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4 Main Features Of Narrative Essay: Suggestions For Students


Argumentative, exploratory, expository, and now narrative. Just what is your teacher trying to do to you? With so many different styles of essay that you are expected to write it is little wonder if you are feeling somewhat bewildered about exactly what is expected of you. Don’t fear, as time goes on and the further that you get into your course, the easier this will all become; indeed, you will probably get to the point where you can write these in your sleep.

However, if you have absolutely no idea where to start then I have put together the four main features to help you get started:

What is a narrative essay?

Before we get started. Let’s just quickly run through what this involves. Those of you that like nothing more than to talk about yourselves will love this style of essay. Those of you that would prefer to keep everything private will either have to learn to embrace this essay, or learn to lie. You will not only need to tell the story, but also communicate the central message and resolution clearly and concisely.

  1. Follow a conventional structure
  2. The good news is that in terms of structure, you don’t have to stray too far from the beaten path. You can stay within your comfort zone of introduction followed by the main body of the essay and finally the conclusion. Having this safety net in place should enable you to get to grips with the narrative components of your assignment.

  3. Tell your story or the story of someone really close to you
  4. As I have already alluded to, this is the most intimate of essays. If you don’t want to bare your soul to the world, then you could always come up with a humorous experience. It doesn’t have to be gritty. It just has to get the point across.

  5. Show don’t tell
  6. The key to all great story-telling is having the ability to show through words and action the story as it unfolds rather than simply telling it in a bland fashion. This is no different in this respect from a novel. You want to transport your reader to the very heart of your story. Recreate the experience and encourage them to live it through our eyes.

Wrap it up

The key to any story is bringing it to a satisfying conclusion. Note that I said satisfying and not satisfactory. There is a subtle difference. Your ending should tie up all of the strands and leave the reader with a complete understanding of the whole narrative.

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