In narrative essays, should I make all the paragraphs narrative?

For example, the introduction, the body, and the conclusion are all narrative paragraphs.

What if I started the introduction with a descriptive paragraph and the body with a narrative paragraph? Is it still a narrative essay?

What I'm holding in my mind now is that every narrative essay must contain narrative paragraphs only. (Like descriptive essays, which contain only descriptive paragraphs/ argumentative...) Is that true?

  • How are you defining "narrative essay" and "descriptive essay"? Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 15:45
  • @LaurenIpsum, narrative essay is a story, descriptive describes something.
    – direprobs
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 16:25
  • Put the question in another way, should I start my narrative essay with (hook, transitional sentence, thesis statement) = introduction, or I just can go only narrating from the from the first paragraph (the introduction)?
    – direprobs
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 16:26

2 Answers 2


So if you were asked to build a wooden house, would you take that to mean that you could not use glass for the windows of fiberglass for the shingles or nails to fasten all the pieces together?

We say a house is a wooden house because it is structurally wooden, not because it contains nothing but wood. We call an essay a narrative essay if it is structurally narrative, not because it contains nothing but narration.


That's absolutely natural for narrative essay to bear descriptive elements. I've seen many such examples in term papers; you can easily start with a description. There are certain peculiarities of a narrative essay: it has a clear point, it is often a story, has dialogues, vivid language and turns of phrases. Basically, the purpose of a narration is to describe some events so why not to start with a description to put readers into the picture.

  • Link doesn't seem relevant; OP can't see any examples there.
    – Standback
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 21:29

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