Narrative Essay | Elements, Tips and Outline of a Narrative Essay

Narrative Essay: A narrative essay is a way to tell a story about your personal experience in a clear and interesting way. In a  narrative essay, you have to imagine where your story begins and ends, and how to describe it with eye-catching language. To write a narrative essay you have to put yourself in that story.

It is a type of essay that has a main point around which the whole narrative revolves. All incidents, happenings, and characters are related to the same point. A narrative essay has characters, incidents, and dialogues which are written in a proper format.

Narrative essays tell a story, usually from one person’s personal point of view. A narrative essay has all the story elements — a beginning, middle and ending, as well as plot, characters, setting and climax all brought together to complete the story.

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Elements of a Narrative Essay

A narrative essay mainly consists of three required elements: character, theme, and dialogue.

Character: Characters are an important element of a narrative essay. It is the lead role as the story revolves around the character. The person writing the essay is a character itself. It also involves some other characters who act, behave, and do like all other characters presented in stories and novels.

Theme or Motif

A narrative essay is not a type of an attractive story but it has a theme or a motif. Narrative essays teach a lesson to the reader.

It narrates people’s personal experiences to teach lessons to readers. In fact, it is like a story, but revolves around a motif. The main motif of the narrative essay is to make the readers aware of this single theme, central idea, or motif once they go through the essay. The major aim of narrative essays is to provide information about life experiences and lessons learned from those experiences.


Dialogue is used for the conversation between characters. In a narrative essay, dialogue is the third important element, which is used to develop an interest in the story.

Dialogue is very important in narrative essays without which the characters lose their worth and liveliness. Dialogues give life to the character in the essay.

Narrative Essay Outline

To write a good essay, the first thing you need is to create a proper outline. Creating an outline means it is half the way you go and it is an important part of a good essay.

Divide your essay into three parts.

  1. Introduction
  2. Body
  3. Conclusion


Start with something amazing. Add a detailed explanation of your topic and tell about what you are going to discuss in the main body. State a good story but you should have a motif or a good theme.

Follow these points for writing a great introduction.

  • Introduce the topic
  • Include supporting sentences
  • State the thesis statement


Once you have attracted your readers, now you can start your story. If the introduction is good enough then only the readers move towards the body. Now start writing your story chronologically in a proper format.

The main body is the section where your entire essay is created. Add the following points in it:

  • Try to keep your story in chronological order so that the reader can understand the storyline easily.
  • Narrate the incidents in an order leading to the final conclusion.
  • The beginning and the concluding lines must be related to the main part of the events described in the story.
  • Write one idea in each paragraph


Make sure that your essay serves the main motif. Conclude your essay with your message. The conclusion must be strong enough to reach the heart of the readers.

  • Summarize the key points of your essay
  • Repeat your message so that your readers get reminders about the central message
  • Try to leave the prints on the minds of the readers.

Easy Tips on Writing a Narrative Essay

When writing a narrative essay, remember that you are sharing personal and emotional details with the reader.

  • Before writing a narrative essay it is very important to decide the motive behind it.
  • The use of clear and concise language throughout the essay is necessary.
  • Your words and sentences need to be attractive and heart-touching to help the reader feel the same feelings that you felt.
  • Elements of the story must be used in the proper format..
  • You may use flashbacks and flash-forwards to build the climax in the story so that the readers are interested In your story.
  • Narrative essays are usually written in the first person, but the third-person view may also be used.

FAQ’s on Narrative Essay

Question 1.
How is a Narrative Essay different from a Short Story?

A narrative essay has a specific motif, specific format and specific aspect to discover. It revolves around that motif or a theme set by the writer prior to writing the essay. Whereas a short story is different from a narrative essay in that it does not revolve around a specific motif, and also it does not have a specific format. Also, a short story always leaves readers in suspense with the desire to discover more. Whereas, a narrative essay ends when the readers are fully satisfied.

Question 2.
How to begin a Narrative Essay?

Start the essay with an attractive statement followed by sensory details. You must use easy and attractive language from the beginning to grab the readers’ attention.

Following are different ways to start the essay:

  • Start with a famous quote written by someone to catch your reader’s attention
  • Use a mystery in the story.
  • Make use of statements so that the reader can feel the same pain as if you..
  • Be more precise so that the readers don’t find it messy.
  • Your motif should be clearly highlighted.