4 Tips For Writing A Powerful Personal Narrative Essay
The skill of writing a narrative essay is a crucial competency for field research. It describes your experience and lets the reader draw their conclusions instead of summarizing everything for them. Rather than hammering the reader with arguments or providing a detailed analysis like a critical essay, a narrative essay gently guides the reader toward its intended meaning.
This blog from IntellectualsDen will provide four essential tips on how to write a narrative essay that interests and engages your audience.
What Is a Personal Narrative Essay?
The core of the personal narrative essay is the narrative, how you describe a particular event in your life and relate it to the positivity or negativity in your life. A personal story essay, unlike fiction (perhaps with some minor ornamentation and creativity), presents real people and genuine experiences.
The fact that a narrative essay should always be short is one of the biggest hurdles in writing. Your objective is to take a complicated subject and make it simpler so that its primary points may be covered in a brief essay while still providing the reader with enough information to keep them engaged.
Four Essential Tips For Writing a Narrative Essay
Writing a narrative essay should be enjoyable. You don't need to use a linear format with no scope for customization. But that doesn't mean you break all the rules, misrepresent the facts, exaggerate everything and write something ridiculous.
If you're still having trouble coming up with a theme, think of your narrative as a coming-of-age story. A situation that helped make you who you are now. The reader's journey is the primary purpose of your writing. Therefore, it's essential to engage them by sharing your experience with them. The most exciting stories are the ones that take the audience out of their comfort zone.
Now let's give you some more tips on writing an excellent narrative story:
- Use Precise Words and Phrases
Don’t use words and phrases that make it difficult to understand what you are saying. It would be great to balance the placement of ideas within sentences and paragraphs.
“I've never gone to a race before, but I was both intrigued and a bit afraid to see it because of the number of people who attend these events.”
The above example although perfect in its delivery doesn’t offer much of the writer’s true experience or expression. Therefore, to make it more personal and relatable, the following is the right way to express your true feelings in a narrative essay.
“I'd never been to horse racing before. I was ecstatic to be a part of it, but I was also scared since I didn't know what to anticipate from the other people on the track.”
- Define Necessary Characters
Writing a narrative essay is not rocket science. However, you must understand the primary points while writing. Another essential tip is that you should describe all primary characters in a narrative essay and include details about their appearance, clothing, height, age, and other relevant information.
My grandmother used a razor blade to sharpen her pencil, taking watercolor paint and a paintbrush from her unique travel case. She paired her floral printed skirts with a flowery green cardigan. Her white hair was slicked back and into a bun.
- Use Dynamic Word Choice To Engage The Reader
Sometimes, content is not attractive to the readers because of a lack of dynamic and attractive words. Therefore, it's essential to avoid being too academic. Always use some colloquialisms, idioms, and expressions that you would use in a conversation, and avoid using passive verbs.
“They showed me a book full of photographs of car accident victims.”
As you can see, the statement does offer information about the writer’s experience but doesn’t relate to the audience.
“I have exhibited various horrific photographs of many people killed in car accidents which left me traumatized for a considerable period.”
The statement is still the same in its context but the writer is more open about its after-effects and explains it with the dynamic word "Traumatized."
- Try to Restrict the Citation
Don’t forget to include citations in the text according to formatting guidelines. Cite any significant sources in the "Works Consulted" list that follows the article. Instead of trying to bring your reader back to a previous point, describe yourself as you go.
"Lord, what idiots these people are," I thought, as they must be when I first saw comic book fans jumping around (Gaiman 1989.) Later, I found out why they did it.
The spectators swayed here and there. I was curious about what they were doing when I first saw it, and in my mind, I immediately thought of a line from Shakespeare that Neil Gaiman used in "The Sandman," "Lord What fools these men were." However, when I looked more, I saw that spokesmodels for the company were dispensing gifts. Fans have big plans for the convention day to make the best of the situation.
A personal narrative essay is a clever rhetorical device because it allows readers to draw their conclusions. Incorporate the above tips in your next personal narrative essay to build an excellent narrative and effectively engage the reader.