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writing an essay about a short story

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writing an essay about a short story

How to Write a Short Story Essay – Complete Guide

How to write a short story essay

A short story essay is a blended type of short writing that consolidates an essay’s components and a short story. The word tally of a short story paper is generally between 1000 to 5000 words. This kind of article is not quite the same as a short story or simply a five-section exposition.

A short story exposition consolidates the fiction in a short story and the non-anecdotal straightforwardness related to an essay. Finding some kind of harmony between the two to guarantee your reader gets the message is vital. Nonetheless, the important abilities for doing it when composing a short exposition probably won’t be that simple.

How to Write a Short Story

In case you’re prepared to handle this type of creative writing or simply need to figure out how to compose a short story to fortify the general nature of your book, here’s the manner by which you can do that.

Zero in on Character Development

For a short story to be effective, you need to know your character well. Having great character development is fundamental in short stories since your characters frequently drive the story.

You just have a specific measure of time to show your readers who that individual is, and you can’t do that if you don’t have the foggiest idea of what their identity is.

Here is how to focus on character development.

Consider everything.

If you compose a short tale about your closest companion, whom you’ve known for a long time, as opposed to somebody you just met yesterday, you’ll have the option to make a lot more grounded anecdote about your closest companion since you know them so well.

The equivalent goes for your anecdotal characters.

You don’t need to invest a huge load of energy in your fundamental character, however, know their set of experiences, age, character, day-to-day life, companion life, love life, and different details that shape the manner in which somebody sees the world.

Remember that since your short story is, indeed, more limited than a novel, you may eliminate a couple of steps. Knowing the general character venture, be that as it may, can be useful for character improvement inside short stories.

Fortunately, the outlining process for a short story is a lot simpler than a full novel; you need to create one in order to have a cohesive flow throughout the story.

This is unquestionably helpful for those of you who are inclined toward outlining versus simply composing on a whim.

This is what your outline ought to include for a short story:

Remember that your short story can end unexpectedly or you can substance it out until there’s a satisfying ending.

Start with something strange

To snare readers with a short story, you should begin with something that will grab somebody’s eye.

You don’t need to begin your short story with something as weird; however, you would like to give your readers a feeling of who your character is by depicting something else immediately that additionally has to do with the core focus of your short story.

Complete the draft ASAP

This is particularly the situation with regards to short stories. When you have your framework and ability to begin composing, drafting the short story in full comes straightaway.

Try not to worry about editing or proofreading the story in any capacity at the present time. All things considered, you can’t in any way, make great edits until you understand what the story looks like in full.

Edit your short story

Editing is the place where the polishing of a paper happens with regard to composing. We as a whole have this thought in our psyches that we’ll get it amazing the first run through, and that is simply not how composing functions.

More often than not, your first draft is only the stripped-down of what’s to come yet through line editing, formative alters, and proofreading, it will change into something better.

Consider serious composing as the wooden design of a house and the editing as the drywall, paint, windows, light apparatuses, entryways, and whatever else that will make the house complete.

These are a couple of things to look out for when editing your short story:

The editing process for short stories is basically the equivalent of books. The solitary contrast is that short stories will in general zero in more on symbolism and composition than they do full character and plot improvement.

This can be quite possibly the most troublesome thing for any book, not to mention a story that is simply a couple hundred to two or three thousand words.

What you need to consider while naming your short story is this:

These inquiries will assist you with building up a title that bodes well, but at the same time is sufficiently captivating to pull readers in while remaining consistent with what is the issue here.

Get feedback

Regardless of how experienced you are as an essayist, you need criticism.

To learn and improve your writing , you need another person’s open-minded perspectives on it.

We need this assistance on the grounds that the basic reality is; we’re excessively near our composition.

It’s difficult to read your story with a critical eye when you’re the person who concocted and composed it in the first place.

Permitting expert writers to peruse your work and offer criticism is probably the most ideal approach to improve and ensure your story is actually how you need it.

Practice by composing short stories regularly

The main most ideal approach to figure out how to compose great short stories is by keeping in touch with them frequently.

When you’re composing routinely, your cerebrum falls into the propensity for being imaginative and thinking as far as short stories.

The more you do it, the simpler it will get, and the more you’ll improve. So focus on composing a specific number of short stories every week and adhere to that – regardless of whether they aren’t your top choice.

Compose one short story consistently for 30 days

This is discrete from composing short stories frequently. If you truly need to launch your advance and get great immediately, at that point make a test for yourself.

Think of one short story, regardless of whether it’s 500 or 1,000 words , every day for a whole month.

At the point when you’re set, you’ll have 30 full short stories to audit, edit, and refine. Doing this forms a propensity, yet it additionally gives you a great deal of involvement rapidly.

Zero in on a single message to share

Short stories are known for being significant despite the fact that they’re not novel-length.

Furthermore, that implies they must have a central topic or message you need to get across. This can be anything from adoring yourself to disregarding cultural assumptions.

To do this, consider what you need individuals to leave your story feeling.

What is the ideal result?

If you simply need individuals to appreciate the story, that is extraordinary. Nonetheless, what makes a story significant and pleasant is the thing that readers get from it.

Conceptualize a few topics that are essential to you and work your short story around them. This will make you care about your story and satisfy your readers.

Tie it up with a fantastic closure

No one prefers a story that closes on a significant cliffhanger.

It’s alright for your short story to have an uncertain completion. Truth be told, that will probably be the case essentially on the grounds that the story is… indeed, short.

Yet, you would like to tie your story up to such that leaves the reader feeling fulfilled regardless of whether they didn’t find all the solutions.

Ordinarily, this implies getting back to a thought or component introduced at the outset.

This design regularly permits readers to feel like they’ve perused a total story versus simply a section of a bigger one.

Examples of Short Story Essay Topics

Short Story in an Essay

Other than the blended classification of composing, you can specify a short story in a paper. There is a sure method to do this, however. You need to realize how to compose the title of a short story in an article and how to cite a short story in an exposition.

When you compose a short story in a paper, you need to demonstrate that you are alluding to the story. If it is the title of one single short story, you compose it in quotes. If it is an assortment of short stories, the title ought to be composed in italics.

If you are referring to a section or page from a short story, just put it in quotes and you are all set. Regardless of whether you are composing a short story analysis exposition or a paper on short stories where you refer to a lot of sections, you should have the extricated passages in quotes to help your readers realize that it is replicated. You can even have your references stated to evade charges of plagiarism.

Also read : How to Analyse a Short Story

Purpose of Learning How to Write a Short Story

Here are the reasons why you should learn how to write a short story.

You gain proficiency with the skills of showing

When you just have a couple of pages to snare readers, illustrate the character, and recount a story, you wind up dominating the ability to show as opposed to telling.

You’ll fortify individual chapters

Regardless of in the case, you’re a fiction essayist or in the event that you favor non-fiction, the thought here is the equivalent.

A chapter is fundamentally a short story that is a piece of a greater entirety. Similar abilities you apply to compose an incredible short story will likewise assist you with composing stronger chapters.

Each piece of your book ought to be cleaned, solid, and alluring for your readers. Utilizing short story composing strategies will assist you with accomplishing that inside your parts.

Why are composing chapters significant if there’s an entire book accessible for somebody to peruse? Because it snares readers and keeps them turning that page.

The explanation behind this is on the grounds that, to achieve a fruitful and great short story, showing is a significant piece of that.

It’s extremely hard to compose an incredible short story without indicating the details and utilizing solid action words to paint a clear image of your character’s life.

Those abilities will transfer into anything you compose, consequently making it greatly improved.

It makes the story areas of your true to life book additionally charming

Each nonfiction book has partitions where stories should be advised to convey the idea.

This is the thing that permits individuals to identify with you as a writer, which pulls them in more profound and makes the central message of your book impact them more.

However, if those accounts are feeble, not elegantly composed, and dull, it’s far-fetched somebody will appreciate them so much.

All things considered, your message will get lost on the grounds that the book doesn’t convey a similar effect.

How Long are Short Stories?

Short stories ought to stay under 7,000 words to be viewed as “short stories”. They can be as short as just one sentence, as this is known as flash fiction.

You definitely realize that short stories are… more limited than your normal novel however do they have some other contrast?

As should be obvious, the primary distinction is length, yet that is not all. At the point when you compose a short story, you’re just composing an exceptionally effective piece of your character’s generally full life.

You don’t need to unload your whole character’s biography in two or three hundred words to compose an incredible short story.

Tips on Writing a Short Story

Here are the tips for writing a short story.

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writing an essay about a short story

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The Only Guide to Essay Writing You’ll Ever Need

Matt Ellis

Feel passionately about something and want to share it? Write an essay! Disagree with a popular opinion and wish to convince others to join you? Write an essay! Need to write something because the college you dream of attending is making you? Write an essay! 

“Essay” is a loose term for writing that asserts the author’s opinion on a topic, whether academic, editorial, or even humorous. There are a thousand different approaches to essay writing and a million different topics to choose from, but what we’ve found is that good essay writing tends to follow the same framework. 

Give your essays extra polish Grammarly helps you write with confidence Write with Grammarly

Below we discuss that framework and how you can apply it to your essays, whatever types they may be. But first, let’s start with the nucleus of any good essay: the topic.

Your essay needs a thesis statement 

There are three things to consider before writing your essay: thesis, type, and audience. Of these, the most important by far is your thesis, or the crux of what your essay is about.

Your thesis, encapsulated in your thesis statement , is the central point you’re trying to make. The thesis of Bertrand Russell’s essay “ In Praise of Idleness ,” for example, is that people focus too much on work and don’t value time spent idly. Essays can occasionally stray and go into related tangents, but they always come back to that one core idea in the thesis. 

You should always pinpoint your thesis before writing. If you’re having trouble nailing it down, ask yourself, “What’s the one thing I want my reader to remember when they’re done reading my essay?”

The best practice is to include your thesis as soon as possible, even in your topic sentence if it’s appropriate. You’ll want to reiterate it throughout the essay as well, especially when wrapping up everything in the conclusion. 

The rest of your essay, then, supports your thesis. You can include empirical evidence, testimonials, logical deductions, or even persuasive rhetoric —whatever gets the job done. The point is that you’re building upon your initial thesis, not switching to completely different topics. 

Types of essays

Like any form of writing, essays come in many different types. Sometimes the assignment dictates the type, as with admissions essays, and other times the thesis will determine it. Regardless, it helps to know what your options are, so here are some of the most common essay types: 

Argumentative essay

Argumentative essays assert or defend a position. This is the most common type of school paper, so keep that in mind when writing your first college essay . 

Admissions essay

Most colleges request an admissions essay in applications, which typically revolve around why you’re interested in their school. 

Persuasive essay

A persuasive essay is just as it sounds: an essay to persuade or convince the reader of a certain point. It’s similar to an argumentative essay— they both strongly favor a particular point of view, but the difference is the end goal: Argumentative essays just have to present their case, while persuasive essays have to present their case and win over the reader. 

Compare-and-contrast essay

When you want to devote equal attention to two opposing things, a compare-and-contrast essay works better than argumentative or persuasive essays, which lean to one side over the other.

Personal essay

Personal essays are often anecdotal or real-life stories of the authors, like the works of David Sedaris . Because they tend to follow narrative structures, the thesis can be flexible or interpretive. 

Expository essay

An expository essay thoroughly explains a certain topic to expand the reader’s knowledge. It is similar to an argumentative and persuasive essay in format, but with one key difference: expository essays don’t have a bias. 

Know your essay’s audience

Your final consideration is who will read your essay—a teacher, an admissions counselor, your peers, the internet at large, etc. 

No matter what you’re writing, your audience should influence your language. For one thing, your readers determine whether the essay is formal or casual , which has an enormous impact on language, word choice, and style . Take emojis for example: In a casual essay they might be welcome, but for formal writing they’re not the most appropriate choice. 😓

Your audience also affects the essay’s tone, or how you sound on an emotional level (enthusiastic, cautious, confident, etc.). If you’d like to know more, you can read about the 10 common types of tone here . 

The essay writing process

If you’re writing an essay, research paper , term paper, novel, short story, poem , screenplay, blog article about essay writing—when writing just about anything , really—it’s crucial to follow an efficient writing process. Even if you prefer the stream of consciousness style for writing your rough draft, you still need to have an orderly system that allows you to revise and hone. 

For essay writing, we recommend this  six-step writing process :

1 Brainstorming

It always helps to collect your thoughts before you begin writing by brainstorming . Based on your prompt or thesis, try to generate as many ideas as possible to include in your essay. Think of as many as time allows, knowing that you’ll be able to set aside the ideas that don’t work later. 

2 Preparing

The preparation phase consists of both outlining your essay and collecting resources for evidence. Take a look at the results of your brainstorming session. First, isolate the ideas that are essential to support your thesis and then organize them in a logical and progressive order. In this stage you’ll incorporate your essay structure, which we explain below.

If you want empirical evidence or complementary citations, track them down now.  The way you write citations depends on the style guide you’re using. The three most common style guides for academics are MLA , APA , and Chicago , and each has its own particular rules and requirements for citing just about  any  kind of source, including newspaper articles ,  websites ,  speeches , and  YouTube videos .

This is the main stage of essay writing where you roll up your sleeves and actually write your first draft . Remember that everything doesn’t have to be perfect; this is your first draft, not your final draft, so give yourself the freedom to make errors. If you’re focusing on getting every single word right, you’ll miss the big picture. 

The revisions stage involves your second draft, your third draft, or even your twelfth draft if necessary. Address all the nuances and subtleties you glossed over in the first draft. 

Pay attention to both word choice and clarity , as well as sophisticated writing techniques like avoiding the passive voice . If you’re not confident in your writing skills yet, the Grammarly Editor ensures your writing is readable, clear, and concise by offering sentence structure and word choice suggestions, plus clarity revisions as you write. Grammarly helps catch common mistakes with sentence structure—like run-on sentences, sentence fragments, passive voice, and more.  

