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How to Write a Short Story Essay – Complete Guide
- January 22, 2021
- Blogs , Essay Writing Guideline
A short story essay is a blended type of short writing that consolidates an essay’s components and a short story. The word tally of a short story paper is generally between 1000 to 5000 words. This kind of article is not quite the same as a short story or simply a five-section exposition.
A short story exposition consolidates the fiction in a short story and the non-anecdotal straightforwardness related to an essay. Finding some kind of harmony between the two to guarantee your reader gets the message is vital. Nonetheless, the important abilities for doing it when composing a short exposition probably won’t be that simple.
How to Write a Short Story
In case you’re prepared to handle this type of creative writing or simply need to figure out how to compose a short story to fortify the general nature of your book, here’s the manner by which you can do that.
Zero in on Character Development
For a short story to be effective, you need to know your character well. Having great character development is fundamental in short stories since your characters frequently drive the story.
You just have a specific measure of time to show your readers who that individual is, and you can’t do that if you don’t have the foggiest idea of what their identity is.
Here is how to focus on character development.
If you compose a short tale about your closest companion, whom you’ve known for a long time, as opposed to somebody you just met yesterday, you’ll have the option to make a lot more grounded anecdote about your closest companion since you know them so well.
The equivalent goes for your anecdotal characters.
You don’t need to invest a huge load of energy in your fundamental character, however, know their set of experiences, age, character, day-to-day life, companion life, love life, and different details that shape the manner in which somebody sees the world.
Remember that since your short story is, indeed, more limited than a novel, you may eliminate a couple of steps. Knowing the general character venture, be that as it may, can be useful for character improvement inside short stories.
Fortunately, the outlining process for a short story is a lot simpler than a full novel; you need to create one in order to have a cohesive flow throughout the story.
This is unquestionably helpful for those of you who are inclined toward outlining versus simply composing on a whim.
This is what your outline ought to include for a short story:
- The perspective you’ll utilize
- How you’ll begin the story
- How you’ll get from the earliest starting point to the main issue
- What occurs at the “peak” (indeed, even short stories have one!)
- The goal of the fundamental issue
- The very end
Remember that your short story can end unexpectedly or you can substance it out until there’s a satisfying ending.
Start with something strange
To snare readers with a short story, you should begin with something that will grab somebody’s eye.
You don’t need to begin your short story with something as weird; however, you would like to give your readers a feeling of who your character is by depicting something else immediately that additionally has to do with the core focus of your short story.
Complete the draft ASAP
This is particularly the situation with regards to short stories. When you have your framework and ability to begin composing, drafting the short story in full comes straightaway.
Try not to worry about editing or proofreading the story in any capacity at the present time. All things considered, you can’t in any way, make great edits until you understand what the story looks like in full.
Edit your short story
Editing is the place where the polishing of a paper happens with regard to composing. We as a whole have this thought in our psyches that we’ll get it amazing the first run through, and that is simply not how composing functions.
More often than not, your first draft is only the stripped-down of what’s to come yet through line editing, formative alters, and proofreading, it will change into something better.
Consider serious composing as the wooden design of a house and the editing as the drywall, paint, windows, light apparatuses, entryways, and whatever else that will make the house complete.
These are a couple of things to look out for when editing your short story:
- Point of view consistency
- Tense consistency
- Consistency with the setting of your story
- Demonstrating as opposed to telling (readers need you to show more!)
- Stronger imagery
- Spelling/language structure/exchange
The editing process for short stories is basically the equivalent of books. The solitary contrast is that short stories will in general zero in more on symbolism and composition than they do full character and plot improvement.
This can be quite possibly the most troublesome thing for any book, not to mention a story that is simply a couple hundred to two or three thousand words.
What you need to consider while naming your short story is this:
- What’s the overall topic?
- What is a novel thing about the story?
- What sounds captivating, however, not illustrative?
- What bodes well after reading the short story?
These inquiries will assist you with building up a title that bodes well, but at the same time is sufficiently captivating to pull readers in while remaining consistent with what is the issue here.
Regardless of how experienced you are as an essayist, you need criticism.
To learn and improve your writing , you need another person’s open-minded perspectives on it.
We need this assistance on the grounds that the basic reality is; we’re excessively near our composition.
It’s difficult to read your story with a critical eye when you’re the person who concocted and composed it in the first place.
Permitting expert writers to peruse your work and offer criticism is probably the most ideal approach to improve and ensure your story is actually how you need it.
Practice by composing short stories regularly
The main most ideal approach to figure out how to compose great short stories is by keeping in touch with them frequently.
When you’re composing routinely, your cerebrum falls into the propensity for being imaginative and thinking as far as short stories.
The more you do it, the simpler it will get, and the more you’ll improve. So focus on composing a specific number of short stories every week and adhere to that – regardless of whether they aren’t your top choice.
Compose one short story consistently for 30 days
This is discrete from composing short stories frequently. If you truly need to launch your advance and get great immediately, at that point make a test for yourself.
Think of one short story, regardless of whether it’s 500 or 1,000 words , every day for a whole month.
At the point when you’re set, you’ll have 30 full short stories to audit, edit, and refine. Doing this forms a propensity, yet it additionally gives you a great deal of involvement rapidly.
Zero in on a single message to share
Short stories are known for being significant despite the fact that they’re not novel-length.
Furthermore, that implies they must have a central topic or message you need to get across. This can be anything from adoring yourself to disregarding cultural assumptions.
To do this, consider what you need individuals to leave your story feeling.
What is the ideal result?
If you simply need individuals to appreciate the story, that is extraordinary. Nonetheless, what makes a story significant and pleasant is the thing that readers get from it.
Conceptualize a few topics that are essential to you and work your short story around them. This will make you care about your story and satisfy your readers.
Tie it up with a fantastic closure
No one prefers a story that closes on a significant cliffhanger.
It’s alright for your short story to have an uncertain completion. Truth be told, that will probably be the case essentially on the grounds that the story is… indeed, short.
Yet, you would like to tie your story up to such that leaves the reader feeling fulfilled regardless of whether they didn’t find all the solutions.
Ordinarily, this implies getting back to a thought or component introduced at the outset.
This design regularly permits readers to feel like they’ve perused a total story versus simply a section of a bigger one.
Examples of Short Story Essay Topics
- Your character opens the letter to find the greatest dread inside.
- After a staggering fall, your character is learning the difficulties of recuperating after a mishap.
- Your character inadvertently affronts their organization’s CEO – just before a major promotion.
- Your character lost a child years back yet lives as though it simply happened the day before.
- Your character’s town shrewd lady recounts the narrative of how sorcery was lost because of misuse.
- Your character lives in a space case voyaging space, and they’re additionally claustrophobic.
- Debris glided from the peak and got up your character from their night’s rest.
- Your character hasn’t eaten in days and stumbles upon real berries, thus does a starving bear.
- At the point when your character’s heart is broken, they should figure out how to mend it – anyway.
- Your character is an orphaned 7-year-old who hears voices.
Short Story in an Essay
Other than the blended classification of composing, you can specify a short story in a paper. There is a sure method to do this, however. You need to realize how to compose the title of a short story in an article and how to cite a short story in an exposition.
When you compose a short story in a paper, you need to demonstrate that you are alluding to the story. If it is the title of one single short story, you compose it in quotes. If it is an assortment of short stories, the title ought to be composed in italics.
If you are referring to a section or page from a short story, just put it in quotes and you are all set. Regardless of whether you are composing a short story analysis exposition or a paper on short stories where you refer to a lot of sections, you should have the extricated passages in quotes to help your readers realize that it is replicated. You can even have your references stated to evade charges of plagiarism.
Also read : How to Analyse a Short Story
Purpose of Learning How to Write a Short Story
Here are the reasons why you should learn how to write a short story.
You gain proficiency with the skills of showing
When you just have a couple of pages to snare readers, illustrate the character, and recount a story, you wind up dominating the ability to show as opposed to telling.
You’ll fortify individual chapters
Regardless of in the case, you’re a fiction essayist or in the event that you favor non-fiction, the thought here is the equivalent.
A chapter is fundamentally a short story that is a piece of a greater entirety. Similar abilities you apply to compose an incredible short story will likewise assist you with composing stronger chapters.
Each piece of your book ought to be cleaned, solid, and alluring for your readers. Utilizing short story composing strategies will assist you with accomplishing that inside your parts.
Why are composing chapters significant if there’s an entire book accessible for somebody to peruse? Because it snares readers and keeps them turning that page.
The explanation behind this is on the grounds that, to achieve a fruitful and great short story, showing is a significant piece of that.
It’s extremely hard to compose an incredible short story without indicating the details and utilizing solid action words to paint a clear image of your character’s life.
Those abilities will transfer into anything you compose, consequently making it greatly improved.
It makes the story areas of your true to life book additionally charming
Each nonfiction book has partitions where stories should be advised to convey the idea.
This is the thing that permits individuals to identify with you as a writer, which pulls them in more profound and makes the central message of your book impact them more.
However, if those accounts are feeble, not elegantly composed, and dull, it’s far-fetched somebody will appreciate them so much.
All things considered, your message will get lost on the grounds that the book doesn’t convey a similar effect.
How Long are Short Stories?
Short stories ought to stay under 7,000 words to be viewed as “short stories”. They can be as short as just one sentence, as this is known as flash fiction.
You definitely realize that short stories are… more limited than your normal novel however do they have some other contrast?
