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How to Start a Narrative Essay – Useful Guidelines

How to start a narrative essay

Many college students want to know how to start a narrative essay because the beginning of this write-up defines the number of readers that can be retained until the end. Using the right hook ensures that readers get absorbed from the beginning. Readers appreciate the narrative if they find it enjoyable from the start. They become interested in reading it to the end.


What is a Narrative Essay

A narrative essay is simply a story. When writing the other types of essays, you aim to prove or argue something. But, a narrative essay is different. When writing it, you tell a story. In most cases, you will be asked to tell a story about yourself. Everybody has a story and they can tell it more often when asked to. However, not every story in your mind can make a good essay.

Therefore, think about an experience that has always lingered in your mind. Choose an aspect of your life that other people will be interested to read about. This is very important because if the reader is not engaged, they will not read the essay to the end. But, you came across this article because the most important thing to you now is to know how to start writing this essay.

How to Start a Narrative Essay

There are many ways of starting a narrative essay. When drafting the introduction of this essay, aim at being impactful. Pay keen attention to the way you do this. Although you won’t be required to follow stringent guidelines or adhere to strict structures when writing this essay, you should be careful to capture the attention of your readers.

Make sure that your introductory paragraph has a hook or the opening statement that captures the readers’ attention. Perhaps, the hook is arguably the most important element in this essay. Always remember that this narration is about sharing personal experiences. Therefore, start it off in an engaging and stimulating tone. The beginning of your narration should stir up the attention of the reader and make them want to keep reading.

Bring your readers on board from the beginning so that they can connect to your experience and passion. Also, retain your readers with the right tone from the beginning. Using the right hook is a great way to start a narrative essay for college. It also grabs their attention firmly to ensure that they won’t abandon you along the way.

How to Start a Narrative Essay for College

Students can use different approaches to start their narrative essays. The chosen approach should depend on the selected essay topic. Since there is no specific structure that should be followed when drafting the hook, learners should present their creativity boldly in this part of the essay.

Here are some of the approaches to try when starting this essay:

  • Using a quote. Many students use quotes to hook readers from the introduction. This is a great approach for writers that get stuck in the process of coining unique hooks. It can be a statement from an inspirational source that a writer considers sentimental or a notable person. Nevertheless, it should be something that captures the attention of the readers.
  • Statistics. You can also start this essay with relevant statistics. These should be figures that relate to your topic. Your reader’s attention will be stirred up by relevant statistics, especially if they didn’t expect the figures that you provide.
  • Anecdote. You can start your narration with a brief overview of the story. An anecdote can be a single short line that is properly crafted to hook the reader.
  • Intriguing question. Most topics for a narrative essay allow writers to hook readers with intriguing questions. That’s why this is one of the most popular ways to start this essay. Essentially, an intriguing question raises the curiosity of the reader. It makes them interested in the answer that the writer will give in the essay.
  • Facts. You can also start your narration with a fact that evokes emotions. Using a new fact is the most effective way to hook the reader. That’s because it makes them interested in understanding the relevance of the new fact to the world.
  • Defining a word. Perhaps, this is a unique way to start your narration. However, defining a word works by providing a plot to the story. It provides insight into your essay thereby acting as a hook.

These are some of the best approaches for starting a narration. However, you should be careful to select the most effective approach depending on the story that you want to tell your readers. Make sure that the hook relates to the story and the perspective that you want to take throughout the narration. Essentially, ensure coherence from the beginning of your essay to the end.

How to Start a Personal Narrative Essay – Helpful Tips

The best narrative essay is impactful. It also captivates readers from the beginning to the end. The format and information of a narrative essay are different from those of a technical paper. It may not feature detailed information and statistics. However, stating startling statistics once or an informative fact is a great way to capture the attention of readers.

Unfortunately, many students start their essays with ordinary phrases. This makes their hooks less impactful. To avoid this, focus on making your hook more captivating to avoid losing readers before they start reading the second paragraph of the essay.

Here are useful tips on how to start a personal narrative essay with an effective hook:

  • Build momentum. An effective opening phrase can compare to a stone that is thrown off a cliff-side. The stone rolls downhill on a specific, pre-determined path based on its initial launch. In the case of a narrative essay, the hook is the initial launch. As such, the downwards movement of your stone will direct it to your determined target. Your stone can be knocked and tossed about while going downward. And, this can give it more momentum down the road.
  • Don’t over paramount details. Do not start disclosing the key details of your story too early. To be effective, your opening statement should allow you to time how you delve into the story. It should allow you to build gradually to the story. Always remember your readers’ expectations and match your journey of telling the story together. Essentially, start your story chronologically to ensure that you preserve the elements of your story and sell it properly.
  • Start broad and then narrow down. In some cases, it’s good to ground your readers in a general context and then introduce the narrow details of a specific context. Most people are comfortable with the idea of getting a general perspective of a subject beforehand. If this is something you can do and you’re certain that your readers will like it, consider it when drafting your narrative essay.
  • Avoid overtaking your readers. It’s easy to confuse your readers when trying to get them hooked to your story. This can happen if you use a hook that is hard for them to understand. To avoid this, always remember that you can’t include all the information on the hook. Your readers should read on to understand what you’re driving at. Therefore, make sure that you do not confuse your readers with a hook that provides a lot of information at once. Instead, use a hook that is easy to understand even before reading the entire story. To get the attention of your readers, you can start with small mysteries or puzzles. This will hook the readers as they try to understand the mysteries or solve the puzzles.

The Bottom Line

Learning how to start off a narrative essay enables you to create a more captivating hook.  It also enables you to create a great first impression that can keep the audience interested in reading the entire essay. If still unsure about how to start your essay, check for examples online. Find a good example and use it as your guide when practicing to write a brilliant hook for your narrative essay.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

What’s the best way to end a narrative essay?

When writing a narrative essay, no matter how good the rest of it is, if the ending is unsatisfactory, readers will be left with an unpleasant aftertaste. You should ensure that the end rounds up all your details and leaves no loose ends. A moral is also a good way to conclude.

How to properly start a narrative essay?

Quotes, statistics, anecdotes, curiosity-arousing questions, facts, and alternative definitions are all great ways to start writing a narrative essay. Whichever way you start, ensure that the story builds up from the introduction without giving away key details, being too complex or abrupt.

How many paragraphs are there in a narrative essay?

The number of paragraphs you make when writing a narrative essay depends on the story itself. You should not club distinct portions into a paragraph, nor should you separate the same subject into more than one paragraph. In general, a college narrative essay should have five paragraphs.

What’s the right way to include dialogue in a narrative essay?

A great way to keep readers interested in a college narrative essay is to use dialogue. The dialogue should be pertinent to the subject. It can either be used to corroborate or counter some incident or opinion used in the essay. It can also be used to tie in two parts of the story.

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