Best Prompts to Craft an Excellent Narrative Essay

Are you bad at telling stories? For many students who can’t boast with their personal blogs writing a personal narrative story would be a challenging task. Sometimes a narrative essay takes more time to write because it’s hard and even painful to research a topic regarding your feelings and memories.

What is a narrative essay?

The definition of this type talks for itself. You should narrate an event from your past or present that reflects your personality.

Key features:

  • Telling a story based on your own experience
  • Highlighting a learned lesson
  • Using the first person narration

Crafting a narrative essay, you must also hold to the general format: introduction, plot, characters, surroundings, climax and of course, conclusion.

How to write a narrative essay?

You should make the following steps to write a successful personal narrative essay

  • Make a clear standpoint and stick to it in every paragraph.
  • A clear progression of events that does not confuse a reader
  • The author’s experience with enough details to engage the reader
  • The descriptive or informative word choice
  • A strong connection between the described experience and its significant role to the author

If you wish to become a blogger in the nearest future and share your true-to-life stories with others, the narrative essay is perfect for practicing. Of course, it’s your experience and you might just sit down and write anything that comes to your mind. Then you won’t have to mess up with these four factors described below. Yet I do think this is a wrong approach because when you finish some part of your essay and then remember some bright detail that fits your story the best, rewriting a paragraph takes more time.

These four factors are important to consider writing a personal narrative essay on many reasons.

  • Time

If you cannot recollect an exact date, don’t make it up, a month or even a season will be enough. Be true to yourself from the very beginning. The more sincere you sound, the more your reader will trust you. Describe how you felt in that period: irritated, depressed or conversely, upbeat. Tell the reader about the weather. Try to recollect whether you liked it or not.

  • Place

Once I had to describe the place of the most horrifying moment in my life. I said I wouldn’t remember it because it was too long ago. Although I was surprised when I shut my eyes and delved into that even as if it was yesterday. I saw that big tree in the forest which my friend said I would never climb because I was a sissy. Of course, I climbed and fell from it. I remembered exactly how it looked like, those ugly branches and leaves beating my cheeks when I was falling down.

To remember all the details you should give yourself a little time and soothe your current thoughts to clear the way to those hidden memories.

  • Feelings

Digging in one’s feelings isn’t such a pleasant activity. Unfortunately, it’s a must in a narrative essay. Begin with your four senses: sight, hearing, smell, and touch. For example, when I saw that tree I felt so small and scared with its big branches from the ground. I heard how my heart stopped when my body touched the ground and I smelled the blood on my scratched hands and shoulders. Anyway, when you describe your senses, you evoke some old feelings towards them.

  • People, objects and other details

Your experience should be true-to-life, so there’s no need to make up a fictional story. Try to mention all people who surrounded you, objects that either irritated you or helped to relax. Any details will help you to interest the reader and make him more fascinated by your personal story.

Narrative Essay Prompts from The New York Times

If you are short of narrative essay ideas, then it’s time to check 650 prompts of The New York Times collection. An idea to gather student-generated topics came on the National Day on Writing. This experiment lasted for 7 years and resulted in 650 prompts divided into 46 categories. Sure, it’s not a complete list of narrative essay prompts. However, you can create a unique topic from them. For instance, in the screenshot below, you can see only three categories of such prompts but they can become your extra source of inspiration. Speaking of which, you can always find narrative essay examples in our 1,000,000 database of any academic papers.

How to develop an outline for a narrative essay?

  • Follow the structure of a narrative essay and make your standpoint clear in the introduction. If you need more tips on how to start a narrative essay, you can check an article in the link.
  • You must reveal a standpoint in the plot. You can dwell on all the factors mentioned above including your story surroundings and characters. Develop a climax so that a reader could be intrigued and involved into further reading. Your conclusion must be concise and reemphasize your standpoint introduced in the first part of your work.
  • Try to put all the events in a progression, even if they are mingled in your head. You share your experience and story with a reader who knows a little about you. Hence, the clarity is a way to make him understand your message.
  • Engage your reader with a storyline. Make him sympathize you or become thrilled with your story. Although a narrative story has nothing to do with advertising but you have to use such an engagement tool to achieve your main goal. You can just ask a question “Have you ever been on the verge of death? What was your first thought when you were going down? I had the most unbelievable feelings when it happened…”
  • Explain to a reader what this personal experience meant for you and perhaps, how it changed your life. For instance, “That awful moment of my life clearly determined the terms of life and death to me. It was the first time I realized a human being is more vulnerable than we imagine.”

Final thoughts

A narrative essay is one of the exceptional ways to express yourself and show your voice of an author. Take this chance to create a writing masterpiece out of your memories and feelings.