As should be obvious, the primary distinction is length, yet that is not all. At the point when you compose a short story, you’re just composing an exceptionally effective piece of your character’s generally full life.
You don’t need to unload your whole character’s biography in two or three hundred words to compose an incredible short story.
Tips on Writing a Short Story
Here are the tips for writing a short story.
- You ought to compose to a greater degree a description than a dialogue in your paper.
- Add a twist to your story. It will help keep your readers on the edge and give them a specific fascination.
- Ensure your first paragraph is catchy. As you don’t have many occasions to grow and allow your readers to get intrigued, ensure they are snared from the first paragraph.
- Start your story building to peak and convey a goal toward the end.
- Make strong characters with multi-faceted highlights that make them as strong as could reasonably be expected and relatable to your crowd.
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How Do I Write a Summary Essay?
How Do I Write a Research Report?
How Do I Write a Short Story Essay?
- By English Essay Writing Tips
The Short Story Essay
by Owen Fourie
“ Yes! A short story!”
I have found that most students react favorably to an assignment requiring them to write a short story. They sense that the straitjacket has been removed, and the creative juices begin to flow.
Of course, for some students who have a long tale to tell, the shackles are still there in the form of a restriction to a certain number of words. If you find yourself in such a position, take it as a challenge that will serve to heighten your creativity as you teach yourself to write a complete short story in 1,000 words or 1,500 words. Occasionally, you could also feel restricted if your instructor rules out a certain genre, such as romance.
Bear in mind that writing a short story is a measure not only of your ability to write but also of your appreciation of how literature works. Good storytelling always has a structure, which we call a plot or a plotline, and this is what you need to demonstrate in your essay. Before dealing specifically with the development of the plot, you must choose your topic for a short story.
Hatching the plot
When you receive your assignment, make a list of your ideas taking into account the required length and the permitted genres. Ask yourself these questions:
- What are my interests? Skiing? Ice skating? Coin collecting? Egyptology? Ballet? Skateboarding?
- Which of these interests will serve as a good vehicle for a short story?
- What will be the problem or the conflict to be resolved?
- Who will be the hero, the heroine, the protagonist?
- Who will be the villain, the antagonist?
- Where will the story take place? Choose a setting familiar to you.
- When will it take place? Is it historical, contemporary, futuristic, science fiction? Remember that it is easier and better to keep the time frame of a short story spanning only a matter of a few days, perhaps an hour, but generally not less than that.
By asking these questions, your answers to some of them will already prepare the way for the development of the plot. At this point you need to work on your outline. To do so, you need to take the elements of the plotline into account. Simply stated, the plotline reveals the following stages:
- The exposition giving the time, the place, and the characters involved;
- The rising action revealing the problem, the conflict;
- The climax: the high point of the story where the action will take the characters one way or the other;
- The falling action telling of events leading from the climax to the resolution;
- The resolution telling how all the tensions and complications of the problem or the conflict have been resolved.
As you work on your outline, you need to work according to the plotline. The simplest form for the shortest of stories will devote one paragraph to each of these stages, perhaps two or three paragraphs for the rising action. With your outline complete, you are ready to write your story.
Getting down to writing … and a twist
Your writing should proceed through several drafts. In the first draft, you simply write without hesitation or much care about grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Your objective is to get the story down on paper without being troubled by any thoughts of whether this is correct, although you must keep to your outline.
As you come to your second draft, you take more care, you edit, and you correct obvious errors. With each draft, you improve your story, and the more drafts you make, the better your story should be. Once you have typed what you hope will be the final copy, leave it for a day or two–more, if possible–before returning to it and proofreading it. That proofreading will probably reveal more errors that have to be corrected before you print out the real final copy.
There are two more important points that you need to bear in mind as you write your story:
- Description versus dialog: When you write a short story, you should focus on narration rather than dialog. While some dialog is permissible–dialog that is essential to move the story forward–remember that you are not writing a play. Your narration can be in the first person as one of the characters telling the story or in the third person (or third person omniscient) as an outside observer. If you write in the first person, avoid telling a story that amounts to an autobiographical narrative .
- The best short stories contain a twist that comes at the very end to catch the reader off guard. Throughout the story, the writer gives hints of what will be revealed in the end, but they are subtle hints that will still leave the reader saying, “Of course! I should have seen that,” as the twist in the tale is given.
An excellent example of this is seen in O. Henry’s “After Twenty Years.” It is a little under 1,300 words in length and is easily and quickly read. Interestingly, the writer makes good use of dialog that moves the story forward–not one-word lines of exclamations, or only a few words in a series of single-line exchanges, but paragraphs of several lines spoken by each character. That is proper use of dialog in a short story. You will find the link to “After Twenty Years” at the end of this post.
If you follow all that I have told you here, you should be able to write a good short story and enjoy doing it too.
What is your experience with writing short stories? Do you have any useful insights? What are your particular struggles? What are your thoughts about O. Henry’s “After Twenty Years” as a model for short story writing? Your comments, observations, and questions are welcome.
Link to O. Henry’s short story “After Twenty Years” : http://www.enotes.com/best-o-henry-text/after-twenty-years
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48 Writing About Short Fiction
Dr. Karen Palmer
Analysis means to break something down in order to better understand how it works. To analyze a literary work is to pull it apart and look at its discrete components to see how those components contribute to the meaning and/or effect of the whole. Thus, a literary analysis argument considers what has been learned in analyzing a work (What do the parts look like and how do they function?) and forwards a particular perspective on their contribution to the whole (In light of the author’s use of diction, for example, what meaning does the novel, as a whole, yield?).
When writing a critical theory paper, your goal is to bring out a deeper meaning in a text through the application of a critical theory. For instance, you might show how an author illustrates the status of women in a particular time period (as in “The Story of an Hour”) or how a short story’s focus on money or status highlights a disparity between the classes (“The Necklace”).
Your own findings from your analysis of the primary text should be a priority in your interpretation of the work. Analytical skills are invaluable as you explore any subject, investigating the subject by breaking it down and looking closely at how it functions. Finding patterns in your observations, then, helps you to interpret your analysis and communicate to others how you came to your conclusions about the subject’s meaning and/or effect. As you make your case to the readers, it is crucial that you make it clear how your perspective is relevant to them. Ideally, they will come away from your argument intrigued by the new insights you have revealed about the subject.
Step 5: Researching
Although analysis is a crucial phase in writing about any subject, the next step of contributing to society’s knowledge and understanding is to participate in the scholarly dialog on the subject. The dialog among scholars, conveyed through academic articles and books, is a crucial resource for any researcher.
Regardless of the type of critical lens you are using for your paper, discovering more about the author of the text can add to your understanding of the text and add depth to your argument. Author pages are located in the Literature Online ProQuest database. Here, you can find information about an author and his/her work, along with a list of recent articles written about the author. This is a wonderful starting point for your research.
The next step is to attempt to locate an article about the text itself. It’s important to narrow down your database choices to the Literature category. In some cases, the options will be numerous. You can narrow down the choices by adding your critical lens to the search terms. ie “Story of an Hour” and feminism
In the case that your results are very limited, you might need to think outside of the box. Look for the author’s name and your critical theory. It’s possibly that articles have been written about another of the author’s pieces that can still add to your project. Another option is to search the full ProQuest database or the newspaper databases. Some periodicals publish literary criticism and reviews. Since they are popular, rather than academic, sources, these may be found in the periodical databases, rather than the literature options.
Another option is to search for an article relating to the critical lens you’ve chosen. For example, you might look for an article on the key elements of feminist literary criticism or on Freud’s id, ego, and superego to help you support your argument.
Finally, you might look for articles pertinent to an issue discussed in the short story. For example, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is about the treatment of post-partum depression. A modern day article on the appropriate treatment for this illness or a survey of the treatment of the illness could be a fantastic addition to your paper.
Remember, it is helpful to keep a Research Journal to track your research. Your journal should include, at a minimum, the correct MLA citation of the source, a brief summary of the article, and any quotes that stick out to you. A note about how you think the article adds to your understanding of the topic or might contribute to your project is a good addition, as well.
Step 6: Creating a Thesis and Outline
By the time you have completed an analysis of the story and finished your research, you should have a pretty clear idea about what you want to say about the text you’ve chosen. Your thesis should convey the main point you want to make about the story as viewed through the lens you chose. Perhaps you are looking at “The Yellow Wallpaper” through a feminist lens. Perhaps you want to call attention to the fact that women’s voices were unheard in their battles with post-partum depression. Your thesis might say something like, “Gilman used her short story to highlight the inappropriate and often harmful treatment women suffering from post-partum depression received and, in so doing, advocated for women’s voices to be heard.”
Once your argument is in place, the next step is to create an outline of your paper. Remember–your outline is like the skeleton of your paper. Without a solid foundation, your argument will not work properly.
One common misconception students entertain when they approach literary analysis essays is the idea that the structure of the essay should follow the structure of the literary work. The events of short stories, novels, and plays are often related chronologically, in linear order from the moment when the first event occurs to the moment of the last. Yet, it can be awkward to write a literary analysis using the story’s chronology as a basic structure for your own essay. Often, this approach leads to an essay that simply summarizes the literary work. Since a literary analysis paper should avoid summary for summary’s sake, the writer should avoid an essay structure that results in that pattern.
If chronology is not the primary structural factor in setting up a literary analysis paper, what is? You might consider the following hints in arranging the points of your own essay:
- What are your major points?
- What order will most effectively lead the reader to your perspective on this subject?
