Writing Narrative Essay -3 main structure of a narrative essay and differences between an expository essay and a narrative essay

Writing Narrative Essay -3 main structure of a narrative essay and differences between an expository essay and a narrative essay

In its simplest form, a narrative essay can be defined as a long piece of writing which tells a story. In most cases, a narrative essay is based on personal experiences or something related to a personal experience. The aim of this form of essay is to test the creativity of the student.

What are the differences between an expository essay and a narrative essay

A narrative essay is different from an expository essay in many ways. However, these ways can mainly be grouped into; differences in purpose and differences in writing style.

  • Differences in purpose:

The core aim of a narrative essay is to inform the reader about a particular event or a past experience. An expository essay, on the other hand, is aimed at providing as many facts as possible regarding a specific subject matter, which is mostly more formal compared to a narrative essay.

  • Differences based on Writing style:

It is always important to note that the type of essay determines the writing style which will be associated with that particular essay. In this regard, a narrative essay is written like a basic story, hence, when writing this sort of essay, people mostly make use of the first-person point of view.

In addition to that, this form of essay is emotive and subjective. An expository essay, on the other hand, is written from a third-person point of view and, it is very formal. This means that it is not written with as much emotion as a narrative essay.

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Alternatively, a narrative essay is flexible and it creates room for creativity. An expository essay, on the other hand, makes room for only facts or factual evidence.

What is the structure of a Narrative Essay?

Like all forms of essays, a narrative essay mainly comprises;

  • An introduction.
  • The body.
  • A conclusion.

Writing the Introductory part of a Narrative essay

It was earlier established that a narrative essay tells a story, hence, the sole aim of the introductory part of the narrative essay is to set the mood of the story, introduce the characters, establish the setting of the story and prepare the reader for the big experience or happening which will occur at a latter part of the story.

In other words, the introductory part of the essay ought to have a thesis and another element called a narrative hook.

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What is a narrative hook?

In its simplest form, a narrative hook can be regarded as a writing technique which is aimed at curating and captivating the interest of the reader. This is done so that the reader will continue reading the story or the essay. In order for this to happen, the hook has to be written in such a way that the readers will start asking different questions revolving around the story or the essay. For example, if one commences a narrative essay with the words:

The air in the house felt different today; it was tight enough to suffocate a normal person, but it was the air I was familiar with. I discovered this from the minute I woke up, to further confirm my suspicions, Mother barged into my room angrily and started shouting at me at the top of her voice.

This hook has introduced the mood of the story, introduced two characters in the story and it has left the reader(s) with different questions like;


‘Why is the air in the writer’s house too thick?’, ‘Why is the writer familiar with this type of atmosphere?’, ‘Why is the writer’s Mother angry at the writer?’, ‘What did the Writer do?’.

These questions could go on for hours, but, in order for these questions to be answered, the reader(s) ought to read more about the story to figure it out. Hence, the interest of the reader has been curated and captivated.

The Thesis of a narrative essay

The thesis in a narrative essay differs from that of other forms of essays. The aim of the thesis statement is in other essays is to introduce the topic or subject matter of the essay. However, in a narrative essay, the aim of the thesis is to introduce some form of action to the story.

Judging from the previously provided hook, the next step will be to tell the reader(s) what happened next and how the writer reacted to the stated action. It should be noted that the thesis in this essay should connect to all parts of the story in the briefest way possible.

Writing the body of the Narrative Essay

Simply put, the body of an essay consists of a group of paragraphs which properly buttress the subject matter of the essay. This is also the case in a narrative essay; its body consists of the plot of the story or, in other words, the incidences that occur after the narrative hook.

The best way to arrange the plot of a narrative order is chronological, that is, according to the series of events that took place in the story. A very important element of this form of arrangement is a transitional sentence.

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What is a transitional sentence?

Transitional sentences are sentences that directly link two ideas to each other. In other words, it serves two basic purposes, these purposes include: (1)To signal the end of a paragraph and, (2)To provide a link to the action of the next paragraph.

Transitional sentences ought to be placed at the beginning and at the end of each paragraph in a narrative essay. It is important because it makes the story straightforward, this way, the reader(s) will be able to follow the line of action easily.

Writing the Conclusion of a narrative essay

The conclusion is used to wrap up or summarize ideas. This is also the case in a narrative essay but it serves a different function or purpose in comparison to other forms of essays. Hence, the two functions the conclusion in a narrative essay includes:

  • To state the moral of the story or what the writer learned from that particular ordeal.
  • To make a prediction or revelation relating to a future which may arise as a result of the series of events which took place in the body of the essay.


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