Narrative Essay

Narrative Essay: A narrative essay is a composition written about a personal experience, real or imaginary. Whenever someone recounts an event or tells a story, he or she is using narration. A narrative essay may be entertaining or informative.

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Narrative Essay

The Narrative Essay

  • Is told from a particular point of view
  • Makes and supports a point
  • Is filled with precise details
  • Uses vivid verbs and modifiers
  • Uses conflict and sequence as does any story
  • May use dialogue

Areas of Narrative Composition

  • Historical events or legends, e.g., the Reign of the East India Company, the Story of Meera Bai, etc.
  • Biographies, e.g., Life History of Gandhiji, Shivaji, etc.
  • Incidents, e.g., a building on fire, celebration, a street quarrel, a festival, etc.
  • Some accidents or natural disasters or calamities, e.g., Tsunami, earthquake, flood, drought, ship-wreck, etc.
  • Journeys or voyages; a real or imaginary story.
  • Visits to places of interest.


1. The order will be a beginning, middle and an end. Keep this order while narrating. Chronological arrangement is essential.

2. The beginning must be impressive and arresting. It may be through some action, or with unusual details, or with a dialogue.

3. You may use specific selection of anecdotes, humorous quotes, or dialogues in your narration.

4. The characters if any, should be clearly etched so that the reader is able to visualize them.

5. The scene or the setting should be well defined.

6. Long, irrelevant and uninteresting details should be eliminated.

7. Narrative essays are normally written in first person.

8. A definite conclusion has to be reached. The reader should not feel that you are ending your composition just because you cannot carry it on any further. A surprise ending is an added attraction to your composition. But do it if you can deal with it deftly.

Sample Essays

1. You have been living in your ancestral house since your birth. The house is acquired by the government because the Delhi Metro line has to pass from there. Narrate the incidence and describe your feelings about moving out of this house.

My grandfather came into the country from what had just been named Pakistan in 1947 with his parents. In return for the land that he had left behind there, he had been allotted some property in what was now the capital of independent India – New Delhi. On this land, over four years, he built for his family a lovely new house. Until last week it was the only home I had ever known, and now it is to be demolished.

Over the last few years sweeping changes have taken place in Delhi; with the advent of the Delhi Metro, the very geography of the city has been altered. Suddenly, it has become possible to get from one end of the city to the other in just over an hour, and that too in air-conditioned comfort.

As time goes by, the spread of the Metro is only slated to expand. It will soon cut through entirely new localities and neighborhoods as it makes it easier than ever before to get from place to place in the city. Unfortunately, my ancestral house happens to be in one of those neighborhoods.

Our house happened to be right where a new line of the Delhi Metro was soon supposed to be. Since it was, of course, impossible for both to simultaneously occupy the space, the house had to go. The Government bought it from us for a princely sum, and while this allowed us to buy another house elsewhere, it could do nothing to alleviate the pain we felt at shifting out. That we were in some, small way assisting the growth of public transportation in the city was no consolation at all.

As we packed our belongings and began moving our luggage out, there was no one who was not crying a little bit. Four generations of my family had lived in this house, and it was suffused with the memories of all the time we had spent here. I myself had grown up in its various rooms, corridors, and gardens, and was heart- broken at the thought that very soon it would cease to even exist. Still, a new house meant new rooms and a new neighborhood to explore, and that was a heartening thought for the time being.

2. Your father is an avid traveller and loves to seek new experiences. Narrate your experiences of one special trip that you took along with your father.

Traveling has been my father’s longtime passion. He finds exploring unfamiliar places, meeting new people and getting to know different cultures exceptionally inspiring. Therefore, by the age of 12, I had already been to many exotic places: Turkey, Laos, Thailand, Japan, Egypt, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia and Cuba. Recently my father had to go Ukraine for work. He wanted to take us with him and since my younger brother and I had holidays during that period, the whole family went for the trip.

I did not know what to expect from Ukraine since I knew little about it. But somehow I knew that it would be an intriguing experience due to the spontaneous nature of my travel.

