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6.3: Writing a Narrative Essay

  • Page ID
    6256
  • [ "article:topic", "Narrative Essay", "authorname:akinonen" ]

    When writing a narrative essay, you may want to start by freewriting about topics that are of general interest to you.

    Once you have a general idea of what you will be writing about, you should sketch out the major events of the story that will compose your plot. Often, these events will be revealed chronologically and climax at a central conflict that must be resolved by the end of the story. The use of strong details is crucial as you describe the events and characters in your narrative. You want the reader to emotionally engage with the world that you create in writing.

    tip

    To create strong details, keep the five senses in mind. You want your reader to be immersed in the world that you create, so focus on details related to sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch as you describe people, places, and events in your narrative.

    key takeaways

    • Narration is the art of storytelling.
    • Narratives can be either factual or fictional. In either case, narratives should emotionally engage the reader.
    • Most narratives are composed of major events sequenced in chronological order.
    • Time transition words and phrases are used to orient the reader in the sequence of a narrative.
    • The four basic components to all narratives are plot, character, conflict, and theme.
    • The use of sensory details is crucial to emotionally engaging the reader.
    • A strong introduction is important to hook the reader. A strong conclusion should discuss the conflict and evoke the narrative theme.

    Examples of Narrative Essays

    • “Indian Education,” by Sherman Alexie
    • “Us and Them,” by David Sedaris
    • “Sixty-Nine Cents,” by Gary Shteyngart
    • “Only Daughter,” by Sandra Cisneros
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