How to Structure a Narrative Essay? Complete Guide for Beginners

How to Structure a Narrative Essay? Complete Guide for Beginners

Don’t know anything about the structure of a narrative essay? Well, writing a narrative essay is not that easy, especially if you don’t have any prior experience in this style. 

Want to learn to write a narrative essay with complete ease? Well, you need to read this professional guide post. 

First of all, you should know that there are four types of essays in modern-day content writing. The four types of essays are:

  • Descriptive

  • Narrative

  • Persuasive

  • Expository 

Narrative essay writing is based on narrations. Narration is actually the ability of a writer to tell stories.

Now, these stories can be both factual and fictional. Before discussing how to write a narrative essay, let us first find out what it is!

What is a Narrative Essay?

This is a type of essay whose purpose is to communicate a story based on certain characters and incidents.

A narrative essay would always have a central point around which the story revolves.

A narrative essay would be quite similar to that of a five-passage essay but would have a different style. You would find characters, dialogues, poetry, and anecdotes in it.

Many people confuse narrative essays with short stories. You need to understand that both of these have different styles and purposes. In a narrative essay, you have to write a story based on facts that you remember from a real event or incident. 

On the other hand, in a short story, you would have to create content based on fictional characters and events, which can give closure to the storyline. 

The most crucial thing that you need to know about a narrative essay is that you need a thesis statement to write it.

The first passage of the essay will inform readers about the thesis statement or the main idea.

Purpose of Narrative Essay Writing 

As we have told you before, narrative essay writing is based on a central idea or incident.

The main purpose of narrative essay writing is to state a series of events/incidents in an engaging way for the readers. 

When writing a narrative essay, one has to make sure that the audience who reads your content is moved by your story.

It should be emotionally engaging for the reader. This means that after reading the essay, a reader should be able to express his emotions through fear, anger, laughter, hate, and other elements.

Types of Narrative Essay

There are three types of narrative essays, and it is important that you know about them before you start writing one:

  • Fiction; this is the type of narrative essay which relays a story based on incidents and characters derived from a writer’s thoughts. This type of essay can be in the form of a novel as well as a short story.

  • Non-Fiction; this type of narrative essay writing is based on real incidents, characters, facts, and information that are in the memory of a writer. These include personal journals and biographies.

  • Poetry is another narrative essay writing type that can be both fictional and non-fictional. In this type of writing, feelings and ideas are expressed in the style of a rhyme. Sonnets are a common example of it.

What Is the Format and Structure of a Narrative Essay?

Now that you have the basic knowledge about narrative essay writing, it is time that we discuss its format/structure.

The structure of the narrative essay is simple and standard, just like a normal essay draft. It is based on a five-passage outline.

In this outline, the first passage is the introduction, the next passages are the main body of the essay, and the last one is the conclusion.

The main difference between the format of a narrative essay and any other simple one is that every passage has a specific purpose. 

  • Introduction > States the purpose of the essay

  • Main Body P1 > Rising Action of the story

  • Main Body P2 > Climax

  • Main Body P3 > Falling Action

  • Conclusion > Lesson learned from the essay/story

Let us discuss the outline of the narrative essay in detail:

1. Introduction

The introduction or the opening clause of the narrative essay has to accomplish three goals.

The first one is to inform readers about the main idea of the story, and the second one is to engage readers, and lastly, to intrigue the audience to read the essay till the end.

In narrative essay writing, as we have told you before, there must be a thesis statement.

The thesis statement is an important element of a narrative essay. It is the main argumentative statement in your essay, which is going to empower the body and conclusion.

A good thesis statement is one that is based on a fact and not a question/recommendation.

2. Main Body

The main body of the narrative essay is probably the most important part. In the main body, you have to write down the story.

It would include each and every fact and minor details, which would take readers through the plot of the story.

The main body of the essay must include a minimum of three passages.

However, the number of passages and word count can be increased depending on the story or the requirements. 

The main body of the essay, no matter how many passages you add, should be divided into three parts which would tell readers about the rising action, climax, & plunge in this very order.

Some important things to note while writing a narrative essay include:

  • Always include relevant details in each section of the main body. You have to build up the mood of the reader so that they can read the essay till the end.

  • Incorporate dialogues to refresh the attention of readers. This is a very good way of giving life to the story. 

  • You must try and write chronologically. This means you have to keep the sequence of the story. In narrative essay writing, it is very important to keep the storyline organized.

  • Lastly, you need to make sure that you avoid all kinds of deviations from the main narrative of the story. This is because it would result in the disengagement of readers.

Let’s move to the last part!

3. Conclusion 

The last part in the outline of the narrative essay is the conclusion.

This is the part in which the readers except for final comments from you about the story.

You have to state some of the key incidents and points in the conclusion and should give ample stress on the lessons that readers should learn from the story. 

If you are not giving a lesson to the readers to learn from, then the least you have to do is give them food for thought.

You must understand that the conclusion should always show the purpose of the essay. 

What Should Be the Ideal Length of a Narrative Essay?

After reading about the structure of a narrative essay, you must be wondering about its length.

Now the length of a narrative essay would always depend on the requirements given. Ideally, a good essay would be around four to five pages long. 

The word count length should be around 500 to 1000 words.

Your main goal should be to satisfy the reader with your story complimenting the thesis statement.

Writers have to make sure that they follow the structure we have discussed above in this post.

The length of each part can be adjusted according to the requirements of a story.

General Advice for Newbies

Narrative essay writing is one of the most interesting types of content writing.

Writers should enjoy the positive experience of writing a narrative essay as it doesn’t restrict them from following a standard format.

Narrative essay writing is no doubt a free-way style of writing and a big learning opportunity for writers who are just starting their careers. 

Now it is best that you get some samples of narrative essay writing from a credible writing service.

Reading the samples would help you understand how to write a narrative essay in the right way.

Taking help from professionals is always encouraged because it helps you understand certain aspects of essay writing which cannot be addressed in a blog post!

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