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Tips on Writing a Narrative Essay

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❶Not all essays really have a moral. I hope these help me to organize my writings.

Personal Narrative Essay Topics

The Narrative Essay in High School
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Parents, does your student need assistance with writing a narrative essay? Our teachers can help. In a narrative essay, the writer tells a story about a real-life experience. Everyone enjoys a good story—especially one that captures the imagination. However, the narrative essay goes further. In it, the writer places a personal experience within the context of a larger theme, such as a lesson learned.

When writing a narrative essay, the writer wants not only to tell a good story, but also convey why the story has meaning.

At Time4Learning, we are great believers in the writing process. The writing process empowers you to write with better results by giving providing concrete, proven steps to follow. Here, we examine how to write a narrative essay using the five-step writing process. You should find the following suggestions helpful. The prewriting phase in narrative essay writing is particularly important.

If writers feel an emotional connection to their topic, their narrative essay will be more effective. Think about the sequence of events and remember; no detail is too small. When creating the initial draft of a narrative essay, follow the outline, but focus on making the story come alive, using the following techniques:. In the revision phase, students review, modify, and reorganize their work with the goal of making it the best it can be.

In revising a narrative essay, students should reread their work with these considerations in mind:. Some writers make this connection to theme in the opening paragraph. Others like to focus on the experience and reveal its significance at the end. Find the antagonist and conflict. Good narratives often have a protagonist and an antagonist, which is what creates the conflict.

The protagonist is usually the main character in most narrative essays, that'll be you who is struggling with something. It might be a situation, a condition, or a force, but whatever the case, a protagonist wants something and the reader roots for them.

The antagonist is the thing or person who keeps the protagonist from getting what they want. Who or what is the antagonist in your story? To answer this question, you also need to find out what the protagonist wants.

What is the goal? What's the best case scenario for the protagonist? What stands in the protagonist's way? The antagonist isn't "the bad guy" of the story, necessarily, and not every story has a clear antagonist. Also keep in mind that for some good personal narratives, you might be the antagonist yourself. Just as important to a good story as the characters and the plot is the setting.

Where does the story take place? In the city or the country? Describe the location that the story takes place and let the setting become part of your story. Do a freewrite about the location that your story takes place. What do you know about the place? What can you remember? What can you find out? If you do any research for your narrative essay, it will probably be here. Try to find out extra details about the setting of your story, or double-check your memory to make sure it's right.

Good writing is in the details. Even the most boring office environment or the dullest town can be made compelling with the right kinds of details in the writing. Remember to use particulars—unique details that don't describe anything else but the specific thing you're writing about, and let these vivid details drive the story. You might tell us something like, "My dad was always sad that year," but if you wrote "Dad never spoke when he got home from work.

We heard his truck, then heard as he laid his battered hardhat on the kitchen table. Then we heard him sigh deeply and take off his work clothes, which were stained with grease. Make sure your theme is clearly illustrated in the story. After you've written your rough draft, read back over it with an eye for your theme. Whatever the purpose of your telling us the story that you're telling us needs to be made very clear. The last thing you want is for the reader to get to the end and say, "Good story, but who cares?

Get the theme into the very beginning of the essay. Just as a researched argument essay needs to have a thesis statement somewhere in the first few paragraphs of the essay, a narrative essay needs a topic statement or a thesis statement to explain the main idea of the story. This isn't "ruining the surprise" of the story, this is foreshadowing the important themes and details to notice over the course of the story as you tell it.

A good writer doesn't need suspense in a narrative essay. The ending should seem inevitable. Use scenes and analyses. All narratives are made of two kinds of writing: Scenes happen when you need to slow down and tell specific details about an important moment of the story. Scenes are small moments that take a while to read. An analysis is used to narrate the time between scenes. They are longer moments that you read over more quickly. I didn't know what to tell him.

I fidgeted, kicked an empty paint bucket that was rusted over at the edge of the lot. We got a turkey, cornbread, cranberries. The store was crazy-packed with happy holiday shoppers, but we walked through them all, not saying a word to each other. It took forever to lug it all home. Use and format dialogue correctly.

When you're writing a narrative essay, it's typically somewhere between a short story and a regular essay that you might write for school. You'll have to be familiar with the conventions of formatting both types of writing, and since most narrative essays will involve some dialogue, you should make formatting that dialogue correctly a part of your revision process.

