Narrative Essay In Apa Format

To write a narrative essay, you’ll need to tell a story (usually about something that happened to you) in such a way that he audience learns a lesson or gains insight.

To write a descriptive essay, you’ll need to describe a person, object, or event so vividly that the reader feels like he/she could reach out and touch it.

Tips for writing effective narrative and descriptive essays:

  • Tell a story about a moment or event that means a lot to you--it will make it easier for you to tell the story in an interesting way!
  • Get right to the action!  Avoid long introductions and lengthy descriptions--especially at the beginning of your narrative.
  • Make sure your story has a point! Describe what you learned from this experience.
  • Use all five of your senses to describe the setting, characters, and the plot of your story. Don't be afraid to tell the story in your own voice.  Nobody wants to read a story that sounds like a textbook!

How to Write Vivid Descriptions

Having trouble describing a person, object, or event for your narrative or descriptive essay?  Try filling out this chart:

What do you smell?

What do you taste?

What do you see?

What do you hear?

What might you touch or feel?






Remember:  Avoid simply telling us what something looks like--tell us how it tastes, smells, sounds, or feels!

Consider this…

  • Virginia rain smells different from a California drizzle.
  • A mountain breeze feels different from a sea breeze.
  • We hear different things in one spot, depending on the time of day.
  • You can “taste” things you’ve never eaten: how would sunscreen taste?

Using Concrete Details for Narratives

Effective narrative essays allow readers to visualize everything that's happening, in their minds.  One way to make sure that this occurs is to use concrete, rather than abstract, details. 

Concrete Language

Abstract Language

…makes the story or image seem clearer and more real to us.

...makes the story or image difficult to visualize.

…gives us information that we can easily grasp and perhaps empathize with.

…leaves your reader feeling empty, disconnected, and possibly confused.

The word “abstract” might remind you of modern art.  An abstract painting, for example, does not normally contain recognizable objects.  In other words, we can't look at the painting and immediately say "that's a house" or "that's a bowl of fruit."  To the untrained eye, abstract art looks a bit like a child's finger-painting--just brightly colored splotches on a canvas.
Avoid abstract language—it won’t help the reader understand what you're trying to say!


Abstract:  It was a nice day. 
Concrete:  The sun was shining and a slight breeze blew across my face. 

Abstract:  I liked writing poems, not essays. 
Concrete:  I liked writing short, rhythmic poems and hated rambling on about my thoughts in those four-page essays. 

Abstract:  Mr. Smith was a great teacher.
Concrete:  Mr. Smith really knew how to help us turn our thoughts into good stories and essays.

Sample Papers - Narration

Sample Papers - Descriptive

Good Ways To Find An Example Of An APA Style Narrative Essay

APA style narrative essays are generally written in colleges. You hardly have to skirt by formats in your school time. The problem with these formats is that they complicate an already intricate task.

You can find commendable samples of APA style narrative write-ups in many avenues. Here is a quick cap

  • The APA format site – You will find what you are looking for if you check out the glossary of this site with passion. There will be scores of narrative pieces, each well-groomed and proofread. A great idea for inspiration! The essay sites – There are sites that teach you how to write the pieces and you will also get didactic advice on the format. There is every chance that you will have a good number of narrative pieces done in APA format.
  • College archives – This is where the activities of past years get collected. A quality run-in will betray the treasure you are seeking. It helps if you are in the good books of the relevant authorities.
  • Seniors – They have been through the grind and there is a chance they may have held on to some of the pieces they wrote or acquired. Your only condition then would be to get one in APA format; not a very hard condition that.
  • Educational forums – You can discuss the theme with the guys on educational forums and request for links. You should be able to get a positive and involved response.

Evocative pieces

The good thing about narrative pieces is that it is written in first person and is naturally evocative. Thus, you will find enough interest to go through a slew of the samples you may have collected.

You should also hold talks with the learned people in your neighborhood and family as to how the narrative pieces should be written. It deals with a part of your life after all and you cannot leave it rare.

The focus is secondary

Once you realize how best to carve out narrative pieces, you can focus on the format. There are enough quotients to guide you there along with the ones that are mentioned afore. Your own classmates can prove to be of inordinate help in this regard.

You should keep practicing the narrative pieces and urge your creative urges by thinking of some quality prompts. This will not only sharpen your pen, it will also raise your interest in writing. Go for it.


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