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How to Begin Writing Your Narrative Essay

Before you can even begin writing your narrative essay, you have to think long and hard about which experience you want to write about. Keep in mind that this experience has to be recreated for an audience that wasn’t there so it should contain as much detail and description as possible. Therefore, only pick past or imaginary experiences that you can effectively recreate for the reader.

Next, you need to understand why such an experience has so much significance for you. Before you begin writing everything down, try to think of the experience as a whole while listing many of the minute details that you can refer back to while writing. In addition, you may find it helpful to create an outline with all parts in a logical order so that your narrative essay flows together naturally.

Sample Narrative Essay Topics

  • An epiphany you’ve had
  • A time you reached a goal
  • A time you failed
  • Something that completely changed your life
  • A childhood memory
  • Your first love
  • Your first year in college
  • The best news you’ve ever gotten
  • Your most embarrassing moment
  • If you could live in another century

The Narrative Essay Writing Process

After you’ve chosen a topic that you would like to write about, you need to use your outline so that you don’t leave out any important details along the way. Be sure to use as many clear descriptions and details as you can so that you can effectively recreate the experience for your reader. Imagine yourself as the reader. Can you see everything clearly in your mind even if you weren’t there? If the answer is no, then you need to work on your narrative essay’s descriptive details. Your readers weren’t there so it’s up to you to recreate the experience for them.

Narrative Essay Methods

All three of the following are effective ways to write a narrative essay:
  • Start your narrative essay by explaining the experience’s significance so that your readers will be aware of it throughout the essay.
  • Dive into your essay without an introduction of the problem or situation and end it by explaining the significance.
  • Introduce the experience but save the significance for last.

Useful Revising Tips

  • Give yourself some space from your narrative essay.
  • Ask others to read it and give you feedback
  • Include more details and descriptions when needed
  • Discard all unnecessary or distracting information
  • Ask yourself whether your essay is arranged in the most effective order.

Narrative Essay Examples

It was a dark and cold night in mid-October. The air was crisp and smelled of fires burning the fallen leaves. I remember looking up at the night sky and wondering why the flickering bits of light were arranged the way they were. Grandma saw my pondering eyes and began explaining to me the significance of the stars and showed me some of the more famous constellations. With her old and withered hand, she pointed out Orion’s Belt and Taurus the Bull and explained the mythological stories as well. But it was her explanation of the North Star’s importance that would save my life many years later on a camping trip with some friends…..

After falling off a mountain on a ski trip in junior high school, I decided to become a doctor. This event changed my life more than anything else. One minute I was skiing with my dad and enjoying life when I crashed head-on into a tree. All I felt was pain swelling my noggin and the cold around my body. I woke up hours later in a warm and comfortable hospital room, well on my way to recovery. But what the doctors did was truly miraculous and I will never forget what they did in order to save my life…

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