Frequently asked questions
What’s the difference between a narrative essay and a descriptive essay.
The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.
Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.
Frequently asked questions: Writing an essay
For a stronger conclusion paragraph, avoid including:
- Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the main body
- Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion…”)
- Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g. “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)
Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.
Your essay’s conclusion should contain:
- A rephrased version of your overall thesis
- A brief review of the key points you made in the main body
- An indication of why your argument matters
The conclusion may also reflect on the broader implications of your argument, showing how your ideas could applied to other contexts or debates.
The conclusion paragraph of an essay is usually shorter than the introduction . As a rule, it shouldn’t take up more than 10–15% of the text.
An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.
In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.
Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.
The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction . It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting.
To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.
Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:
- An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
- Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
- A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.
The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .
Let’s say you’re writing a five-paragraph essay about the environmental impacts of dietary choices. Here are three examples of topic sentences you could use for each of the three body paragraphs :
- Research has shown that the meat industry has severe environmental impacts.
- However, many plant-based foods are also produced in environmentally damaging ways.
- It’s important to consider not only what type of diet we eat, but where our food comes from and how it is produced.
Each of these sentences expresses one main idea – by listing them in order, we can see the overall structure of the essay at a glance. Each paragraph will expand on the topic sentence with relevant detail, evidence, and arguments.
The topic sentence usually comes at the very start of the paragraph .
However, sometimes you might start with a transition sentence to summarize what was discussed in previous paragraphs, followed by the topic sentence that expresses the focus of the current paragraph.
Topic sentences help keep your writing focused and guide the reader through your argument.
In an essay or paper , each paragraph should focus on a single idea. By stating the main idea in the topic sentence, you clarify what the paragraph is about for both yourself and your reader.
A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.
The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:
- It gives your writing direction and focus.
- It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.
Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.
The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .
Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :
- Ask a question about your topic .
- Write your initial answer.
- Develop your answer by including reasons.
- Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.
A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.
An essay isn’t just a loose collection of facts and ideas. Instead, it should be centered on an overarching argument (summarized in your thesis statement ) that every part of the essay relates to.
The way you structure your essay is crucial to presenting your argument coherently. A well-structured essay helps your reader follow the logic of your ideas and understand your overall point.
The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.
The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.
The vast majority of essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Almost all academic writing involves building up an argument, though other types of essay might be assigned in composition classes.
Essays can present arguments about all kinds of different topics. For example:
- In a literary analysis essay, you might make an argument for a specific interpretation of a text
- In a history essay, you might present an argument for the importance of a particular event
- In a politics essay, you might argue for the validity of a certain political theory
At high school and in composition classes at university, you’ll often be told to write a specific type of essay , but you might also just be given prompts.
Look for keywords in these prompts that suggest a certain approach: The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay , while the word “describe” implies a descriptive essay . An argumentative essay might be prompted with the word “assess” or “argue.”
In rhetorical analysis , a claim is something the author wants the audience to believe. A support is the evidence or appeal they use to convince the reader to believe the claim. A warrant is the (often implicit) assumption that links the support with the claim.
Logos appeals to the audience’s reason, building up logical arguments . Ethos appeals to the speaker’s status or authority, making the audience more likely to trust them. Pathos appeals to the emotions, trying to make the audience feel angry or sympathetic, for example.
Collectively, these three appeals are sometimes called the rhetorical triangle . They are central to rhetorical analysis , though a piece of rhetoric might not necessarily use all of them.
The term “text” in a rhetorical analysis essay refers to whatever object you’re analyzing. It’s frequently a piece of writing or a speech, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, you could also treat an advertisement or political cartoon as a text.
The goal of a rhetorical analysis is to explain the effect a piece of writing or oratory has on its audience, how successful it is, and the devices and appeals it uses to achieve its goals.
Unlike a standard argumentative essay , it’s less about taking a position on the arguments presented, and more about exploring how they are constructed.
You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.
If you have to hand in your essay outline , you may be given specific guidelines stating whether you have to use full sentences. If you’re not sure, ask your supervisor.
When writing an essay outline for yourself, the choice is yours. Some students find it helpful to write out their ideas in full sentences, while others prefer to summarize them in short phrases.