5 Proofreading

When all the heavy-duty revisions are finished, it’s time for the final polish. Go through your essay and correct misspellings , formatting issues, or grammatical errors. This is also where you can turn to Grammarly’s AI-powered writing assistant, which helps catch these common mistakes for you. Or  copy and paste your writing to check your grammar and get instant feedback on grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other mistakes you might have missed.

Essay structure

Essay structure almost always follows a simple beginning-middle-end format, or in this case, an introduction-body-conclusion format. However, it’s what’s contained within those sections that makes all the difference. 


Essays follow the same guidelines for introductions as any other piece of writing, with an extra emphasis on presenting the thesis prominently, ideally in the topic sentence. By the end of your introduction paragraph, your reader should know without a doubt what your essay is about. From there, follow the conventional best practices on how to write an introduction . 

Body paragraphs

The majority of your essay is body paragraphs , all of which support your thesis and present evidence. 

Pay close attention to how you organize your body paragraphs. Some arguments benefit from a logical progression, where one point leads to a second, and that second point leads to a third. Remember that the reader doesn’t understand the topic like you do (that’s why you’re writing the essay), so structure your paragraphs in the way that’s best for their comprehension. 

What if you’re writing an argumentative essay where you compare and contrast two or more points of view? Do you present your argument first and then share opposing points of view, or do you open with your opposition’s argument and then refute it? 

Serious writers can get pretty technical about how to organize an argumentative essay. There are three approaches in particular used often: Aristotlian (classical), Rogerian , and Toulmin . However, these can get exceedingly complicated, so for a simple essay, a basic structure will do just fine:

Essay conclusions wrap up or summarize your thesis in a way that’s easy for the reader to digest. If you get the chance, you can add a new perspective or context for understanding your thesis, but in general the conclusion should not present any new evidence or supporting data. Rather, it’s more of a recap. For more specific tips, read about how to write a conclusion for an essay here . 

Five-paragraph essay

For quick and simple essays, you don’t need to get too technical with your essay structure. The five-paragraph essay structure works well in a pinch. This contains:

While this essay structure might not be flexible enough for more advanced topics, it comes in handy when speed is a factor, like during timed tests. 

Essay writing tips

Master the five fundamentals.

Especially for school essays, your reader will scrutinize how well you handle the fundamentals. Knowing about essay structure and the writing process is one thing, but can you demonstrate an understanding of language style? Can you develop your thesis logically and coherently? Are your references and citations trustworthy?

When you’re ready for the next step of essay writing, take a look at the five concepts you must master to write better essays . The tips there pick up where this guide leaves off. 

Seek out another pair of eyes

This tip is not just for essays; it’s always advisable to have someone else read over your writing before finalizing it. All too often we miss the forest for the trees, and thinking long and hard on the same topic can give you tunnel vision. The solution is to get a fresh take from someone who’s seeing it for the first time. 

Typically you can swap with a friend and edit each others’ works. If that’s not an option, however, you can also use a writing center or join a writing group online. At the very least, you should sleep on it and take another look when you’re refreshed. 

Remember: Grammar and form are essential 

It’s not always about what you say, but how you say it. You could have the most obvious, objectively agreeable thesis in the world, but if your writing is incoherent, confusing, and full of mistakes, it’s tough to engage with your reader. 

For when your writing needs to make the right impact, Grammarly Premium offers full-sentence rewrites for confusing sentences—from splitting long sentences, cutting extra words, or rearranging key phrases—in addition to catching common grammar mistakes. It also gives you readability-focused formatting suggestions, so you know your writing is clear. It also helps those who are looking to improve their writing skill level in English, with suggestions for commonly misused words and phrases. 

Honing your writing with these elements in mind is key to relaying your point to your reader—and asserting your thesis as effectively as possible.

writing an essay about a short story


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Free Short Story Essay Examples and Topics

Free Short Story Essay Examples and Topics

The term, short story essay , is a combination of the two genres, “short story” and “essay.” Short stories are meant to be an engaging experience for the audience. The author should tell a compelling narrative in order to captivate their audience. There are many different ways in which you can write this type of essay including: brainstorming ideas, researching your topic, outlining your plot points, making notes about important details that need to be included in your story, writing out dialogue between characters or describing scenes where major events occurred. This article will discuss how you can write a short story essay with examples from other students’ work.

How to write a short story essay

Writing a short story requires the writer to work with many aspects of fiction writing. A person must have imagination, creativity and discipline.

Short story essay vary in length such as:

To guide you in your efforts here are six (6) steps to follow when writing a short story essay:

Every good piece of writing starts with an idea, so start by considering what sort of idea you would like to write about. Try brainstorming some ideas that are personal or unique to you. Once you decide on your subject it is time to develop it into a full blown concept for your short story.

Next consider who will be involved in your story and what roles they play in the narrative. The best stories are those which have strong, dynamic characters. Characters which the readers can relate to and empathise with. Think of your characters as people, real or imagined, who have a certain type of personality which affects how they behave in different situations. In this way you can inspire your readers to have a better understanding about themselves and their own personality traits.

The setting is an important element in any story so be sure that it is properly described. Do not just tell us that a character woke up early one morning but describe the feeling of waking up on a cold winter morning when the sun has not risen yet and everything is silent except for the birds chirping outside our window. All those senses are engaged by those few simple words “silent except for the birds chirping outside our window”.

A writer needs to be open to inspiration in order to create a good story. If you find an interesting object or spot, make sure that you take note of it because this could later provide you with motivation when writing your short story essay. For example, if while taking a walk in the park you see two people looking at each other from across a gap between the trees, these characters may serve as an inspiration for your short story.

The best stories are action-packed so try and incorporate actions into your narrative. The best way to do this is by giving your protagonist(s) problems to solve or tasks to achieve, then making it increasingly difficult for them to do so. This will provoke conflict and tension which is what keeps your readers interested in the story.

The conclusion of the short story must provide conclusions about your characters, their actions and conclusions about life in general. You can leave some thoughts with your readers by adding an element of mystery, something that makes them think back on the entire narrative. A “what if” statement can be useful here: “ What if my grandmother had seen him across the park? Would she have run after him?” These are the kind of questions that arise in our minds when reading a good short story essay.

Comparison Essay on Two (2) Short Stories

Comparison essay is an essential part of academic writing. A fair amount of comparison essay is that it requires students to read two texts, identify similarities and differences between them, create a thesis statement on which are the main differences, back it up with evidence from both stories/texts/books etc., arrange all points in clear paragraphs, learn how to write a conclusion paragraph where you summarize all your ideas again so that the reader will have no difficulty understanding your point even after several days have passed since reading your text.

When teachers require students to write comparison essays on two short stories they give specific instructions on what topics to choose for discussion with their examples, but most often these examples are not enough for students who do not know what exactly should be discussed in their texts.

If you are writing a comparison essay on two short stories, there is no point of discussing different topics as it is not possible within such a paper. The same ideas should be written over and over again but from different perspectives. If you think “I don’t want to write the same thing again and again” you are wrong because that’s the only way to show how similar or different two texts are.

If your teacher wants you to compare/contrast two short stories, he/she expects you to follow certain rules. Here are a few steps you can follow to get better at writing short stories.

Steps to Follow when Writing a Comparison Essay:

How do you Cite (address) a short story in an essay?

When citing or referencing a short story in an essay or other written work, you must include all relevant information about the author and title of the story as well as identifying any additional information specific to your usage. Whether you’re creating an MLA , APA, Chicago/abian or any other type of formatting style, it’s important that your short story citation matches the format and standards outlined in your assignment.

The Basics: Author and Title of Story

As with any work you’re citing, the title and author of the story must be included in your reference entry. The title should include all words from the original publication; for example, if there were quotation marks around the title when originally published, then they should remain on any references. Similarly, underline or italicize titles just as they appeared on a book or magazine cover or publication you found them in.

Cite a short story by its full name along with an abbreviation for state/city/publication information if included at all. If more than one author is listed, use the word “and” between their names as you would for any other citation. If a publication is included, include publisher name and year of publication in parentheses immediately following the title.

When you are finished, your entry should have the author’s last name followed by any relevant title information in italics before the full-stop. Following this should be the city, state abbreviation and publisher of where the short story was originally published. All publication information goes after a forward slash – reference books will often include page numbers for you to use as well.

For Example:

Chavez, Jennifer L., and Monica R. Hand. “The Baby Pharma Industry—Exploiting Expectant Mothers.” Mothering 43 (1999): 38+. ProQuest Central. Web. 15 July 2015 <Link>.

Crowley, Dennis J., et al. “Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm among Young Soldiers.” Military Medicine 158 (1983): 363-67. ProQuest Central. Web. 15 July 2015 <Link>.

These examples are both in MLA format; however, remember that you should never copy and paste your information directly from a document as it is very easy for another person to steal the information and pretend as though they were the original author. Instead, use these examples as a guide to create your own short story citation in whatever format you choose.

Additional Information: Paraphrase or Quote

If you’re directly quoting from a short story under fair-use policy (refer to your assignment on this) then be sure that first and foremost quote marks are properly placed around any text that was originally said by another individual.

Include parenthetical documentation after any quoted text specifying which page number the quotation can be found on if applicable; if not included, place quotations directly after the author’s name without parentheses. If paraphrased words or ideas from a short story are included in your work, simply include a reference entry at the end before works cited.

Short Story Essay Topics and Prompts

Writing a short story essay is a complex task. Readers’ thoughts and ideas are influenced by the words that writers use in their stories. This makes it difficult to write an original, unique opinion about a topic from which many people have written before.

However, there are still some topics that every good writer should consider when writing a literary analysis of a short story- no matter how boring or insignificant they may seem at first glance.

Most of shorty story writing prompts revolve around the following subjects:

The Beginning of a Story

The Ending of a Story

Character Analysis/Development


Another common topic for short stories relates to a writer’s point of view about certain issues. For example:

Style/ Literary Devices Used:

Setting/ Theme/ Mood within the Story / Writer’s Intentions

Short Story Essay Examples

Sample Short Story Essay On Childhood Memories

Sample Short Story Essay About Friendship (pdf)

Sample Short Story Essay About An Accident (pdf)

Sample comparison essay on two short stories

Get Help in Short Story Writing

Are you struggling to write your short story essay and getting tired of writing and rewriting? Have you run out of time and don’t know what to do? If the answer to either question is yes, then we can help. Writing a high-quality essay for your short story class takes an immense amount of effort and we understand that at times it feels like too much. Not only does one need extensive knowledge of the subject material but it also requires creativity, proper research skills, ability to convey information clearly and coherently as well as academic standards such as grammar and formatting. This is why many students decide to pay someone or a professional essay writing service their short stories essays. The good news is that there are legitimate custom writing services offering first-rate work for money by professional writers.

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Example Of Essay On Short Stories

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Evil , The Scarlet Letter , Mark Twain , Nathaniel Hawthorne , Susan Minot , Necklace , Pattern , Gas

