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How to Write a Narrative Essay: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

Remember that ultimately you are writing an essay, not simply telling a story. Remember to incorporate details of your story that not only illuminate your thesis, but also engage your readers' imaginations and make the story "real" for them as well. This main idea will be the thesis of your essay, will say something that the story itself then illuminates and shows to be true. This generalization can be quite personal; it does not have to capture a truth about humanity as a whole or about the essence of the human condition. On the Specific and Concrete Detail page, I have some advice about how you can do this. Take Note! Table of Contents Syllabus Course Calendar eForum Search.

Consider using interpolated tale (a "twice told tale to add some flair. An interpolated tale, used by the likes of none other Charles Dickens and Joseph Conrad, are stories within stories, where the character in one story goes on to tell a story that illuminates and adds meaning to the larger story as well.

Build your essay around a central point, a main idea that your story then supports and explains. This is crucial, and perhaps the defining characteristic between a narrative-as-story and a narrative-as-essay. Even if the essay as a whole primarily uses another method of development, the narrative paragraph can be incorporated into an essay to support a topic sentence in a particular paragraph and to establish a bit of ethical appeal at the same time.

See the page about unity and coherence for more information on this subject. Principles of Narratives T elling a story and writing a narrative essay are not the same thing at all. I am thinking here of how effectively former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton were at incorporating some small personal narratives into speeches, press conferences, or interviews. Both might be talking about a larger subject, say the economy, and both would slip in a small aside about a conversation they had had with a local merchant, who taught them how.