How to Write a High-Grade Narrative Essay (+ Essay Example)

You will for sure have to write a narrative essay as a student. Most of the students prefer writing essays on narrative topics. You do not have to describe something or to offer a summary to your readers.

Instead, you must write a story. A story that you have lived and that offers your readers a part of you. You just write a personal narrative essay.

You probably might have wondered how to write a narrative essay. Or what is the best narrative essay format? A good narrative essay has a structure you need to follow.

There are also tips and tricks that will help you write a high-grade narrative essay. We will provide you examples of narrative essays and narrative topics.

Let’s find out some tips and tricks that will be very helpful when you will have to write a narrative essay.

how to write a narrative essay

What Is a Narrative Text?

When you are in need of narrative essay ideas, you might wonder what is narrative writing. Narratives are events that are told to entertain the readers and to catch and hold their attention.

There are a lot of narrative essay topics to write about. You can write about an event from your childhood you learned something from.

You can write about a traveling adventure you had. You can write about every topic that might be interesting for the readers.


The Structure of a Narrative Essay

Even if a narrative does not have special requirements, it does have a structure you need to follow. If you have thought about how to write a good narrative, build your essay following the next structure. It will surely offer you ideas on how to start a narrative essay.



You must choose a title that will make the readers interested in reading more. For sure you have some personal narrative ideas for your essay.

Think about a title that is narrow and it is rarely seen on the internet. Keep in mind that the title should encourage the readers to read at least the intro of your story.



This is the first paragraph of your story. You might have wondered how to start a narrative essay. The introduction should be about 2-3 sentences long. Depending on the total length of your essay, you can write more sentences. It introduces the characters and the place where the action starts.

It should be appealing and catchy, to trick your readers into going further. As a tip, the hook should be included in the introduction.


look at the narrative essay example

The Beginning of the Story

As you have already briefly described the setup, you can start storytelling. The second part of the narrative writing structure is about the plot.

You need to build an intriguing yet interesting plot to attract the readers. This should be the trigger of your narrative.


Main Body

Here you can let your personal narrative ideas go wild. The main events of your story are described here. Here the characters move through space and time and live amazing experiences.

And if you have thought about how to write dialogue in a narrative, read the following tips. It would be recommended to use the right punctuation. Use quotation marks and punctuation inside them.

Use “said” and other similar words to highlight who are the characters interacting. Also, start a new line every time the character who is speaking changes.


End of the Story

You are slowly preparing the end of the story. The fifth part of the narrative writing structure is about presenting the most interesting events. It is the climax of your story.

This essay is a great opportunity to polish your storytelling skills. Build an awesome end for your story and catch the praise of your readers.

Because you present all the events from a personal point of view, you could share your personal feelings and thoughts. Like this, your text will become more valuable.



Almost like the introduction, your conclusion should be about 3-5 sentences long. It should highlight what you have learned from the experience presented. Take care of the ending. Avoid sentences like: “This is the end”.


Distinct Features of Narratives

The most important thing you must keep in mind when you must write a narrative is that you have to describe an action or a series of events.

You need to tell a story that has a moral at the end. Or a story that helped you change your point of view on some topics.

While a description is focused on the characteristics of the characters, the narrative is focused on the action. Of course, this does not mean that you cannot use descriptive terms in a narrative.

Let’s see how to write a narrative essay without moving away from its characteristics. Afterward, we will provide a narrative essay example.


The Characters

There is a balance that needs to be maintained between the details offered about the characters and the events. What is important to keep in mind is that the decisions the characters make, act as catalysts for later events.

So, offer as many details of them as you can to keep the story going. You can talk about flat characters which are uncomplicated characters.

And you can talk about round characters, the complex ones, the catalysts of the action and the ones developing the most.


the best narrative essay ideas



All narratives have a theme. It is a message you want your readers to get. It might be a moral lesson or the events’ impact on you. Either way, this sum-up is made clear at the end of the story.

What is interesting about this concept of a narrative, is that it represents the central idea of your essay. And, it can be often summed using a single word.

For example, death, war, love, betrayal or loneliness are common themes within narratives.



