How to Write a Good Narrative Essay

narrative essary writing

Essay writing has been a constant field of experimentation, a search to employ the best of techniques to capture reader’s attention. If we look down the list of some of the best narrators of our time, the one common ingredient they all cooked up with their different recipes of a tasteful writing is the repeated experimentation of characteristic basics with mild alterations. Narrative writings have been top shelf collections for almost a century and one of the most researched fields of writing. Let us discuss some basic techniques to formulate a good narrative essay.

Narrative essay writing

Narrative essay writing is an essential skill for research purposes. It has the way of describing what the writer experiences rather than summing the pros and cons of the topic under discussion. Narrative essays are mainly dependent upon the experiences and conclusions of the writers and the readers. Following are some of the basic set of features to be kept in mind while handling a narrative.

Clarity and Simplicity

Having a versatile vocabulary is a skill but sometimes, having complex words, high frequency of synonyms and idioms and complex syntaxes can damage the clarity of the content. Sometimes, these things can annoy a reader enough to leave the content unread.

Look at the examples below:

Example Rewritten/Improved Content
Although I have never played Poker or been to casinos before, I was thrilled to behold them, yet also somewhat hesitant and nervous, because of the people who play Poker. I had never played Poker or been to a casino. I was excited to go but also a little nervous, since I was not sure about the people in there.


The first sentence says it all, it’s perfect but there’s an element of self-narration that is missing and it seems as if the writer has made it up to create an atmosphere of self-experience.

Don’t describe everything

This is a common misconception that the narrator has to describe every single detail to make it look real. The writer has to choose what to narrate in detail and what not to, the right decision makes the content interesting enough to capture reader’s attention. For instance, look at the example below:

Example Rewritten/Improved Content
We entered the room. It was dark so we turned on the light and saw the mirror across the room, showing our reflection and blood over it. The ceiling fan was askew and everything was upside down. As soon as we turned on the lights, We saw blood on the mirror across the room. The room was wrecked and everything was upside down.


Simplifies the concept of explanation, keeping the main idea intact. If the writer sets off a never-ending chain of details, he may lose the reader somewhere far behind the original narration.

Keep narrating it yourself

Always use the first person reference while writing a narrative essay because it’s your experience that the reader is interested in. Try to explain the things that you have experienced instead of laying a plan for others to follow. For instance,

Once you enter the room, you shall find a key lying on the top shelf. You will have to use the key to open the small door on your right. You will find a set of instructions behind that door.


Although narrative essays employ past tense but present tense is also fine however, first person subject should be present in the narrative all the times.

Less references

There are a number of formats that essay writing needs to be followed, however narrative writing cares less about the standard formats, for instance MLA. You should not add too many citations and references in a narrative to ease the readability. Try to explain the reference in words instead of citing the reference in quotes and dates as done in MLA format.