The narrative essay assignment basically asks students to write a story. It should relate to some theme being discussed and class and should include a number of descriptions using carefully chose language that address the five human senses. There are several ways to effectively write a narrative essay, but if this is your first time you should stick to a basic structure to ensure you do well in the assignment and receive a high grade:
The most effective way of telling a narrative story is doing so chronologically. You can certainly tell a story in different ways, but until you’ve grasped a good sense of style it’s best to keep things simple. In its most basic form a chronological story should have a beginning, middle, and an end. Use transitional words or phrases to signal movement or time lapses in between paragraphs and keep the sentences within each paragraph in sequential order to make the narrative easy to understand.
This is perhaps the most important element in structuring a great narrative essay – plot. Something needs to be happening in your story for it to be interesting. It should follow the same five elements you will see in most stories of fiction: introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and a resolution.
Characters are extremely important to the overall development of the narrative story and help to move the essay forward. Typically, you can use both major and minor characters and have them interact throughout with you the protagonist. However, since you will be limited in your page or word count you will have to make sure the characters you choose are important and drive the plot.
A good story must have some kind of conflict the protagonist (in this case you) has to overcome. It should relate to the overall theme and fit within the confines of the events happening in the essay. The best way to incorporate a conflict is to have it develop alongside the plot and be resolved before the end of the narrative essay.
Each narrative essay you write should relate to a theme. You may be given a list of themes in the assignment prompt or asked to connect your essay with something that is being discussed in class, whatever it may be the theme must be addressed and easily identifiable in your writing – either implicitly or explicitly.
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