Words: 2750

Published: 03/09/2020


Nowadays, people tend to care too much what other people may think about them, sometimes making sacrifices beyond their possibilities, for the sake of appearances. The story “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant teaches us a very good life lesson regarding this issue and in another order of ideas, we can call it the deceptiveness of appearances. The main character of the story, Mathilde, never felt that the normal life she had fits her, and she always dreamed on being wealthy and making part of the social class. She had her change to bright for a couple of hours at a social ball, where her dream came true. She was the most beautiful and charming woman from the party, being help by his husband with a new expensive dress and by her friend who borrowed a diamond necklace. However, Mathilde paid a very big price for that. At the end of the story, we found out that the necklace that Mathilde borrowed from her friend Madame Forestier, and lost it, was fake. She sacrificed ten years of her life for paying the necklace that she thought was real. "Oh, my poor Mathilde! But mine was imitation. It was worth at the very most five hundred francs! "(Maupassant, The Necklace). The necklace from Madame Forestier gave Mathilde the illusion of richness and value because Madame Forestier was her rich friend, a person she admired and who wanted be like her, being unthinkable that such a respectable lady could had a fake necklace in her jewelry collection. The fact that the necklace change from a cheap one to an expensive one and the lady didn’t notice suggest us that the appearance could be easily deceived, and the true value are influenced by our perception. The story “Love in L.A.” by Dagoberto Gilb is treated in a realistic measure. All the traditional love story follow a clear pattern, as two strangers meeting and falling in love one for each other and day living happily after but “Love in L.A” doesn’t follow this pattern. It is a unique story love story with a twist in the end, but even it isn’t a traditional love story, it doesn’t disqualify on being a love story. The realism of the story is shaped by the personality of the two main characters, Jack and Marina. Jack is far from being the well-mannered man on a white horse, representing the opposite, being dishonest and self-absorbed. The second love theme in the story is the love that Jack has it from itself and his car and could me more important than the other. The writer of “Love in L.A.” leaves us the impression that the story is a desire for love at the most shallow and self-serving level. This story is similar with “Ind AFF” by Franklin Birkinshaw and presents us the love story between an unmarried graduate student and his married history professor, which is also her thesis adviser, who are in vacation, in Yugoslavia. This trip was made for the professor to decide whether to leave his wife for his lover. Like the other story, this one was also an unexpected twist. The young woman, tired of the grumpiness, irritable, boring attitude that professor Peter has, and comes to her senses and escape from a bad and depressing situation. Comparative to the first story, here we also have the first contrasting, regarding the power of the women and the fact that she could go further without regrets. The second contrast that appears comparing this both story was a length to the period when love story was presented. The first story tells us about a shy and uncertain beginning of a love story, but the second story finds the protagonist at the end of a love story. Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist and a short-story writer who lived in the nineteenth century. His fictional works were considered part of the Dark romanticism, his themes approached things like the sin of humanity and inherent evil; his stories often had moral messages and deep psychological complexity. “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne was a famous story that has in foreground, Aylmer, a late 18-century scientist who was totally dedicated into his work and who had recently married a beautiful woman named, Georgiana. The perfection of the woman was shadowed by a birthmark in a form of a hand that Georgiana had on her cheek. “The crimson hand expressed the ineludible gripe in which mortality clutches the highest and purest of earthly mould, degrading them into kindred with the lowest, and even with the very brutes, like whom their visible frames return to dust. In this manner, selecting it as the symbol of his wife's liability to sin, sorrow, decay, and death, Aylmer's sombre imagination was not long in rendering the birthmark a frightful object.” (Hawthorne, The Birthmark) This quote revealed Aylmer’s thought. He wanted her woman to be perfect in both ways, body and soul, and perhaps the birthmark itself wasn’t the problem, but rather the fact the she was an imperfect human being with same vices as someone else. The message from this story is that nobody is perfect, and we should learn to accept people that we love with their imperfections because human being are necessarily imperfect and we shouldn’t throw away a good thing if isn’t exactly as what we wanted to be. Sometimes the little imperfection things build perfect relationships. The plot of the story “Lust” by Susan Minot followed the conventional methods. The characters were well defined in the exposition and the central conflict regarded the main character that used her body to gain intimacy, the psychological consequences becoming the important point on this narration. In the end, she realized that she had paid a prize too big for hers sexual escapades. We found out from the narrator how tired, used and lonely this teenager was feeling after doing this supposed sexual freedom; in fact was trying to hide under this behavior her needed for love, affection and understanding from another human being. The story ends uncertain, leaving the reader wondering if she had learned something for his self-destructive actions and she will embrace the change that she needed in her life. The most interesting thing that I found in this story is how Susan Minot treats the subject of a young girl vulnerability regarding theirs engaging on premarital sexual relationship. The book is a warning for the female readers who have sexual relationships with different partners and don’t have any emotional involvement is an issue that leads to damaging emotional consequences. A good example from the book regards the feelings of the main character that described the consequences as “an overwhelming sadness, an elusive gaping worry.” (Minot, Lust) Minot was aware of the message that she wanted to transmit to the readers and made a good and careful articulated prose in order to express ideas and beliefs regarding this subject. The book was a wonderful life lesson for younger teenage girl; that had low self-esteem and they, usually, found them self in the situation on doing everything they could for a small act of kindness from a man. The story “Girl” by Jamaica Kinkaid is it about the life lesson that a mother gave to her youngest daughter. Of course, this was just a guess because we didn’t find those things written in the monologue. We could assume, however that the central voice in the unnamed mother and by the way she was speaking makes us think it could have been her daughter. The voice interrupted her mother twice to protest her innocence, but her mother continued her directions. Kinkaid used here semicolons to separate the words of wisdom to the admonishment, and had repeated sentences to strengthen the idea. The woman was telling her daughter a lot of useful advice, regarding how to manage things on life, and how to grow and transform to a beautiful and intelligent woman. Most of those were practical advices of how to wash the color clothes, how to cook a good meal, how to set a table, how to iron or how to behave in society, not to sing any Antiguan folk song on the Sunday school, not to squat while playing marble and the most important thing, to always walk and talk like a lady. She also taught her how a romantic relationship works and that one day she will find a man, warning her that sometimes a woman and men “bully” each other. She told to the girl how to smile at the persons the she didn’t like and how to smile at the person that she likes a lot and also how to avoid evil spirits. I have been in a similar situation, my mother always told me what to do. Over time, it proved to be very useful even if when I was a child, I didn’t was on the same opinion. I founded her annoying and nagging but after I grew up, when I had a problem I remember all the advices that she gave me, it was all in my head I could hear her voice directing me on making the best choice. “Popular Mechanics” by Raymond Carver was the story of a couple with big issues, who were described in the middle of their last fight. The message that Carver was trying to transmit is that people don’t have healthy communication anymore with each other, and they don’t know how to express their feeling in order to be understood by their life partner. They get angry very quickly, and they don’t have the necessary patient to deal with the real problems, so they are satisfied with a simple solution on argue and eventually leave. This is a real issue nowadays because married couples are more likely to break up than to sit and solve with more communication, and to understand each other's needs and desire. This story sends a warning in hopes that couples will try to change this attitude especially when a child appears in the middle. Another important point that Carver is trying to highlight in this story is that when a couple has issues of communication, the baby is always in the middle and is the one who suffer most. In the book, we have very clear example of this because the baby appears in the middle of his parent’s physical fight. The both parents were controlling one of the baby’s arms by pulling it and in the same time, arguing who should have the baby. The baby started to cry because it was in pain, and the parents hurt him in the pulling and grasping game of power. In the end, the story leaves as with an understatement on the final sentence “He felt the baby slipping out of his hands and he pulled back very hard. In this manner, the issue was decided.” (Carver, Popular Mechanics). We don’t know for sure what happened in the end; the author leaves it to us to interpret the ending. The worst macabre scenario could be the breaking of the baby in two, but this hypothesis could be treated only on a metaphorical level. The irony of this story is also linked to the final quotation above and is about the irony of the situation in which parents where and ambiguous manner in which the story ends bringing out the irony within the verbal communication which runs between the two partners. The use of style, tone and irony gives the story a tangled reading but also clearly convincing. “The Story of the Good Little Boy” by Mark Twain is a short story that was published in 1875 and was the mirror of the story “The Story of the Bad Little Boy.” The first story puts us in front a young boy named Jacob Blivens who did everything right and desired nothing more than to be good. He never lied, never stolen, never cheated but bad things still happens to him. The book was a Mark Twain’s observation on literature written by poor authors, poorly written fiction, whose in the author’s opinion was clearly connected to the Sunday school books. The boy wanted to be the best he can be, just as good as the characters in the story that he read. He remarked on the reading that people who did good things were always rewarded with good things, and this was also his wish. In the end, the story had a twist, and the good boy had a tragic and catastrophic end. He was always nice with the bad kids but one day, when he was walking along the factory, he saw some children picking up on some dogs, he tried to make the right thing but the blame fell on him. After that, the factory exploded scattering on the air pieces of the dog and the boy. Good things happened always to people that did good things and bad things happened always to people that did bad things is the lesson that we learn on Sunday’s school books but this story doesn’t follow this pattern. The reason was simple; this wasn’t the way of the world worked. Often people who did bad things succeed because they did those things, and people who did good things can often be far worse. You must give people a more powerful reason for being good, more the de fear of doing the right things if not, bad people can happen to them because bad things inevitably happen. “55 Miles to the Gas Pump” by Annie Proulx is a macabre, gory and revolting story that talks about a married couple who lived 12 years together without noticing that they lived separately life and the story mocks the lack of normality and decency. Also could by a story that made fun of the uncivilized country life that those people were leaving along, far away from any community of human beings. This is one of the reasons for their strange, creepy and abnormal behavior in lack of civilization and human contact and the issues that this absence can do to unstable, lonely minds. The story is short, I think this is the shortest story I’ve ever read. It has 226 words divided into two slim paragraphs and a separate final sentence. This form of story provides a necessary counterbalance to the main subject. The first paragraph describes the physical appearance of Rancher Croom, how he makes his beer and in the end how he takes his life, throwing him away from the canon cliffs at one night of drinking. The second paragraph presents us his wife, Mrs. Croom, who discovered the dead body for the former lovers that his husband had in the past, hidden in the attic. The body were“covered with tarry handprints, the marks of boot heels, some bright blue with the remnants of paint used on the shutters years ago, one wrapped in newspaper nipple to knee.” (Proulx, 55 Miles to the Gas Pump) The last sentence “When you live a long way out you make your own fun.” (Proulx, 55 Miles to the Gas Pump) can be an excuse for their unusual behavior but is a shocking, ridiculous and amusing, and also could be the moral of this dark, black humorous story.

Works cited

De Maupassant, Guy. The Necklace. Short Stories.Web. 11 october 2014. http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/Neck.shtml Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Birthmark. The Literature Network. Web. 11 october 2014. http://www.online-literature.com/poe/125/ Minot, Susan. Lust and other stories. Vintage, 2000. Print Carver, Raymond. Popular Mechanics. Web. 11 october 2014 http://www.mccc.edu/pdf/eng101/fall2011/Carver%20Raymond_%20Popular%20Mechanics.pdf Proulx, Annie. 55 Miles to the Gas Pump. Biblioklept. 11 october 2014. http://biblioklept.org/2011/01/22/55-miles-to-the-gas-pump-annie-proulx/

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Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Literary Genres — Short Story

writing an essay about a short story

Essays on Short Story

Darkness in the short stories of james joyce, short story: "the abandoned house", personal development of the main character in raymond's run, bridging the gap: comparing "letters from my father" and "the writer", the effects of class and morality in 'the boarding house' by james joyce, the connection between art and history for julian barnes, analysis of the short story 'the storm' by kate chopin, analysis of anton chekhov’s short story "agafya", sister lilith by honorée fanonne jeffers: dismissal of patriarchal values, critical analysis of the lesson by toni cade bambara, our town by thornton wilder: the message to appreciate life, the issue of the insane narrator in "the tell-tale heart", a brief history of perfume, my most embarrassing moment, "a man called horse" as transgression of the western genre, readers’ interpretation of barn burning by haruki murakami, gaze through the window: paralyses in joyce's "dubliners", feeling of imprisonment, blind devotion in james joyce’s "araby", life and death in "dubliners" by james joyce, epiphany in james joyce’s araby, already dead: the need for human interaction in butler’s "titanic victim speaks through waterbed", poe’s use of literary techniques in the tell-tale heart, the yellow wallpaper by charlotte perkins gilman: a woman’s plight.

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Main Themes in Kate Chopin's 'The Storm'

Analysis of setting in ‘’eveline’’ by james joyce, mrs. fullerton’s odd dominos of ambition, two-faced: characterization in bad haircut, literary analysis of the monkey’s paw by william jacobs, theme of alienation and isolation in raymond carver's "cathedral", feeling stressed about your essay.

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writing an essay about a short story

Short Story Essay

writing an essay about a short story

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writing an essay about a short story

Free Short Story Essays and Papers

writing an essay about a short story

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Sonny's Short Story

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suspense in short stories

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Response to short story

Unlike many of the short stories we read, “A&P” by John Uplike displays the familiar effects of anti-Feminism and unnecessary conformity in both female and male characters. The story is placed in the 1960’s in a grocery store on a sunny afternoon. Three young, beautiful ladies walk in wearing their bathing suits and begin stir up controversy in the quite store. Even though none of the three girls have done anything wrong still everyone working and shopping in the store, with the exception of Sammy

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Short stories are wonderful vehicles for ideas and for craft. They can hold up one specific aspect of Story and let it shine like a beautifully cut gem; a character, a plot, a tone, or a world held up in miniature for admiration. What they sometimes lack however, is complexity. For something larger and more intricate you take all of those well-cut gems and put them into something larger, a necklace or tiara--getting past the metaphor, you write a novel. It’s really hard to put as much complexity

The Short Story Genre

The Short Story Genre The idea behind the short story genre is to convey a message or point to the reader economizing on words. Unlike the novel, every part of the short story is important. Paragraphs and even the title mean much more to the story. In the short story the title is likely to be a way that the author emphasizes a message to the reader and points her in a direction of thinking. The title can also symbolize or capture a distinct purpose. The story "Birds with No Feet" by Andrea

Short Story Essay

Short Stories What is a short story? A short story is a fictional piece of writing that can range from 1,000 to 20,000 words. Unlike a novel, he reader should be able to read a short story within a short amount of time. Because the length of a short story is shorter than a novel, it usually has one main character (minor characters can be added in limited amounts) and focuses on one plot, setting, and central theme. Why do we write short stories? The answer is simple, they’re practice. Almost all

Dacoff Short Story

3-5 sentences, describe his/her life situation and basic personality, and then state his/her problem and/or primary motivation. What is the central idea, need, or problem that drives the protagonist? How does the protagonist change by the end of the story? What have they learned? The protagonist is a 10 year old Nigerian-American girl with an envious, jealous, and revengeful personality. She has grown up in the shadow of her older brother, Nonso, who is treated with more respect and attention because

Essay On A Short Story

is a Short Story? “Long long ago…”, “a very long time ago,” and “Once upon a time...” are the capturing phrases that give a short story an interesting beginning. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines a short story as, “a story, usually about imaginary characters and events that is short enough to be read from beginning to end without stopping.” The short fiction is a microcosm when compared to the magnitude and length of real life events. So, it should be agreed that a short story is a

Analyses of Short Stories

Analyses of Short Stories Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown” Goodman Brown was not asleep in this short story. As I read, I believed that Goodman did indeed meet the devil in the forest. If he had indeed dreamt about the trip he was sent on and meeting the devil, I think his nervousness would have been described in more detail then it was. Concentrating more on the anxiety he was feeling would have led the reader to believe that the events were not real. I also saw this story as an allegory

Short Stories and Poetry

Short Stories and Poetry There are many different forms of writing that all fall under the name literature. These different ways to create literature are often categorized into specific genres. Some of the genres have more in common with each other than others. Two genres, the short story and the poem, share many similar aspects. Both the short story and the poem can successfully send powerful messages or tell complex stories in a very short amount of words. Both genres contain carefully manipulated

Narrative As A Short Story

A short story is a fictional work of prose that is shorter in length than a novel. Edgar Allan Poe in his essay ‘The Philosophy of Composition’ states that a short story should be read in one sitting, anywhere from a half hour or two hours (Poe). A short story has a beginning, middle and a memorable end and it usually contains fewer characters and settings. Such stories are intended to be easy and suitable pieces of writing that can be read quickly unlike novels. Plot, character, and setting are

Elements Of A Short Story

Short Story Narrative Elements When an author writes a story it takes many elements to put it together. All of the elements used to put the short story together contribute to the forming of the central or main theme or idea. Normally the central theme is the most important element in the story. “The theme in a story is associated with an idea that lies behind the story” (Clugston, 2010). It is the fundamental scheme that gives significance to the story. Developing the theme of a story takes contributions

Gothic Short Stories

Gothic Short Stories Gothic stories are usually dark and mysterious, set mostly at night, and frequently have the appearance of bad weather. Gothic stories hit a peak in Victorian times, when Jack the Ripper and other famous lawbreakers struck fear into peoples hearts. This grim time was not helped by the very inefficient police force, this left people wanting to hear of more heroes in their world. I have read 3 famous gothic short stories, and in my essay I am going to explore them in

In literature, a prose can be broadly classified into two types: Fiction and nonfiction. Under fiction, there is further classification - a long form prose such as a novel or a screenplay and a short story. Any fictional story that can be read in a few minutes, and that focuses on an event or a series of connected events is called a short story.