- Paragraph breaks should (a) cue the reader regarding shifts in focus and (b) break down ideas into small enough chunks that the reader does not lose sight of the currently emphasized point. On the other hand, in an academic essay, the paragraphs should not seem “choppy.” Rather each should be long enough to develop its point thoroughly before shifting to the next.
In most cases, a literary analysis outline will have the following parts:
- Introduction (hook, topic, thesis)
- Summary of the work and background of the author
- Argument (at least three points)
Here is a complete student outline for the story, “Everything in This Country Must,” by Colum McCann.
- Thesis: In “Everything in This Country Must” the author reveals the effect that grief can have on someone through the use of terminology, relationships, imagery, irony, and paradox.
- Born in Dublin, Ireland February 28 th , 1965.
- He was a reporter.
- He is a Creative Writing Professor at Hunter College.
- When was it written?
- What time is it based in?
- A short synopsis on what it is about.
- Soldiers use expletives. A true reflection of soldiers here.
- Contrast between American perception on certain words, versus what they mean in the United Kingdom.
- What Katie calls the soldiers. For the readers’ benefit and humor.
- Father’s relationship with Mammy and Fiachra.
- Father’s relationship with Katie.
- Father’s relationship with the draft horse.
- Father’s relationship with the soldiers.
- The soldiers’ relationship with each other.
- The vivid descriptions and the extensive use of simile.
- The darkness and rain seem to reflect the mood of the story. (Note: the very last sentence of the story.)
The British soldiers, (possibly the same ones who killed Mammy and Fiachra in a car accident) are the object of all the father’s loathing and blame. But they are also the savior of his favorite horse.
The entire story is based on saving the draft horse. At the end of the story, though, the father shoots it, and it dies. Why would he do that?
Colum McCann reveals to the reader the innate and devastating effect grief can have on even the best of people. He does this in a beautiful short story and accomplished this through terminology, relationships, imagery, irony, and paradox.
Watch this video with some additional tips for creating an outline:
Step 7: Drafting
Writing an introduction.
The formula for a successful introduction for a literary analysis essay should feel very familiar to you. Your first task as a writer is to draw your readers into your essay by connecting their own experiences with the topic of your paper. This is accomplished by a hook that relates to your readers and draws them into your argument. For example, if you were writing about the treatment of post-partum depression in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” you might begin your paper with a statistic about the number of women who experience it. This statistic shows readers that your topic has significance to a modern issue and possibly to their own lives, as well.
Once you’ve successfully hooked your audience, you should transition into your topic. In this case, you’ll need to give your readers the author and title of the piece you are discussing. For example, you might say something like, “Post-partum depression is nothing new. In fact, Charlotte Perkins Gilman addresses the improper treatment of post-partum depression in her short story, ‘The Yellow Wallpaper.'” This sentence provides a bridge from the hook to the thesis.
Finally, your introduction should include a strong statement of your argument. “Gilman used her short story to highlight the inappropriate and often harmful treatment women suffering from post-partum depression received and, in so doing, advocated for women’s voices to be heard.” This final piece of the introduction leaves no doubt about the essay’s argument.
Remember that, while there are three key parts to an introduction, this does not mean that you will only have three sentences in your introductory paragraph.
When writing an analysis of a short story, it’s important to consider your readers’ experience with the text. In general, you should assume that the reader is familiar with the short story, but that it may have been awhile since they have read it. Therefore, including a brief summary of the plot of the text is an important part of ensuring that your readers can follow your argument.
Here are some basic tips for writing a summary:
- Begin with an introductory sentence that states the text’s title, author and main thesis or subject.
- Write in your own words–do not include quotes.
- In less than five sentences, tell readers the general plot of the story, including key characters, events, and ideas.
- Do not insert any of your own opinions, interpretations, deductions or comments into a summary.
Depending on the type of analysis you are writing, the information about the author might also be an important element to include in your background section. This could be as simple as a single sentence telling readers when the piece was written or as complex as a short paragraph describing the historical and cultural context of the piece.
Remember that your body paragraphs have three key components:
- Topic sentence that tells readers what point you will be discussing in the paragraph and relates back to the thesis. The topic sentence is also where you would include a transition from the previous paragraph.
- Support/Evidence for your point from the story, following the Quote Formula .
- Wrap up the paragraph by explaining to readers how the evidence you’ve provided proves your point.
Here’s a brief video explaining these the parts of a body paragraph in a literary analysis essay:
Here’s a brief video recapping the process of writing a literary analysis of the short story, “Story of an Hour”:
Incorporating Secondary Sources
One of the keys to a successful literary analysis is engaging in the academic conversation about the author and the work you’ve chosen. This means that you should incorporate your secondary sources into your analysis, as well as the primary text you are studying. Look for areas where an expert voice will help to strengthen the argument you are making in your paper. Since you’ve built your argument on your own analysis in combination with your research, this should be a fairly straightforward process. Remember to always surround quotes with your own words and follow the Quote Formula !
What this handout is about.
This handout will explain the functions of conclusions, offer strategies for writing effective ones, help you evaluate your drafted conclusions, and suggest conclusion strategies to avoid.
Introductions and conclusions can be the most difficult parts of papers to write. While the body is often easier to write, it needs a frame around it. An introduction and conclusion frame your thoughts and bridge your ideas for the reader.
Just as your introduction acts as a bridge that transports your readers from their own lives into the “place” of your analysis, your conclusion can provide a bridge to help your readers make the transition back to their daily lives. Such a conclusion will help them see why all your analysis and information should matter to them after they put the paper down.
Your conclusion is your chance to have the last word on the subject. The conclusion allows you to have the final say on the issues you have raised in your paper, to synthesize your thoughts, to demonstrate the importance of your ideas, and to propel your reader to a new view of the subject. It is also your opportunity to make a good final impression and to end on a positive note.
Your conclusion can go beyond the confines of the assignment. The conclusion pushes beyond the boundaries of the prompt and allows you to consider broader issues, make new connections, and elaborate on the significance of your findings.
Your conclusion should make your readers glad they read your paper. Your conclusion gives your reader something to take away that will help them see things differently or appreciate your topic in personally relevant ways. It can suggest broader implications that will not only interest your reader, but also enrich your reader’s life in some way. It is your gift to the reader.
STRATEGIES FOR WRITING AN EFFECTIVE CONCLUSION
One or more of the following strategies may help you write an effective conclusion.
Friend: Why should anybody care?
You: That’s important because plantation owners tried to keep slaves from being educated so that they could maintain control. When Douglass obtained an education, he undermined that control personally.
You can also use this strategy on your own, asking yourself “So What?” as you develop your ideas or your draft.
- Return to the theme or themes in the introduction. This strategy brings the reader full circle. For example, if you begin by describing a scenario, you can end with the same scenario as proof that your essay is helpful in creating a new understanding. You may also refer to the introductory paragraph by using key words or parallel concepts and images that you also used in the introduction.
- Synthesize, don’t summarize: Include a brief summary of the paper’s main points, but don’t simply repeat things that were in your paper. Instead, show your reader how the points you made and the support and examples you used fit together. Pull it all together.
- Include a provocative insight or quotation from the research or reading you did for your paper.
- Propose a course of action, a solution to an issue, or questions for further study. This can redirect your reader’s thought process and help her to apply your info and ideas to her own life or to see the broader implications.
- Point to broader implications. For example, if your paper examines the Greensboro sit-ins or another event in the Civil Rights Movement, you could point out its impact on the Civil Rights Movement as a whole. A paper about the style of writer Virginia Woolf could point to her influence on other writers or on later feminists.
STRATEGIES TO AVOID
- Beginning with an unnecessary, overused phrase such as “in conclusion,” “in summary,” or “in closing.” Although these phrases can work in speeches, they come across as wooden and trite in writing.
- Stating the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion.
- Introducing a new idea or subtopic in your conclusion.
- Ending with a rephrased thesis statement without any substantive changes.
- Making sentimental, emotional appeals that are out of character with the rest of an analytical paper.
- Including evidence (quotations, statistics, etc.) that should be in the body of the paper.
FOUR KINDS OF INEFFECTIVE CONCLUSIONS
- The “That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It” Conclusion. This conclusion just restates the thesis and is usually painfully short. It does not push the ideas forward. People write this kind of conclusion when they can’t think of anything else to say. Example: In conclusion, Frederick Douglass was, as we have seen, a pioneer in American education, proving that education was a major force for social change with regard to slavery.
- The “Sherlock Holmes” Conclusion. Sometimes writers will state the thesis for the very first time in the conclusion. You might be tempted to use this strategy if you don’t want to give everything away too early in your paper. You may think it would be more dramatic to keep the reader in the dark until the end and then “wow” him with your main idea, as in a Sherlock Holmes mystery. The reader, however, does not expect a mystery, but an analytical discussion of your topic in an academic style, with the main argument (thesis) stated up front. Example: (After a paper that lists numerous incidents from the book but never says what these incidents reveal about Douglass and his views on education): So, as the evidence above demonstrates, Douglass saw education as a way to undermine the slaveholders’ power and also an important step toward freedom.
- The “America the Beautiful”/”I Am Woman”/”We Shall Overcome” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion usually draws on emotion to make its appeal, but while this emotion and even sentimentality may be very heartfelt, it is usually out of character with the rest of an analytical paper. A more sophisticated commentary, rather than emotional praise, would be a more fitting tribute to the topic. Example: Because of the efforts of fine Americans like Frederick Douglass, countless others have seen the shining beacon of light that is education. His example was a torch that lit the way for others. Frederick Douglass was truly an American hero.
