Do you like telling stories to your friends? How do you think your storytelling skills will be of use when you are assigned to write a narrative essay? Definitely, yes! An essay is a small prosaic text, where the author in a free style discusses the problem or issue of interest to him. Notable features of this type of writing are the freedom of composition and the absence of strict limitations in the style and manner of thoughts’ presentation. That is why writing an essay is an effective way to test the abilities, knowledge and character of a college and university student.
The narrative essay is one of the most popular essay types. The narrative, unlike the description, is an image of events or phenomena occurring not simultaneously, but following one another or conditioning each other. The most, apparently, brief example in the world literature of the text of the narrative is Caesar’s famous story: “He came, He saw, He conquered.” He clearly and accurately conveys the essence of the narrative – this is a story about what happened.
Main Features of a Narrative Essay You Should Know About
The narrative reveals closely related events, phenomena, actions objectively occurring in the past. That is why the main means of such a story are the successive verbs of the perfect type that are used to talk about the past actions. The sentences of the narrative context do not describe actions, but narrate about them, that is, they convey the event itself, the action.
The narrative is closely related to space and time. The designation of the place, the action, the names of people performing some actions, and the designation of the actions themselves are the language means with which the narrative is conducted. The stylistic functions of a narration are diverse, depending on the individual style, genre, subject of the image. Narration can be more or less objectified, neutral, or, on the contrary, subjective, imbued with the author’s emotions.
The narrative can be written from the first person (the narrator is named or designated by the pronoun “I” (“we”) or from the third person, the so-called author’s narrative (when the image of the narrator is absent).
How to Structure Narration in the Best Way?
The gift of the narrator makes the author a good writer. After all, it’s not enough just to invent a story, you have to be able to tell it so that the reader could not tear himself away from the story until the very end. And for this, the author needs to create a convincing narrative. How to do this? At first glance, the narrative is an elementary form of speech as every day we mainly narrate instead of describing and reasoning. We tell about the lived day, about the events that took place.
However, when we need to fix oral speech on paper, we sometimes get lost, because in order to tell in details such a simple event as going to the store, it is necessary to use a lot of verbs, gerunds, to figure out the sequence of events, to fit the narrative details, to flavor epithets and make this text understandable, readable, and interesting. It’s all about the structure of the narrative, which is dynamic and must express the temporal sequence relationships, that is, fix changes in the surrounding world, rather than describe a static picture of the world. The narrator should stick to the following essay structure:
Write the beginning of the narrative choosing among the following options
Address to the reader with the help of some intriguing question, present the general idea of the story, or write the generally accepted truth expressed in the aphoristic form. Besides, you can mention the place, time and the main character in the very first sentence. For example, “In very ancient times, there was a wise king…”
Continue writing the main body of the narration
The structure of the narrative itself can be different. You can follow the natural order of events. You can start with some unusual, bright moment, which was not at the beginning, but in the middle or end of the event, etc. The certain narration depends on the specific goals that the author sets for himself. But in any case, experts recommend using eye-catching hooks to raise the degree of interest of the reader, moving towards the culmination of the story, which finishes the main body of the narrative.
Write the conclusion of the narration
The end of the narrative usually contains a denouement of the story. It should be told so that it corresponds to the beginning and the main part. After the denouement, a moral thought or a conclusion from the whole narrative can follow.
Thus, when creating your own stories, you must follow certain rules. The most common of them are the following:
- the gradual increase of “interest” to the culmination and denouement in the end.
5 Effective Tips for Writing a Winning Narrative Essay
1. Try to make your story plausible
It doesn’t matter whether you are writing about things that really took place or about a fictional world where other laws of physics work, you should try to sound convincing. Make the reader believe that the story is true and nothing except truth.
2. Be clear and concise
The reader should understand what is happening in the text, and not get confused in the details and characters. To do this the author needs to monitor the consistency of the verbs, avoid frequent use of personal pronouns that replace the name of objects, do not abuse the specifying constructs. “The hero put his foot in the stirrup, threw it on the horse, who was digging the ground with his feet, grabbed him by the bridle in the sun, pulled himself up, sat heavily, stroked his strong neck, adjusted the cockade with his hand” – the question: what leg and where the hero threw, if he threw that leg, which he put in the stirrup, then how did he manage this? And yet – whose cockade the character corrected, his or the horse’s?