How to write a short story

Unlike the long form prose that takes readers through a roller coaster of emotions, a short story tries to evoke a mood or a particular emotion. The writer needs to be clear about what he/she wants to convey through the short story as there is no room for flirting with various schools of thought. When you write a short story, keep the character introductions short and precise. There is no luxury to dedicate an entire chapter to underline a specific quality of your protagonists. The subplots in a short story should be minimal as it will complicate the narrative and elongate the length of the story. A short story can have a word count ranging from 1000 to 4000. Anything shorter than 1000 words can be termed as flash fiction. Some consider writing a short story as an exercise in making your writing concise and to the point. While the emphasis is on the length of the story, the event(s) in the short story should never feel rushed or the emotions conveyed should never feel surface level.

Some of the famous short stories are - O.Henry’s The Gift of the Magi , Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart , Anton Chekov’s The Lady with the Dog , Herman Melville’s Bartleby , The Scrivener , and many more.

Curious about writing a short story? Learn the ropes of short story writing by reading our collection of essays and research papers.

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How to Write a Narrative Essay | Example & Tips

Published on July 24, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on December 6, 2021.

A narrative essay tells a story. In most cases, this is a story about a personal experience you had. This type of essay , along with the descriptive essay , allows you to get personal and creative, unlike most academic writing .

Table of contents

What is a narrative essay for, choosing a topic, interactive example of a narrative essay, frequently asked questions about narrative essays.

When assigned a narrative essay, you might find yourself wondering: Why does my teacher want to hear this story? Topics for narrative essays can range from the important to the trivial. Usually the point is not so much the story itself, but the way you tell it.

A narrative essay is a way of testing your ability to tell a story in a clear and interesting way. You’re expected to think about where your story begins and ends, and how to convey it with eye-catching language and a satisfying pace.

These skills are quite different from those needed for formal academic writing. For instance, in a narrative essay the use of the first person (“I”) is encouraged, as is the use of figurative language, dialogue, and suspense.

Narrative essay assignments vary widely in the amount of direction you’re given about your topic. You may be assigned quite a specific topic or choice of topics to work with.

You may also be given prompts that leave you a much wider choice of topic.

In these cases, you might have to think harder to decide what story you want to tell. The best kind of story for a narrative essay is one you can use to talk about a particular theme or lesson, or that takes a surprising turn somewhere along the way.

For example, a trip where everything went according to plan makes for a less interesting story than one where something unexpected happened that you then had to respond to. Choose an experience that might surprise the reader or teach them something.

Narrative essays in college applications

When applying for college , you might be asked to write a narrative essay that expresses something about your personal qualities.

For example, this application prompt from Common App requires you to respond with a narrative essay.

In this context, choose a story that is not only interesting but also expresses the qualities the prompt is looking for—here, resilience and the ability to learn from failure—and frame the story in a way that emphasizes these qualities.

What can proofreading do for your paper?

Scribbr editors not only correct grammar and spelling mistakes, but also strengthen your writing by making sure your paper is free of vague language, redundant words, and awkward phrasing.

writing an essay about a short story

See editing example

An example of a short narrative essay, responding to the prompt “Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself,” is shown below.

Hover over different parts of the text to see how the structure works.

Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities. My instinct was always to think of these subjects as more solid and serious than classes like English. If there was no right answer, I thought, why bother? But recently I had an experience that taught me my academic interests are more flexible than I had thought: I took my first philosophy class.

Before I entered the classroom, I was skeptical. I waited outside with the other students and wondered what exactly philosophy would involve—I really had no idea. I imagined something pretty abstract: long, stilted conversations pondering the meaning of life. But what I got was something quite different.

A young man in jeans, Mr. Jones—“but you can call me Rob”—was far from the white-haired, buttoned-up old man I had half-expected. And rather than pulling us into pedantic arguments about obscure philosophical points, Rob engaged us on our level. To talk free will, we looked at our own choices. To talk ethics, we looked at dilemmas we had faced ourselves. By the end of class, I’d discovered that questions with no right answer can turn out to be the most interesting ones.

The experience has taught me to look at things a little more “philosophically”—and not just because it was a philosophy class! I learned that if I let go of my preconceptions, I can actually get a lot out of subjects I was previously dismissive of. The class taught me—in more ways than one—to look at things with an open mind.

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 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.

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Lesson Plan on Writing Short Stories (High School)

lesson plans on writing short stories

Teaching high school English students to write short stories requires a creative approach. By coming up with an engaging short story lesson plan, you may unleash what becomes a lifelong appreciation for this genre while also unearthing fiction writing talents. Discover how to create a story writing lesson plan that teaches students what they need to know to craft their own short stories

Analyzing a Short Story Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to guide students through the experience of analyzing a short story. Do this before assigning them to write a story.

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to discuss and analyze a short story, as well as recognize key elements of a short story.

Lesson Overview

Explain what a short story is, be sure to cover how this type of writing differs from other forms of creative writing . Keep in mind that the purpose of this part of the lesson plan is to prepare students with what they need to know to write their own short stories.

Activity: Select a Short Story

Assign students a specific short story to read. Choose an appropriate short story for high school students consistent with the overall class focus.

Class Discussion

Once students have read the story, lead an in-class discussion focused on a surface level analysis of the text. Ask students to identify things like:

Homework: Literary Analysis Essay

Following the class discussion, encourage students to further explore the short story by writing a literary analysis essay . Ask them to include a few examples of things they may have done differently if they had written the story.

Writing an Original Story Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan when it's time for students to use their creative writing skills to craft a short story of their own.

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to write an original short story. This lesson will serve to develop students' creative writing skills and display experience writing creatively in the medium of the short story.

Lead a class discussion in which you ask students to share the suggestions they came up with for improving the short story they just finished reading and analyzing.

Segue the debriefing of the previous lesson to a discussion on writing short stories. Ask students to share their thoughts on what it takes to write an effective short story now that they have read and analyzed one.

Activity: Anecdote Writing

Tell students that they'll soon be tasked with writing a short story of their own, but that as a way of preparing you are now challenging them to come up with a brief anecdote they can write a few paragraphs about to share with the class. Explain that this activity will provide practice writing in a storytelling style.

Once the anecdote writing activity has been completed, it's time to finish preparing students to write their own short stories.

Homework: Short Story Writing Activity

Now it's time for students to craft their own short stories. Allow a few days for this assignment as they may need a bit of time to come up with an idea and craft it into a well-written story.

Story Writing Debrief

Dedicate some class time to debrief students' story writing experience. This will allow you to answer any lingering questions and provide additional information to budding writers.

Developing Young Writers

As an English instructor teaching a class that includes a creative writing component, it's important for you to help students develop their writing skills. Consider following up with a literary terms lesson plan . If you do, plan to incorporate this literary terms worksheet to help reinforce student learning.

ESSAY: WRITING A SHORT STORY   You have now completed a great deal...


You have now completed a great deal of the work on your story, and are ready to begin writing.

Here is your goal for this assignment:

Write rapidly for as long as you can, while the scenes and people are fresh in your mind. You may be able to finish only one incident or to write the whole story at one sitting. When your thoughts begin to wander, take a break and return a little later. Try to write way through the entire story before doing the revisions you are sure to need.

Leave your finished draft for a while and return later to reread it. On this second try, you will find places where the writing is not clear, dull stretches where you must use more interesting language, and essential points of the plot that you have failed to include. Rewrite these passages as best you can.

Evaluation and Revision. Use this checklist to locate the weaknesses in your story.

When you have made the desired revisions in content, check your latest draft for mechanical errors, such as misspelled words and faulty punctuation, Your finished story should be at least 1,000 

words long.

When you are satisfied with both content and form, remember to proofread the story before submitting it for your teacher to grade.

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How to Write a Short Story Outline

Some writers are “pantsers”—they “write by the seat of their pants,” making things up on the go with little more than an idea for a story. Other writers are “plotters,” meaning they decide the story’s structure in advance of writing it.

You don’t need a short story outline to write a good short story. But, if you’d like to give yourself some scaffolding before putting words on the page, this article answers the question of how to write a short story outline:


How to Write a Short Story Step by Step

There are many ways to approach the short story craft, but this method is tried-and-tested for writers of all levels. Here’s how to write a short story step by step.

1. Start With an Idea

Often, generating an idea is the hardest part. You want to write, but what will you write about?

What’s more, it’s easy to start coming up with ideas and then dismissing them. You want to tell an authentic, original story, but everything you come up with has already been written, it seems.

Here are a few tips:

If you’re struggling simply to find ideas, try out this prompt generator , or pull prompts from this Twitter .

2. Outline, OR Conceive Your Characters

If you plan to outline, do so once you’ve generated an idea. You can learn about how to write a short story outline earlier in this article.

If you don’t plan to outline, you should at least start with a character or characters. Certainly, you need a protagonist, but you should also think about any characters that aid or inhibit your protagonist’s journey.

When thinking about character development, ask the following questions:

In short stories, there are rarely more characters than a protagonist, an antagonist (if relevant), and a small group of supporting characters. The more characters you include, the longer your story will be. Focus on making only one or two characters complex: it is absolutely okay to have the rest of the cast be flat characters that move the story along.

Learn more about character development here:


3. Write Scenes Around Conflict

Once you have an outline or some characters, start building scenes around conflict. Every part of your story, including the opening sentence, should in some way relate to the protagonist’s conflict.

Conflict is the lifeblood of storytelling: without it, the reader doesn’t have a clear reason to keep reading. Loveable characters are not enough, as the story has to give the reader something to root for.

Take, for example, Edgar Allan Poe’s classic short story The Cask of Amontillado . We start at the conflict: the narrator has been slighted by Fortunato, and plans to exact revenge. Every scene in the story builds tension and follows the protagonist as he exacts this revenge.

In your story, start writing scenes around conflict, and make sure each paragraph and piece of dialogue relates, in some way, to your protagonist’s unmet desires.

4. Write Your First Draft

The scenes you build around conflict will eventually be stitched into a complete story. Make sure as the story progresses that each scene heightens the story’s tension, and that this tension remains unbroken until the climax resolves whether or not your protagonist meets their desires.

Don’t stress too hard on writing a perfect story. Rather, take Anne Lamott’s advice, and “write a shitty first draft.” The goal is not to pen a complete story at first draft; rather, it’s to set ideas down on paper. You are simply, as Shannon Hale suggests, “shoveling sand into a box so that later [you] can build castles.”

5. Step Away, Breathe, Revise

Whenever Stephen King finishes a novel, he puts it in a drawer and doesn’t think about it for 6 weeks. With short stories, you probably don’t need to take as long of a break. But, the idea itself is true: when you’ve finished your first draft, set it aside for a while. Let yourself come back to the story with fresh eyes, so that you can confidently revise, revise, revise.

In revision, you want to make sure each word has an essential place in the story, that each scene ramps up tension, and that each character is clearly defined. The culmination of these elements allows a story to explore complex themes and ideas, giving the reader something to think about after the story has ended.

6. Compare Against Our Short Story Checklist

Does your story have everything it needs to succeed? Compare it against this short story checklist, as written by our instructor Rosemary Tantra Bensko.

Below is a collection of practical short story writing tips by Writers.com instructor Rosemary Tantra Bensko . Each paragraph is its own checklist item: a core element of short story writing advice to follow unless you have clear reasons to the contrary. We hope it’s a helpful resource in your own writing.

Update 9/1/2020: We’ve now made a summary of Rosemary’s short story checklist available as a PDF download . Enjoy!

writing an essay about a short story

Click to download

How to Write a Short Story: Length and Setting

Your short story is 1000 to 7500 words in length.

The story takes place in one time period, not spread out or with gaps other than to drive someplace, sleep, etc. If there are those gaps, there is a space between the paragraphs, the new paragraph beginning flush left, to indicate a new scene.

Each scene takes place in one location, or in continual transit, such as driving a truck or flying in a plane.

How to Write a Short Story: Point of View

Unless it’s a very lengthy Romance story, in which there may be two Point of View (POV) characters, there is one POV character. If we are told what any character secretly thinks, it will only be the POV character. The degree to which we are privy to the unexpressed thoughts, memories and hopes of the POV character remains consistent throughout the story.

You avoid head-hopping by only having one POV character per scene, even in a Romance. You avoid straying into even brief moments of telling us what other characters think other than the POV character. You use words like “apparently,” “obviously,” or “supposedly” to suggest how non-POV-characters think rather than stating it.

How to Write a Short Story: Protagonist, Antagonist, Motivation

Your short story has one clear protagonist who is usually the character changing most.

Your story has a clear antagonist, who generally makes the protagonist change by thwarting his goals.

(Possible exception to the two short story writing tips above: In some types of Mystery and Action stories, particularly in a series, etc., the protagonist doesn’t necessarily grow personally, but instead his change relates to understanding the antagonist enough to arrest or kill him.)

The protagonist changes with an Arc arising out of how he is stuck in his Flaw at the beginning of the story, which makes the reader bond with him as a human, and feel the pain of his problems he causes himself. (Or if it’s the non-personal growth type plot: he’s presented at the beginning of the story with a high-stakes problem that requires him to prevent or punish a crime.)

The protagonist usually is shown to Want something, because that’s what people normally do, defining their personalities and behavior patterns, pushing them onward from day to day. This may be obvious from the beginning of the story, though it may not become heightened until the Inciting Incident, which happens near the beginning of Act 1. The Want is usually something the reader sort of wants the character to succeed in, while at the same time, knows the Want is not in his authentic best interests. This mixed feeling in the reader creates tension.

The protagonist is usually shown to Need something valid and beneficial, but at first, he doesn’t recognize it, admit it, honor it, integrate it with his Want, or let the Want go so he can achieve the Need instead. Ideally, the Want and Need can be combined in a satisfying way toward the end for the sake of continuity of forward momentum of victoriously achieving the goals set out from the beginning. It’s the encounters with the antagonist that forcibly teach the protagonist to prioritize his Needs correctly and overcome his Flaw so he can defeat the obstacles put in his path.

The protagonist in a personal growth plot needs to change his Flaw/Want but like most people, doesn’t automatically do that when faced with the problem. He tries the easy way, which doesn’t work. Only when the Crisis takes him to a low point does he boldly change enough to become victorious over himself and the external situation. What he learns becomes the Theme.

Each scene shows its main character’s goal at its beginning, which aligns in a significant way with the protagonist’s overall goal for the story. The scene has a “charge,” showing either progress toward the goal or regression away from the goal by the ending. Most scenes end with a negative charge, because a story is about not obtaining one’s goals easily, until the end, in which the scene/s end with a positive charge.

The protagonist’s goal of the story becomes triggered until the Inciting Incident near the beginning, when something happens to shake up his life. This is the only major thing in the story that is allowed to be a random event that occurs to him.

How to Write a Short Story: Characters

Your characters speak differently from one another, and their dialogue suggests subtext, what they are really thinking but not saying: subtle passive-aggressive jibes, their underlying emotions, etc.

Your characters are not illustrative of ideas and beliefs you are pushing for, but come across as real people.

How to Write a Short Story: Prose

Your language is succinct, fresh and exciting, specific, colorful, avoiding clichés and platitudes. Sentence structures vary. In Genre stories, the language is simple, the symbolism is direct, and words are well-known, and sentences are relatively short. In Literary stories, you are freer to use more sophisticated ideas, words, sentence structures and underlying metaphors and implied motifs.

How to Write a Short Story: Story Structure

Your plot elements occur in the proper places according to classical Act Structure so the reader feels he has vicariously gone through a harrowing trial with the protagonist and won, raising his sense of hope and possibility. Literary short stories may be more subtle, with lower stakes, experimenting beyond classical structures like the Hero’s Journey. They can be more like vignettes sometimes, or even slice-of-life, though these types are hard to place in publications.

In Genre stories, all the questions are answered, threads are tied up, problems are solved, though the results of carnage may be spread over the landscape. In Literary short stories, you are free to explore uncertainty, ambiguity, and inchoate, realistic endings that suggest multiple interpretations, and unresolved issues.

Some Literary stories may be nonrealistic, such as with Surrealism, Absurdism, New Wave Fabulism, Weird and Magical Realism . If this is what you write, they still need their own internal logic and they should not be bewildering as to the what the reader is meant to experience, whether it’s a nuanced, unnameable mood or a trip into the subconscious.

Literary stories may also go beyond any label other than Experimental. For example, a story could be a list of To Do items on a paper held by a magnet to a refrigerator for the housemate to read. The person writing the list may grow more passive-aggressive and manipulative as the list grows, and we learn about the relationship between the housemates through the implied threats and cajoling.

How to Write a Short Story: Capturing Reader Interest

Your short story is suspenseful, meaning readers hope the protagonist will achieve his best goal, his Need, by the Climax battle against the antagonist.

Your story entertains. This is especially necessary for Genre short stories.

The story captivates readers at the very beginning with a Hook, which can be a puzzling mystery to solve, an amazing character’s or narrator’s Voice, an astounding location, humor, a startling image, or a world the reader wants to become immersed in.

Expository prose (telling, like an essay) takes up very, very little space in your short story, and it does not appear near the beginning. The story is in Narrative format instead, in which one action follows the next. You’ve removed every unnecessary instance of Expository prose and replaced it with showing Narrative. Distancing words like “used to,” “he would often,” “over the years, he,” “each morning, he” indicate that you are reporting on a lengthy time period, summing it up, rather than sticking to Narrative format, in which immediacy makes the story engaging.

You’ve earned the right to include Expository Backstory by making the reader yearn for knowing what happened in the past to solve a mystery. This can’t possibly happen at the beginning, obviously. Expository Backstory does not take place in the first pages of your story.

Your reader cares what happens and there are high stakes (especially important in Genre stories). Your reader worries until the end, when the protagonist survives, succeeds in his quest to help the community, gets the girl, solves or prevents the crime, achieves new scientific developments, takes over rule of his realm, etc.

Every sentence is compelling enough to urge the reader to read the next one—because he really, really wants to—instead of doing something else he could be doing. Your story is not going to be assigned to people to analyze in school like the ones you studied, so you have found a way from the beginning to intrigue strangers to want to spend their time with your words.

Where to Read and Submit Short Stories

Whether you’re looking for inspiration or want to publish your own stories, you’ll find great literary journals for writers of all backgrounds at this article:


Learn How to Write a Short Story at Writers.com

The short story takes an hour to learn and a lifetime to master. Learn how to write a short story with Writers.com. Our upcoming fiction courses will give you the ropes to tell authentic, original short stories that captivate and entrance your readers.

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Frederick Meyer

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Rosemary – Is there any chance you could add a little something to your checklist? I’d love to know the best places to submit our short stories for publication. Thanks so much.

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Hi, Kim Hanson,

Some good places to find publications specific to your story are NewPages, Poets and Writers, Duotrope, and The Submission Grinder.

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“ In Genre stories, all the questions are answered, threads are tied up, problems are solved, though the results of carnage may be spread over the landscape.”

Not just no but NO.

See for example the work of MacArthur Fellow Kelly Link.

[…] How to Write a Short Story: The Short Story Checklist […]

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Essays about Writing Skills a Short Story

Essays about Writing Skills a Short Story

The deadline for the writing contest was approaching fast, and Samantha really felt the pressure. She had always loved writing, but this time everything was different. The upcoming writing competition was her chance to showcase her skills and win the prize money that would help her pay for the future college education.

Samantha had spent weeks researching and brainstorming ideas, but nothing seemed to be working. She would start writing an essay, only to scrap it halfway through. She was running out of time, and her frustration was mounting. One day, while browsing through the library, she stumbled upon a dusty old book with a faded cover. The title read “Essays about Writing Skills,” and Samantha was intrigued. She had never read anything like this before, but maybe it would help her overcome her writer’s block.

Samantha Develops her Skills of Writing an Essay

As she started reading, Samantha realized that she had been missing a crucial step in her writing process – reflection. The book talked about the importance of reflecting on your writing, analyzing your strengths and weaknesses, and identifying areas where you need improvement.

Samantha decided to take the advice to heart and started reflecting on her writing. She had lost sight of her passion and creativity, and it was hindering her progress. The young woman made a strong decision to take this quality back.

Essays about Writing Skills

She took a break from the contest and started writing for herself, not for the prize money. She wrote about her experiences, her hopes, and her fears. She poured her heart out onto the paper, and it felt liberating. As she continued to write, Samantha realized that her writing skills were improving. She was more confident in her ability to craft a well-written essay, and she was enjoying the process.

The deadline for the contest had passed, and Samantha hadn’t submitted an entry. But she didn’t feel like a failure. She had rediscovered her love for writing, and that was worth more than any prize money. Months later, Samantha received an email from the writing contest organizers. They had read one of her personal essays and were impressed with her writing skills. They offered her a scholarship to attend the college of her dreams, and Samantha couldn’t believe her luck.

Sam Regains Herself and Wins the Prize in “Essays About Writing Skills”

As she sat in her dorm room, staring at the scholarship letter, Samantha realized that she had learned a valuable lesson. Writing wasn’t just about winning contests or earning money. She saw it as clearly as the stars in the winter sky – writing is about passion, love, and desire to express your thoughts in the most unique way. And yet thousands of students still wonder How to write an essay ?

Essays about Writing Skills: Story of Professor Carter

Samantha had always found solace in writing. Whenever she felt overwhelmed, she would pick up her pen and notebook and pour out her thoughts onto the pages. One summer, Samantha decided to embark on a solo road trip across the United States. As she drove through the vast and varied landscapes, she documented her experiences in her journal. In one entry, Samantha wrote about her fear of driving on unfamiliar roads and her sense of triumph when she successfully navigated a particularly treacherous mountain pass. In another, she described the thrill of meeting new people and the sadness of saying goodbye to them shortly after.

Samantha had always been an excellent student, but when Professor Carter walked into her creative writing class, she knew that this semester was going to be different.

With his piercing blue eyes and quick wit, he had captured her attention from the very beginning. As the weeks went by, Samantha found herself thinking about Professor Carter more and more. She would stay after class to ask him questions about the readings, hoping to prolong their conversations. Sometimes they would talk for hours, and Samantha felt as though they had a deep connection.

One day, after class, Professor Carter asked Samantha to grab a cup of coffee with him. She was over the moon with excitement and agreed without hesitation. As they sat across from each other at the coffee shop, Samantha could feel her heart racing. She realized then that she had fallen in love with her professor who taught her creative writing skills .

Their conversations became more personal, and Samantha learned that Professor Carter was married. At first, she was devastated. How could she have feelings for a married man? But the more time she spent with him, the more she found herself unable to resist his charm. They began to meet outside of class, and Samantha could tell that Professor Carter had feelings for her too.

She was torn between her love for him and her morals, knowing that it was wrong to pursue a relationship with a married man.

In the end, Samantha decided to break things off with Professor Carter. She knew that it was the right thing to do, but it was one of the hardest decisions she had ever made. She continued to attend his class, but things were never the same between them. She still loved him, but she knew that it could never be. In her writing, Samantha poured out her emotions, trying to make sense of her feelings and the situation. She knew that the experience had changed her, and she hoped that one day, she would be able to move on.

How Did Breaking up with Carter Helped Sam’s Skills of Writing an Essay

Towards the end of her trip, Samantha reflected on all the incredible experiences she had had and how writing about them had helped her appreciate them even more. She realized that the act of writing allowed her to fully immerse herself in the moment and capture every detail, making it all the more memorable. From that moment on, Samantha made a promise to herself to continue writing about student life , hopes, and fears, no matter where life took her.

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Age: 40 Country of Residence: USA Degree: MBA Fields of Proficiency: International Business studies, Risk Management, Marketing Strategic Planning, Information Technology Management. Years of Writing Experience: 9 years writing experience on International Business Studies, Marketing and Management Strategies as well as Telecommunications Management.

Age: 38 Country of Residence: United Kingdom Degree: MA in International Economic Law and Criminal Justice Fields of Proficiency: wrote essays in major Law editorials throughout North America; Business Law essays (including Corporate Law Studies), Public and Civil Law tutorials and seminars. Years of Writing Experience: 9 years writing experience in International Economic Law Field, co-edited a Jurisprudence journal in Ontario, Canada.

Age: 35 Country of Residence: USA Degree: Master&#39;s Degree in Interdisciplinary Social Science Fields of Proficiency: Sociology, Political and Behavioral Studies. Years of Writing Experience: 8 years experience writing on Sociology and Political studies, Human Behavior and Social Science.

Age: 43 Country of Residence: USA Degree: MA in Comparative Literature Fields of Proficiency: Arts and Humanities, Renaissance Literature, Post-Modern Relativism. Years of Writing Experience: 9 years experience writing articles for specialized Art and Literature journals.

Age: 41 Country of Residence: United Kingdom Degree: MSc In Financial Management, London, UK Fields of Proficiency: Corporate Finance, Investments, Portfolio Management. Years of Writing Experience: 10 years experience writing financial projects, reviews and assignments.


How to Write a Short Essay

Last Updated: February 18, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Christopher Taylor, PhD . Christopher Taylor is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Austin Community College in Texas. He received his PhD in English Literature and Medieval Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 89,300 times.

Essay writing is a common assignment in high school or college courses, especially within the humanities. You’ll also be asked to write essays for college admissions and scholarships. In a short essay (250-500 words), you will need to provide an introduction with a thesis, a body, and a conclusion, as you would with a longer essay. Depending on the essay requirements, you may also need to do academic or online research to find sources to back up your claims.

Picking a Topic and Gathering Research

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Composing the Essay

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Condensing Your Essay

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writing an essay about a short story


writing an essay about a short story


How to Write a Short Story in 12 Concrete Steps [Examples]

Posted on Mar 7, 2023

by Bella Rose Pope

Writing short stories can help tremendously in the process of becoming a successful author . Remember that becoming a successful author is a journey, many start with short stories, blogging, or even poetry before going on to writing a book.

You probably don’t think short stories are very hard to write.

In fact, you might be the type who assumes short stories are even easier because, well…they’re short .

But that’s just not the case (there’s an art to writing an amazing short story)—and I’ll tell you why in just a minute.

Short stories, and getting good at writing them, can actually set you up for success in other writing ventures as well. That’s why we’re showcasing the most important steps for writing a short story.

They may be difficult to get good at, but we’re breaking down how to make them much easier, and what makes for a good one to begin with. Want to learn how to write a short story, and get better at this style of writing ?