Anything spoken by a character out loud needs to be included in quotation marks and attributed to the character speaking it: Each time a new character speaks, you need to make a new paragraph. If the same character speaks, multiple instances of dialog can exist in the same paragraph. Revision is the most important part of writing. Nobody, even the most experienced writers, get it right on the very first run through. Get a draft finished ahead of time and give yourself the chance to go back through your story carefully and see it again.

How could it be improved? Revise for clarity first. Are your main points clear? If not, make them clear by including more details or narration in the writing. Hammer home your points. Was the decision you made about the starting place of the story correct? Or, now that you've written, might it be better to start the story later? Ask the tough questions. Proofreading is one part of revision, but it's a very minor part and it should be done last.

Checking punctuation and spelling is the last thing you should be worried about in your narrative essay. Sample Essay Sample Narrative Essay. You could start a narrative with adjectives describing the setting.

For example, "It was a cold, rainy night. This can't be happening. Not Helpful 23 Helpful Can I write in the third person to narrate my personal story or does it have to be in the first person?

Yes, of course you can write in the third person, just try to stay consistent. Not Helpful 1 Helpful In the introduction, you may want to put the reader right into the story, so consider jumping right into the story.

The introduction should help the reader understand what the essay will be about, but keep it short. Not Helpful 33 Helpful In a narrative essay, the conclusion sums up what has already been written, and should neatly wrap up the topic.

Don't repeat yourself word for word, but paraphrase the main idea. The first sentence should be similar to the topic sentence, and you should work your way to an interesting thought in the last sentence which will leave the reader with something to think about.

Not Helpful 31 Helpful Include the date in the opening sentence. You may say "It was November 27, Not Helpful 22 Helpful A narrative essay is focused on telling a story and can include dialogue; a descriptive essay is more focused on describing something in detail. Sometimes a descriptive essay can also be a narrative essay, if what you're describing is an event.

And a narrative essay can certainly contain some description. But generally, they are distinct types of essays. Not Helpful 25 Helpful It really depends on the given task. Not all essays really have a moral. A tale about a trip to Canada or a continuation of a story wouldn't have a moral.

Not Helpful 18 Helpful I am writing a narrative. It has to be about an animal, yet the readers are not allowed to know it is an animal. What can I do? You can describe what you do that "shows" what you are. For example, if you are a squirrel, you can say you scrambled up a tree to escape from a dog.

Not Helpful 4 Helpful Revising will help you fix any mistakes you've made, and everyone makes mistakes. You might even want to have someone else read over your essay to make sure everything makes sense. Not Helpful 1 Helpful 8. If you are writing an narrative essay for a school assignment, read the prompt carefully. Think of a personal experience you can share that relates to the prompt. If you are not writing for school, think of a moment that was especially memorable or meaningful to you and write about that.

Not Helpful 29 Helpful I was asked to write a Narrative report about our Outreach Activity on Monday. Answer this question Flag as What are some tips for planning and writing good body material? Can you show me an example of a story which involves an argument that should have been avoided, using a narrative essay? How can I start a picture narrative essay? Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.

Already answered Not a question Bad question Other. Quick Summary To write a narrative essay, start by choosing an interesting personal story from your life to write about. Did this summary help you? Tips Be sensible while writing. It is necessary to stay on the topic rather than moving away from it. Do not lose your focus. Divide your essay into paragraphs, according to your limit: Your introduction can be either a shocker one, or one just describing the setting; the conclusion can reveal a surprise, or end with just a hint of the climax, keeping the final question to be answered by the readers.

Write only when you have a perfect story to tell. Only then as a narrator, have you succeeded. Don't worry if you can't grip it at the beginning; writing a great story takes drafting and revising. Get some second opinions and input from others as you go. Using second-person or third person narration you, she can be interesting rather than first-person I, me.

Narrative Essays Print Edit Send fan mail to authors. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,, times.

Did this article help you? Cookies make wikiHow better. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our cookie policy. MF Michelle Foss Aug This was a very clean, clear description of elements that are needed; that reminder has helped me form a mental plan for how to evaluate the writing I have done so far. It's a story now, but a bit disjointed, and I can see I haven't done enough to introduce and develop my characters. JY John Yeo Aug 9. E Emmanuel Aug 5.

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Personal Narrative Essay Examples High School Personal narrative - Words knot the laces on my cleats, put my game jersey on and sprayed my goalie gloves with water for the last time before the whistle blew and the ball dropped.

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Narrative essays can be great for helping high school students extend themselves as writers and experiment with different structures and styles. High School Narrative Writing Lesson plans and other teaching resources - Free English learning and teaching resources from Varsity Tutors.