Writing a Narrative Essay

What is an essay? It is, in general, a written piece that gives the writer’s argument, but the precise definition is extremely vague, encompassing all of those of a newspaper, a book, an essay, a short story, and even a pamphlet. Essays are traditionally been sub-divided into formal and academic. Formal essays are those that win major awards in academic settings and arguments are generally written in good, high-quality English. Academic essays tend to be quite lengthy and this is what typically separates them from the many casual written forms such as blog posts or emails.


The structure of an academic essay normally follows a logical order and is not dependent on the style of writing. One of the most famous essays of all time, “The College Essay,” by John Harvard, clearly shows the structure of the essay in its entirety. Essays vary depending on the type of essay, the writer, and the topic at hand. For example, an essay on Shakespeare’s Titus attests to his fame as a playwright, while an essay on the origins of the universe relies on both science and religion as its topic matter. In the case of Titus, there are several arguments presented in support of his view but also evidence that supports Aquinas’ philosophy of personal existence.

Some of the best examples of literary and scientific descriptive essays are Charles Dickens’ “A case of These” andences, Kate Chopra’s “iments,” and Stephen Jay light’s “Ex Mundi.” Each essay presents its main argument in the simplest possible way while still using literary and scientific language. The differences between these three types of essays are very slight and almost irrelevant for this discussion. A literary essay usually makes a statement about some aspect of human life or is an essay about some sort of literary matter.

Narrative essays usually deal with a single story or issue in a narrative form. This type of essay usually is a written examination of a given event or issue in a fictional setting. It most often starts like a personal narrative with the narrator opening up about their thoughts and feelings surrounding a specific event. It then transitions into describing the events and describing the characters involved in the story as well as any other details regarding the situation at hand. These types of essays usually require extensive proofreading and editing because of potential grammatical and punctuation errors.

Metaphor and simile is commonly used in a narrative essay. This is especially true in a persuasive essay which is written to persuade the reader to take an action. Similes are often times used to describe an event as it is happening in one’s imagination and can sometimes be a crucial element of persuasion. In addition to these techniques, many of the tactics of persuasion already use in writing are often times applied in a narrative essay.

One of the techniques that narrative essays often use is the use of thesis statements. The thesis statement informs the reader of the focus of the essay. The thesis statement is often times used to introduce a particular case study or to support a particular point of view. Essays that center around a central thesis are much more persuasive and successful. The reader needs to know what the author thinks is important so they can better understand and interpret the essay. Essay maps are a good tool for identifying main keywords and supporting evidence.