Defining a Perfect Narrative Essay

Everyone has told a story before. Whether it was around the campfire, to a friend, even to yourself in a personal journal – we all understand, to some degree, the narrative writing style. What makes narrative essays so much more difficult than regular storytelling, however, is their depth. You aren’t just recounting an event when you compose a narrative essay; you’re making a point. Narrative essays must come with some deeper meaning, some enlightened statement or some personal realization. Without this fundamental, insightful component, there’s nothing substantial about a narrative essay.

What Makes a Perfect Narrative Essay

Narrative essays can be easy – and fun! – once you understand the basics of their conception. By following the basic guide below, you can craft a perfect narrative essay nearly every time you write one. Every narrative essay, if it is to be considered perfection, must include:

  • An umbrella statement. An umbrella statement is your statement, your advice, or your moral that guides the rest of the narrative essay. It can be a simple as: “actions speak louder than words.” Usually identified in your first few statements, your umbrella statement should outline the root and deep meaning behind the events in your story.
  • The story itself. Vivid, dramatic, captivating – this is what you want you narrative essay story to be. You could pick a boring day at the supermarket to write about, but as long as you do it in a fascinating way, you’re in the clear. The story should not only be entertaining, however. It should support, and relate, to your umbrella statement. A story about saving a lost puppy from the pound, for example, does not really support the umbrella statement “cheaters never prosper.” Your story should be a visual illustration of your umbrella statement.
  • The lesson. Not all narratives will revolve around “a lesson,” but many will. At the very least, there should be a moment in your narrative essay where you respond to the events that have occurred. What did you learn from the experience? How has it helped you, or made you a better person? Every narrative essay should possess this crucial, personal piece.
  • Organization. The organization of your narrative essay should run as such: your introduction (where you find your umbrella statement), your body (where you find your story) and your conclusion (where you reveal lessons learned or morals proven). Organize your essay accordingly and you will never fail to impress even the strictest of teachers.
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