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Writing A 5-Paragraph Narrative Essay- Practical Guidelines

The focus of a narrative is to tell a story. You can think of it as your reflection on a situation that has happened in the past. It can be a memory about a person or event. You can even write it about something that happened to someone else. It can be happening now or has happened before. It is up to you to decide what event you want to write the paper on. Once you have your topic, there are some practical guidelines that you can follow to write this type of paper in the five paragraph format with an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion.

  • - Recreate the experience so that your reader will feel as if they had experienced it themselves. Write this paper in the first person voice unlike most essays that you write.
  • - Talk about a lesson that you learned from the experience instead of just talking about an event that you attended. Find something that communicates something that helped you grow as a person.
  • - Identify the experience, jot down the main points, take notes on everything that you remember about that date, and then create an outline.
  • - Use details and try to invoke all of your reader’s senses through your words. Explain how the sun beamed down on you and you felt the sweat building up on your back as you waited for the gun shot to go off and the race to begin. Talk about how the air smelled of popcorn and hotdogs. Paint a picture with your words so that your reader feels like they were actually there.
  • - You should include even the smallest details that you remember because those details will create a more realistic experience for your reader. These details will change a mediocre paper into a great one.
  • - You want to tell a story that communicates a message to your audience. You trained really hard for that race and even though half way through the race you were behind, you kept running as if you were in the lead. You shut out the world and just concentrated on your breathing and the way you let your foot hit the ground. You ended up losing that race anyways but you will try again next year. You know if you had trained a little harder, the result could have been different. Or you won the race because you were slow and steady. Find meaning and portray it through your piece.

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