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Types Of A Narrative Essay: Basic Tutorial For Students

Writing a narrative essay means telling a story. Such works are often experiential, anecdotal and personal. They usually have purpose; that is, a narrative essay is a story told for reason. Its focus is the plot, that’s why it should be written with details and descriptions including characters and setting. Anyways, not all narrative essays are the same; there are a variety of structural types we can use to describe such a piece of writing:

  • First-person perspective.
  • In this type of essay, the narrator exists within the textual world - that is, he or she is a character of the story. This piece of writing describes an event or tells of an incident or experience of the storyteller. According to the rules of narrative style, such a story should have traditional composition including exposition, plot development, climax (culmination), denouement, and ending. Still, these components may undergo transformation or be omitted – everything depends on author’s creativity.

  • The framed essay.
  • The main peculiarity of this type is that the narration starts at the end. To put it simply, the story opens after its key event has already happened, then goes back to the actual beginning and ends with a return to the event from the opening of the story. The author creates a so-called “frame”; the traditional composition is somewhat inverted here, but such a trick catches the interest of readers.

  • The open-ended story.
  • These essays are cliffhangers; they wager on the author’s and reader’s imagination. Instead of closing the story with a definite, logical ending and conclusions, the author leaves it incomplete, making the reader guess or think up the outcome. Writing such essays demands mastery: the trick is that the text should be written so that the ending of the story can be obvious and clear to the reader. To achieve this effect, the writer needs to emphasize significant events and details which suggest the expectable ending. In this case, details matter a great deal, because they are like keys to the denouement. To make the effect more powerful, the writer may stop narrating at the most unexpected place.

  • Start from the middle.
  • In this type of narrative, the compositional pattern undergoes some transformation. Without giving any background information, the author begins the story in the middle, as if thrusting the reader inside it – this is what makes the story gripping, since so much is unknown. To achieve a better effect, the writer has to make emphasis on significant details of the event. Character development becomes minor while plot becomes the main focus.

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