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What is a narrative essay?

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A narrative essay is a format in which the author tells, or narrates, a story. They are non-fictional and deal with the author's personal development. Unlike other forms of writing, using the first person is acceptable in narrative essays.

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Narrative essays are different from short stories, which are fictional; the author is free to change the plot, add characters or rewrite the ending of a short story to better fit a narrative arc. With a narrative essay, the author must pull a cohesive narrative arc from her memory of true events. Narrative essays must include a thesis statement and the essay is used to support this. Short stories do not require a thesis statement.

Narrative essays often overlap with other forms of writing. Non-fiction narrative essays are considered a form of creative non-fiction, a genre that combines the truth-telling aspects of journalism with literary styles found in traditional fiction. Memoirs are similar to narrative essays. An organized collection of non-fiction narrative essays constitutes a memoir, but a single non-fiction narrative essay cannot be considered such. An autobiography is distinct from both a memoir and a narrative essay because it chronicles the events of a person's entire lifetime, rather than focusing on specific experiences.

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    What is narrative prose?

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    What format should you use for a narrative report?

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