How to Write a Narrative Essay: Examples and Key Elements

Starting a narrative essay seems a challenging task for most students but with proper understanding of the key components and how to write, it should be something doable. The introduction of an essay is significant but does not mean that authors should deny the other parts total attention.

Narrative Essay Introduction Example
Narrative Essay Introduction Example

You may be wondering what an excellent narrative essay requires. Here is an explanation of the introduction of a story, the structure of a narrative essay, and ideas you can use in authoring a great narrative essay. We have put down the steps in a concise manner for you.

Read on to find inspiration and creative techniques for crafting a narrative essay.

Narrative Essay Introduction

Learning how to start a narrative essay on an exciting foot is vital if you want to compose an excellent piece. Being your first paragraph, it greatly determines whether your audience will continue reading your essay to the end or not.

How do you start an exceptional narrative? You ask. Here are ways you can start your narrative remarkably.

The Narrative Catch

Also known as the hook, the catch is part of your introduction that grabs the reader’s attention and declines to let go until the audience has read through your whole narrative. A good hook should spark your reader’s curiosity by using the right words of suspense. When the audience is asking, what happened next? You are sure that you have them to the end of your story.

Narrative Essay: Definition, Examples & Characteristics

Ways of creating a hook include a question, a quote- from a famous person or interesting, surprising facts, shocking statistics, and anecdote, among others. Below are examples of how you can use shocking statements and anecdotes to create a good catch for your narrative.

  • Shocking statements

Wealth is futile. If it was useful, I would still see my younger sister to date!

You never make a tough decision until you are twenty-one. This fact became vivid to me when I turned twenty-one.

The first statement shocks the reader, leaving them wondering why the author of the narrative wrote such a statement. Typically, wealth is so significant in life that the statement’s irony triggers the reader’s curiosity to read on. Another issue to consider is the sentence after that shocking declaration elusiveness. Don’t tell the whole story to your audience. Give a hint for them to be curious to know what happened to the character. In this case, it is the narrator’s sister.

  • Anecdote

One evening as I was heading back home from school, I had screams from afar. As I got nearer, I identified that the screaming was coming from our home. I ran as fast as I could to learn the cause, only to see my brother lying down stiff, and my mum screaming next to him.

What happened to the author’s brother?

Did he live or die?

These are some of the questions that the reader snaps to immediately. Using the diverse ways of creating a hook, you can pen an effective introduction.

How to Start a Personal Narrative

How do I start a personal narrative? You ask. Beyond writing a good introduction as directed above, ensure that you use the first person since it’s about your personal experience. Use sensory language, precise details, and imagery to have an emotional impact on the reader.

Narrative Essay Format

The significant elements that make up a good narrative include:

  • Setting – This is the location where the action takes place in a narrative.
  • Theme –This is the basic storyline of a narrative. Often, the theme entails a topic that is familiar in life or nature, such as courage, fear, success, and failure.
  • Mood –This is the atmosphere that a writer creates for a narrative. The mood could be happy, sad, scary, suspenseful, or hopeful etc. The descriptive vocabulary and the setting make the mood of a narrative.
  • Characters-These are people in the narrative. The characters are affected by the mood in the narrative, and they react to the events happening in the story.
  • Plot-This is the sequence of events. The plot usually includes a climax where the events or the characters change.
  • Thesis-It introduces the action that starts in the introductory paragraph.
  • Transition sentences – These sentences connect the happenings and help the audience to follow the story.
  • Conclusion – This ends the narrative action and provides a moral lesson or revelation.

Narrative Essay Ideas

Narrative writing without ideas is like driving on a road with no road signs. As difficult as it gets when driving on that road with no instruction and direction, so is it in writing a story with no ideas. Having learnt how to start a story, you need more tips on creating a good narrative to the end.

The following are some of the guidelines you can use while writing your narrative.

·         Start With a Draft

Make an outline, and begin writing a draft. When writing a draft, follow the plan in your outline to coordinate all the ideas.

·         Storyline Elements

Make sure that all the elements of a narrative are rightly positioned in your narrative. If it is a character, show where they are at the time of a specific event and their reaction. All these strategic placements of the elements bring clarity and engage your audience.

·         Reveal Your Opinion

Listeners should understand your role in the narrative. To achieve this, give a detailed description of the events and explain your behavioral reaction towards it.

·         Prove and Support Your Opinion

When you show your readers your opinion, give them arguments that second it. You can use facts or references in proving your point of view.

·         Read Outstanding Narrative Examples

The more you read exceptional essays, the more you learn the practical application of great writing techniques in narrative essays. You can also watch a video presentation and learn how people describe their experiences. These videos can help you know how to describe your thoughts appropriately.

How to Write a Narrative Essay


Excellent narrative writing requires you to have an excellent introduction. You can use hooks like anecdotes, questions, and quotes, among other options, to create a good introduction. The elements that make up a narrative essay include the setting, the theme, the mood, the characters, and the plot.

Starting with a draft, right positioning of elements, showing your opinion and reading winning narrative essay examples will help you pen a good story. By acquiring lessons from these instructions, you can write a narrative that will get you an A.

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