Be sure to check out our post on publishing short stories once you’ve mastered the writing part.

If you want to learn how to write a short story or be a better short story writer, you’ll have to go through these main steps:

Once you get through the steps for writing a short story, make sure to take a look at the short story ideas, tips for writing them, and common questions with answers all about short stories (including how long a short story is ).

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How to Write a Short Story in 12 Full, Concrete Steps

If you’re ready to tackle this avenue of creative writing or you just want to learn how to write a short story to strengthen the overall quality of your book, here’s how you can do that.

#1 – Come up with a strong short story idea

You can pull ideas from short stories from everywhere.

Former short story editor and now-published short story author (with 2 collections), Hannah Lee Kidder says, “The best short story ideas will always come from you yourself. Those are the ideas that you’ll care the most about and be able to bring to life the easiest.”

That said, we know it can take a trigger to come up with short story ideas that make you want to craft great writing around. Ultimately, you’ll have the best results by tweaking any idea you have of your own, but we also wanted to provide some short story ideas to help you get started.

Here are 20 short story ideas to take your writing to the next level:

Sometimes short story ideas are enough but if you want to utilize them effectively, keep these tips in mind:

#2 – Focus on Character Development

In order for a short story to be impactful, you have to know your character well. Having good character development is essential in short stories since your main characters often drive the story.

You only have a certain amount of time to show your readers who that person is and you can’t do that if you don’t even know who they are.

Think about it.

If you write a short story about your best friend, whom you’ve known for many years, versus writing one about someone you just met yesterday, you’ll be able to craft a much stronger story about your best friend because you know them so well. Creative writing techniques can help you bring out the best or most compelling things about your characters.

The same goes for your fictional characters.

But when writing a short story, you won’t have the same type of character arc as you would when writing a full-length novel .

You don’t have to spend a ton of time on your main character , but know their history, age, personality, family life, friend life, love life, and other details that shape the way someone sees the world.

Keep in mind that since your short story is, well, shorter than a novel, you may remove a few steps. Knowing the overall character journey, however, can be helpful for your main character development within short stories.

Spend enough time on character development when you’re learning how to write a short story or improving your creative writing skills will pay off by introducing your readers to memorable characters.

#3 – Outline

Thankfully, the outlining process for short stories is much easier than a full novel, but I do still advise creating one in order to have a cohesive flow throughout the story.

This is definitely useful for those of you who prefer outlining versus just writing by the seat of your pants.

Keep in mind that the art of how to write a short story can close with something that ends very abruptly or you can flesh it out until there’s a satisfying ending.

This is really up to you as an author to decide. Practicing this for short stories can help you create an outline for your book , too.

#4 – Start with something out of the ordinary

Take Hannah Lee Kidder’s example from this video above. One of the short stories in her anthology, Little Birds , opens with a woman collecting roadkill.

In order to hook readers from the start of your story , you should write an opening scene that’ll catch someone’s attention right off the bat.

Here’s what that looks like at the start of the short story:

Short Story Opening Example:

Odd? Yes. Attention-grabbing? You bet! This is how to write a short story with an opening that gets readers engaged, invested in your character, and motivated to read the entire story.

Because we’re automatically intrigued by the fact that people don’t normally go around collecting roadkill. It’s another place creative writing skills can really help you draw in your readers in a short story.

Now, you don’t have to start your short story with something as strange as that but you do want to give your readers a sense of who your character is by depicting something different right away that also has to do with the core focus of your short story.

Take this short story called The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry , for example. This author starts with a very low money amount and then hits you with the fact that it’s Christmas the very next day.

This is out of the ordinary because many readers understand that having such little money (scraped up money, at that) right before Christmas isn’t typical. It’s odd – and also hits their emotions right away. If you want to learn how to write a short story, read the opening paragraphs of short stories. And pay attention to the many different ways writers hook readers.

#5 – Get the draft done ASAP

Done is better than perfect. That’s the best way to approach the process of writing a short story or anything else. We’ve all heard or read these words time and time again – and that’s because they’re important; they’re true.

This is especially the case when it comes to short stories. Once you have your outline and know how to start writing , drafting the short story in full comes next.

Don’t worry about editing or polishing the story up in any way right now. After all, you can’t possibly make good edits until you know what the story looks like in full. When you’re learning how to write a short story, resist the urge to get it perfect.

That would be like matching your earrings to your pants without first having the full outfit put together. You don’t know if those earrings work well with it until you see what else you’ll be wearing.

It’s the same for writing. Focus on getting your draft done so you can move on to the next step. The process of how to write a short story is rarely one-and-done but usually takes writing, rewriting, and editing to create your best work.

#6 – Edit your short story

Editing is where the real magic happens when you’re learning how to write a short story. We all have this idea in our minds that we’ll get it perfect the first time and that’s just not how writing works.

Most of the time, your first draft is just the bare bones of what’s to come but through line editing , developmental edits, and proofreading, it will transform into something better.

Think of the actual writing as the wooden structure of a house and the editing as the drywall, paint, windows, light fixtures, doors, and anything else that’ll make the house complete.

These are a few things to keep an eye out for when editing your short story . The elements of story structure to look for include:

If you want to learn how to write a short story, editing is a necessary part of the process. So what’s that look like? The editing process for short stories is pretty much the same for novels.

The only difference is that short stories tend to focus more on imagery and exposition than they do full character and plot development.

#7 – Title it!

This can be one of the most difficult things for any book, let alone a story that’s only a few hundred to a few thousand words.

The good news? Short story titles are a little less important than titles for novels. They can also be very abstract.

What you want to think of when titling your short story is this:

These questions will help you develop a title that not only makes sense but is also intriguing enough to pull readers in while staying true to what the story is about. It’s also great practice to help you come up with titles when you write and publish your book .

Learning how to write a short story includes learning how to write a great title or headline. And let’s face it, a great title or headline gets readers to pay attention. Put your creative writing skills to work here. Come up with a bunch of different titles, and ask our writing partners or target audience for feedback.

#8 – Get feedback

No matter how experienced (or inexperienced) you are as a writer, you need feedback.

To create your best work, it’s just part of the process when you’re learning how to write a short story. I know…it can feel scary. But feedback from the right people will help you make your short story better.

In order to learn and improve and ensure your message is coming across as desired, you need someone else’s fresh eyes on it.

Google Docs is a great option to write your short story and get feedback from others all in one place.

We need this help because the simple fact is, we’re too close to our writing.

It’s impossible to read your story with a critical eye when you’re the one who came up with and wrote it in the first place. That’s just we’re wired when we’re learning how to write a short story or anything else. We need feedback to improve.

Allowing others to read your work and offer feedback is one of the best ways to improve and make sure your story is exactly how you want it. This is why writing partners and even beta readers are so important.

#9 – Practice by writing short stories often

The number one best way to learn how to write good short stories is by writing them often.

When you’re writing regularly, your brain falls into the habit of being creative and thinking in terms of short stories.

If you want to learn how to write a short story and get good at it…practice. The more you do it, the easier it will get and the more you’ll improve. So focus on writing a certain number of short stories per week and stick to that – even if they aren’t your favorite.

#10 – Write one short story every day for 30 days

This is separate from writing short stories often. If you really want to kickstart your progress and get really good quickly, then create a challenge for yourself .

Want to learn how to write a short story, get good at it, and write faster? Do this…

Write one short story, whether it’s 500 or 1,000 words, per day for an entire month.

When you’re done, you’ll have 30 full short stories to review, edit, and improve upon. Doing this not only builds a habit, but it also gives you a lot of experience quickly .

After those 30 days, you’ll know more about how you like to write short stories, which mean more to you, and how to write them to be good . If you want to learn how to write a short story, give this challenge a try. Seriously, it’s just 30 days.

#11 – Focus on a single message to share

Short stories are known for being impactful even though they’re not novel-length. Learning how to write a short story forces you to think of ways to take your reader on a journey in a much shorter space than a book.

And that means they have to have a core theme or message you want to get across. This can be anything from loving yourself to ignoring societal expectations.

In order to do this, think about what you want people to walk away from your story feeling .

What is the desired outcome?

If you just want people to enjoy the story, that’s great. However, what makes a story impactful and enjoyable is what readers take away from it.

Brainstorm some themes that are important to you and work your short story around them. When you understand how to write a short story this way, it will not only make you care about your story more (which means it’ll be written better), but it’ll also make it more satisfying for readers.

#12 – Tie it up with a satisfying ending

Nobody likes a story that ends on a major cliffhanger.

It’s okay for your short story to have an unresolved ending. In fact, that’ll likely be the case simply because the story is…well, short .

But you do want to tie your story up in a way that leaves the reader feeling satisfied even if they didn’t get all the answers.

Many times, this means circling back to an idea or element presented in the beginning. It’s one storytelling strategy of how to write a short story and wrap everything up.

This story structure often allows readers to feel as though they’ve read a complete story versus just a snippet of a larger one.

Need help wrapping things up? Check out this VIDEO : How to End a Short Story and other valid concerns.

Why All Writers Should Learn How to Write a Short Story

There’s a lot more to writing short stories than you may think. As a short story writer, keep in mind that just because they’re shorter in length doesn’t mean it takes any less skill to execute a good one.

Short story writers get this…Being able to tell a full story in such a short amount of time arguably takes more skill than writing a full-length novel or nonfiction book .

That being said, why is it beneficial for all writers to learn how to write a short story?

#1 – You learn the skill of showing

Short story writers have a challenge that requires some patience to overcome, but it’s worth it. When you only have a few pages to hook readers, paint a clear picture of the main character, and tell a story, you end up mastering the skill of showing instead of telling .

The reason for this is because, in order to accomplish a successful and good short story, showing is a major part of that.

It’s far too difficult to write a great short story without showing the details and using strong verbs to paint a clear image of your main character’s life. Great short story writers understand the “show don’t tell” concept. If you want to learn how to write a short story, getting clear on this will save you a lot of time.

Those skills will transfer into anything you write, automatically making it that much better. One more reason is that learning how to write a short story will help with other writing projects.

#2 – You’ll strengthen individual chapters

No matter if you’re a fiction writer, short story writer, or if you prefer nonfiction, the idea here is the same.

A chapter is basically a short story that’s a part of a bigger whole. The same skills you apply to write a great short story will also help you write stronger chapters.

Each part of your book should be polished, strong, and enticing for your readers. Using short story writing methods will help you achieve that within your chapters.

Why is writing good chapters important if there’s a whole book available for someone to read?

Because it hooks readers and keeps them turning that page.

And when readers look back on an entire book filled with incredible chapters , the entire book as a whole will be seen as being that much better. Spending time learning how to write a short story sets you up for success when you write your book or pursue other writing projects.

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#3 – It makes the story sections of your nonfiction book more captivating

Every nonfiction book has portions where stories must be told in order to get the point across.

This is what allows people to relate to you as an author, which pulls them in deeper and makes the core message of your book resonate with them more. It’s another part “how to write a short story” skills will help you connect with readers.

But if those stories are weak, not well-written, and lackluster, it’s unlikely someone will enjoy them as much.

It’s also likely that your message will get lost because the book doesn’t carry the same impact. Keeping readers engaged from start to finish can feel like a tall order. But when you learn how to write a short story with a beginning, middle, end, and a message readers will love you for it.

How long are short stories?

Short stories should remain below 7,000 words in order to be considered a “short story.” They can be as short as only one sentence, as this is known as flash fiction .

You already know that short stories are… shorter than your average novel but do they have any other differences?

Here’s a chart detailing the main differences in how many words are in short stories, novels, novellas, and nonfiction works.

As you can see, the main difference is length, but that’s not all. When you understand how to write a short story, you’re only writing a very impactful snippet of your main character’s otherwise full life.

You don’t have to unpack your entire character’s life story in a few hundred words in order to write a great short story.

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Useful Tips On How To Write A Short Essay

Updated 16 Sep 2022

Whether you’re a high school student or a freshman at Harvard, your teachers will definitely give you numerous writing tasks. If the assignment involves short essay format, you might feel happy at first. It seems like a simple task, doesn’t it? An hour or two and that’s it. But the truth is, short essay writing can be way more complicated than long paper assignments.

Learning how to write a short essay is important because it will help express one’s thoughts succinctly and clearly. In real life, including in class or when performing job functions, few of us have an option of waxing poetic. Knowing how to talk shortly and directly, both on paper and orally, is essential, just as replying to a prompt fully in as few words as possible. This way, you’ll become a sharp communicator, which is an essential skill in every profession. So, how to start a short essay?

What Is Short Essay Format?

The main feature of short essay writing is that students must put all their ideas and arguments into a limited amount of space. Usually, short essays take between 200 and 500 words, depending on the topic and teacher’s requirements. So, at first, select good topic and find sources that would be relevant. Generally, there should be just between two and five paragraphs in your essay. Despite such mini length, though, conveying the essence of prompt clearly is vital.

For example, one’s picked a ‘Should capital punishment be abolished in the USA?’ topic. It’s very common, there are tons of materials dedicated to this issue, but instead of being helpful, it only complicates everything. You should focus on selecting the most relevant bits of information to make your short essay wholesome. It means that you should learn how to filter and sort through all data you come across as well as structure them properly.

Fortunately, there are easy ways of how to write a short essay.

Writing a Short Essay

Whether you were assigned to write descriptive, argumentative or  narrative essays of a short size, there are some basic requirements that you should follow. Let’s take a look at all steps involved in the process of short essay writing.

Finding relevant sources is one of the most important tasks. The good news is, since essay is short, you will normally need just a few sources, about two or three. They might be articles from the respectable US journals or books, such as the ones published by Sage Publications. Pay close attention to their date — the more current all sources are, the better, and make sure they’re peer-reviewed. Read an abstract or a summary of the work you’ve found. Does it sound like something that will be useful? Remember, each source must actually contribute something to short essay.    

