Various Forms of Narrative Writing

The list below contains twelve different narrative techniques. When deciding which technique to use for a certain narrative, a narrator must consider the audience of his or her project and the goals he or she are trying to accomplish. See Choosing a Form of Narrative to see which technique is best for you.

1. Descriptive Essay - This type of writing describes in vivid detail people, places, events, and things important to the narrator.

2. Narration Essay - This type of writing illustrates an action or event in which the narrator loses something and finds something new or grows from the experience.

3. How-To Essay - This type of writing lets a narrator describe what he or she knows how to do, using examples to illustrate his or her talents.

4. Comparison and Contrast Essay - This type of writing asks the narrator to compare how his or her life is different from how he or she expected it to be.

5. Division and Classification Essay - This type of writing categorizes feelings, actions, or events in the life of a narrator, helping him or her to draw a conclusion.

6. Cause and Effect Essay - This type of writing reflects decisions and events that have changed the life of the narrator.

7. The Definition Essay - This type of writing allows the narrator to describe the role or position he or she has or would like to have in the future.

8. Argument and Persuasion Essay - This type of writing requires the narrator to try to change the reader's mind by taking a stance on an issue, using at least three supporting facts, and considering the opposing viewpoint.

9. Analytical Essay - This type of writing asks the narrator to focus on a specific event or action and to take it apart for analysis and clarification.

10. Formative Essay - This type of writing follows the progress of an important event in the life of the narrator and focuses on his or her problem solving techniques and growth throughout the entirety of the project.

11. Summative Essay - This type of writing is written at the end of an activity or event as the narrator reflects over the results and his or her performance and growth.

12. Introspective Essay - This type of writing lets the narrator examine his or her thoughts, sensory experiences, and feelings about an event or action and allows them to answer the question, "Who do I act or feel this way?"

Compiled from Writing Personal Essays by Sheila Bender and Writing to Grow by Mary Louise Holly.

Return to Table of Contents for The Narrative

Return to the Main Menu for the Consultants' Handbook