From the stylistic point of view, this fragment is generally rather awkward, full of pronouns and superfluous enumeration of actions. How to fix it? To rewrite it so that it is clear what happened: “The character jumped on the horse, and everything else is an extra literary noise, from which you can get rid of. “He grabbed for the brilliant bridle in the sun, put his foot in the stirrup and jumped on a horse digging the ground with his hoof. He stroked it on a strong scruff to calm him down. ”
3. Be logical
Any narrative should be logical. Remember that you should stick to the essay format. It is helpful to use a template. Let’s look at the example that has already been used in the beginning: “I came, I saw, I won,” So, the reader understands that he won after he came and saw. The reader must always understand what happened at the beginning, and what happened at the end.
This is especially true for narratives that tell about simple everyday activities, in which the authors are often confused. “In the morning he goes to the bath, takes a razor and casually holds it lightly backhand, immediately smears his face with shaving gel …” – but the hero has already taken a razor, what kind of gel is it? To take it, you need to put the razor aside. This, of course, a trifle but due to such shortcomings the narrative turns out to be unconvincing. To correct the error, you just need to change the places of the parts “holds it backhand” and “smears his face with a shaving gel.”
4. Take care of the stylistic purity
Any text that is full of verbal, grammatical, lexical errors, repels the sensible reader. Avoid any stylistic mistakes. To do this, you need to read more, entrust your writing to the professional proofreaders or at least ask somebody else to listen to the narration to know how the reader perceives what you have told about.
5. Follow a certain plan working on a narration
First, brainstorm ideas about the event or an experience. Think how it is better to name your narration. Make your title eye-catching. Reveal the main idea of the future story. Then recollect your memories or find the necessary information from other sources. Make a outline, indicating all major parts of your story, which are an introduction, the main body, and the conclusion. Try to use the dialogue (or individual replicas). This will help to create a friendly atmosphere and it will seem to the reader that he is involved in what is going on in the story. Use the description elements in the story so that they help to more fully present the course of events and the nature of the characters you are writing about.
Have a Closer Look at the Narrative Essay Sample
Before you get started writing a narrative essay, you are recommended to have a look at the example below. One of the frequently chosen essay topics by both students and their teachers is about the summer holidays. Let’s look how the author narrates about the summer time. Pay special attention to the order of the events, the use of the Past Tense and the logical connections between the parts.
“Summer is probably the most favorite time of the year for all people, especially for college and university students. After all, you can devote the major part of the summer to your favorite hobbies and rest. My vacation this year was very interesting and I was waiting for it very much because my parents promised me to have an interesting trip with tents.
First, I went to my grandmother as my parents were still working, so I went alone. I go to my granny every summer. I have many friends there. I always look forward to meeting with them, since we see each other very rarely. Together we went for a walk in the woods, bathed in bets, skated on rollerblades and rode bicycles. When the parents started their vacation, they took me away from my grandmother and we went to the seaside together with the colleagues from my dad’s work who had a son of my age who was going to enter the same faculty as me.
We drove on the bus, but despite the fact that the trip was a long one, I was not tired, I really liked looking out the window at the passing landscapes. When we arrived at the place, we found ourselves near to the seaside. At first, it was necessary to lay out things and set up tents. After that, we finally went to the sea. This was my first trip to the sea in a large company, so the emotions went off scale, especially taking into account that I was always afraid of water and decided to overcome this fear. The son of my parents’ friends was going to learn me to swim and he said I made progress. The sea was very warm, we bathed for a long time, then ate ice cream and drank juice. In addition to the lazy rest at the sea, we went for a walk, looked around the area, it was very beautiful, so I took a lot of photos. So. we rested for a week, and then it was necessary to come back home.