How to write a short essay without making sense of all ideas first? It’s impossible, so think of what you’d like to explore in particular. In short essays, stay as focused as you can. Each of your sentences must be precise and on-topic. For that, it’s important have to have a clear idea of what you’re going to write about.  

Outline is the next logical step after brainstorming. You’ve come up with all ideas, now it’s time to write them down so as not to lose direction once you start typing. Having an outline is a must, especially if you were assigned a broad topic. Threat of chaotic thoughts is very real here, so before you start working, write down all arguments and possible counterarguments. Dwell on your final goal and decide what information you are going to cover in each paragraph.

Read Also: How to Make an Essay Longer

If you’ve completed the previous steps, writing won’t be hard. You have an outline, you have sources you’re going to use, now just follow the former and add the latter! Don’t forget that you’re writing a short essay, though. Be brief and concise, cover all points quickly but succinctly. 

Editing and proofreading are vital part of your short essay writing. You should read what you wrote to make sure that it sounds good and nothing is rushed or unclear. Writing process is, first of all, the process of creation, and even if your ideas are perfectly expressed, big amount of both grammatical and orthographic mistakes will result in you getting low mark. Prevent it by proofreading your essay; if possible, check it with grammar checkers. Since the essay is of mini length, you won’t have to read for long, so be extra meticulous.

Try our all-in-one writing tool

Now that we’ve seen how to write a short essay, there is another question that must be addressed. What is short essay structure?

Components of a Short Essay

The standard five-paragraph short essays have specific structure: introduction (1 paragraph), thesis, main body (3 paragraphs), and conclusion (1 paragraph). This helps your work be elaborately structured and easier to comprehend.

First impression matters, even if you’re writing a short essay. The purpose of introduction is to attract your readers’ attention and make them interested, so your aim here is to create a hook that will intrigue the audience. Introduction in short essays should be within 5 sentences — you must make it concise, informative, and catchy. In the first sentence, make a claim about the urgency of the problem; persuade the audience that your essay is worth reading. Now you know how to start a short essay.

It is the last sentence of introduction. It must be focused on the main problem you’re planning to explore and contain a claim that you’re going to prove. So, if your topic is too broad or simple, focus on something more specific. Thesis must be debatable and it should motivate the opponents to argue with your position. In addition, everyone should be capable of figuring out your central idea just by reading this argumentative claim. So, if it’s unclear, rephrase it until it is.   

Good structure of standard short essays has particular 5–paragraph format. Three of them must be devoted to the main body, which contains your key ideas along with supporting evidence or facts. It is easier to read a paper where main points are divided into paragraphs according to micro-topics. Put the strongest argument in the first paragraph and support it with the appropriate facts.

Arguments where supporting info is less effective should be placed in descending order. It will give your short essay a great advantage, even more so if your evidence contains quotations. Don't forget to cite them according to the formatting requirements, though! To make your text cohesive, use conjunctions and linking words. That will make a flow of your narration logical because all ideas will appear gradually, changing smoothly from one into another.

Present results of analysis in the final paragraph. Here, show how ideas from the main body support thesis statement, which you should paraphrase. Conclusion isn’t a simple summary of work, it’s synthesis. You must reply to the question raised back in introduction. Your aim is to provide target audience with a new view on the subject, so if the first sentence of introduction should have drawn readers’ attention, last sentence of conclusion should make them satisfied with what they have read.

Six Tips For Successful Writing

Writing can be tough in general, but academic writing is a sphere of its own, with a set of specific quirks. There are different rules about how to create great fictional story for everyone and how to write a short essay for your professor, for example. Let’s look at the list of six tips for effective academic writing.

Read also:  Process Analysis Paper : Writing Rules

Writing The Best Short Essays

Short essay writing is not a difficult task. If you pick an idea you like, research it, and develop an outline, you’re already half done. Just remember general rules of how to write a short essay and it’s likely that a great mark is already in your pocket! Some problems might still occur, though, for a variety of reasons. You might be too exhausted to research and write anything or simply have some other plans. If so, our essay maker team will help you manage your time better by offering to write a paper for you.

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8+ Short Narrative Essay Examples in PDF

Short narrative essay, 8+ short narrative essay examples, 1. short narrative essay examples, 2. narrative essay examples, 3. short narrative essay template, 4. short narrative essay, 5. short narrative essay format, 6. the storm short narrative essay, 7. five-paragraph short narrative essay, 8. short narrative writing essay, 9. college short narrative essay, how do you start a narrative introduction, what makes a good narrative, how many paragraphs are there in personal narratives.

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What is a Narrative Essay?

How to write a narrative essay, more design, 6+ narrative essay outline examples, 3+ short descriptive essay examples, examples of writing a narrative summary, narrative speech examples, free 32+ sample essay outlines, 28+ essay writing examples, free 23+ free essay examples, 19+ history essay writing examples, free 19+ reflective essay examples, free 17+ essay examples, free 10+ informative essay examples, 8+ simple allegory examples, related articles.

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How To Write An Essay: Beginner Tips And Tricks

How To Write An Essay # Beginner Tips And Tricks

Many students dread writing essays, but essay writing is an important skill to develop in high school, university, and even into your future career. By learning how to write an essay properly, the process can become more enjoyable and you’ll find you’re better able to organize and articulate your thoughts.

When writing an essay, it’s common to follow a specific pattern, no matter what the topic is. Once you’ve used the pattern a few times and you know how to structure an essay, it will become a lot more simple to apply your knowledge to every essay. 

No matter which major you choose, you should know how to craft a good essay. Here, we’ll cover the basics of essay writing, along with some helpful tips to make the writing process go smoothly.

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Types of Essays

Think of an essay as a discussion. There are many types of discussions you can have with someone else. You can be describing a story that happened to you, you might explain to them how to do something, or you might even argue about a certain topic. 

When it comes to different types of essays, it follows a similar pattern. Like a friendly discussion, each type of essay will come with its own set of expectations or goals. 

For example, when arguing with a friend, your goal is to convince them that you’re right. The same goes for an argumentative essay. 

Here are a few of the main essay types you can expect to come across during your time in school:

Narrative Essay

This type of essay is almost like telling a story, not in the traditional sense with dialogue and characters, but as if you’re writing out an event or series of events to relay information to the reader.

Persuasive Essay

Here, your goal is to persuade the reader about your views on a specific topic.

Descriptive Essay

This is the kind of essay where you go into a lot more specific details describing a topic such as a place or an event. 

Argumentative Essay

In this essay, you’re choosing a stance on a topic, usually controversial, and your goal is to present evidence that proves your point is correct.

Expository Essay

Your purpose with this type of essay is to tell the reader how to complete a specific process, often including a step-by-step guide or something similar.

Compare and Contrast Essay

You might have done this in school with two different books or characters, but the ultimate goal is to draw similarities and differences between any two given subjects.

The Main Stages of Essay Writing

When it comes to writing an essay, many students think the only stage is getting all your ideas down on paper and submitting your work. However, that’s not quite the case. 

There are three main stages of writing an essay, each one with its own purpose. Of course, writing the essay itself is the most substantial part, but the other two stages are equally as important.

So, what are these three stages of essay writing? They are:


Before you even write one word, it’s important to prepare the content and structure of your essay. If a topic wasn’t assigned to you, then the first thing you should do is settle on a topic. Next, you want to conduct your research on that topic and create a detailed outline based on your research. The preparation stage will make writing your essay that much easier since, with your outline and research, you should already have the skeleton of your essay.

Writing is the most time-consuming stage. In this stage, you will write out all your thoughts and ideas and craft your essay based on your outline. You’ll work on developing your ideas and fleshing them out throughout the introduction, body, and conclusion (more on these soon).

In the final stage, you’ll go over your essay and check for a few things. First, you’ll check if your essay is cohesive, if all the points make sense and are related to your topic, and that your facts are cited and backed up. You can also check for typos, grammar and punctuation mistakes, and formatting errors.  

The Five-Paragraph Essay

We mentioned earlier that essay writing follows a specific structure, and for the most part in academic or college essays , the five-paragraph essay is the generally accepted structure you’ll be expected to use. 

The five-paragraph essay is broken down into one introduction paragraph, three body paragraphs, and a closing paragraph. However, that doesn’t always mean that an essay is written strictly in five paragraphs, but rather that this structure can be used loosely and the three body paragraphs might become three sections instead.

Let’s take a closer look at each section and what it entails.


As the name implies, the purpose of your introduction paragraph is to introduce your idea. A good introduction begins with a “hook,” something that grabs your reader’s attention and makes them excited to read more. 

Another key tenant of an introduction is a thesis statement, which usually comes towards the end of the introduction itself. Your thesis statement should be a phrase that explains your argument, position, or central idea that you plan on developing throughout the essay. 

You can also include a short outline of what to expect in your introduction, including bringing up brief points that you plan on explaining more later on in the body paragraphs.

Here is where most of your essay happens. The body paragraphs are where you develop your ideas and bring up all the points related to your main topic. 

In general, you’re meant to have three body paragraphs, or sections, and each one should bring up a different point. Think of it as bringing up evidence. Each paragraph is a different piece of evidence, and when the three pieces are taken together, it backs up your main point — your thesis statement — really well.

That being said, you still want each body paragraph to be tied together in some way so that the essay flows. The points should be distinct enough, but they should relate to each other, and definitely to your thesis statement. Each body paragraph works to advance your point, so when crafting your essay, it’s important to keep this in mind so that you avoid going off-track or writing things that are off-topic.

Many students aren’t sure how to write a conclusion for an essay and tend to see their conclusion as an afterthought, but this section is just as important as the rest of your work. 

You shouldn’t be presenting any new ideas in your conclusion, but you should summarize your main points and show how they back up your thesis statement. 

Essentially, the conclusion is similar in structure and content to the introduction, but instead of introducing your essay, it should be wrapping up the main thoughts and presenting them to the reader as a singular closed argument. 

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Steps to Writing an Essay

Now that you have a better idea of an essay’s structure and all the elements that go into it, you might be wondering what the different steps are to actually write your essay. 

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Instead of going in blind, follow these steps on how to write your essay from start to finish.

Understand Your Assignment

When writing an essay for an assignment, the first critical step is to make sure you’ve read through your assignment carefully and understand it thoroughly. You want to check what type of essay is required, that you understand the topic, and that you pay attention to any formatting or structural requirements. You don’t want to lose marks just because you didn’t read the assignment carefully.

Research Your Topic

Once you understand your assignment, it’s time to do some research. In this step, you should start looking at different sources to get ideas for what points you want to bring up throughout your essay. 

Search online or head to the library and get as many resources as possible. You don’t need to use them all, but it’s good to start with a lot and then narrow down your sources as you become more certain of your essay’s direction.

Start Brainstorming

After research comes the brainstorming. There are a lot of different ways to start the brainstorming process . Here are a few you might find helpful:

Create a Thesis

This is often the most tricky part of the whole process since you want to create a thesis that’s strong and that you’re about to develop throughout the entire essay. Therefore, you want to choose a thesis statement that’s broad enough that you’ll have enough to say about it, but not so broad that you can’t be precise. 

Write Your Outline

Armed with your research, brainstorming sessions, and your thesis statement, the next step is to write an outline. 

In the outline, you’ll want to put your thesis statement at the beginning and start creating the basic skeleton of how you want your essay to look. 

A good way to tackle an essay is to use topic sentences . A topic sentence is like a mini-thesis statement that is usually the first sentence of a new paragraph. This sentence introduces the main idea that will be detailed throughout the paragraph. 

If you create an outline with the topic sentences for your body paragraphs and then a few points of what you want to discuss, you’ll already have a strong starting point when it comes time to sit down and write. This brings us to our next step… 

Write a First Draft

The first time you write your entire essay doesn’t need to be perfect, but you do need to get everything on the page so that you’re able to then write a second draft or review it afterward. 

Everyone’s writing process is different. Some students like to write their essay in the standard order of intro, body, and conclusion, while others prefer to start with the “meat” of the essay and tackle the body, and then fill in the other sections afterward. 

Make sure your essay follows your outline and that everything relates to your thesis statement and your points are backed up by the research you did. 

Revise, Edit, and Proofread

The revision process is one of the three main stages of writing an essay, yet many people skip this step thinking their work is done after the first draft is complete. 

However, proofreading, reviewing, and making edits on your essay can spell the difference between a B paper and an A.

After writing the first draft, try and set your essay aside for a few hours or even a day or two, and then come back to it with fresh eyes to review it. You might find mistakes or inconsistencies you missed or better ways to formulate your arguments.

Add the Finishing Touches

Finally, you’ll want to make sure everything that’s required is in your essay. Review your assignment again and see if all the requirements are there, such as formatting rules, citations, quotes, etc. 

Go over the order of your paragraphs and make sure everything makes sense, flows well, and uses the same writing style . 

Once everything is checked and all the last touches are added, give your essay a final read through just to ensure it’s as you want it before handing it in. 

A good way to do this is to read your essay out loud since you’ll be able to hear if there are any mistakes or inaccuracies.

Essay Writing Tips

With the steps outlined above, you should be able to craft a great essay. Still, there are some other handy tips we’d recommend just to ensure that the essay writing process goes as smoothly as possible.

Wrapping Up

Writing an essay doesn’t need to be daunting if you know how to approach it. Using our essay writing steps and tips, you’ll have better knowledge on how to write an essay and you’ll be able to apply it to your next assignment. Once you do this a few times, it will become more natural to you and the essay writing process will become quicker and easier.

If you still need assistance with your essay, check with a student advisor to see if they offer help with writing. At University of the People(UoPeople), we always want our students to succeed, so our student advisors are ready to help with writing skills when necessary. 