- The “Grab Bag” Conclusion. This kind of conclusion includes extra information that the writer found or thought of but couldn’t integrate into the main paper. You may find it hard to leave out details that you discovered after hours of research and thought, but adding random facts and bits of evidence at the end of an otherwise-well-organized essay can just create confusion. Example: In addition to being an educational pioneer, Frederick Douglass provides an interesting case study for masculinity in the American South. He also offers historians an interesting glimpse into slave resistance when he confronts Covey, the overseer. His relationships with female relatives reveal the importance of family in the slave community.
We consulted these works while writing the original version of this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find the latest publications on this topic. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial .
All quotations are from:
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave , edited and with introduction by Houston A. Baker, Jr., New York: Penguin Books, 1986.
Strategies for Writing a Conclusion. Literacy Education Online, St. Cloud State University. 18 May 2005 <http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/acadwrite/conclude.html>.
Conclusions. Nesbitt-Johnston Writing Center, Hamilton College. 17 May 2005 <http://www.hamilton.edu/academic/Resource/WC/SampleConclusions.html>.
Here’s a sample student paper that uses psychological criticism to analyze Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Black Cat”:
- Content created by Dr. Karen Palmer. Licensed under CC BY NC SA .
- Content adapted from Writing and Literature , licensed under CC BY SA .
- Summary content adapted from “ Writing a Summary ” licensed under CC BY .
- Conclusions from UNC Writing Center and licensed CC BY-NC-ND.
The Worry Free Writer Copyright © 2020 by Dr. Karen Palmer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
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How to write a narrative essay [Updated 2023]
A narrative essay is an opportunity to flex your creative muscles and craft a compelling story. In this blog post, we define what a narrative essay is and provide strategies and examples for writing one.
What is a narrative essay?
Similarly to a descriptive essay or a reflective essay, a narrative essay asks you to tell a story, rather than make an argument and present evidence. Most narrative essays describe a real, personal experience from your own life (for example, the story of your first big success).
Alternately, your narrative essay might focus on an imagined experience (for example, how your life would be if you had been born into different circumstances). While you don’t need to present a thesis statement or scholarly evidence, a narrative essay still needs to be well-structured and clearly organized so that the reader can follow your story.
When you might be asked to write a narrative essay
Although less popular than argumentative essays or expository essays, narrative essays are relatively common in high school and college writing classes.
The same techniques that you would use to write a college essay as part of a college or scholarship application are applicable to narrative essays, as well. In fact, the Common App that many students use to apply to multiple colleges asks you to submit a narrative essay.
How to choose a topic for a narrative essay
When you are asked to write a narrative essay, a topic may be assigned to you or you may be able to choose your own. With an assigned topic, the prompt will likely fall into one of two categories: specific or open-ended.
Examples of specific prompts:
- Write about the last vacation you took.
- Write about your final year of middle school.
Examples of open-ended prompts:
- Write about a time when you felt all hope was lost.
- Write about a brief, seemingly insignificant event that ended up having a big impact on your life.
A narrative essay tells a story and all good stories are centered on a conflict of some sort. Experiences with unexpected obstacles, twists, or turns make for much more compelling essays and reveal more about your character and views on life.
If you’re writing a narrative essay as part of an admissions application, remember that the people reviewing your essay will be looking at it to gain a sense of not just your writing ability, but who you are as a person.
In these cases, it’s wise to choose a topic and experience from your life that demonstrates the qualities that the prompt is looking for, such as resilience, perseverance, the ability to stay calm under pressure, etc.
It’s also important to remember that your choice of topic is just a starting point. Many students find that they arrive at new ideas and insights as they write their first draft, so the final form of your essay may have a different focus than the one you started with.
How to outline and format a narrative essay
Even though you’re not advancing an argument or proving a point of view, a narrative essay still needs to have a coherent structure. Your reader has to be able to follow you as you tell the story and to figure out the larger point that you’re making.
You’ll be evaluated on is your handling of the topic and how you structure your essay. Even though a narrative essay doesn’t use the same structure as other essay types, you should still sketch out a loose outline so you can tell your story in a clear and compelling way.
To outline a narrative essay, you’ll want to determine:
- how your story will start
- what points or specifics that you want to cover
- how your story will end
- what pace and tone you will use
In the vast majority of cases, a narrative essay should be written in the first-person, using “I.” Also, most narrative essays will follow typical formatting guidelines, so you should choose a readable font like Times New Roman in size 11 or 12. Double-space your paragraphs and use 1” margins.
To get your creative wheels turning, consider how your story compares to archetypes and famous historical and literary figures both past and present. Weave these comparisons into your essay to improve the quality of your writing and connect your personal experience to a larger context.
How to write a narrative essay
Writing a narrative essay can sometimes be a challenge for students who typically write argumentative essays or research papers in a formal, objective style. To give you a better sense of how you can write a narrative essay, here is a short example of an essay in response to the prompt, “Write about an experience that challenged your view of yourself.”
Narrative essay example
Even as a child, I always had what people might call a reserved personality. It was sometimes framed as a positive (“Sarah is a good listener”) and at other times it was put in less-than-admiring terms (“Sarah is withdrawn and not very talkative”). It was the latter kind of comments that caused me to see my introverted nature as a drawback and as something I should work to eliminate. That is, until I joined my high school’s student council.
The first paragraph, or introduction, sets up the context, establishing the situation and introducing the meaningful event upon which the essay will focus.
The other four students making up the council were very outspoken and enthusiastic. I enjoyed being around them, and I often agreed with their ideas. However, when it came to overhauling our school’s recycling plan, we butted heads. When I spoke up and offered a different point of view, one of my fellow student council members launched into a speech, advocating for her point of view. As her voice filled the room, I couldn’t get a word in edgewise. I wondered if I should try to match her tone, volume, and assertiveness as a way to be heard. But I just couldn’t do it—it’s not my way, and it never has been. For a fleeting moment, I felt defeated. But then, something in me shifted.
In this paragraph, the writer goes into greater depth about how her existing thinking brought her to this point.
I reminded myself that my view was valid and deserved to be heard. So I waited. I let my fellow council member speak her piece and when she was finished, I deliberately waited a few moments before calmly stating my case. I chose my words well, and I spoke them succinctly. Just because I’m not a big talker doesn’t mean I’m not a big thinker. I thought of the quotation “still waters run deep” and I tried to embody that. The effect on the room was palpable. People listened. And I hadn’t had to shout my point to be heard.
This paragraph demonstrates the turn in the story, the moment when everything changed. The use of the quotation “still waters run deep” imbues the story with a dash of poetry and emotion.
We eventually reached a compromise on the matter and concluded the student council meeting. Our council supervisor came to me afterward and said: “You handled that so well, with such grace and poise. I was very impressed.” Her words in that moment changed me. I realized that a bombastic nature isn't necessarily a powerful one. There is power in quiet, too. This experience taught me to view my reserved personality not as a character flaw, but as a strength.
The final paragraph, or conclusion, closes with a statement about the significance of this event and how it ended up changing the writer in a meaningful way.
Narrative essay writing tips
1. pick a meaningful story that has a conflict and a clear “moral.”.
If you’re able to choose your own topic, pick a story that has meaning and that reveals how you became the person your are today. In other words, write a narrative with a clear “moral” that you can connect with your main points.
2. Use an outline to arrange the structure of your story and organize your main points.
Although a narrative essay is different from argumentative essays, it’s still beneficial to construct an outline so that your story is well-structured and organized. Note how you want to start and end your story, and what points you want to make to tie everything together.
3. Be clear, concise, concrete, and correct in your writing.
You should use descriptive writing in your narrative essay, but don’t overdo it. Use clear, concise, and correct language and grammar throughout. Additionally, make concrete points that reinforce the main idea of your narrative.
4. Ask a friend or family member to proofread your essay.
No matter what kind of writing you’re doing, you should always plan to proofread and revise. To ensure that your narrative essay is coherent and interesting, ask a friend or family member to read over your paper. This is especially important if your essay is responding to a prompt. It helps to have another person check to make sure that you’ve fully responded to the prompt or question.
Frequently Asked Questions about narrative essays
A narrative essay, like any essay, has three main parts: an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Structuring and outlining your essay before you start writing will help you write a clear story that your readers can follow.
The first paragraph of your essay, or introduction, sets up the context, establishing the situation and introducing the meaningful event upon which the essay will focus.
In the vast majority of cases, a narrative essay should be written in the first-person, using “I.”
The 4 main types of essays are the argumentative essay, narrative essay, exploratory essay, and expository essay. You may be asked to write different types of essays at different points in your education.
Most narrative essays will be around five paragraphs, or more, depending on the topic and requirements. Make sure to check in with your instructor about the guidelines for your essay. If you’re writing a narrative essay for a college application, pay close attention to word or page count requirements.
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Last updated on Oct 29, 2023
How to Write a Short Story in 9 Simple Steps
This post is written by UK writer Robert Grossmith. His short stories have been widely anthologized, including in The Time Out Book of London Short Stories , The Best of Best Short Stories , and The Penguin Book of First World War Stories . You can collaborate with him on your own short stories here on Reedsy .
Writing a short story is, in many ways, more challenging than writing a novel. How can you develop your characters, conflict, and premise — all within the space of a few pages? Where can you find an idea worthy of being such a short story?
In this article, I’ll take you through the process of writing a short story, from idea conception to the final draft.
