ideas from books or personal experiences. Some of the topics are provided below:

  • How I got my first job
  • How I betrayed my best friend
  • The worst day in my life
  • What motivates me to pursue ambitious life goals 

Fundamental Steps and Tips     

It is an outstanding writing experience to work on a narrative paper  and reflect on the events from your personal life. When you share your emotions with the readers, you get the energy you have not even thought about. The question is how to structure the story in a proper way:

  • A narrative essay is a story from personal experience told to the readers.
  • It can be based either on the present or past experience of the writer or people he or she knows.
  • A storyshould be accompanied with the lessons obtained.

Initial steps to take:

  1. Identify the chosen experience.
  2. Make sure that the experience is important.
  3. Focus on meaningful details.
  4. Develop an outline.


  • Present all essay parts on the basis of the outline.
  • Describe, analyze, and reflect.
  • Try to imagine you were a reader.
  • Be careful with minor details.


  • Take a break and get back to your writing later.
  • You other people to tell you want they think about your story.
  • Add the required details.
  • Remove unnecessary parts.
  • Make the order of events effective.

Check Out Our Free Narrative Essay Sample

Personal Narrative: Fear of Technology

With the advent of technology, many have applauded it as the way to go. It has no doubt has had immense influence in the way people live in the modern world. It has improved business tremendously. It has paved way for terming the world as a global village. Communication is no longer a matter of complexity, but an easy exercise that would only require an internet enabled phone or a computer connected to the internet and with the help of website providers, one is already on the global arena ready to communicate. These are but a few examples of the benefits that technology has had on the lives of humankind.

I had always been an avid supporter and follower of improved technologies until I encountered an event that nearly made me collapse. I had some amount of money in my account, and then in my mail, somebody send me some mail that purported to invite me to join some youth group. A group was to sensitize the youth on the harmful effects of drug abuse and irresponsible alcohol consumption. After reading the email, then I thought it was a noble course and, therefore, the urge for me to take part. Then, I was supposed to confirm my subscription and attendance that was scheduled on the following week, on Tuesday. Read more...

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