You will sometimes be asked to hand in an essay outline before you start writing your essay . Your supervisor wants to see that you have a clear idea of your structure so that writing will go smoothly.
Even when you do not have to hand it in, writing an essay outline is an important part of the writing process . It’s a good idea to write one (as informally as you like) to clarify your structure for yourself whenever you are working on an essay.
Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:
- The alternating method, where you compare your subjects side by side according to one specific aspect at a time.
- The block method, where you cover each subject separately in its entirety.
It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.
Your subjects might be very different or quite similar, but it’s important that there be meaningful grounds for comparison . You can probably describe many differences between a cat and a bicycle, but there isn’t really any connection between them to justify the comparison.
You’ll have to write a thesis statement explaining the central point you want to make in your essay , so be sure to know in advance what connects your subjects and makes them worth comparing.
Some essay prompts include the keywords “compare” and/or “contrast.” In these cases, an essay structured around comparing and contrasting is the appropriate response.
Comparing and contrasting is also a useful approach in all kinds of academic writing : You might compare different studies in a literature review , weigh up different arguments in an argumentative essay , or consider different theoretical approaches in a theoretical framework .
If you’re not given a specific prompt for your descriptive essay , think about places and objects you know well, that you can think of interesting ways to describe, or that have strong personal significance for you.
The best kind of object for a descriptive essay is one specific enough that you can describe its particular features in detail—don’t choose something too vague or general.
If you’re not given much guidance on what your narrative essay should be about, consider the context and scope of the assignment. What kind of story is relevant, interesting, and possible to tell within the word count?
The best kind of story for a narrative essay is one you can use to reflect on a particular theme or lesson, or that takes a surprising turn somewhere along the way.
Don’t worry too much if your topic seems unoriginal. The point of a narrative essay is how you tell the story and the point you make with it, not the subject of the story itself.
Narrative essays are usually assigned as writing exercises at high school or in university composition classes. They may also form part of a university application.
When you are prompted to tell a story about your own life or experiences, a narrative essay is usually the right response.
The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.
In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.
At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).
Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.
The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .
An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.
An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.
An expository essay is a common assignment in high-school and university composition classes. It might be assigned as coursework, in class, or as part of an exam.
Sometimes you might not be told explicitly to write an expository essay. Look out for prompts containing keywords like “explain” and “define.” An expository essay is usually the right response to these prompts.
An expository essay is a broad form that varies in length according to the scope of the assignment.
Expository essays are often assigned as a writing exercise or as part of an exam, in which case a five-paragraph essay of around 800 words may be appropriate.
You’ll usually be given guidelines regarding length; if you’re not sure, ask.
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What are the differences between narrative and descriptive writing?
What are the differences between narrative and descriptive writing? What should we keep in mind while writing it?
- 2 Can you clarify this question by telling us where you encountered these terms, and what the context is? This is difficult to answer otherwise. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Jun 9, 2014 at 5:45
7 Answers 7
Narrative writing tells a story or part of a story.
Descriptive writing vividly portrays a person, place, or thing in such a way that the reader can visualize the topic and enter into the writer’s experience.
See here and here .
So in narrative writing, the writer is perfectly capable of telling you the plot of the story, while in descriptive writing there does not have to be a plot, but something has to become very easy for the reader to visualize.
Let's look at the Lord of the Rings. The way J.R.R. Tolkien describes a hobbit is very descriptive, and the reason the movies were so successful was not only because the story was told correctly (the book being narrative writing also), but because the readers did not have to come up with their own imagination of a hobbit (or other figures, places, and such). They were described in detail, giving everybody a very precise framework of imagination to work from. Therefore everybody could relate to and agree upon the characters and the make-up of the artists.
- @malach how do I know, that I should stop description and go on narration? – gaussblurinc Apr 16, 2013 at 17:28
- 1 The 'here' and 'here' links a broken – alan Mar 16, 2017 at 17:35
- Descriptive Writing paints pictures with words or recreates a scene or experience for the reader.
- Narrative Writing on the other hand, relates a series of events either real or imaginary or chronologically arranged and from a particular point of view.
For short, the descriptive is to describe and the narrative is to tell information.
Narrative - is when the author is narrating a story or part of a story. Usually, it has introduction, body and its conclusion. It let readers create their own imagination. It may be exact as what the author wants to express or not.