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Narrative Essay Examples and Key Elements

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In a narrative essay , you tell a story, often about a personal experience, but you also make a point. So, the purpose is not only to tell an entertaining tale, but also to expound on the importance of the experience. In the narrative essay examples below, see if you can pull out the moral or theme . When it’s your time to draft a similar type of essay, hopefully, you can stir the heart of the reader.

Sample Narrative Essays

Below, you’ll find two narrative essay samples. One has a sad little twist and the other is a personal narrative essay that details the importance of hope. Note that they tell a story, while emphasizing an integral moral or theme.

He Left So I Could Learn

In this first essay example, we explore a lesson on dying:

It was my second day on the job. I was sitting in my seemingly gilded cubicle, overlooking Manhattan, and pinching my right arm to make sure it was real. I landed an internship at Condé Nast Traveler. Every aspiring writer I’ve ever known secretly dreamt of an Anthony Bourdain lifestyle. Travel the world and write about its most colorful pockets. When my phone rang, and it was Mom telling me Dad had a heart attack. He didn’t make it. I felt as though the perfectly carpeted floors had dropped out from under me. Now that I’ve come out the other side, I realize Dad left me with a hefty stack of teachings. Here are three ideals I know he would’ve liked for me to embrace. First, you have to stand on your own two feet. As much as our parents love and support us, they can’t go to our school and confess to the principal that we stole a candy bar from Sara. We have to do that. Neither can they walk into the Condé Nast office and nail a job interview for us. At some point, we have to put on our “big girl pants” and be brave, even if we’re not. Also, there’s a difference between love and co-dependence. Being grateful to have someone to turn to for love and support is not the same as needing someone to turn to for love and support. With the loss of my father, I’ve also lost my sounding board. All I can glean from that is it’s time to look within myself and make proper assessments. If I can’t make sound decisions with the tools already in my kit, then I risk falling for anything. Finally, memories are, perhaps, the only item that cannot be taken away from us. Will I miss my father? Every single day. What can I do in those times? I can open up our suitcase of memories, pick out my favorite one, and dream about it, talk about it, or write about it. Maybe I can’t pick up the phone and call him anymore, but that doesn’t mean he’s gone. Next week, I’m off to Istanbul to explore their art scene. As soon as I read the email from my editor, I picked up my phone to call Dad. Then, I realized he’ll never answer my calls again. I fought back the tears, got up to make a cup of peppermint tea, and added a new note to my iPhone titled, “Istanbul Packing List.” In the end, life goes on. I’m not sure why he had to leave during the single most poignant chapter in my life. So, I won’t dwell on that. Instead, I’ll hold tightly to these three ideals and write about Karaköy in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district. Dad will be with me every step of the way.

A Teeny, Tiny Treasure Box

The next short narrative essay takes a different approach. Instead of living in a comfortably loving home, the writer had to deal with the uncertainty of the foster system. Here’s a short lesson on hope:

She took me by the hand and walked me into the lobby like a five-year old child. Didn’t she know I was pushing 15? This was the third home Nancy was placing me in - in a span of eight months. I guess she felt a little sorry for me. The bright fluorescent lights threatened to burn my skin as I walked towards a bouncy-looking lady with curly hair and a sweetly-smiling man. They called themselves Allie and Alex. Cute, I thought. After they exchanged the usual reams of paperwork, it was off in their Chevy Suburban to get situated into another new home. This time, there were no other foster children and no other biological children. Anything could happen. Over the next few weeks, Allie, Alex, and I fell into quite a nice routine. She’d make pancakes for breakfast, or he’d fry up some sausage and eggs. They sang a lot, even danced as they cooked. They must have just bought the house because, most weekends, we were painting a living room butter yellow or staining a coffee table mocha brown. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. When would they start threatening a loss of pancakes if I didn’t mow the lawn? When would the sausage and eggs be replaced with unidentifiable slosh because he didn’t feel like cooking in the morning? But, it never happened. They kept cooking, singing, and dancing like a couple of happy fools. It was a Saturday afternoon when Allie decided it was time to paint the brick fireplace white. As we crawled closer to the dirty old firepit, we pulled out the petrified wood and noticed a teeny, tiny treasure box. We looked at each other in wonder and excitement. She actually said, “I wonder if the leprechauns left it!” While judging her for being such a silly woman, I couldn’t help but laugh and lean into her a little. Together, we reached for the box and pulled it out. Inside was a shimmering solitaire ring. Folded underneath was a short piece of paper that read: “My darling, my heart. Only 80 days have passed since I first held your hand. I simply cannot imagine my next 80 years without you in them. Will you take this ring, take my heart, and build a life with me? This tiny little solitaire is my offering to you. Will you be my bride?” As I stared up at Allie, she asked me a question. “Do you know what today is?” I shook my head. “It’s May 20th. That’s 80 days since Nancy passed your hand into mine and we took you home.” It turns out, love comes in all shapes and sizes, even a teeny, tiny treasure box from a wonderfully silly lady who believes in leprechauns.

Essential Elements of Narrative Essays

Let’s go back to basics first. Generally speaking, there are four types of essays: argumentative essays , descriptive essays , expository essays , and narrative essays .

Narrative essays tell a vivid story, usually from one person's viewpoint. A narrative essay uses all the story elements — a beginning, middle and ending, as well as plot, characters, setting and climax — bringing them together to complete the story. The focus of a narrative essay is the plot, which is told with enough detail to build to a climax. Here's how:

Quick Tips on Writing a Narrative Essay

When writing a narrative essay, remember that you are sharing sensory and emotional details with the reader.

Tell Your Story

Use your next narrative essay to tell your story. It’s possible to focus on yourself, while offering the reader some sort of lesson or truth. Encourage them to move past terrible loss or maintain hope in a seemingly bleak foster system.

Narrative essays are close cousins to short stories. If you feel compelled to share another story, fiction or nonfiction, with the world, check out Get Creative: How to Write a Short Story . Who knows how many lives you’ll brighten and shape with your words. Remember, there’s great power in them.


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  1. How to Write a Short Story: Step-by-Step Guide

    Short stories are a form of narrative writing that has all the same elements as novels—plot, character development, point of view, story structure, theme—but are delivered in fewer words. For many writers, short stories are a less daunting way to dive into creative writing than attempting to write a novel.

  2. How to Write a Literary Analysis Essay

    A main body, divided into paragraphs, that builds an argument using evidence from the text. A conclusion that clearly states the main point that you have shown with your analysis. Table of contents Step 1: Reading the text and identifying literary devices Step 2: Coming up with a thesis Step 3: Writing a title and introduction

  3. How to Write a Short Story Essay

    A short story essay is a blended type of short writing that consolidates an essay's components and a short story. The word tally of a short story paper is generally between 1000 to 5000 words. This kind of article is not quite the same as a short story or simply a five-section exposition.

  4. Essay Writing: How to Write an Outstanding Essay

    For essay writing, we recommend this six-step writing process: 1 Brainstorming It always helps to collect your thoughts before you begin writing by brainstorming. Based on your prompt or thesis, try to generate as many ideas as possible to include in your essay.

  5. Free Short Story Essay Examples And Topics

    Writing a short story requires the writer to work with many aspects of fiction writing. A person must have imagination, creativity and discipline. Short story essay vary in length such as: 3-5 paragraph short story essay 2 Page Short story essay (500-600 words) 3 page short story essay (750-900 Words 5 Page short story essay (1250-1500 Words)

  6. 3+ Short Story Analysis Essay Examples in PDF

    A short story analysis essay follows a different format from other literature essays. That said, to help with that, here are instructive steps and helpful tips. 1. Take Down Notes Considering that you have read the short story a couple of times, the first step you should take before writing your essay is to summarize and write down your notes.

  7. Short Story Essay Examples

    "The Story of the Good Little Boy" by Mark Twain is a short story that was published in 1875 and was the mirror of the story "The Story of the Bad Little Boy." The first story puts us in front a young boy named Jacob Blivens who did everything right and desired nothing more than to be good.

  8. Essays on Short Story

    The short story "Letters from My Father", written by Robert Olen Butler, and the poem "The Writer", written by Richard Wilbur, both depict family struggles. "Letters from My Father" is about a Vietnamese girl who grew up without a father because of troubles with immigration... Short Story

  9. Short Story Essay

    According to The World Book Encyclopedia (1994, Vol. 12, L-354), "the short story is a short work of fiction that usually centers around a single incident. Because of its shorter length, the characters and situations are fewer and less complicated than those of a novel.". In the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

  10. Free Short Story Essays and Papers

    short story. Short Story It was about one-thirty in the morning in the town of Homestead Michigan. The almost florescent light of the moon bouncing off the fresh puddles that covered the ground. The grass and trees were covered in a thin layer of water causing every little beam of light to reflect back up.

  11. How to Write a Narrative Essay

    An example of a short narrative essay, responding to the prompt "Write about an experience where you learned something about yourself," is shown below. Hover over different parts of the text to see how the structure works. Narrative essay example Since elementary school, I have always favored subjects like science and math over the humanities.

  12. Lesson Plan on Writing Short Stories (High School)

    Find two ready-made lesson plans for analyzing or writing a short story here! Making a short story lesson plan doesn't have to be a tedious task. Find two ready-made lesson plans for analyzing or writing a short story here! ... Homework: Literary Analysis Essay. Following the class discussion, encourage students to further explore the short ...

  13. ESSAY: WRITING A SHORT STORY You have now completed a great deal

    Write rapidly for as long as you can, while the scenes and people are fresh in your mind. You may be able to finish only one incident or to write the whole story at one sitting. When your thoughts begin to wander, take a break and return a little later. Try to write way through the entire story before doing the revisions you are sure to need.

  14. How to Write a Short Story: The Short Story Checklist

    Here's how to write a short story step by step. 1. Start With an Idea Often, generating an idea is the hardest part. You want to write, but what will you write about? What's more, it's easy to start coming up with ideas and then dismissing them.

  15. Write you an essay or fictitious story by Goobygeezer

    Hi there. I am a writer and will write a short fictitious story about anything you want (and I mean anything). I also have the ability to write essays and those subjects will also be chosen by you. The short stories will most likely be between 0-1000 words, whereas the essay style writing will range from 0-2000 words.

  16. Writing Short Stories & Essay Writing

    The Writer's Digest Podcast, Episode 3: Writing and Publishing Short Stories and Essays — Interview with Windy Lynn Harris. In this episode of the Writer's Digest Podcast, Gabriela Pereira talks with Windy Lynn Harris about writing and publishing short stories, personal essays and nonfiction articles. By Gabriela Pereira Apr 6, 2018.

  17. Essays about Writing Skills a Short Story

    The title read "Essays about Writing Skills," and Samantha was intrigued. She had never read anything like this before, but maybe it would help her overcome her writer's block. Samantha Develops her Skills of Writing an Essay. As she started reading, Samantha realized that she had been missing a crucial step in her writing process ...

  18. Simple Ways to Write a Short Essay (with Pictures)

    In a short essay (250-500 words), you will need to provide an introduction with a thesis, a body, and a conclusion, as you would with a longer essay. Depending on the essay requirements, you may also need to do academic or online research to find sources to back up your claims. Part 1 Picking a Topic and Gathering Research Download Article 1

  19. How to Write a Short Story in 12 Concrete Steps [Examples]

    If you want to learn how to write a short story or be a better short story writer, you'll have to go through these main steps: Generate your idea Know your character Outline your short story Start with something out of the ordinary Get your draft done as soon as possible Edit your short story Title your short story Get feedback about it

  20. 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. Here are some guidelines for writing a narrative essay. If written as a story, the essay should include all the parts of a ...

  21. How To Succeed in Short Essay Writing

    Usually, short essays take between 200 and 500 words, depending on the topic and teacher's requirements. So, at first, select good topic and find sources that would be relevant. Generally, there should be just between two and five paragraphs in your essay. Despite such mini length, though, conveying the essence of prompt clearly is vital.

  22. Short Narrative Essay

    A typical essay has only a minimum of four to five paragraphs contain in the three basic parts: introduction, body paragraph and conclusion. A narrative essay has five elements namely the characters, plot, conflict, setting and theme. Plot - this tells what happened in the story or simply the sequence of events.

  23. 7 Ways to Get Paid to Write Stories

    Video game writers can earn between $69,111 and $89,039, according to Salary.com.. 2. Write Wedding Story Announcements. I remember watching an episode of Sex and the City and Carrie and the girls ...

  24. Gothic Literature Story Prompts Teaching Resources

    Students love this gothic fiction by Edgar Allan Poe! Help them connect authentically, analyze better, think deeper, and engage more meaningfully with this short story unit that contains everything you need to teach "The Tell Tale Heart."Perfect in October (or any time of the year!), this comprehensive bundle with 18 activities can be used as a combination of traditional worksheets, a series ...

  25. How To Write An Essay: Beginner Tips And Tricks

    A good way to tackle an essay is to use topic sentences. A topic sentence is like a mini-thesis statement that is usually the first sentence of a new paragraph. This sentence introduces the main idea that will be detailed throughout the paragraph.

  26. Formatting

    If you're using Microsoft Word, you can easily include your name and page number on each page by following the these steps: Open "View" (on the top menu). Open "Header and Footer." (A box will appear at the top of the page you're on. And a "Header and Footer" menu box will also appear). Click on the "align right" button at the top of the screen.

  27. How To Write Titles in Essays (With Tips)

    When writing an essay, make sure you understand the style guidelines you need to follow. As mentioned, you may need to follow APA, MLA or Chicago styles. ... Short stories. Individual TV episodes. Unpublished writing (regardless of its length) There are some additional rules for using quotations. If your essay references a collection of work ...

  28. Narrative Essay Examples and Key Elements

    Generally speaking, there are four types of essays: argumentative essays, descriptive essays, expository essays, and narrative essays. Narrative essays tell a vivid story, usually from one person's viewpoint. A narrative essay uses all the story elements — a beginning, middle and ending, as well as plot, characters, setting and climax ...