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Tricks For Academic Writing

Writing A College Narrative Essay: 4 Tried And True Tips For Students


The college narrative essay is a creative assignment that asks students to tell a story, usually chronologically, that recounts an experience using highly descriptive language and demonstrating a clear command of organization in telling that story. It can be a lot of fun for many students, while at the same time it can be a problematic assignment to others. Here are four tried and true tips for college students to know when writing a narrative essay:

  1. Brainstorm ideas and experiences
  2. There are many instructors who will provide you with a list of topics to choose from, but more often than not this kind of assignment encourages creativity and suggests you work on an original topic of your choosing. When this is the case you want to spend about a half hour brainstorming several ideas and experiences. Don’t be discouraged by a topic you think other students will also discuss. Remember that your life is unique, as are the details that will go into your narrative essay.

  3. Create a detailed outline
  4. With so many thoughts and memories likely spinning in your mind, it’s a good idea to narrow them down into a single topic and organize your discussion points. Remember that a college narrative essay isn’t about writing everything you think is an important event in your life; it’s about finding one important event and expounding on its meaning through specific talking points.

  5. Write your first draft freely
  6. Now that you’ve developed a detailed outline you’re ready to start writing your first draft. Try your best to write without stopping. A lot of writers suggest you do a first draft in a single sitting, without distraction and without stopping to make corrections or dwelling too much on finding the right words. The purpose of this exercise is to get something on which you could build your final narrative essay work, so write as quickly and efficiently as possible.

  7. Revise the content of your paper
  8. When you revise your narrative essay you’re basically looking for ways to improve upon your content. Tried and true tips to get this accomplished is to look for the logical flow of the events or details described, noting your word choice in describing events, or people, or places, and providing a clear sense of time and space so that your readers won’t be easily confused about the point you are trying to make with your story.

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