How to Start a Narrative Essay
A narrative essay is one of the most inspiring assignments. It is a type of paper on the verge of the “traditional” essay form and creative writing. You have to present your position on some issue by telling a story from your personal experience and sharing your emotions.
It gives more freedom and the opportunity to experiment with styles and storytelling. You can get away from the strict requirements of more “scientific” essays and let your imagination work. Develop a catchy plotline, create unique characters, use bright means of figurative speech – you name it. Of course, that all will be after you manage to start a narrative essay.
Writing the essay introduction is the thing that drives many students crazy – it is the most frequent reason for the writer’s block. Online guidelines are often not the best helpers, either. They mostly stress the value of the Introduction and explain how crucial it is for getting the reader’s attention. When it comes to precise recommendations on how to write that part, many manuals become very general.
It is the reason why we compose this article on how to write a narrative essay introduction. We were students ourselves, and we remember that feeling of helplessness when you look at the empty page. Our article should help you to overcome that unpleasant stage. Everything becomes smoother when you know what to do.
Why Is It Important to Hook Your Reader?
The start of any story is always the most challenging part. The most established writers with tons of professional awards confess they have to force themselves to start the writing. It might be procrastination, but more frequently, it is uncertainty. The beginning has to catch the audience at once. It often defines if you have success with your story, whether it is a college essay or a novel.
In fact, a catchy narrative essay introduction would hardly compensate for the overall piece. Still, it sets the right tone for the audience and makes it more benevolent. On the contrary, a weak Introduction buries the writer’s chances at once. The public loves exciting and creative stories. But first, you have to persuade your readers that your story is worth their time. If you fail this stage, you may never get the audience back.
That’s why the role of the narrative essay introduction is enormous – it is the first impression you produce, and there isn’t the second chance. Here comes the “hook” – the first sentence or a couple of sentences of your essay. The “hook” is a method of appealing to the public. Its goal is to evoke their reactions immediately and ensure that it will be a positive reaction.
Several methods are suitable for the “hook” – further, we’ll consider them. For you, it will be reliable support explaining how to start a narrative essay if you want to produce the right impression at once.
However, the essay Introduction is not just a hook. It includes other elements and pursues more goals. The task of fitting them all into a short text fragment is not the easiest one. Still, it is definitely possible.
How to Begin a Narrative Essay
No one starts to write a story out of the blue – it always follows preparation works. This part is significant, and the better you prepare – the easier it will be to write your essay. It goes for all essay types. However, starting a narrative essay has its peculiar features.
- Read your assignment carefully, understand the prompt, and identify the requirements. This step is obvious. Still, it is worth to focus more on it. You need to check all the demands of your narrative essay. If any issue seems vague, or you are not sure if you can include some idea, consult your instructor. Clarify the details and dispel the doubts before you proceed to work. Otherwise, you risk that your effort will be for nothing.
- Brainstorm story ideas. First of all, decide if it will be a personal story or a fiction (though fictional stories often refer to own memories). It adds realistic details to make the narrative more convincing. Then, consider the ideas – your imagination has no limits here. One tip – choose the ideas bringing you stronger emotions and impressions. If you feel them, you can help the audience to feel the same.
- Choose a topic that perfectly fits your prompt. Your chances to start a narrative essay brightly and turn it into an engaging story are much higher with the right topic. Think of the things appealing to you – it helps to develop the plot. Also, make sure not to choose too emotional issues, as you have to stay in control. Note also that it is always better to tell about the things your readers already care about.
- Decide on the message of your story. Why do you want to share it? What reaction would you expect from the audience? It is critical for further work after you begin a narrative essay. A good tip is not to strive for too much. Focus on one particular idea or case of experience you want to share with the audience.
- Plan and outline your narrative. Consider the beginning, the middle, and the end of the story. One more thing is that that you need literacy techniques here. First, identify your exposition and the inciting incident. Then develop the rising action, the climax, and the falling action. The resolution completes the story, and then you proceed to the conclusion. Outlines let you try different variants. Editing a sketch is much simpler than deleting a good part of the story and starting everything anew.
- Catch your readers’ attention with a hook. It is the first phrase that your readers learn, and they have to justify the decision to read the rest for your public. Starting a narrative essay must be impressive. You may choose from different types of hooks but stick to the rule of relevance. The brightest attention-grabber will not work if parted from the rest of your text. When people don’t see the connection between the opening sentence and the following parts, they become annoyed.
