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An Expert-Written Tutorial on how to Create Narrative Essays Step by Step

The best way to look at a narrative essay is to think about a stone hitting water. Think about a calm lake. Then, picture someone picking up a stone and throwing it into the water. Imagine the ripples the stone creates, and how those ripples spread further and further. Eventually, they grow fainter until they finally disappear.

An essay is very similar, and you’ll soon see how understanding this analogy can help you come up with a well-structured narrative essay.

  • The calm – Status quo
  • The narrative essay begins with a setting. You can mention the time, place, and circumstances of the way things start out. This sets the reader up to understand the status quo, which precedes the coming “storm” which will shake things up. You will also give a brief description of your characters here.

  • You are the stone thrower
  • As the writer of the narrative essay, see yourself as a stone thrower. You will be picking up a pebble and throwing it into a large body of water. Something big happens in your story—the cause. Imagine a big dunking sound as the stone hits the water, and your characters and their safe circumstances suddenly change.

  • Ripples – Cause and effect
  • The ripples in the water caused by the stone are a chain reaction. That one big event started off a whole lot of other effects which is what your story is really all about. Try to keep a good flow going here. Your story should hold all the important details about how your characters were affected by the large event that set everything in motion.

  • The ripples are gone, but where is the stone?
  • Eventually the ripples will disappear, but there is now a change in the water. A stone lies at the bottom of the body of water and there is will stay. In the same way, your story’s major climactic event has now passed. But in its wake, the stone that was thrown leaves a permanent effect on the way things used to be. Be sure to mention this before concluding.

  • A summary
  • In conclusion, simply remember the following as a guide for your narrative essay:

    • Introduction and setting (can be merged if your word count is limited)
    • The cause
    • The effect or reaction
    • The conclusion

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