Descriptive - describing what the author wants to impart. It expresses emotion about its certain topic. It leads the way and not letting you fall out of nowhere.
Differences Narration often employs first person point of view, using words like "I" and "me," while other modes including description do not. The biggest difference between the two is that a narrative essay includes action, but the descriptive essay does not. Narration follows a logical order, typically chronological. In contrast, description typically contains no time elements, so organize descriptive essays by some other reasonable means, such as how you physically move around in a space or with a paragraph for each of the senses you use to describe.
The core of narrative writing is strong verbs. Descriptive writing might have some verbs, usually weak ones, but the main tools are nouns and adjectives.
Narrative writing involves the writer's personal experience and he tells it in the form of story.. e.g my first day at college descriptive writing involves the characters observed by five senses and does not contain a plot
- 1 Can you add a contrast to what descriptive writing is? And maybe provide some links to support this? – Nicole May 12, 2015 at 18:42
- 2 Can you edit to expand this? We're looking for longer answers that explain why and how, not just one-liners. Thanks. – Monica Cellio Jan 13, 2016 at 23:39
Narrative is the experience of the narrator in his own words whereas descriptive story is analysis of any topic desired..
- 3 "descriptive story is analysis of any topic desired" By that logic, an academic essay or a political polemic would be descriptive writing. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Oct 27, 2014 at 2:49
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Difference Between Narrative and Descriptive Essay
March 23, 2015 Posted by Admin
Narrative vs Descriptive Essay
Narrative and Descriptive essay are two different types of essay writing, where a clear difference between them can be highlighted in terms of the writer’s objective in compiling the essay. A narrative is usually where a person tells his or her experiences to the reader. This highlights that a narrative allows the reader to immerse in a story that is composed of a sequence of events. But a descriptive essay is quite different from a narrative essay, mainly because it does not engage in relating a story but merely on providing a descriptive account of something or someone to the reader. This is the main difference between a narrative and a descriptive essay. Through this article let us examine the differences between these two types of writing.
What is a Narrative?
A narrative or a narrative essay can be defined as an account of an individual experience . This explains a personal experience that had a significant impact on the individual’s life. It can be of a journey, a special day such as the first day in school, one’s marriage, an unforgettable day, etc. This highlights that through a narrative the individual can express and share something special with the reader. A narrative entails a sequence of events that are often related in chronological order. A narrative can be presented in the first person narration that uses words such as I, myself, me, etc. However, a narrative can be in the third person as well when relating stories. This will have various characters and a specific plot surrounding that story will be built.
A narrative allows the reader to comprehend the point of view, attitudes , perspectives and construction of reality of the narrator. It allows the reader not only to be a part of the experience but also understand the personality of the narrator. In Social Sciences , narratives are usually used as empirical evidence for research purposes as they allow the researcher to understand the subjective experiences of people and also their interpretations of events.
Narrative is an account of individual experience
What is a Descriptive Essay?
Unlike a narrative essay, a descriptive essay is used for explaining or describing a place, a person, or even an emotion . A writer can use sensory information such as the sight, the sound, touch, smell, and taste of a particular object in order to fully describe something. The diction used for these essays is very extensive and highly descriptive. In some cases, descriptive essays fail to present this totality of sensory information and only confine the description to one or two dimensions. A well-written descriptive essay usually has the potential for building a connection with the reader as it allows the reader to immerse in the described ambiance.
Descriptive essay describes or explains a place, a person or even an emotion
What is the difference between Narrative and Descriptive Essay?
• A narrative can be defined as an account of an individual personal experience.
• A descriptive essay can be defined as an account that provides a detailed description of a place, a person, or even an emotion.
• A Narrative usually relates a story.
• A descriptive essay merely describes something or someone. It does not have a story, but only a highly descriptive account.
• Point of View:
• A narrative mostly uses the first person narration.
• A descriptive essay does not mostly use the first person narration. It functions with the objective of presenting an image of something.
• A narrative is full of action as it relates a story. It consists of a sequence of event.
• However, this quality cannot be seen in a descriptive essay.
• A narrative follows a logical order since it relates an event or story it goes in a chronological order.
• However, in the case of a descriptive essay, the writer can deviate from this pattern.
• Plot and Characters:
• A narrative has a plot, a number of characters who revolve around this plot and take part in the events of the story.
• In a descriptive essay, there is no plot or characters as in a narrative.
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English Composition I – Week 3 Lecture
Types of Writing: Narrative and Descriptive Writing
Narrative and Descriptive writing have certain elements that are used together to convey a message. This lecture provides a brief overview of these two types of writing. This week’s activities include reading online material on Narrative and Descriptive Essays, and three brief videos that discuss narrative writing, descriptive writing, and similes and metaphors: two literary devices used in descriptive writing.
Narrative writing tells a story. Stories should have a beginning, middle, and end. When writing a narrative, the things you should consider are the basic Who – What – When –Where – Why. You should also consider the order of events. In story-telling, description and dialogue may be used to move the story forward and make the story more vivid for the readers.
Description is a type of writing, but it is also a writing technique used in narrative writing. Description uses language that allows readers to see, feel, hear , taste, and/or smell the events within the story.
When writing a story (narrative writing), description can enhance the readers’ interest in your story. Description shows readers the events as they happened rather than simply telling the story without vivid language that brings the story to life. Consider the following example:
The roar of the train filled the station as, heart pounding and adrenaline singing in her ears , Vicki leaped down onto the southbound tracks. The wooden step over the live rail was too far away, almost center in the line of concrete pillars, so she jumped , trying not to think of the however many million volts of electricity the thing carried turning her to charcoal . She tottered for a moment on the edge of the divider, cursing her full-length coat and wishing she’d worn a jacket, and then, although she knew it was the stupidest thing she could do, she looked toward the oncoming train (Huff, p. 8).
(Huff, Tanya. (1991) Blood Price . Daw Books Collection, Penguin Group, USA. 1 st paperback printing.)
Can you “see” Vicki’s situation? The verbs are strong: jumped, leaped, and tottered. There are sound images: the roar of the train and her heart pounding. Descriptive language can draw the reader into the story.
Description alone does not tell a story, but it can create a mood, an impression, and/or paint a picture with words. Writing descriptions can be challenging. It is sometimes easier to insert the descriptive language into a story.
Descriptive writing often uses two literary devices: simile and metaphor. Both are comparisons, but a simile is a direct comparison; where as a metaphor is an implied comparison. Here are two examples:
Simile: The moon was like huge golden disc that hung over the mountains.
Metaphor: The moon was a huge golden disc that hung over the mountains.
Dialogue is what people say. Using dialogue in narrative writing can, like descriptive language, help to draw the reader into story. The greatest challenge with writing effective dialogue is choosing words that move the story forward or show your readers something about the character. Another challenge with dialogue is creating believable conversation.
Purdue University On Line Writing Lab (OWL) Descriptive Essays. Retrieved from: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/ general_writing/academic_ writing/essay_writing/ descriptive_essays.html Purdue University On Line Writing Lab (OWL) Retrieved from: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/ general_writing/academic_ writing/essay_writing/ narrative_essays.html
Drewnowski , W. (2013, November 1) “Writing Paragraphs – Narrative Paragraphs” Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn2sZDmMz_8
Neal, R. (2014, November 16) “Better to Descriptive Writing In Five Minutes” Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PoKA8Dv5dE
Sasser, R. (2009, April 20). Similes and Metaphors. Retrieved April 30, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHBWZDVMVqA
Differences Between Narrative & Descriptive Writing
Seasoned writers weave descriptive and narrative writing to create compelling reading, but the two styles have distinct purposes and features emerging writers need to master separately. Descriptive writing attempts to capture the details of a topic and accurately portray its elements to readers. Narrative writing attempts to relay a story using chronological order or time sequence. Since good description often is needed in telling a story, students should master descriptive writing elements before crafting longer works of fiction.
Explore this article
- The Purpose of Descriptive Writing
Descriptive Writing Techniques
- The Purpose of Narrative Writing
- Narrative Writing Techniques
1 The Purpose of Descriptive Writing
Descriptive writing relies on sensory detail: sight, sound, taste, touch and smell to create a three-dimensional portrayal of an object, person, place, emotion or even an idea. The purpose is to give the reader as much detail as possible and to describe the subject in a new way that makes the subject unforgettable. The famous novel "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole, starts with this description: "A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles that grew in the ears themselves, stuck out on either side like turn signals indicating two directions at once." Toole accomplishes a memorable description of the title character by utilizing spatial organization and figurative language, techniques all writers can master with practice.