- Introduce the main characters. These characters can be you and other people you know, or they can be fictional. Consider them separately. Start from their names, ages, and general descriptions. Then, dig deeper and consider their tempers, motives, and beliefs. You might not use all the information in the story, but you have to think everything over. When you are one of the characters, you still should plan it in the same way. It lets you compose a realistic plot and actions.
- Describe the setting of your story in the narrative essay introduction. You should state all locations where your events take place. If there are several of them, work them all out thoroughly. It does not mean that you’ll need detailed descriptions of each location – a couple of details might be enough. You need to have enough information for each variant to take those details from. Also, focus on concise and impressive images. They help to develop a “three-dimensional” picture of the place with different meanings.
- Provide the thesis statement. Though this essay type is freeform, it is still an essay, and it needs this necessary element. The difference is that the narrative essay thesis statement should not be the spoiler of the story. Thus, you might use some intriguing events preview. In other cases, it could be the topic statement, but with a catchy wording. The essence is the same: the audience thinks what to expect from your story and becomes interested.
Awesome Hooks Examples for Starting a Narrative Essay
The most common hook types are quotes, questions, stats data, and interesting facts. These types are universal, and you can use them for any essay type. However, to start a narrative essay, you have more options. Let’s consider them.
An appropriate quote represents the idea better than you might express yourself. Besides, it ignites your audience – people accept the sense of that quote and respond with their experience and understanding. One more advantage is setting the tone – serious, emotional, creative, and so on. However, the quote must match the purpose of the story.
e.g., “Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it” (Terry Pratchett)
An anecdote is excellent for building an atmosphere. It helps the public to relax and feel positive about your essay. On the other hand, it does not mean that your story must be humorous only. You can make it serious, sad, or even tragic. In this case, the opening anecdote will strengthen the planned impression. The requirement is the same as in the previous example: relevance in a must. It may match the story indirectly or be a metaphor, but the evident connection is mandatory.
e.g., “Organized people are simply too lazy to search for stuff.”
A question is a suitable option for any essay. By asking a question, you engage the audience at once. People start to think about the answer and get automatically involved in your narrative. This technique is an excellent method for the essay author as well. When you fight the writer’s block, you ask yourself a relevant question, and it demolishes the problem. Your mind is set in the right way.
e.g., “Did you ever have that feeling that your life did not belong to you?”
The goal is to disconcert your audience and overcome mental inertia. Shocking makes the readers get out of their “comfort zone” and focus on the external. In this case, the outer is your story. Still, this hook must concern your essay directly as well. If your essay theme is irrelevant, it will be a failure.
e.g., “Even in the 21st century, almost half of the Earth population lives in poverty.”
It is one of the most suitable options for any occasion. It engages the audience and sets it positively to your essay. Consider the facts related to the story. It will be excellent if you can reflect on the meaning of that fact in your narrative. When done naturally, it improves the overall impression of the story.
e.g., “The two most frequently used words in English are you and I.”
The setting description helps to build the atmosphere. However, using this hook requires outstanding writing skills. Many readers find such openings annoying. You need to care much about the text rhythm to grasp the audience. Or, you need to provide additional information in the setting. It could be introducing the character, raising the conflict, or intriguing the audience.
e.g., “Local people called it a Black House. It was a tall, old, and scary as hell. All adults told their kids they should not go there, but kids strived for it because it was a Mystery.”
Statistical data are traditional for the research papers’ hooks and more “scientific” essays. At the same time, it does not mean you can’t use them for narrative essays. Statistics deals with all the aspects of our life, and you can find the fact matching your story. Also, statistical facts can work for the other hook types like interesting facts or shocking statements.
e.g., “According to statistics, 1,700 people become millionaires every day.”
Still Need Help with Your Narrative Essay?
We hope that this article will help you when you are wondering how to start a narrative essay. The start is indeed the most problematic stage with lots of psychological blocks. Still, knowing how to do it is great to support you.
However, there can be any reason preventing you from doing this job. For instance, a strict deadline, a lack of energy, or you don’t feel comfortable sharing personal experiences. Then, you can buy a narrative essay. Our team will help you with this task. You can get the desired excellent grade without sacrificing your health. It will also save your budget, as our prices are affordable for anyone.