Narrative VS Descriptive

Top Tips on Writing about Descriptive Narrative Topics

Students are often asked to write various essays, including those in the narrative and descriptive genre, and they are usually expected to cover a wide variety of topics. However, many of these students run into difficulty completing descriptive and narrative essays because there are both similarities and differences to consider. Descriptive essays are based on people, places, events or objects, while narrative writing usually concerns a story about an event or experience.

Writing in the Narrative Style

While the list of descriptive narrative topics is endless, narrative essays are often based on the writer’s own personal experiences of a given event. Since the purpose is to relate a story, the writer should select a significant event or experience from their life to tell their readers about. This may be their first day at school or college, their graduation, their first day at work, or something similar. If possible, you should write about some life-changing experience you have had. Nonetheless, a narrative piece does not have to be exclusively about personal experiences. A book report, for example, also comes into the category of narrative writing because it generally describes a book’s plot and progress. Feel free to look for examples of narrative writing online if you want to learn more about this category or see what a narrative essay should look like.

Writing a Descriptive Essay

While narrative descriptive essay topics can often be similar, descriptive writing usually requires the use of as much sensory detail as possible e.g. you should describe sights, sounds, tastes, feelings, and so on as these relate to a person, place, event or object. In the process of describing your subject, try to create a picture that is three dimensional so that your readers can feel part of what you are outlining just by reading your work. Here are some topics you could write about:

  • Your family
  • A special friend
  • The place you most like to visit
  • The strangest thing you have ever seen
  • An arts and crafts exhibition you visited
  • Your favorite teacher
  • The room you like to spend most time in
  • The job you would love, etc.

Do not hesitate to check out a few examples of descriptive essays if you would like more tips and/or ideas.

The Similarities between Narrative and Descriptive Papers

Understanding the difference between narrative and descriptive essay writing is important. In both genres of writing, the writer must adhere to the standard format for essay writing, which includes an introductory paragraph, some body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph. An introductory paragraph should always contain a thesis statement. The thesis is the central sentence of an essay that sets out the aim of a paper and it is usually makes up the last part of an introduction paragraph. The thesis should state the purpose of your narrative or descriptive essay and explain why the subject is significant enough to merit being written about. The thesis statement should let the reader know you are relating a story about something important you learned in life or that you are writing about something or someone that you find amazing or challenging and that causes you to question aspects of your own life. The main body paragraphs in both narrative and descriptive essays should set out particular information and relevant evidence to back up your main claim or thesis statement.

The Differences between Narrative and Descriptive Papers

Usually, narrative papers should be written from the first person perspective, meaning you should use words such as “I” and “me.” This trait should be obvious in example essays. However, descriptive writing should not use the first person perspective. The primary difference is that narrative writing is based on action while descriptive writing is not. It is important that the order of a narrative is logical. Unlike narrative writing, descriptive writing is not time-based, so you should choose some other reasonable form of organization.

Once you understand the difference between descriptive and narrative writing, you should be well placed to write high-quality essays of both types and on any topic.