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Narrative Essay Examples

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Narrative Essays: To Tell a Story

Essential Elements of Narrative Essays
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Narrative Essay Example

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Make sure your story has a point! Describe what you learned from this experience. Don't be afraid to tell the story in your own voice.

Nobody wants to read a story that sounds like a textbook! How to Write Vivid Descriptions Having trouble describing a person, object, or event for your narrative or descriptive essay?

What do you smell? What do you taste? What do you see? What do you hear? What might you touch or feel? A mountain breeze feels different from a sea breeze. We hear different things in one spot, depending on the time of day. Writing up a quick list of the major plot points in the story is a good way of making sure you hit all the high points. Every story needs a beginning, a middle, and an end.

It helps to limit things as much as possible. While it might seem like we need to know a bunch of specific details from your senior year, try to think of a particularly tumultuous day from that year and tell us that story. Where does that story start?

Not the first day of school that year. Find a better starting point. If you want to tell the story of your prom night, does it start when you get dressed? Does it start when you spill spaghetti sauce all down your dress before the dance? While that might seem like the climax of a story you want to tell, it might make a better starting place.

Go straight to the drama. You don't need to write up a formal outline for a narrative essay unless it's part of the assignment or it really helps you write. Listing the major scenes that need to be a part of the story will help you get organized and find a good place to start.

Use a consistent point of view. Generally, narrative essays will be written in first person, making use of "I" statements, which is a little unusual compared to other assignments you'll be given in school. Whether you're giving us scenes with dialog, or discussing what happened in past-tense, it's perfectly fine to use first person in a narrative essay.

This is a difficult and advanced technique to try to pull off, and it usually has the effect of being too complicated. There should only be one "I" in the story. In general, narrative essays and short stories for that matter should also be told in past tense.

So, you would write "Johnny and I walked to the store every Thursday" not "Johnny and I are walking to the store, like we do every Thursday. If so, be consistent with your pronouns throughout the story. Describe the important characters. Who else is important to the story, other than yourself? Who else was present when the story took place.

Who affected the outcome of the story? What specific, particular details can you remember about the people in the story? Use these to help build the characters into real people. Particular details are specific and only particular to the character being described. While it may be specific to say that your friend has brown hair, green eyes, is 5 feet tall with an athletic build, these things don't tell us much about the character.

The fact that he only wears silk dragon shirts? Now that gives us something interesting. Try writing up a brief sketch of each principal character in your narrative essay, along with the specific details you remember about them.

Pick a few essentials. 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.

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When you write a narrative essay, you are telling a story. Narrative essays are told from a defined point of view, often the author's, so there is feeling as well as specific and often sensory details provided to get the reader involved in the elements and sequence of the story. The verbs are vivid and precise.

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Narrative Essay Writing Help A term narrative may be applied to any kind of story that has a plot of its own. We are accustomed to various stories and tales, so why it seems so problematic to write a narrative essay sometimes?

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Get narrative story writing help for every grade and learn how to write a narrative essay step by step. The following narrative essay examples can help you get started writing your own narrative essay. Narrative Essay Examples In a narrative essay you tell a story, often about a personal experience, but you also make a point.

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Different types of academic essays have their niceties and pitfalls. The narrative essays are not an exception. In general, a good narrative essay requires great writing skills, the ability to tell a story about yourself in a creative way, and some experience in building grammatically correct, well . Great collection of paper writing guides and free samples. Ask our experts to get writing help. Submit your essay for analysis.