It seems that a week is a lot, but in fact, these days flew so quickly that I haven’t noticed. In the last minute I tried to remember and enjoy every moment spent on the shore. For memories, we left souvenirs, which I bought not only for myself but also for friends, as well as photographs that would remind me of this period. Parents said that the following year they would allow me to choose the place to go, I was very happy about this and I already knew that I was going to offer Alex to go with me as we made friends. Now I look forward to next summer.”
While getting acquainted with the essay sample, you could notice that the language used here is simple and understandable. The writer shares what happened during the summer vacation using the Past Simple Tense. You can see one brief paragraph devoted to the introduction, which allows the readers to have an idea what the writer is going to tell about. Then, the author tells about the things that happened in the summer, presenting them in the chronological order. And finally, the culmination. In the short conclusion the the writer says about the impressions and plans for the next holidays. Hope this example will be useful for your own piece of writing.
How to Choose the Great Narrative Essay Topic + 30 Brilliant Essay Topics Ideas
Students are often lucky to choose the topic for a narrative essay. First, it may be as easy as ABC, however, you may face certain difficulties. If you want to impress the teacher, you should think of some interesting life experience you can share with everyone. It will be better if your story isn’t only bright and vivid but also useful for the reader. Writing a narration you just tell about events that took place but the reader has a possibility to make certain conclusions for himself on his own. If you don’t know what to write about, you can take the album with old photos, choose those, which cause the strongest emotions, and remind yourself how everything was in the past. It is a good idea to tell about events that happened to you being a child. The selection of narration essay topics is really huge.
You have a great possibility to save time and have a look at the great narration essay topics ideas, which you can choose from being assigned to develop an essay. There are 30 great topics that will definitely hook the reader’s attention if you present them following the effective tips that have already been mentioned above.
- 1. Tell about the most exciting experience in your life.
- 2. Write about the experience that helped you to become the personality you are now.
- 3. Tell about the first time you were taught to ride the bicycle.
- 4. Write about the birthday party you will never forget.
- 5. Tell about the first day in the college or the university.
- 6. Write about the most horrible thing that happened to you unexpectedly.
- 7. Tell about the first quarrel between you and your best friend.
- 8. Tell a fun story about the misunderstanding that took place between you and your relatives or friends.
- 9. Share the situation, when you had to take a serious decision.
- 10. Write about a challenge you have faced recently.
- 11. Tell about the best journey you have had.
- 12. Write about the day you have presented a pet.
- 13. How did you survive the first examination?
- 14. Tell about things that happened in the past but you will do your best not to experience them in the future.
- 15. Write about the best summer holidays you have ever had.
- 16. Tell about the unforgettable trip with your friends you would like to repeat.
- 17. Imagine that you can be anywhere you wish now: Where would you like to be? How does this place look like? What would you like to do there?
- 18. Tell how you went to the cinema for the first time.
- 19. Write about the first impressions made by the theater performance.
- 20. Which present was the best one you got in childhood?
- 21. Write about the most vivid memory of your childhood.
- 22. Which games did you like to play being a small kid?
- 23. Write about things and actions that had an impact on your personal development.
- 24. Write about the most impressive event that happened in your life.
- 25. What would you change having a chance to return time?
- 26. What would you do if you won one million dollars?
- 27. Share the experience that was really scaring.
- 28. How did you deal with the stressful situation?
- 29. How did you make your first friend?
- 30. When was the first time you lost your temper?
Choosing the most suitable narrative essay topic, you should be guided by the main purpose of this type of work. Reading the essay, your teacher will see how creative you are. You will be able to reveal your personality in the short piece of writing, especially if you write about your own life experience, which is the most popular topic for the narration. Tell the captivating story, which will worth an A-grade if you follow the useful pieces of advice in this article.
Writing an essay, you should always remember that it is up to you to make this process fun and enjoyable. You are mistaken if think that your life isn’t interesting and impressive as each personality is unique and has something to share with others. Brainstorm ideas and think of the experience that will help you to achieve the goal. Everyone has his own story. It is high time to tell yours!