How to write a short story:
1. Know what a short story is versus a novel
2. pick a simple, central premise, 3. build a small but distinct cast of characters, 4. begin writing close to the end, 5. shut out your internal editor, 6. finish the first draft, 7. edit the short story, 8. share the story with beta readers, 9. submit the short story to publications.
But first, let’s talk about what makes a short story different from a novel.
The simple answer to this question, of course, is that the short story is shorter than the novel, usually coming in at between, say, 1,000-15,000 words. Any shorter and you’re into flash fiction territory. Any longer and you’re approaching novella length .
As far as other features are concerned, it’s easier to define the short story by what it lacks compared to the novel . For example, the short story usually has:
- fewer characters than a novel
- a single point of view, either first person or third person
- a single storyline without subplots
- less in the way of back story or exposition than a novel
If backstory is needed at all, it should come late in the story and be kept to a minimum.
It’s worth remembering too that some of the best short stories consist of a single dramatic episode in the form of a vignette or epiphany.
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A short story can begin life in all sorts of ways.
It may be suggested by a simple but powerful image that imprints itself on the mind. It may derive from the contemplation of a particular character type — someone you know perhaps — that you’re keen to understand and explore. It may arise out of a memorable incident in your own life.
- Kafka began “The Metamorphosis” with the intuition that a premise in which the protagonist wakes one morning to find he’s been transformed into a giant insect would allow him to explore questions about human relationships and the human condition.
- Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” takes the basic idea of a lowly clerk who decides he will no longer do anything he doesn’t personally wish to do, and turns it into a multi-layered tale capable of a variety of interpretations.
When I look back on some of my own short stories, I find a similar dynamic at work: a simple originating idea slowly expands to become something more nuanced and less formulaic.
So how do you find this “first heartbeat” of your own short story? Here are several ways to do so.
Experiment with writing prompts
Eagle-eyed readers will notice that the story premises mentioned above actually have a great deal in common with writing prompts like the ones put forward each week in Reedsy’s short story competition . Try it out! These prompts are often themed in a way that’s designed to narrow the focus for the writer so that one isn’t confronted with a completely blank canvas.
Turn to the originals
Take a story or novel you admire and think about how you might rework it, changing a key element. (“Pride and Prejudice and Vampires” is perhaps an extreme product of this exercise.) It doesn’t matter that your proposed reworking will probably never amount to more than a skimpy mental reimagining — it may well throw up collateral narrative possibilities along the way.
Keep a notebook
Finally, keep a notebook in which to jot down stray observations and story ideas whenever they occur to you. Again, most of what you write will be stuff you never return to, and it may even fail to make sense when you reread it. But lurking among the dross may be that one rough diamond that makes all the rest worthwhile.
Like I mentioned earlier, short stories usually contain far fewer characters than novels. Readers also need to know far less about the characters in a short story than we do in a novel (sometimes it’s the lack of information about a particular character in a story that adds to the mystery surrounding them, making them more compelling).
Yet it remains the case that creating memorable characters should be one of your principal goals. Think of your own family, friends and colleagues. Do you ever get them confused with one another? Probably not.
Your dramatis personae should be just as easily distinguishable from one another, either through their appearance, behavior, speech patterns, or some other unique trait. If you find yourself struggling, a character profile template like the one you can download for free below is particularly helpful in this stage of writing.
Reedsy’s Character Profile Template
A story is only as strong as its characters. Fill this out to develop yours.
- “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman features a cast of two: the narrator and her husband. How does Gilman give her narrator uniquely identifying features?
- “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe features a cast of three: the narrator, the old man, and the police. How does Poe use speech patterns in dialogue and within the text itself to convey important information about the narrator?
- “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor is perhaps an exception: its cast of characters amounts to a whopping (for a short story) nine. How does she introduce each character? In what way does she make each character, in particular The Misfit, distinct?
He’s right: avoid the preliminary exposition or extended scene-setting. Begin your story by plunging straight into the heart of the action. What most readers want from a story is drama and conflict, and this is often best achieved by beginning in media res . You have no time to waste in a short story. The first sentence of your story is crucial, and needs to grab the reader’s attention to make them want to read on.
One way to do this is to write an opening sentence that makes the reader ask questions. For example, Kingsley Amis once said, tongue-in-cheek, that in the future he would only read novels that began with the words: “A shot rang out.”
This simple sentence is actually quite telling. It introduces the stakes: there’s an immediate element of physical danger, and therefore jeopardy for someone. But it also raises questions that the reader will want answered. Who fired the shot? Who or what were they aiming at, and why? Where is this happening?
We read fiction for the most part to get answers to questions. For example, if you begin your story with a character who behaves in an unexpected way, the reader will want to know why he or she is behaving like this. What motivates their unusual behavior? Do they know that what they’re doing or saying is odd? Do they perhaps have something to hide? Can we trust this character?
As the author, you can answer these questions later (that is, answer them dramatically rather than through exposition). But since we’re speaking of the beginning of a story, at the moment it’s enough simply to deliver an opening sentence that piques the reader’s curiosity, raises questions, and keeps them reading.
“Anything goes” should be your maxim when embarking on your first draft.
How to Craft a Killer Short Story
From pacing to character development, master the elements of short fiction.
By that, I mean: kill the editor in your head and give your imagination free rein. Remember, you’re beginning with a blank page. Anything you put down will be an improvement on what’s currently there, which is nothing. And there’s a prescription for any obstacle you might encounter at this stage of writing.
- Worried that you’re overwriting? Don’t worry. It’s easier to cut material in later drafts once you’ve sketched out the whole story.
- Got stuck, but know what happens later? Leave a gap. There’s no necessity to write the story sequentially. You can always come back and fill in the gap once the rest of the story is complete.
- Have a half-developed scene that’s hard for you to get onto the page? Write it in note form for the time being. You might find that it relieves the pressure of having to write in complete sentences from the get-go.
Most of my stories were begun with no idea of their eventual destination, but merely an approximate direction of travel. To put it another way, I’m a ‘pantser’ (flying by the seat of my pants, making it up as I go along) rather than a planner. There is, of course, no right way to write your first draft. What matters is that you have a first draft on your hands at the end of the day.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of the ending of a short story : it can rescue an inferior story or ruin an otherwise superior one.
If you’re a planner, you will already know the broad outlines of the ending. If you’re a pantser like me, you won’t — though you’ll hope that a number of possible endings will have occurred to you in the course of writing and rewriting the story!
In both cases, keep in mind that what you’re after is an ending that’s true to the internal logic of the story without being obvious or predictable. What you want to avoid is an ending that evokes one of two reactions:
- “Is that it?” aka “The author has failed to resolve the questions raised by the story.”
- “WTF!” aka “This ending is simply confusing.”
Like Truman Capote said, “Good writing is rewriting.”
Once you have a first draft, the real work begins. This is when you move things around, tightening the nuts and bolts of the piece to make sure it holds together and resembles the shape it took in your mind when you first conceived it.
In most cases, this means reading through your first draft again (and again). In this stage of editing , think to yourself:
- Which narrative threads are already in place?
- Which may need to be added or developed further?
- Which need to perhaps be eliminated altogether?
All that’s left afterward is the final polish . Here’s where you interrogate every word, every sentence, to make sure it’s earned its place in the story:
- Is that really what I mean?
- Could I have said that better?
- Have I used that word correctly?
- Is that sentence too long?
- Have I removed any clichés?
Trust me: this can be the most satisfying part of the writing process. The heavy lifting is done, the walls have been painted, the furniture is in place. All you have to do now is hang a few pictures, plump the cushions and put some flowers in a vase.
Eventually, you may reach a point where you’ve reread and rewritten your story so many times that you simply can’t bear to look at it again. If this happens, put the story aside and try to forget about it.
When you do finally return to it, weeks or even months later, you’ll probably be surprised at how the intervening period has allowed you to see the story with a fresh pair of eyes. And whereas it might have felt like removing one of your own internal organs to cut such a sentence or paragraph before, now it feels like a liberation.
The story, you can see, is better as a result. It was only your bloated appendix you removed, not a vital organ.
It’s at this point that you should call on the services of beta readers if you have them. This can be a daunting prospect: what if the response is less enthusiastic than you’re hoping for? But think about it this way: if you’re expecting complete strangers to read and enjoy your story, then you shouldn’t be afraid of trying it out first on a more sympathetic audience.
This is also why I’d suggest delaying this stage of the writing process until you feel sure your story is complete. It’s one thing to ask a friend to read and comment on your new story. It’s quite another thing to return to them sometime later with, “I’ve made some changes to the story — would you mind reading it again?”
So how do you know your story’s really finished? This is a question that people have put to me. My reply tends to be: I know the story’s finished when I can’t see how to make it any better.
This is when you can finally put down your pencil (or keyboard), rest content with your work for a few days, then submit it so that people can read your work. And you can start with this directory of literary magazines once you're at this step.
The truth is, in my experience, there’s actually no such thing as a final draft. Even after you’ve submitted your story somewhere — and even if you’re lucky enough to have it accepted — there will probably be the odd word here or there that you’d like to change.
Don’t worry about this. Large-scale changes are probably out of the question at this stage, but a sympathetic editor should be willing to implement any small changes right up to the time of publication.
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When writers set down the facts of their lives into a compelling story , they’re writing a narrative essay. Personal narrative essays explore the events of the writer’s own life, and by crafting a nonfiction piece that resonates as storytelling, the essayist can uncover deeper truths in the world.
