Tag Archives: narrative essay

How to Start a Narrative Essay

a girl is writing something on a piece of paperEvery good piece of writing has to catch a reader’s attention from the very beginning. A great school paper, especially a good narrative essay, has to do that too. It not only has to be exciting but also easy to read and understand as a reader forms an opinion on whether a piece is worth reading from the first lines. If they are dull or too complicated, an impression from the rest of your essay might be ruined.

This means that paying much attention to a narrative essay introductory paragraph is crucial in order to create a high-quality piece of writing. If you struggle with introduction parts in general or with the beginning of your narrative essay in particular, you will find this article very helpful. We have put together all of the best pieces of advice on how you can start your paper with a catchy and exciting introduction.

What Are the Specifics of a Narrative Essay

A narrative essay is a type of paper that is meant to develop a student’s creativity and imagination. When writing a narrative essay, a student has to describe some fictional or real event in the form of a story that will have:

  • A catchy introduction
  • A plotline
  • An atmosphere
  • A climax
  • Conclusion

A narrative essay is often written in the first person as it commonly tells about the author’s life experiences, but there might be exclusions. A lot of such compositions performed in high school or college are obligated to use dialogue, monologue, sensory details, and other literary devices to show writing skills and knowledge. So, how to start a narrative essay introduction? Let’s take a look at the strongest narrative introduction techniques.

Start with a Quote

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” – Beatrix Potter.

Quotes are great to start your essay with. Not only a narrative one but any other type of essay too. However, starting with just any random quote isn’t the right option as your beginning sentence should be relevant to the rest of your essay and also make sense to a reader.

Finding the right quote is not easy. Some of the quotes are too famous and too often used, so they seem to be too banal while others aren’t appropriate for your topic. So, the process of searching for the quote for your essay might take a while. Be patient and use the following platforms to search for the quotes:

Each narrative essay us different as it tells a different story and gives a different impression on the reader. When picking a quote, pay attention to its tone and make sure to choose the one that will suit the atmosphere of your essay.

Start with an Anecdote

“One time, I saw a balloon trapped in the branches of the tree behind our house. I couldn’t reach it from the ground, so I started climbing up. The bark of an old tree was crumbling under my feet, and small leaves were falling as I was moving up. Once I reached the balloon and tried to grab the string, it was taken away with the wind. I wasn’t able to climb down, so I waited for 4 hours for my parents to come home and get me off of the tree top.”

An anecdote is a short personal story that describes some event, situation, or personal experience. When used at the beginning of an essay, they help put a reader into a particular setting or build an atmosphere. Some anecdotes can be used to make the audience laugh, but others deliver a specific message that will help to understand the author’s ideas and point of view. They also might be sad, odd, or even tragic.

When creating an anecdote to start your essay with, remember that it has to be relevant to the main idea of your paper and set the right tone for a reader. You can add some fictional details to your anecdote but don’t make it too fantastic – remember, that anecdotes should represent the stories from real life.

Start with Statistics

“Around 70 percent of students say they have witnessed bullying in their schools. I am one of them.”

You might think that using statistics is suitable when creating a research paper, explanatory essay, or a dissertation. In other words, any other type of school paper but not a narrative essay. However, statistics can be used as a supportive fact that will make your paper more polished. It will also give the impression that you have conducted research and prepared some interesting numbers that can be used to support your ideas.

Numbers always add value and reliability to your words. They also help perceive and remember information better than when reading a plain text. Professors and teachers love finding such details in the works of their students. They know that statistics require time and effort which you can save if turning to a writing team for help.

Start with a Question

“What was there so enchanting and mysterious that made me sit there in silence with my eyes wide open? I didn’t know then and neither I know now. But this was the day when I discovered the hypnotic power of nature.”

When you start your essay with a question instantly makes your reader wonder what the answer to this question is. This is one of the most commonly used literary devices that help to establish contact with your readers and engage them.

Asking a question is also a way to boost your imagination and break through writer’s block if you experience one. Questions make you find the answers, and sometimes they can lead to very unexpected ideas.

Use questions also to make your reader involved in your story. For example,

“Have you ever wondered what our lives would be like if we couldn’t feel the taste of food?”

Such questions intrigue and speak directly to readers, therefore help to establish contact.

Wrapping Up

Starting your paper is not easy. That is the reason why many students seek help and wonder “how to write an introductory paragraph for a narrative essay?” Not always you can come up with a good idea of how to make your introduction compelling and powerful enough. It’s especially hard to write the first sentence or as it is also called a hook sentence which attracts the attention of your reader and sparks interest. However, with the help of our tips, it will definitely be easier for you to create catchy introductions to your narrative essays or even other types of school papers.

The 7 Secrets of Magnificent Narrative Writing

narrative writing

Navigating your way through the various options when it comes to essay writing can feel like you’re going through a minefield. Narrative, Descriptive, Expository, Persuasive … they can all seem like different ways of saying the same thing. In fact, some essay styles are very similar but each one has its own quirks and style rules which can help writers communicate with their audience and, once you understand them, they can even help you to craft the best piece possible.

1. Understand What a Narrative Essay Entails

Simply put, a narrative essay uses the act of story-telling in order to convey a message, teach a lesson, provide insight or educate the audience. Many times these stories are taken from a writer’s own personal experience, which can make starting the essay easier than writing other types of papers. Take full advantage of this when writing your rough draft. But a narrative paper also needs to involve the reader, so descriptions become especially important.

2. Let Your Rough Draft be Raw

The power of any personal story lies in how raw it is. When writing the rough draft, don’t hold anything back. If your story is a particularly powerful one, let yourself write the rough draft without restricting your language or descriptions. While you won’t want to leave your final draft scattered with F-bombs, including them in your rough draft will give you the creative wiggle room you need to tell your story in your own way and retain its powerful message. Cleaning up the language and tightening the writing can be done in the revision stages.

3. Make it Personal, But Keep it Professional

Although a narrative essay is built upon personal experience, the final result still needs to be polished and professional. A narrative essay isn’t an open letter, it still needs to build towards a specific conclusion, insight or position on a topic. When needed, include research data, anecdotal evidence and other forms of outside research in order to give greater weight to your main point. This also gives you the chance to leave your own story for a moment, capitalize on outside research, and then bring the readers back to your personal story in the conclusion.

4. Craft Descriptions With the Audience in Mind

Your readers won’t be coming into this paper with the same background knowledge you have on the subject. Be sure your descriptions are vivid and well written. Avoid using adverbs like very, almost, nearly or quite too often. Instead swap out phrases which use these adverbs with better descriptions. A house isn’t ‘quite old’, it’s seasoned, decrepit or ancient. Using more vivid language brings your words to life and makes the audience feel more involved.

5. Jump Into the Deep End

Beginning your essay with a bit of back story ay seem like a good idea, but getting right to the action will engage your readers from the first sentence. Begin your essay with a powerful statement or by jumping into your story just as the action is happening. You can backtrack and give the background information once you begin the body of your paper.

6. Know Where You’re Going

Using a personal story to write an essay makes you vulnerable to getting off track easily. Before you begin relating your own story, be sure you’ve hammered out the rough draft for both your introduction and conclusion ahead of time. This way you’ll always know what you want your final point to be. If you get lost on a tangent halfway through, you can refer back to your rough drafts to get back on track.

7. Know How to Cite

A narrative essay may be built upon a personal story, but citing other works can still play a major role. In many other essay types, it’s normal to cite as you go, including small references to papers, books or other resources as a part of the text. For a narrative essay, however, keep all citations until the end and include them in a Works Cited page at the end as opposed to including them within the main text. This will help your audience to follow your story easily without any disruption.