How to Format a Narrative

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What is the narrative writing definition?

If you have you ever dreamt of becoming a writer, this type academic writing gives you a chance to feel like one! Every time students are given the assignment to describe an event from their life, a life-changing situation, or a meaningful object in an exciting and creative way, this is a narrative essay. It differs from a typical essay as students have a carte-blanche in providing their own thoughts, ideas, and emotions in a form of a story.

Yet, it should be a sincere story about an important personal experience. And students are free to do that in the manner which suits them best. Despite certain structural demands, this type of essay allows students to demonstrate their creative thinking to full extent. No additional research is needed as the students have to demonstrate whether they can analyze their own experience and exercise their storytelling skills.

You are welcomed to use any language, literary devices, sensory details, illustrations, jokes, etc., you make an impression on your readers as well as encourage their imagination. These are little clues that help to involve the readers into the story for them to experience the described matter on their own. In addition, it reveals the purpose of your personal narrative essay. But if all these details are not connected with the subject of your essay, they will only distract the readers.

They have to be relevant, engaging and revealing more about the main theme of your paper. A good narrative has to convey a certain message about issues important to the writer which they consider worth sharing with others.  Another cornerstone of a narration is the originality of the work. You have to deliver a genuine interesting work plus your personal analysis of the event, situation, or subject you describe.

Due to the particular amount of freedom given to students, their stories can have different narrative styles. The most typical one is the first-person narrative. The readers get acquainted with the story through the eyes of the writer. Their journey through the story is more personal and helps to understand writer’s feelings. The third-person narrative demonstrates a more observatory approach to storytelling. The events are described not from the perspective of the protagonist but another character.

In this case, readers can see how the events unfold as if they are watching a film in the cinema. When the student presents the story from the viewpoint of different characters, this is called the alternating-person narration. This technique allows more objectivism in the narration. The least common narration nowadays is the second-person one, when the readers themselves are used as narrators.

What is the narrative essay outline?

When it comes to delivering a creative fiction or non-fiction story, it has to be written in accordance with all the conventions of storytelling and includes introduction, plot, setting, characters, climax, and resolution. These are crucial elements of the narrative format which make any story comprehensible and easy to follow. With the help of these components, students begin to understand how to start their narrative, what the best way to unfold the events is, and how to make the ending of their story engaging and memorable.

  • The value of introduction in the story can’t be overestimated. This part is necessary to introduce the story to the readers, highlight its main objectives as well as the atmosphere in which the events will take place. What differs the introductory part of this type of essay from all the others is that it mentions two important elements of the narration – setting and the characters. Don’t forget that the introduction should be interesting and grasp the attention of its readers.
  • Without elaborating a plot, even the most exciting story won’t reach the hearts of its readers. The plot is of vital importance in the storytelling as it describes how the events unfold and what their meaning is. Basically, this is the foundation which ties everything together. This part also indicates the conflict of the story, a moral question it raises, without which the story becomes pointless. As a rule, the events occur in chronological order. But flashbacks sentences can also be used if you intend to provide more context for your story. For students, the plot is their best partner – it helps to structure the material, emphasize meaningful aspects, and smoothly develop the story. So make it clear and understandable!
  • In the storytelling, the writer is obliged to indicate the location where all events of the story happen and when they occur. Typically, it’s established in the very beginning for readers to realize where everything happens. The setting is an obligatory element of a good narrative as it allows the readers to see not only where the main action happen but also the conditions the characters exist in plus how it influences their lives. Moreover, it sets the mood of the whole story.
  • Characters are indispensable components of any narrative. These are the characters which trigger all events and develop the story. They can be minor or major, but all of them play a lot of different roles in the story. Thought dialogues they reveal those the ideas of the student. The main character is called protagonist – it’s the person around whom the story evolves – usually, the writer himself. Different types of stories also have the antagonist, the evil competitor of the main character with whom they struggle throughout the whole story. It’s not obligatory for the characters to be humans. It’s up to the students whether to sue humans or personifications of various concepts as their characters.
  • This is the moment where the tension reaches its highest point revealing the purpose of the entire story. This is the moment where the conflict in the story becomes unbearable and provokes extreme reactions of the characters. Without a climax, the story hasn’t got the direction in which to develop which means that resolution can’t take place.
  • Usually, this paragraph comes together with the climax and demonstrates the outcomes of the story and in what way the conflict is resolved. This is actually the moment why readers have spent their time reading the story – its ending. The closure is used to provide answers to questions posed in the story and clarify any ambiguous moments that can confuse the readers. It doesn’t matter much whether it’s positive or negative as different stories demand different endings. Use this part to finalize your ideas and provide a brief narrative summary of the subject, its meaning in your life, and the consequences you had to go through.

“Where can I find the best narrative essay example?” college students ask.

The most challenging task when it comes to writing a narrative essay is to choose a meaning topic. The choice has to be made taking into account the influence of this subject on student’s life. You can tell how some person has changed your life, why a certain event means so much to you, or how a certain situation has improved your personality. It often happens that topics of the narrative essay are already provided by professors.

This means that you should concentrate on the demands of the assignment and connect it with your positive or negative experience. If you have to come up with your own topic, make it personal and what is even more important authentic. Keep in mind that you are not supposed to deliver a full-fledged novel. Perhaps you even have enough material to produce several volumes based on your story, but don’t get too overwhelmed. The most appealing story is the one which is concise and up-to-the-point.

The most widely used topics are the following:

  • A day to remember
  • An embarrassing situation
  • My first day as the captain
  • A date to forget
  • The biggest failure of my life
  • A lesson learned
  • The most dangerous ride ever
  • Misunderstanding that turned out to be a great success
  • Appearances can be deceptive
  • I did it
  • My biggest dream
  • The best teacher in my life
  • How I overcame the childhood fear

These topics are general enough to use them as prompts for your own story. In case you need additional assistance with anything connected with the narrative format, we have collected tons of useful essay samples. You’re welcomed to consult with our free narrative essays examples to boost your imagination.

Yet, you still have to write your own appealing story which has to be created in accordance with all the requirements of your professor. Select a topic that means a lot to you and about which you are eager to write. With an engaging title, a meaningful message, and the necessary structural division, it will penetrate deep into the minds of the readers!

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