Narrative essays weave the author’s factual lived experiences into a compelling story.
So, what is a narrative essay? Whether you’re writing for college applications or literary journals , this article separates fact from fiction. We’ll look at how to write a narrative essay through a step-by-step process, including a look at narrative essay topics and outlines. We’ll also analyze some successful narrative essay examples.
Learn how to tell your story, your way. Let’s dive into this exciting genre!
What is a Narrative Essay?
The narrative essay is a branch of creative nonfiction . Also known as a personal essay, writers of this genre are tasked with telling honest stories about their lived experiences and, as a result, arriving at certain realizations about life.
Think of personal narrative essays as nonfiction short stories . While the essay and the short story rely on different writing techniques, they arrive at similar outcomes: a powerful story with an idea, theme , or moral that the reader can interpret for themselves.
Now, if you haven’t written a narrative essay before, you might associate the word “essay” with high school English class. Remember those tedious 5-paragraph essays we had to write, on the topic of some book we barely read, about subject matter that didn’t interest us?
Don’t worry—that’s not the kind of essay we’re talking about. The word essay comes from the French essayer , which means “to try.” That’s exactly what writing a narrative essay is: an attempt at organizing the real world into language—a journey of making meaning from the chaos of life.
Narrative essays work to surface meaning from lived experience.
Narrative Essay Example
A great narrative essay example is the piece “Flow” by Mary Oliver, which you can read for free in Google Books .
The essay dwells on, as Mary Oliver puts it, the fact that “we live in paradise.” At once both an ode to nature and an urge to love it fiercely, Oliver explores our place in the endless beauty of the world.
Throughout the essay, Oliver weaves in her thoughts about the world, from nature’s noble beauty to the question “What is the life I should live?” Yet these thoughts, however profound, are not the bulk of the essay. Rather, she arrives at these thoughts via anecdotes and observations: the migration of whales, the strings of fish at high tide, the inventive rescue of a spiny fish from the waterless shore, etc.
What is most profound about this essay, and perhaps most amusing, is that it ends with Oliver’s questions about how to live life. And yet, the stories she tells show us exactly how to live life: with care for the world; with admiration; with tenderness towards all of life and its superb, mysterious, seemingly-random beauty.
Such is the power of the narrative essay. By examining the random facts of our lives, we can come to great conclusions.
What do most essays have in common? Let’s look at the fundamentals of the essay, before diving into more narrative essay examples.
Narrative Essay Definition: 5 Fundamentals
The personal narrative essay has a lot of room for experimentation. We’ll dive into those opportunities in a bit, but no matter the form, most essays share these five fundamentals.
- Personal experience
- Meaning from chaos
- The use of literary devices
Let’s explore these fundamentals in depth.
All narrative essays have a thesis statement. However, this isn’t the formulaic thesis statement you had to write in school: you don’t need to map out your argument with painstaking specificity, you need merely to tell the reader what you’re writing about.
Take the aforementioned essay by Mary Oliver. Her thesis is this: “How can we not know that, already, we live in paradise?”
It’s a simple yet provocative statement. By posing her thesis as a question, she challenges us to consider why we might not treat this earth as paradise. She then delves into her own understanding of this paradise, providing relevant stories and insights as to how the earth should be treated.
Now, be careful with abstract statements like this. Mary Oliver is a master of language, so she’s capable of creating a thesis statement out of an abstract idea and building a beautiful essay. But concrete theses are also welcome: you should compel the reader forward with the central argument of your work, without confusing them or leading them astray.
You should compel the reader forward with the central argument of your work, without confusing them or leading them astray
2. Personal Experience
The personal narrative essay is, shockingly, about personal experience. But how do writers distill their experiences into meaningful stories?
There are a few techniques writers have at their disposal. Perhaps the most common of these techniques is called braiding . Rather than focusing on one continuous story, the writer can “braid” different stories, weaving in and out of different narratives and finding common threads between them. Often, the subject matter of the essay will require more than one anecdote as evidence, and braiding helps the author uphold their thesis while showing instead of telling .
Another important consideration is how you tell your story . Essayists should consider the same techniques that fiction writers use. Give ample consideration to your essay’s setting , word choice , point of view , and dramatic structure . The narrative essay is, after all, a narrative, so tell your story how it deserves to be told.
3. Meaning from Chaos
Life, I think we can agree, is chaotic. While we can trace the events of our lives through cause and effect, A leads to B leads to C, the truth is that so much of our lives are shaped through circumstances beyond our control.
The narrative essay is a way to reclaim some of that control. By distilling the facts of our lives into meaningful narratives, we can uncover deeper truths that we didn’t realize existed.
By distilling the facts of our lives into meaningful narratives, we can uncover deeper truths that we didn’t realize existed.
Consider the essay “ Only Daughter ” by Sandra Cisneros. It’s a brief read, but it covers a lot of different events: a lonesome childhood, countless moves, university education, and the trials and tribulations of a successful writing career.
Coupled with Cisneros’ musings on culture and gender roles, there’s a lot of life to distill in these three pages. Yet Cisneros does so masterfully. By organizing these life events around her thesis statement of being an only daughter, Cisneros finds meaning in the many disparate events she describes.
As you go about writing a narrative essay, you will eventually encounter moments of insight . Insight describes those “aha!” moments in the work—places in which you come to deeper realizations about your life, the lives of others, and the world at large.
Now, insight doesn’t need to be some massive, culture-transforming realization. Many moments of insight are found in small interactions and quiet moments.
For example, In the above essay by Sandra Cisneros, her moments of insight come from connecting her upbringing to her struggle as an only daughter. While her childhood was often lonely and disappointing, she realizes in hindsight that she’s lucky for that upbringing: it helped nurture her spirit as a writer, and it helped her pursue a career in writing. These moments of gratitude work as insight, allowing her to appreciate what once seemed like a burden.
When we reach the end of the essay, and Cisneros describes how she felt when her father read one of her stories, we see what this gratitude is building towards: love and acceptance for the life she chose.
5. Literary Devices
The personal narrative essay, as well as all forms of creative writing, uses its fair share of literary devices . These devices don’t need to be complex: you don’t need a sprawling extended metaphor or an intricate set of juxtapositions to make your essay compelling.
However, the occasional symbol or metaphor will certainly aid your story. In Mary Oliver’s essay “Flow,” the author uses literary devices to describe the magnificence of the ocean, calling it a “cauldron of changing greens and blues” and “the great palace of the earth.” These descriptions reinforce the deep beauty of the earth.
In Sandra Cisneros’ essay “Only Daughter,” the author employs different symbols to represent her father’s masculinity and sense of gender roles. At one point, she lists the few things he reads—sports journals, slasher magazines, and picture paperbacks, often depicting scenes of violence against women. These symbols represent the divide between her father’s gendered thinking and her own literary instincts.
More Narrative Essay Examples
Let’s take a look at a few more narrative essay examples. We’ll dissect each essay based on the five fundamentals listed above.
Narrative Essay Example: “Letting Go” by David Sedaris
Read “Letting Go” here in The New Yorker .
Sedaris’ essay dwells on the culture of cigarette smoking—how it starts, the world it builds, and the difficulties in quitting. Let’s analyze how this narrative essay example uses the five fundamentals of essay writing.
- Thesis: There isn’t an explicitly defined thesis, which is common for essays that are meant to be humorous or entertaining. However, this sentence is a plausible thesis statement: “It wasn’t the smoke but the smell of it that bothered me. In later years, I didn’t care so much, but at the time I found it depressing: the scent of neglect.”
- Personal Experience: Sedaris moves between many different anecdotes about smoking, from his family’s addiction to cigarettes to his own dependence. We learn about his moving around for cheaper smokes, his family’s struggle to quit, and the last cigarette he smoked in the Charles de Gaulle airport.
- Meaning from Chaos: Sedaris ties many disparate events together. We learn about his childhood and his smoking years, but these are interwoven with anecdotes about his family and friends. What emerges is a narrative about the allure of smoking.
- Insight: Two parts of this essay are especially poignant. One, when Sedaris describes his mother’s realization that smoking isn’t sophisticated, and soon quits her habit entirely. Two, when Sedaris is given the diseased lung of a chain smoker, and instead of thinking about his own lungs, he’s simply surprised at how heavy the lung is.
- Literary Devices: Throughout the essay, Sedaris demonstrates how the cigarette symbolizes neglect: neglect of one’s body, one’s space, and one’s self-presentation.
Narrative Essay Example: “My Mother’s Tongue” by Zavi Kang Engles
Read “My Mother’s Tongue” here in The Rumpus .
Engles’ essay examines the dysphoria of growing up between two vastly different cultures and languages. By asserting the close bond between Korean language and culture, Engles explores the absurdities of growing up as a child of Korean immigrants. Let’s analyze how this narrative essay example uses the five fundamentals of essay writing.
- Thesis: Engles’ essay often comes back to her relationship with the Korean language, especially as it relates to other Korean speakers. This relationship is best highlighted when she writes “I glowed with [my mother’s] love, basked in the warm security of what I thought was a language between us. Perhaps this is why strangers asked for our photos, in an attempt to capture a secret world between two people.”This “secret world” forms the crux of her essay, charting not only how Korean-Americans might exist in relation to one another, but also how Engles’ language is strongly tied to her identity and homeland.
- Personal Experience: Engles writes about her childhood attachment to both English and Korean, her adolescent fallout with the Korean language, her experiences as “not American enough” in the United States and “not Korean enough” in Korea, and her experiences mourning in a Korean hospital.