Ukraine turned out to be completely different from any place I had visited so far. Kiev, the capital city, appeared unexpectedly well-groomed, green and wealthy. Lots of bridges across the Dnieper River, a large number of outstanding parks, a couple of botanical gardens, and flowers everywhere you go.

The Carpathian Mountains in Western Ukraine are precious and authentic, with small distant villages and little country houses that seem like modern progress will never reach them. The people of Western Ukraine amazed me as well, especially the elderly – amiable, positive and active.

From the Carpathians, we traveled to Lviv – a wonderful medieval city that is somewhat similar to Prague, yet it is special in its atmosphere: 800-year-old  castles, wooden churches, Gothic catholic temples and palaces, flowers at every corner and on every window seal, original block pavement streets of the Old City (Stare Misto).

Lviv is a magical city and it fueled me with inspiration to see the rest of the country. Next we went to Zaporizhzhya (quite a tongue twister) – an eastern city with two thousand years of history. The city is built on two banks of the Dnipro River, and has an island in the middle – Khortitsa – the biggest river island in the world.

The city itself seemed to me to be still Soviet-like in its spirit and atmosphere, so it was quite interesting to take photos of their famous dam with the huge Lenin statue pointing at it, and the factories that were once the pride of the USSR and, amazingly, still successfully functioning for export purposes nowadays.

Our next stop was Crimea – a big heart-shaped peninsula that is washed by two seas – the Black Sea and the Azov Sea (the shallowest in the world). Crimea has indescribable mountains, fantastic crystal caves and scenic deep lakes. It is a picturesque place – so green, so virginal, so unlike anything I have seen before.

Ukraine was a true discovery for me, and one of those times when your expectations are nothing like what you see. If you should ask me what place I can recommend to those avid and blase travelers who seem to have seen it all, I would say without a second of hesitation: “Go to Ukraine! Whatever you will expect this will still amaze and astonish you.”

Suggested Outlines of Narrative Essays

Describe your experience at an exhibition

  • Venue of the exhibition
  • Theme of the exhibition
  • Your time of visit
  • Type of people present
  • You visit many stalls and buy some interesting items
  • You win numerous prizes
  • You eat something; return home happy and content.

While coming back from an excursion after the final exams got over, you were in a boat and suddenly another boat capsized in the water. One of the younger boys almost drowned in the river. Describe how you and your classmates helped the distressed children.

  • Final exams got over
  • Outgoing class X students go for excursion
  • How you enjoyed throughout the day ?
  • While returning in a boat, students were busy singing and dancing.
  • How suddenly the weather became stormy !
  • Another boat with students capsized.
  • The boat owner sent rescuers.
  • Some students and teachers, who were swimmers managed to save the lives of many students.
  • People on the shore welcomed them.

You woke up at night and saw a house on fire. Describe what happened next.

  • In the middle of the night you suddenly wake up.
  • You smell smoke.
  • From the window you see a neighboring house is on fire.
  • What do you do?
  • What is the scene on the road?
  • People are crying for help in that house.
  • How the fire engine extinguishes the fire and people are rescued ?

My Best Friend

  • What a friend means to you ?
  • Write who your best friend is.
  • Why you consider him/her to be your best friend ?
  • What are the things you like to do together with your friend ?
  • How and when, your best friend helped you ?

A Personal Accomplishment

  • Write about something that you worked hard to accomplish.
  • How did you go about succeeding?
  • Why did you want to accomplish this particular thing?
  • How do you feel about your accomplishment?
  • What other things do you want to accomplish?

The Day you met a Celebrity

  • Name of the person
  • When and where you met him/her ?
  • Your initial reaction
  • How you approached the person ?
  • What transpired during the meeting ?
  • Your feelings at the end of the meeting


  1. Describe a frightening experience.
  2. A memorable journey.
  3. There are heavy rains and water has entered your city. Describe what happens.
  4. A memorable wedding.
  5. Describe a cricket match between India and Pakistan.
  6. Once your teacher caught you playing in the class with your classmates during a free period. You already had a good impression on others. The teacher made his/her own impression about you. You felt guilty and bad.
  7. Describe how you managed to regain your goodwill.
  8. A chance encounter with a stranger.
  9. The day after the cyclone.
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