Get Started Writing a Narrative Essay

from Eric Matas


So, you’ve got a narrative essay assignment, and you’re scratching your head wondering where to begin, right? No worries! This brief guide will walk you through what a narrative essay is and how you can get started on writing a captivating one.

What is a Narrative Essay?

A narrative essay is a story you write to prove a point. Unlike other essays that lay out facts, a narrative essay is filled with personal experiences that deliver an overarching message or lesson. The key is to tell an engaging tale that is entertaining and purposeful.

Essential Elements

  • Characters: Your story needs a main character (usually you) and possibly some secondary characters.
  • Setting: Where and when did your story take place? (Opportunity! Use specific details.)
  • Conflict: What was the problem or challenge that you or the character faced?
  • Plot: This includes the introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
  • Theme: What’s the big idea or lesson learned?

How to Start

  1. Brainstorm Ideas: Jot down some memorable life events. The more impactful and emotionally charged, the better.
  2. Outline Your Story: Create a timeline of events, identifying the start, climax, and conclusion.
  3. Identify a Theme: Think about the lesson you want your readers to take away.
  4. Write Your Thesis Statement: Craft a sentence that encapsulates the lesson and serves as your story’s foundation.

The Writing Process

  1. Introduction: Hook your reader from the very first sentence.
  2. Body: Detail your story, building up to the climax. (Opportunity! Use specific details.)
  3. Climax: The moment of maximum conflict or turning point.
  4. Resolution: Wind down your story and reveal what you learned.
  5. Conclusion: Reinforce the theme and recap the story briefly, showing its significance.

Proofread and Edit

After your draft is complete, revisit it to refine the language and structure. Correct any grammatical errors and make sure your essay effectively delivers its intended message.


There you have it. You’re now well-equipped to tackle your narrative essay assignment head-on. Remember, the best narratives are the ones that give the reader a valuable lesson while keeping them riveted from start to finish. To learn more, view my companion lesson: Mini Essay: Learn to Write a Narrative Essay

Happy writing!