What are the steps to write a good narrative essay?

Expert Answers
cathibee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several steps you can take to write an effective literary essay. 

First, before you start, you need to figure out your topic and focus. What will your write about? What "story" will you tell?

Then, think about how you will put your thesis together. Your thesis statement will be the last sentence in your introduction, but before you write anything else, you need to think about this part of your essay. There are two components in the narrative thesis; the event you will tell the reader about and the point you want to make about it. In a story about how your mother overcame cancer, for example, you could say something like: 

"My mother's successful battle with cancer taught me one thing: To appreciate life while we have it." 

You can then build the rest of your essay around this idea. 

Now it's time to start your introduction. This paragraph will begin with a few general statements to "prepare" your reader for the rest of your work. You could make a few interesting statements about cancer, for example, or about our relationships to our mothers. Then end this paragraph with the thesis you prepared. 

The body of your work is where you tell your story, and this will be your next focus. 

What you need to remember here is that every paragraph should focus on a specific point you want to make. Since you're telling a story, each paragraph will focus on a specific stage or time period of the story. Your first paragraph, for example, might focus on the diagnosis, while the last paragraph will focus on how your mother beat cancer. 

Your conclusion will then end the essay by telling your reader the impact of the event on your life and how you will use it in the future. 

I hope these comments helped. 

Good luck with your essay!