How To Write A Narrative Essay Introduction

How to Write a Narrative Essay Introduction

In the 1500s, a Frenchman, Michel de Montaigne, was the first person to label his works as ‘essays.’ Subsequently, essays developed into a piece of writing that gave the author’s own argumentation on a certain topic. There are various categories of essays and one such category of essays is the narrative style of essay writing. In a narrative essay, a tale is told. This is usually a narrative based on an experience you had personally. Unlike most academic writing, this kind of essay and the narrative essay let you be creative and personal. Narrative essays assess your ability to adhere to a suitable narrative structure while expressing your experiences in a unique and captivating way. In high school or in university composition classes, they are frequently assigned. These methods can also be applied to the composition of an application personal statement.
So, what even is a narrative essay?

What Is A Narrative Essay?

If your teacher assigns you to write a narrative essay, you may be thinking why they would like to hear a story. Narrative essay topics range from the most important topics to the most insignificant. And what makes it effective is the way it is told more than the story itself.

Teachers can assess your ability to narrate a tale in an engaging and straightforward manner through a narrative essay. It is expected of you to consider the beginning and end of your story, as well as how to tell it in a way that is both visually appealing and flows well.

The abilities required for formal academic writing are very different from this. For example, it is recommended to employ the first person (“I”), figurative language, dialogue, and other techniques when writing a narrative essay.

How Is An Essay Constructed?

When writing an essay, the construction of the essay is done in parts. Essayists divide the essay into three main components: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. The introduction is the opening section of the essay that sets the stage for the reader. Its purpose is to grab the attention of the readers, give the necessary background information, and present a thesis statement (the main arguments) of the essay. The body of the essay flows the introduction and constitutes the main portion of the writing. It elaborates the thesis statement with pieces of evidence, analyses, examples, and arguments. And the conclusion in the final part of the essay. It summarizes the key points, restates the thesis, and provides closure to the readers.

The most important part of the essay is the introduction. It is the first instance of engagement with the reader and so it is imperative that the introduction captures the attention of the reader. It is also where the tone and the context of the essay are established. The main idea and the peripheral ideas are introduced in the introduction (hence the name) and most importantly, the reader decides to read the essay further based on the introduction.

So how to write an effective and powerful introduction? Here is how:

How To Write Effective And Powerful Narrative Essay Introduction?

Key Elements

There are essentially three key components of an introduction

1.  Hook: A hook is a compelling line, anecdote, quotation, or story that engages the reader to read further. It is right at the beginning of the introduction.

  1. Background information: The background information contextualizes the details that are to follow. It basically sets the stage for the information that will be in the body of the essay. The context of the essay is thus in the introduction of the essay.
  2. Thesis statement: A thesis statement is a concise summary of the main argument or purpose of the essay. It is the most important part of the essay. The reader decides to read further only after reading the thesis statement.

Techniques and Strategies

Here are the techniques and strategies to write an introduction to a narrative-style essay.

  1. Analyze the topic of the essay: The most important part of writing an essay is to understand what the essay requires. What is the meaning of the topic and how do you need to proceed about it. 
  2. Start with a Hook: Begin by thinking of a suitable and attention-grabbing hook that would captivate the reader’s interest. It could be an anecdote, a surprising fact, a provocative question, a quote, or a vivid description that relates to the narrative.
  3. Establish the setting: Set the time, and place by narrating the details to orient the reader. This would require to use a lot of descriptive language and sensory details which would paint a vivid picture in the reader’s head and they would be immersed in the story.
  4. Be Concise yet Engaging: Keep the introduction concise and focused. Remember that this is just the introduction and most of the information is to be contained In the body paragraphs. Every word should only contribute to the purpose of drawing the reader.
  5. Avoid Argumentation: This is just the introduction, there is absolutely no need to make arguments in the introduction.  
  6. Use the Narrative tone: Choose a narrative voice that suits the tone and style of the story. Whether it’s first-person, third-person, or another perspective, to ensure consistency and appropriateness throughout.


The drafting phase is the first phase of writing. In this phase, a rough draft is written. This is where you are allowed to make mistakes. In the drafting phase, the revisions are made. An impactful introduction involves meticulous attention to detail. The draft can be improved by utilizing vivid language where you missed, creating a sense of intrigue where it is missing, and revisiting to enhance clarity. This is an essential aspect of constructing an effective opening for your essay.


Use Illustrative examples to serve as guides in the introductions. Whether it’s a narrative or any other type of essay, exploring diverse examples can inspire readers and make the introduction a compelling opening.


The importance of revising the introduction cannot be emphasized enough. Revisiting and refining the introduction is to make sure that it is clear, coherent, and resonates with the essay’s core. 


Once the draft has been revised multiple times, it can be finalized. All the grammatical, syntax and other errors are eliminated and then the introduction is proofread one final time to address all the issues and thus the introduction is finalized.


In summary, the narrative essay introduction serves as a crucial gateway into your story, setting the stage for what’s to come. It’s a blend of creativity and structure, aiming to captivate the reader’s attention while presenting the core elements of your narrative. Understanding the key components of a strong introduction—such as the hook, background information, and the thesis statement—lays the groundwork for a compelling opening.

Strategic approaches are needed to produce an excellent opening, including understanding the essay’s topic, coming up with an intriguing hook, creating the scene vividly, being concise, avoiding disputes, and using an appropriate narrative tone. Errors can be made and revised at the drafting stage, which facilitates exploration and refinement. Examples act as guidelines, providing inspiration and improving the caliber of the introduction. Before the final proofreading step, the introduction should be revised and polished to ensure clarity, coherence, and alignment with the main body of the essay.

In the end, a strong narrative essay opening draws the reader in and establishes the tone and setting for the whole work, taking them on a fascinating and engrossing trip through your experiences.

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