Cart 0

How to Write a Narrative Essay

The typical prompt or assignment for the narrative essay will ask you to describe an event that affected or changed your life. In other words, in the narrative essay prompt, you are being asked to tell a story. Because of the basic structure of this assignment, students are often fooled into thinking that the stories that take place in a narrative essay have to be true, which often becomes a source of anxiety. "How can I write about myself in a way that will interest my professor?" you might find yourself asking. "After all, nothing interesting has happened to me. And even if something interesting has happened to me, I'm not sure I want my prof. to know about it."

The best way to address this concern and start writing a narrative essay is to forget about telling "the truth" or "the facts" of a story unless you already think those truths and facts are interesting. Along with telling a story, after all, you're also being asked in the narrative essay to write vivid descriptions of persons and events. What if you don't remember what one of your characters was wearing or looked like or smelled like on that fateful day when you decided to skip school, or become a young Republican, or sneak out of the house to party with the very boyfriend/girlfriend you broke up with a week later? The answer to this question is that it simply doesn't matter whether your descriptions or events are "true to life." You are, after all, telling a story, and stories - even autobiographical ones - are embellished with made up details, characters, and events all the time.

Contact Us

Essay Editing Services Rates and Prices
Usually, by the time you reach the point in class where you're asked to write a narrative essay you will have already been exposed to at least one well-know narrative essay writer, such as Amy Tan or Henry David Thoreau. There are numerous others, but the important thing to keep in mind about all of them is that they are not necessarily writing the truth, at least not the objective truth. The reason these writers are taught in literature classes is that they have vivid imaginations, which is just another way of saying that they are good at making things up. They usually have a purpose as well - whether to defend nature (in the case of Thoreau) or to paint a sympathetic picture of first and second-generation Asian American immigrant experience (as in the case of Amy Tan) - and this purpose if often the very point of the narrative essay. The purpose (or thesis) of the narrative essay, then, should be your first concern.

Once you know the point you want to prove, you just need to provide supporting details, whether real or imaginary, that make that point stand out. If these details are believable and related to your narrative essay's purpose, it simply doesn't matter whether they actually happened. English class isn't a court of law, after all, it's a chance for you to extend your command of the English language. As long as that's happening, you can feel secure in almost any story you decide to write.


Order Essay Editing or Proofreading

Older Post Newer Post