A narrative essay uses a point of view to tell a story. It is an engaging way for an author to tell his reader about an experience they have had or a personal story. Descriptive writing is a description of something. It could be a person, place, thing, emotion or experience. The author is allowed more artistic freedom when writing in descriptive form. While both descriptive and narrative essays are similar in many ways, the descriptive essays use of language fully immerses the reader into the story and allows the reader to feel the intended emotion. Descriptive writing is painting a vivid image. When reading I want to be able to lose myself in the writing doesn’t everyone?
Both narrative and descriptive writing include similar structural components. Both styles should include an introduction, body and conclusion. