What Is A Narrative Essay? Narrative Essay Examples And Writing Tips

If you are going to be writing a narrative essay, it is vitally important that you are aware of how to do it correctly. The narrative essay does take some skill to write, but this doesn’t mean that it cannot be done by anyone of us. All it takes is to follow some simple steps and you will be able to create an engaging and interesting narrative essay.

In this article, we are going to be looking at how to write a narrative essay to the best of your ability as well as some ideas for topics on which you could write. We will then be looking at some excerpts from narrative essays to give you a better idea of how they are written.

What Is A Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay is written in the form of a story and clearly gives a point of view on the subject-most often that of the author. The idea of this type of essay is to engage the reader in a sensory and emotional way which will allow them to connect with that is being written about.

A narrative essay will use characters, plots and themes and may even include a dialogue. Each aspect of the narrative essay will revolve around the main point of essay-it’s topic.

How To Write A Narrative Essay

Now that we fully understand what a narrative essay is and what it is used for, we are going to look at some useful tips for creating an amazing narrative essay of your own.

  • The most important point to consider before writing your narrative essay is the topic. What will it be about and how can you include some truth in the story? It needs to be something that the reader can connect with and that will matter to them. Sharing personal experience is one of the best ways to write a narrative essay.
  • In order to create a great narrative essay, it is vital that you plan it out in great detail. The best way to do this is to write a detailed essay outline which will allow you to plan your essay and structure it.
  • You should also consider the various elements of the story such as the characters, the plot, the motif and theme.
  • Think about the point of view that you want to put across within the essay and what you want the reader to take away from it.
  • When planning your essay it is important to make sure that you only include details that are going to provide relevance to the story. By adding in too many words and phrases that don’t contribute, you may end up confusing the audience.
  • Whilst writing something like a novel is a great excuse to show off your knowledge of the English language, a narrative essay is not the place to do this. You should use language that is clear and concise and can be easily understood by anyone who is reading.
  • A narrative essay is structured in a chronological manner, meaning that events are ordered in the time that they occurred, this is important to keep in mind when structuring your essay.
  • Make sure that the key points are highlighted and easily accessible to the reader. If you are writing a narrative essay to show how taking up running benefited your health, you should make this information clear in the essay.
  • A narrative essay does not need to be overly lengthy. If you are being instructed to write a set amount of words, then this should be adhered to but otherwise, you should keep it as short as possible so that the main point of the writing is not lost. That being said, it is also important to make it long enough to include everything that you need to include.

Narrative Essay Topics

If you have been given free reign over the topic for your narrative essay, there are many things you might consider writing about. We are now going to look at a variety of topics which you might write on for this type of essay.

  • A teacher who inspired you
  • A new job
  • An experience of a natural disaster
  • An invention you made
  • The loss or gain of faith
  • An experience with danger
  • Conflict with a loved one
  • Your first trip to a place
  • An experience which changed your behaviour
  • A misunderstanding with a comical result
  • When you helped someone in a crisis
  • An experience that changed your viewpoint on another person
  • Something that happened on a vacation
  • Secret places of your childhood
  • How you realised that your parents were right
  • How you overcame a fear
  • How you overcame prejudice
  • How you decided on your career
  • An experience involving music
  • A pet who inspired you
  • An embarrassing experience
  • How you became a role model
  • How you met your closest friend
  • Getting lost
  • Uncovering a lie

Narrative Essay Examples

We are now going to look at some passages taken from successful narrative essays as a way to help you further understand how they are written.

Only Daughter Written By Sandra Cisneros

Once, some years ago, just as I was beginning my writing career, someone asked me to write my very own contributors note for this anthology that I was a part of. For this, I wrote ‘I’m an only daughter within a family that has 6 sons. That says it all.’

I have thought about it ever since, yes, it does explain lots to me but for the sake of the reader, I ought to have wrote ‘I’m an only daughter within a Mexican family with 6 sons.’ or perhaps ‘I’m an only daughter from a Mexican dad and a Mexican-American mom’ or ‘I’m an only daughter from a working class family of 9.’ Each of these has a lot to do with the person that I am today.

New Directions Written By Maya Angelou

Annie was more than 6 feet tall, had big bones and had decided she wouldn’t work as a domestic meaning she’d have to leave her ‘precious babies’ in the care of anyone else. There wasn’t any possibility of her being taken on in the cotton gin or the lumber mill, but there was maybe a way to get the 2 factories to work for her. In her own words ‘I looked along the road on which I was going, and back again the way I had come, but as I was not satisfied, I made the decision to step off of the road and start a new path.’ She had told herself she was not a fancy cook, yet she could mix the groceries enough to stop hunger.


The narrative essay is used to tell a story from a certain point of view and is one of the most common types of essay. By using the tips in this article, you will be much more easily able to write a narrative essay with confidence.

Narrative Essay Infographic

Narrative Essay: Definition, Examples & Useful Tips for Writing a Narrative Essay

Improve your writing with the help of AI writing assistants!