A “narrative essay” is also called a “reflective essay” because the writer describes something important to the writer. The narrative may also be a story about something that happened to the writer. You can write about anything you want to write about, and there are no limitations on the topic for a narrative essay. Most narrative essays are written in the first person, and the narrative can be written about something that happened to someone else as observed or understood by you. A narrative essay will engage your readers in a personal experience or personal point of view.
Decide on a theme or central idea for your narrative essay. Make the theme anything you decide to write about. State generally a personal experience or an observation that represents something important and true about your life. The introductory paragraph should let the reader know that the writing is a narrative. Begin your narrative essay with “I” and then tell the reader what the essay is about. For example, “I went to Spain as an exchange student in 1986” would be a good way to start a narrative essay about an important experience while traveling.
Use details and descriptive language in your essay. Your narrative should stir the imagination of your readers and hold their interest. Describe the way things smelled, how they looked and how you felt when writing about events. Give the reader details about the appearance and demeanor of the other characters in your narrative. Answer the following questions: Who did the event happen to? Where did the event take place? When did this event happen?
Use anecdotes about people in your narrative essay. Avoid using trite expressions or clichés when possible. Anecdotes can help the reader to understand “why” the characters in your narrative behave as you describe them.
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