Of course, what makes a story more interesting if not conflict? Conflict arises when one of the characters prevents the other from achieving his goals and dreams.

No one can remain silent when something like this happens. So, whether it is a passive or an active conflict, it is interesting for the story.



The opposite of conflict is climax. Because it is advised to tell the story using the first person, you can tell the story of a climax of yours. What is the climax? A climax is that moment when a character achieves its ultimate desire, its goal.

You have probably wondered how to write a narrative or how to write a personal essay. There are a lot of narrative essay topics you can talk about, keeping in mind the unique characteristics a narrative has.


We will provide you a narrative essay example which follows the structure of a narrative


The Most Sublime Traveling Experience


My boyfriend and I decided to visit Thailand. We did not know what we will be going to see, what we will eat or drink and the specifics of the culture. We’re in for the trip and all we knew is that we were going to make the best out of it. We did not travel alone, one more friend joined us, and we were going to meet in Bangkok with another two friends, so that makes five of us.

After a lot of research, we found the cheapest plane tickets from Europe to Asia. I was so amazed and excited that we will spend one month of our lives in Asia, traveling and meeting their culture. Because we had so much time to stay there and so many things to visit, we decided to also visit Cambodia which is near Thailand.

We bought the bus tickets and started another journey within the big one. We did not know what to expect, so we were excited to meet also their country and what it has to offer.

We left Bangkok in a night and reached Siem Reap the next morning. It was a tiring journey, but it was worth it. We found ourselves in the center of Siem Reap, having no direction to go.

Luckily, we befriended a Tuk-Tuk driver who became our driver for all our stay. And so, our journey through Cambodia has begun. He drove us to his house where we met his wife and child and we saw how a traditional Cambodian house looks like.

We knew that we want to see Angkor Wat, the antique city that was built by an entire civilization. And we were lucky, the tuk-tuk driver gave us a tip. We need to wake up tomorrow at 4 o’clock in the morning to go and see the sunrise over the amazing temple. Said and done. The next day we barely woke up, still being tired from the previous day. But we were so excited.

Our driver was already waiting for us in front of the hotel and he drove us to the ticket office. There were a lot of people who were going to do the same thing. I was so excited that I forgot that I am tired.

We reached the big temple when the sun began to show his face. In front of it, was the majestic temple. It is the most sublime of all Khmer temples. What is more amazing about it is that it was entirely built by people in the 13th century. The sun rays caress the five high towers of the temple. Its color changed, and it was not cold anymore. All I can say is that I was deeply mesmerized by what people were capable to build in the past when the machines did not exist. I was amazed by the beauty of the place and how the local people are working to preserve it.


We grabbed our breakfast received from the hotel and watched the sunrise. I saw my friends’ lust when they started eating breakfast. I saw amazement and awe on their faces. We did a lot of photos to keep the memories alive.

All I can say is that the day continued to be even more amazing. We visited the old city and its temples for about 12 hours. And we barely needed to eat something.

We had mostly fed ourselves with information about their culture, with knowledge and astonishment. Of course, after a few days, we returned to Thailand and visited its amazing islands and beaches.

But having a good breakfast while you witness the sun rising over the most amazing temple in the world is such an exhilarating experience. It brought peace and tranquility to my mind. It made me appreciate more the little things in life. Having breakfast with your friends in Siem Reap is one of them.

Also, this trip made me realize that I should not stress over the things I cannot control. It taught me to better control my emotions and to become more positive. It taught me to help others and to live a happy and peaceful life.

Because this is what Buddhism is about. About living a stress-free and full of peace and tranquility life. It was such an amazing experience and for sure we will return there. Both Thailand and Cambodia offered us more than we have expected. It was a thrilling experience we would repeat every moment.


what is narrative writing structure



Taking into consideration that a narrative is less restrictive than other types of writings, you can let your imagination go wild. Do not forget that you must concentrate your essay on the action that is taking place. Offer a bit of information about the setting and the characters.

Do not forget to follow the structure to get a high grade for your narrative essay. End your narrative with the lesson you have learned or with your thoughts on the event presented.

Choose your most amazing memory or experience and carry us on the heights of action.