2 Descriptive Writing Techniques
Descriptive writing uses illustrative or spatial organization to create a logical image of the subject. Directional signal words, such as below or above, help readers follow along with transitions in your descriptions. If your are describing something abstract, use illustrative signal words such as in addition, and for example. Figurative language makes descriptive writing unique. Metaphors and similes help readers imagine a subject by comparing it directly to another more familiar item. When applicable, use sound devices such as onomatopoeia and alliteration to help readers envision subjects more clearly. Small assignments with limited word counts describing tangible or concrete items will help students build the skills needed to write descriptively.
3 The Purpose of Narrative Writing
Narrative writing attempts to tell a story, but often can use description to help readers picture the elements involved. Narrative writing has a point of view, which usually is first-person or third-person. Herman Melville's opening lines to "Moby Dick" establish a first-person narration: "Call me Ishmael. Some years ago -- never mind how long precisely -- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world." Narrative writing includes characters, a setting and a plot of events -- exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. Narrative writing also develops a moral or theme for its readers through the integration of various fictional elements.
4 Narrative Writing Techniques
Narrative writing uses chronological or time order to describe a sequence of events. Sequence signal words, such as first, second and next, help move a narrative forward. Flashbacks and flash-forwards are techniques used to jump through time and switch between different points of view. Foreshadowing or hinting at something before it happens is a technique that entices readers to continue reading. Narrative writing often contains dialogue or conversations between characters, which helps move the action forward and allows readers to connect with characters. While narrative writing includes detailed descriptions, the narrative writer needs to focus on telling a logical story.
- 1 Short List: Literature's Greatest Opening Paragraphs
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Home » Language » Difference Between Narrative and Descriptive Essay
Difference Between Narrative and Descriptive Essay
Main difference – narrative vs descriptive essay.
Though there is a difference between narrative and descriptive essay, these two types of essays are often confused to be the same. Both narrative and descriptive essay can be written by any age group, as they do not contain many facts or information. They are usually used in creative writing activities for students. The main difference between narrative and descriptive essay is that a descriptive essay describes a certain person, an object or a scene while a narrative essay narrates a story .
What is a Descriptive Essay
Descriptive essay is a piece of writing that includes lot of descriptions. A descriptive essay can be about a person, a place, an object, or a feeling. In this type of essay, we can describe sensory details (sights, smells, sound, taste, touch). A good descriptive essay writer can describe his subject in such a way that vivid images are created in readers’ mind. Common descriptive essay topics include my pet, my family, my favorite place, my best friend, etc.
Extract from a Descriptive Essay:
“My best friend is my own cousin. Her name is Lily Adams and, she is in the same age as me. She is a pretty, tall girl with long black hair. Her deep green eyes like emeralds. Lily is a very talkative girl and she loves to help poor people. She often carries extra food in her bag to give to the poor people she meets on the road……”
What is a Narrative Essay
Narrative Essay is a piece of writing that narrates a story. A narrative essay can describe a writer’s personal experience or an imaginary incident. A good narrative essay writer can make the readers feel that he is writing about a true incident. First point of view is generally used in this type of an essay. A narrative essay also contains a plot, setting, and characters. Some narrative essay writers use dialogues as well. Some examples for narrative essays topics are an unforgettable day, my first day at school, an experience that changed, A day at the beach etc.
Extract from a Narrative Essay:
“….As I started to swim in the warm ocean, jumping over waves, I left others behind. I was still wearing my long back skirt which was quite heavy in the water, but my feet was touching the ocean floor, so I was not worried. But at one instant, I felt my feet could not touch the ocean floor anymore and I was plunged into the water, weighed down by my clothing. Giant waves kept coming and I was getting sucked into the depths every time they came. I tried to call out to my friends, but no sound came out my mouth……”
How to Write a Narrative Essay
As described above, the main difference between narrative and descriptive essay is their purpose. A narrative essay is written to narrate a certain incident or experience while a descriptive essay is written in order to describe a person, a thing, or a place. In a narrative essay, first person point of view is generally used and both first and third points of views are used in a descriptive essay. A narrative essay uses a logical, more often a chronological order, but a descriptive essay does not take time factor into account. Another significant difference between narrative and descriptive essay is that a narrative essay has a plot, setting and characters as it tells a story. In addition, a narrative essay can also contain dialogues.
