How to Write a Thesis for a Narrative Essay


A narrative thesis encapsulates the main point of your essay, which could be a lesson you learned from a traumatic event, the profound effect an event had on your life or the way an incident changed your outlook on life. A good narrative essay thesis often identifies the main point, theme or lesson of the story without giving away the plot. The narrative thesis should be one sentence at the end of the introduction.

Brainstorming Your Thesis

  • Consider the purpose of your narration. Decide what you want readers to learn or think about after reading your essay or what impression you want to leave with your audience. For example, if you decide to write about an embarrassing experience with credit cards at a retail store, perhaps your point would be to warn others about the negative consequences of irresponsible and excessive spending.

Defining Your Thesis

  • Although the narrative thesis consists of one concise sentence at the end of the introductory paragraph, the thesis can be revisited at the end of the essay with greater detail about the main point of the story. The main point or purpose of your essay might also relay an important lesson learned, as a result of your experience. In keeping with the credit card example, readers will expect to understand how that moment impacted your thinking or influenced your habits.

Developing Your Thesis

  • A successful narrative thesis depends on the clear organization of narrative events. In your story, perhaps you attempt to buy your sister a birthday gift at a popular clothing store where all three of your credit cards get declined. You resort to purchasing a last-minute gift with borrowed money. As a result, you curb your use of credit cards. The thesis will directly mention or suggest the main happenings and point of your story.

Writing Your Thesis

  • A directly stated thesis briefly summarizes the main action of your story and alludes to the main point. For example, “After suffering the embarrassment of getting all my credit cards rejected and leaving the one gift my sister wanted for her birthday on the counter, I learned to strictly budget my finances.” An implied thesis reads like a cliffhanger: “My attempts to buy a birthday gift turned into an embarrassing lesson in personal finances.”


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