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How To Choose An Appropriate Format For A Narrative Essay: Great Hints

Every type of essay focusses on different skills. Some people are better than others when they write argumentative or persuasive essays and others are better at writing reports. To develop writing skills, you need to experience writing different types of essays.

Generally you do not need to do much if any research for this type of essay as it is usually a personal story or anecdote that you are describing in order to illustrate and analyse a point, theme or concept. It is usual to use the narrative essay to connect to a class topic.

Start your planning:

  • Make sure that you are certain what the remit is for the essay. Read through the instructions several times, if you are unsure then ask your tutor otherwise you may start planning an essay that does not relate to the instructions.
  • Carefully choose a plot that illustrates the specification. It will need to be concise. Remember that you are not being asked to write a book, just a story.
  • Be specific. If you make the theme of your story too broad or introduce too many characters you will run into difficulty. You need to focus on a single event.

Choosing the details:

  • Again be specific. Transport your reader, by making the story come alive, appeal to their senses of sight, sound, and smell.
  • Think about stories that you have read that have given you vivid images, what did the author do that made it real for you as a reader?
  • A narrative is a story but it is based on a factual occurrence, so you need to stay with your story and not delve into fantasy.

Working on the draft:

  • Focus on your story having a beginning, middle and ending. Outline your plot, make sure that you have an idea of the logical progression of your writing.
  • Work out exactly what the reader needs to know in order for then to understand your work. What is the starting point? Keep the same perspective throughout.
  • At this stage organise the order of your work as much as possible, make lists, and prioritise the progression of the story as it will make writing so much more pleasurable.

The characters:

  • Describe the main characters in the story. How much did they influence the outcome of the story? Is there something that is unusual about these characters?
  • Don’t just focus on the visible attributes of the characters, give some details that can be attributed to their personality and individuality.
  • Every narrative has a hero and a rival or enemy, outline how the rival prevented the hero from getting what they set out to achieve (acknowledge the goal).

Take the time to organise your essay so it follows a typical format of some sort of thesis statement, a beginning, main part and end (where you acknowledge your thesis statement.

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