- Meaning from Chaos: In addition to the above events, Engles ties in research about language and identity (also known as code switching ). Through language and identity, the essay charts the two different cultures that the author stands between, highlighting the dissonance between Western individualism and an Eastern sense of belonging.
- Insight: There are many examples of insight throughout this essay as the author explores how out of place she feels, torn between two countries. An especially poignant example comes from Engles’ experience in a Korean hospital, where she writes “I didn’t know how to mourn in this country.”
- Literary Devices: The essay frequently juxtaposes the languages and cultures of Korea and the United States. Additionally, the English language comes to symbolize Western individualism, while the Korean language comes to symbolize Eastern collectivism.
Narrative Essay Example: 3 Rules for Middle-Age Happiness by Deborah Copaken
Read “3 Rules for Middle-Age Happiness” here in The Atlantic .
Copaken’s essay explores her relationship to Nora Ephron, the screenwriter for When Harry Met Sally . Let’s analyze how this narrative essay example uses the five fundamentals of essay writing.
- Thesis: This essay hands us the thesis statement in its subtitle: “Gather friends and feed them, laugh in the face of calamity, and cut out all the things—people, jobs, body parts—that no longer serve you.”
- Personal Experience: Copaken weaves two different threads through this essay. One thread is her personal life, including a failing marriage, medical issues, and her attempts at building a happy family. The other is Copaken’s personal relationship to Ephron, whose advice coincides with many of the essay’s insights.
- Meaning from Chaos: This essay organizes its events chronologically. However, the main sense of organization is found in the title: many of the essayist’s problems can be perceived as middle-aged crises (family trouble, divorce, death of loved ones), but the solutions to those crises are simpler than one might realize.
- Insight: In writing this essay, Copaken explores her relationship to Ephron, as well as Copaken’s own relationship to her children. She ties these experiences together at the end, when she writes “The transmission of woes is a one-way street, from child to mother. A good mother doesn’t burden her children with her pain. She waits until it becomes so heavy, it either breaks her or kills her, whichever comes first.”
- Literary Devices: The literary devices in this article explore the author’s relationship to womanhood. She wonders if having a hysterectomy will make her “like less of a woman.” Also important is the fact that, when the author has her hysterectomy, her daughter has her first period. Copaken uses this to symbolize the passing of womanhood from mother to daughter, which helps bring her to the above insight.
How to Write a Narrative Essay in 5 Steps
No matter the length or subject matter, writing a narrative essay is as easy as these five steps.
1. Generating Narrative Essay Ideas
If you’re not sure what to write about, you’ll want to generate some narrative essay ideas. One way to do this is to look for writing prompts online: Reedsy adds new prompts to their site every week, and we also post writing prompts every Wednesday to our Facebook group .
Taking a step back, it helps to simply think about formative moments in your life. You might a great idea from answering one of these questions:
- When did something alter my worldview, personal philosophy, or political beliefs?
- Who has given me great advice, or helped me lead a better life?
- What moment of adversity did I overcome and grow stronger from?
- What is something that I believe to be very important, that I want other people to value as well?
- What life event of mine do I not yet fully understand?
- What is something I am constantly striving for?
- What is something I’ve taken for granted, but am now grateful for?
Finally, you might be interested in the advice at our article How to Come Up with Story Ideas . The article focuses on fiction writers, but essayists can certainly benefit from these tips as well.
2. Drafting a Narrative Essay Outline
Once you have an idea, you’ll want to flesh it out in a narrative essay outline.
Your outline can be as simple or as complex as you’d like, and it all depends on how long you intend your essay to be. A simple outline can include the following:
- Introduction—usually a relevant anecdote that excites or entices the reader.
- Event 1: What story will I use to uphold my argument?
- Analysis 1: How does this event serve as evidence for my thesis?
- Conclusion: How can I tie these events together? What do they reaffirm about my thesis? And what advice can I then impart on the reader, if any?
One thing that’s missing from this outline is insight. That’s because insight is often unplanned: you realize it as you write it, and the best insight comes naturally to the writer. However, if you already know the insight you plan on sharing, it will fit best within the analysis for your essay, and/or in the essay’s conclusion.
Insight is often unplanned: you realize it as you write it, and the best insight comes naturally to the writer.
Another thing that’s missing from this is research. If you plan on intertwining your essay with research (which many essayists should do!), consider adding that research as its own bullet point under each heading.
For a different, more fiction-oriented approach to outlining, check out our article How to Write a Story Outline .
3. Starting with a Story
Now, let’s tackle the hardest question: how to start a narrative essay?
Most narrative essays begin with a relevant story. You want to draw the reader in right away, offering something that surprises or interests them. And, since the essay is about you and your lived experiences, it makes sense to start your essay with a relevant anecdote.
Think about a story that’s relevant to your thesis, and experiment with ways to tell this story. You can start with a surprising bit of dialogue , an unusual situation you found yourself in, or a beautiful setting. You can also lead your essay with research or advice, but be sure to tie that in with an anecdote quickly, or else your reader might not know where your essay is going.
For examples of this, take a look at any of the narrative essay examples we’ve used in this article.
Theoretically, your thesis statement can go anywhere in the essay. You may have noticed in the previous examples that the thesis statement isn’t always explicit or immediate: sometimes it shows up towards the center of the essay, and sometimes it’s more implied than stated directly.
You can experiment with the placement of your thesis, but if you place your thesis later in the essay, make sure that everything before the thesis is intriguing to the reader. If the reader feels like the essay is directionless or boring, they won’t have a reason to reach your thesis, nor will they understand the argument you’re making.
4. Getting to the Core Truth
With an introduction and a thesis underway, continue writing about your experiences, arguments, and research. Be sure to follow the structure you’ve sketched in your outline, but feel free to deviate from this outline if something more natural occurs to you.
Along the way, you will end up explaining why your experiences matter to the reader. Here is where you can start generating insight. Insight can take the form of many things, but the focus is always to reach a core truth.
Insight might take the following forms:
- Realizations from connecting the different events in your life.
- Advice based on your lived mistakes and experiences.
- Moments where you change your ideas or personal philosophy.
- Richer understandings about life, love, a higher power, the universe, etc.
5. Relentless Editing
With a first draft of your narrative essay written, you can make your essay sparkle in the editing process.
Remember, a first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to exist.
Remember, a first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to exist. Here are some things to focus on in the editing process:
- Clarity: Does every argument make sense? Do my ideas flow logically? Are my stories clear and easy to follow?
- Structure: Does the procession of ideas make sense? Does everything uphold my thesis? Do my arguments benefit from the way they’re laid out in this essay?
- Style: Do the words flow when I read them? Do I have a good mix of long and short sentences? Have I omitted any needless words ?
- Literary Devices: Do I use devices like similes, metaphors, symbols, or juxtaposition? Do these devices help illustrate my ideas?
- Mechanics: Is every word spelled properly? Do I use the right punctuation? If I’m submitting this essay somewhere, does it follow the formatting guidelines?
Your essay can undergo any number of revisions before it’s ready. Above all, make sure that your narrative essay is easy to follow, every word you use matters, and that you come to a deeper understanding about your own life.
Above all, make sure that your narrative essay is easy to follow, every word you use matters, and that you come to a deeper understanding about your own life.
Next Steps for Narrative Essayists
When you have a completed essay, what’s next? You might be interested in submitting to some literary journals . Here’s 24 literary journals you can submit to—we hope you find a great home for your writing!
If you’re looking for additional feedback on your work, feel free to join our Facebook group . You can also take a look at our upcoming nonfiction courses , where you’ll learn the fundamentals of essay writing and make your story even more compelling.
Writing a narrative essay isn’t easy, but you’ll find that the practice can be very rewarding. You’ll learn about your lived experiences, come to deeper conclusions about your personal philosophies, and perhaps even challenge the way you approach life. So find some paper, choose a topic, and get writing—the world is waiting for your story!
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Detailed Guide on How to Write a Narrative Essay with Tips
Defining What Is a Narrative Essay
We can explain a narrative essay definition as a piece of writing that tells a story. It's like a window into someone's life or a page torn from a diary. Similarly to a descriptive essay, a narrative essay tells a story, rather than make a claim and use evidence. It can be about anything – a personal experience, a childhood memory, a moment of triumph or defeat – as long as it's told in a way that captures the reader's imagination.
You might ask - 'which sentence most likely comes from a narrative essay?'. Let's take this for example: 'I could hear the waves crashing against the shore, their rhythm a soothing lullaby that carried me off to sleep.' You could even use such an opening for your essay when wondering how to start a narrative essay.
To further define a narrative essay, consider it storytelling with a purpose. The purpose of a narrative essay is not just to entertain but also to convey a message or lesson in first person. It's a way to share your experiences and insights with others and connect with your audience. Whether you're writing about your first love, a harrowing adventure, or a life-changing moment, your goal is to take the reader on a journey that will leave them feeling moved, inspired, or enlightened.
So if you're looking for a way to express yourself creatively and connect with others through your writing, try your hand at a narrative essay. Who knows – you might just discover a hidden talent for storytelling that you never knew you had!
Meanwhile, let's delve into the article to better understand this type of paper through our narrative essay examples, topic ideas, and tips on constructing a perfect essay.
