Personal Statement Essay Sample

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The Best Narrative Essay Structure

What is narrative essay structure

The structure of a narrative essay is the order in which the plot is told. The main ways an essay may be structured are:

  • Chronologically – Told in the order events happened
  • Backwards in flashbacks – Story told out of sequence through the use of flashbacks.

While one method can’t be said to be better than the other, for beginning writers generally using a chronological narrative essay structure is best. It is easier to keep events organized in this manner and there is less chance of confusing the reader. Narrative essay paragraph structure is usually a topic sentence followed by supporting sentences.

Other narrative essay structure considerations

The narrative essay is generally told in the past tense although it may be told in the present tense. You shouldn’t change the tense you begin with. This is also true of the point of view the essay is written in. A narrative essay can be written in first person or third person. The point of view shouldn’t change from the one you begin with.

The following is a narrative essay written chronologically in the past tense from a first person point of view:

“It is important to try to help your friends, even if it puts you in harm’s way. I learned this one spring day, when a twister tore through the outskirts of Tulsa. I could have stayed in my basement with my dog and a radio, but in retrospect, I am glad I braved the storm to look for my friends.

Driving the route from our house to where they worked the song “Riding the Storm Out ” came on, which was fitting. By the time I approached the right neighborhood the wind had ceased and an eerie stillness settled in. What I noticed first was the absence of artificial light reflecting back at me from the water everywhere. Night had fallen and because of the tornado all of the streetlights were out. The buildings were dark and had no light.

Narrative Essay StructureI found my friend’s car, in the aftermath, trapped in debris. I looked across the street and among a crowd of frightened expressions I finally located my friends. I saw from the expression on my friend Lisa’s face that she was in shock. My other friend was walking through others who were injured helping pour shots of the whiskey somebody had produced to calm people down. Lisa had a piece of glass in her arm and bloody knees and my other roommate had deep cuts on the palms of his hands. I insisted that they go to the emergency room, where they were admitted to triage.

Even though my friends might have done okay without me, I am glad that I could help them out. Since Lisa was in shock, she probably would not have sought medical attention without my pushing her. If I am faced with a life-threatening situation again, I will come to the aid of my friends. Hopefully, this sentiment will not be challenged any time soon.”

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