To write a narrative essay, you’ll need to tell a story (usually about something that happened to you) in such a way that he audience learns a lesson or gains insight.
To write a descriptive essay, you’ll need to describe a person, object, or event so vividly that the reader feels like he/she could reach out and touch it.
Tips for writing effective narrative and descriptive essays:
- Tell a story about a moment or event that means a lot to you--it will make it easier for you to tell the story in an interesting way!
- Get right to the action! Avoid long introductions and lengthy descriptions--especially at the beginning of your narrative.
- Make sure your story has a point! Describe what you learned from this experience.
- Use all five of your senses to describe the setting, characters, and the plot of your story. Don't be afraid to tell the story in your own voice. Nobody wants to read a story that sounds like a textbook!
How to Write Vivid Descriptions
Having trouble describing a person, object, or event for your narrative or descriptive essay? Try filling out this chart:
What do you smell?
What do you taste?
What do you see?
What do you hear?
What might you touch or feel?
Remember: Avoid simply telling us what something looks like--tell us how it tastes, smells, sounds, or feels!
- Virginia rain smells different from a California drizzle.
- A mountain breeze feels different from a sea breeze.
- We hear different things in one spot, depending on the time of day.
- You can “taste” things you’ve never eaten: how would sunscreen taste?
Using Concrete Details for Narratives
Effective narrative essays allow readers to visualize everything that's happening, in their minds. One way to make sure that this occurs is to use concrete, rather than abstract, details.
…makes the story or image seem clearer and more real to us.
...makes the story or image difficult to visualize.
…gives us information that we can easily grasp and perhaps empathize with.
…leaves your reader feeling empty, disconnected, and possibly confused.
The word “abstract” might remind you of modern art. An abstract painting, for example, does not normally contain recognizable objects. In other words, we can't look at the painting and immediately say "that's a house" or "that's a bowl of fruit." To the untrained eye, abstract art looks a bit like a child's finger-painting--just brightly colored splotches on a canvas.
Avoid abstract language—it won’t help the reader understand what you're trying to say!
Abstract: It was a nice day.
Concrete: The sun was shining and a slight breeze blew across my face.
Abstract: I liked writing poems, not essays.
Concrete: I liked writing short, rhythmic poems and hated rambling on about my thoughts in those four-page essays.
Abstract: Mr. Smith was a great teacher.
Concrete: Mr. Smith really knew how to help us turn our thoughts into good stories and essays.
Sample Papers - Narration
Sample Papers - Descriptive
Creating A Descriptive Essay- 5 Great Thesis Statement Examples
A descriptive essay explains everything there is to know about an object, place, or person. You would want to choose a good topic so that you can write a good paper. For example, it is easy to write about a basketball but it will be really hard to write a whole essay on this topic. Therefore, you will want to make sure that you choose one that it a little more involved so that you have enough to write about.
When you have chosen a topic, you have to write a good thesis statement. It is the heart of your paper. It is what your whole paper will be on. Every sentence is used to prove that point. The best way to understand how to write a good thesis statement is to read through a few great examples.
Please note a few things that may occur in these examples so that you can understand exactly what is expected of you. You have to include the main point that you are trying to make and the reasons why you believe it.
A dog is a great pet because they are loyal, kind-hearted, and protective.
I always remember my first day of school because I got to pick out a brand new outfit to wear, I got to ride the bus for the first time, and I made a very good friend.
Harrison Ford is my favorite actor because he is a believable character, he is in a lot of good movies, and he is personable.
Italy is an awesome country to visit because it has a rich history, beautiful scenery, and great food.
It is fun to go camping because you get a chance to get away from the world, it is quiet, and you get to spend quality time with your loved ones.
These are good examples to use as a guide. As you can see, each of them include the main point of the essay and three reasons. They are set up for a five paragraph essay because this is the most common type.
In a descriptive essay, you need to describe your topic and if you write a good thesis, it will help you develop your ideas. You will write a paper describing what your favorite book is and why or where your dream vacation would be and why.