Types of Narrative Essays
If you were wondering, 'what is a personal narrative essay?', know that narrative essays come in different forms, each with a unique structure and purpose. Regardless of the type of narrative essay, each aims to transport the reader to a different time and place and to create an emotional connection between the reader and the author's experiences. So, let's discuss each type in more detail:
- A personal narrative essay is based on one's unique experience or event. Personal narrative essay examples include a story about overcoming a fear or obstacle or reflecting on a particularly meaningful moment in one's life.
- A fictional narrative is a made-up story that still follows the basic elements of storytelling. Fictional narratives can take many forms, from science fiction to romance to historical fiction.
- A memoir is similar to personal narratives but focuses on a specific period or theme in a person's life. Memoirs might be centered around a particular relationship, a struggle with addiction, or a cultural identity. If you wish to describe your life in greater depth, you might look at how to write an autobiography .
- A literacy narrative essay explores the writer's experiences with literacy and how it has influenced their life. The essay typically tells a personal story about a significant moment or series of moments that impacted the writer's relationship with reading, writing, or communication.
You might also be interested in discovering 'HOW TO WRITE AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY'
Pros and Cons of Narrative Writing
Writing a narrative essay can be a powerful tool for self-expression and creative storytelling, but like any form of writing, it comes with its own set of pros and cons. Let's explore the pros and cons of narrative writing in more detail, helping you to decide whether it's the right writing style for your needs.
- It can be a powerful way to convey personal experiences and emotions.
- Allows for creative expression and unique voice
- Engages the reader through storytelling and vivid details
- It can be used to teach a lesson or convey a message.
- Offers an opportunity for self-reflection and growth
- It can be challenging to balance personal storytelling with the needs of the reader
- It may not be as effective for conveying factual information or arguments
- It may require vulnerability and sharing personal details that some writers may find uncomfortable
- It can be subjective, as the reader's interpretation of the narrative may vary
If sharing your personal stories is not your cup of tea, you can buy essays online from our expert writers, who will customize the paper to your particular writing style and tone.
20 Excellent Narrative Essay Topics and How to Choose One
Choosing a good topic among many narrative essay ideas can be challenging, but some tips can help you make the right choice. Here are some original and helpful tips on how to choose a good narrative essay topic:
- Consider your own experiences: One of the best sources of inspiration for a narrative essay is your own life experiences. Consider moments that have had a significant impact on you, whether they are positive or negative. For example, you could write about a memorable trip or a challenging experience you overcame.
- Choose a topic relevant to your audience: Consider your audience and their interests when choosing a narrative essay topic. If you're writing for a class, consider what topics might be relevant to the course material. If you're writing for a broader audience, consider what topics might be interesting or informative to them.
- Find inspiration in literature: Literature can be a great source of inspiration for a narrative essay. Consider the books or stories that have had an impact on you, and think about how you can incorporate elements of them into your own narrative. For example, you could start by using a title for narrative essay inspired by the themes of a favorite novel or short story.
- Focus on a specific moment or event: Most narrative essays tell a story, so it's important to focus on a specific moment or event. For example, you could write a short narrative essay about a conversation you had with a friend or a moment of realization while traveling.
- Experiment with different perspectives: Consider writing from different perspectives to add depth and complexity to your narrative. For example, you could write about the same event from multiple perspectives or explore the thoughts and feelings of a secondary character.
- Use writing prompts: Writing prompts can be a great source of inspiration if you struggle to develop a topic. Consider using a prompt related to a specific theme, such as love, loss, or growth.
- Choose a topic with rich sensory details: A good narrative essay should engage the senses and create a vivid picture in the reader's mind. Choose a topic with rich sensory details that you can use to create a vivid description. For example, you could write about a bustling city's sights, sounds, and smells.
- Choose a topic meaningful to you: Ultimately, the best narrative essays are meaningful to the writer. Choose a topic that resonates with you and that you feel passionate about. For example, you could write about a personal goal you achieved or a struggle you overcame.
Here are some good narrative essay topics for inspiration from our experts:
- A life-changing event that altered your perspective on the world
- The story of a personal accomplishment or achievement
- An experience that tested your resilience and strength
- A time when you faced a difficult decision and how you handled it
- A childhood memory that still holds meaning for you
- The impact of a significant person in your life
- A travel experience that taught you something new
- A story about a mistake or failure that ultimately led to growth and learning
- The first day of a new job or school
- The story of a family tradition or ritual that is meaningful to you
- A time when you had to confront a fear or phobia
- A memorable concert or music festival experience
- An experience that taught you the importance of communication or listening
- A story about a time when you had to stand up for what you believed in
- A time when you had to persevere through a challenging task or project
- A story about a significant cultural or societal event that impacted your life
- The impact of a book, movie, or other work of art on your life
- A time when you had to let go of something or someone important to you
- A memorable encounter with a stranger that left an impression on you
- The story of a personal hobby or interest that has enriched your life
Narrative Format and Structure
The narrative essay format and structure are essential elements of any good story. A well-structured narrative can engage readers, evoke emotions, and create lasting memories. Whether you're writing a personal essay or a work of fiction, the following guidelines on how to write a narrative essay can help you create a compelling paper:
- Introduction : The introduction sets the scene for your story and introduces your main characters and setting. It should also provide a hook to capture your reader's attention and make them want to keep reading. When unsure how to begin a narrative essay, describe the setting vividly or an intriguing question that draws the reader in.
- Plot : The plot is the sequence of events that make up your story. It should have a clear beginning, middle, and end, with each part building on the previous one. The plot should also have a clear conflict or problem the protagonist must overcome.
- Characters : Characters are the people who drive the story. They should be well-developed and have distinct personalities and motivations. The protagonist should have a clear goal or desire, and the antagonist should provide a challenge or obstacle to overcome.
- Setting : The setting is the time and place the story takes place. It should be well-described and help to create a mood or atmosphere that supports the story's themes.
- Dialogue : Dialogue is the conversation between characters. It should be realistic and help to reveal the characters' personalities and motivations. It can also help to move the plot forward.
- Climax : The climax is the highest tension or conflict point in the story. It should be the turning point that leads to resolving the conflict.
- Resolution : The resolution is the end of the story. It should provide a satisfying conclusion to the conflict and tie up any loose ends.
Following these guidelines, you can create a narrative essay structure that engages readers and leaves a lasting impression. Remember, a well-structured story can take readers on a journey and make them feel part of the action.
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Narrative Essay Outline
Here is a detailed narrative essay outline from our custom term paper writing :
A. Hook: Start with an attention-grabbing statement, question, or anecdote that introduces the topic and draws the reader in. Example: 'The sun beat down on my skin as I stepped onto the stage, my heart pounding with nervous excitement.'
B. Background information: Provide context for the story, such as the setting or the characters involved. Example: 'I had been preparing for this moment for weeks, rehearsing my lines and perfecting my performance for the school play.'
C. Thesis statement: State the essay's main point and preview the events to come. Example: 'This experience taught me that taking risks and stepping outside my comfort zone can lead to unexpected rewards and personal growth.'
A. First event: Describe the first event in the story, including details about the setting, characters, and actions. Example: 'As I delivered my first lines on stage, I felt a rush of adrenaline and a sense of pride in my hard work paying off.'
B. Second event: Describe the second event in the story, including how it builds on the first event and moves the story forward. Example: 'As the play progressed, I became more comfortable in my role and connecting with the other actors on stage.'
C. Turning point: Describe the turning point in the story, when something unexpected or significant changes the course of events. Example: 'In the final act, my character faced a difficult decision that required me to improvise and trust my instincts.'
D. Climax: Describe the story's climax, the highest tension or conflict point. Example: 'As the play reached its climax, I delivered my final lines with confidence and emotion, feeling a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.'
A. Restate thesis: Summarize the essay's main point and how the events in the story support it. Example: 'Through this experience, I learned that taking risks and pushing past my comfort zone can lead to personal growth and unexpected rewards.'
B. Reflection: Reflect on the significance of the experience and what you learned from it. Example: 'Looking back, I realize that this experience not only taught me about acting and performance but also about the power of perseverance and self-belief.'
C. Call to action: if you're still wondering how to write an essay conclusion , consider ending it with a call to action or final thought that leaves the reader with something to consider or act on. Example: 'I encourage everyone to take risks and embrace new challenges because you never know what kind of amazing experiences and growth they may lead to.
You might also be interested in getting detailed info on 'HOW TO WRITE AN ESSAY CONCLUSION'
Narrative Essay Examples
Are you looking for inspiration for your next narrative essay? Look no further than our narrative essay example. Through vivid storytelling and personal reflections, this essay takes the reader on a journey of discovery and leaves them with a powerful lesson about the importance of compassion and empathy. Use this sample from our expert essay writer as a guide for crafting your own narrative essay, and let your unique voice and experiences shine through.
Narrative Essay Example for College
College professors search for the following qualities in their students:
- the ability to adapt to different situations,
- the ability to solve problems creatively,
- and the ability to learn from mistakes.
Your work must demonstrate these qualities, regardless of whether your narrative paper is a college application essay or a class assignment. Additionally, you want to demonstrate your character and creativity. Describe a situation where you have encountered a problem, tell the story of how you came up with a unique approach to solving it, and connect it to your field of interest. The narrative can be exciting and informative if you present it in such fashion.
Narrative Essay Example for High School
High school is all about showing that you can make mature choices. You accept the consequences of your actions and retrieve valuable life lessons. Think of an event in which you believe your actions were exemplary and made an adult choice. A personal narrative essay example will showcase the best of your abilities. Finally, use other sources to help you get the best results possible. Try searching for a sample narrative essay to see how others have approached it.
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