“trialsanderrors” by konen uehara: waves, ca. 1910 (cc by 2.0) via flickr.
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Table of Contents
Understanding the Difference Between Descriptive and Narrative Writing
Nowadays, every second student is confused about what is descriptive and narrative writing ? And what is the difference between these two. Therefore, in this guide, we will talk about the purpose of descriptive and narrative writing along with their differences.
[ Related: Characteristics of Academic Writing ]
Main Purpose of Descriptive Writing
If we are writing a descriptive essay , then keep in mind that it is based on sensory information . The term sensory information means that sound, taste, smell, sight and touch. In simple words, an incident or event you have encountered personally or have seen it happening. In descriptive writing, we develop three-dimensional portrayal of place, feelings, thoughts, object and person. The objective of descriptive writing is to provide the reader enough information about something as much as you can.
Example of Descriptive Writing
Let’s take an example of the renowned novel written by John Kennedy named “A Confederacy of Dunces”. In this novel, the writer begins with the following description:
“A green hunting cap squeezed the top of the fleshy balloon of a head. The green earflaps, full of large ears and uncut hair and the fine bristles……”
Basically, through the words, we can clearly get the image in our mind. This is the ideal technique of descriptive writing that through your use of words, you can create that image in the reader’s mind.
Techniques of Descriptive Writing
Let’s talk about the techniques and tricks of descriptive writing :
- In descriptive piece of writing or essays , we use illustrative organization to develop the logical picture of the specific subject.
- Use of directional signal words assist readers to create the images in their mind. In case, you are writing something abstract then you can utilize figurative language. It will make your writing unique and interesting for the reader.
- Use of similes and metaphors facilitate readers to imagine the situation in their mind easily.
- You can also use sound devices in your writing for a vivid idea.
Main Purpose of Narrative Writing
In comparison to descriptive writing, writer tells the story in narrative writing. In the narrative writing, authors normally use different pictures to provide the clear idea to his/her reader. Narrative writing includes point of view (It can be first person or third person point of view). In narrative writing, there are different elements like characters, plots, incidents, setting, time, climax, rising action, exposition, falling action, catastrophe or resolution.
Narrative writing also includes a theme or moral lesson for its readers.
Techniques of Narrative Writing
Let’s have a look on some of the techniques used by writers in narrative writing:
- In narrative writing, time and chronological order is usually used to highlight any event.
- Authors generally use sequence signal words to make a reader understand the story.
- Use of flashback technique is very common in narrative writing. This technique is used to jump through on any event any time.
- Use of dialogue is very common in narrative writing that helps the reader to get idea about actions and characters personality.
- Lastly, narrative writing includes complete information. In short, author needs to highlight something logical.
Similarities Between Descriptive and Narrative Writing
- If we talk about similarities between descriptive and narrative writing , then they both follow the same essay format .
- In both descriptive and narrative writing, you have to start from an introductory paragraph and ending will be took place with a proper conclusion .
- In the end of the introductory paragraph, you will place a thesis . In short, a sentence explaining the purpose of your overall writing! You have to provide a reason; need to explain why a specific incident, person, object and place are important for you. Why did you write about it?
- Moreover, this thesis will also explain that you have learned something from things, you are talking about.
- In both descriptive and narrative writing, make sure to add specific information in the paragraphs to support your ideas.
[Related: Difference Between Autobiography and Narrative ]
Just like few similarities, descriptive and narrative writing has difference too. Let’s talk about it below.
In descriptive writing, the introduction is all about what the subject to be discussed in your writing. The reader can easily guess what is going to be the next. On the other hand, the narrative writing is based on suspense and writer does not reveal the story all of a sudden. In order to end up the mystery, the reader has to go through from the paper.
