Understanding Narrative Essay Prompts

Published by Charlie Davidson on

Understanding Narrative Essay Prompts

Most narrative assignments come with a choice of prompts which the students can choose from. Deciphering the essay prompt appropriately is the key to understanding the objective of the assignment. It is needless to say that without understanding the objective of an assignment you cannot prepare an impressive one. Hence while facing a narrative essay assignment, your initial task is to accurately understand the essay prompt.

Essay prompts will not always be too elaborate. The level to which a prompt is simplified depends mostly on the level of education. If the prompt for your narrative essay is not clear enough, it can be believed that our teacher intents to evaluate your ability to interpret an essay prompt also.

While given the prompt options for a narrative assignment, read through each of them slowly and carefully before choosing one for yourself. If you choose a wrong prompt and realize that you had wrongly interpreted it, at a later stage of your essay writing process, it might be too late to go back and change it. Hence if you are not being able to understand any of the prompts, you must consult your teacher and clarify it before choosing your topic.

A narrative essay prompt usually indicates the type of essay expected and what kind of incident would suit the purpose. For example, if the prompt asks for a narrative which projects the way a human being discovers his strength in adverse conditions, you will have to find a situation which is ‘unexpected and shocking for the person who faces it’. You cannot possibly use a pleasant story or event for it. Nor can you use a theme in which the character faces a stressful situation which was expected, like the death of a family member who has been fatally ill for a long time.

Narrative essays are flexible in terms of writing style. But when it comes to serving the purpose as indicated in the prompt, narrative assignments are most inflexible. You must ensure that the flexibility in the nature of narration does not affect the focus of the essay prompt.

Some essay prompts would also mention if the story must be autobiographical, as well. Getting the instructions on this right is important too. If asked to find an incident from your own life to prove the point, it is important that you stick to your own personal experiences. Autobiographical narratives have specific objectives. If you are not sure of how to write it accordingly or if you cannot think of any incident which suits the purpose, it is better to check out another option.

Narrative essays test your creativity as well. Flexing the prompt to suit your interests without affecting its objective is a very impressive way of handling a narrative assignment. Narrative essay prompts are meant to be subject to individual interpretation and the more creative your interpretation is, the better.

Studying samples of narrative essays along with their prompts would help you understand your options better. If you need assistance with any part of your essay assignment, do let us know.

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