Point of View
Narrative writing is written with first person perspective. On the other hand, descriptive writing has third person point of view in it. Moreover, descriptive writing includes place, person and object. On the other hand, in narrative writing, the writer talks about his/her personal experience.
In narrative writing, you can write two sentences in one paragraph. However, in descriptive one, you can write long paragraphs. The use of dialogues is quite common in descriptive writing in comparison to narrative writing.
The ending part in narrative writing can be short and to the point. However, in descriptive essay the conclusion portion can be long and detailed one.
Overall Technique and Structure
If we talk about descriptive writing or essay, then the events use to represent in the chronological form. There is a time frame in it. The writer uses the time feature to show different incidents to create a clear idea in reader’s mind. On the other hand, in narrative writing , you are not bound to follow a strict time frame to talk about any incident.
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What is difference between narrative and descriptive?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is difference between narrative and descriptive?
- 2 What is a narrative essay?
- 3 How do you write a descriptive essay?
- 4 What is narrative essay most like?
Narrative writing tells a story or part of a story. Descriptive writing vividly portrays a person, place, or thing in such a way that the reader can visualize the topic and enter into the writer’s experience.
What is descriptive and narrative writing with example?
A narrative essay is written to narrate a certain incident or experience while a descriptive essay is written in order to describe a person, a thing, or a place. Another significant difference between narrative and descriptive essay is that a narrative essay has a plot, setting and characters as it tells a story.
What is the difference between narrative expository and descriptive writing?
Expository – Writing in which author’s purpose is to inform or explain the subject to the reader. Narrative – Writing in which the author tells a story. The story could be fact or fiction. Descriptive – A type of expository writing that uses the five senses to paint a picture for the reader.
What is a narrative essay?
Narrative Essays When writing a narrative essay, one might think of it as telling a story. These essays are often anecdotal, experiential, and personal—allowing students to express themselves in a creative and, quite often, moving ways.
How do you write a descriptive narrative?
Writing a descriptive narrative essay – 6 essential tips
- Try to remember an important occurrence in your life or the life of someone else (a friend, a relative).
- Write down everything you associate with the story.
- Now start your draft.
- Describe the situation in short.
- Now narrate the story.
- Reflect upon the story.
What are the 3 characteristics of a narrative?
The main characteristics of narrative writing are the plot, the characters, the setting, the structure and the theme.
- Plot. Plot in narrative is defined by the events that take place within a story.
- Characters. Characters are central to any piece of narrative writing.
How do you write a descriptive essay?
How to write the best narrative essays?
What order is best for narrative essays?
What is narrative essay most like?
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What’s the difference between a narrative essay and a descriptive essay? The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.
Narrative - is when the author is narrating a story or part of a story. Usually, it has introduction, body and its conclusion. It let readers create their own imagination. It may be exact as what the author wants to express or not. Descriptive - describing what the author wants to impart. It expresses emotion about its certain topic.
• A narrative can be defined as an account of an individual personal experience. • A descriptive essay can be defined as an account that provides a detailed description of a place, a person, or even an emotion. • Content: • A Narrative usually relates a story. • A descriptive essay merely describes something or someone.
Description is a type of writing, but it is also a writing technique used in narrative writing. Description uses language that allows readers to see, feel, hear, taste, and/or smell the events within the story. When writing a story (narrative writing), description can enhance the readers’ interest in your story.
Descriptive writing attempts to capture the details of a topic and accurately portray its elements to readers. Narrative writing attempts to relay a story using chronological order or time sequence. Since good description often is needed in telling a story, students should master descriptive writing elements before crafting longer works of fiction.
The main difference between narrative and descriptive essay is that a descriptive essay describes a certain person, an object or a scene while a narrative essay narrates a story. What is a Descriptive Essay Descriptive essay is a piece of writing that includes lot of descriptions.
In descriptive writing, the introduction is all about what the subject to be discussed in your writing. The reader can easily guess what is going to be the next. On the other hand, the narrative writing is based on suspense and writer does not reveal the story all of a sudden.
A narrative essay is written to narrate a certain incident or experience while a descriptive essay is written in order to describe a person, a thing, or a place. Another significant difference between narrative and descriptive essay is that a narrative essay has a plot, setting and characters as it tells a story.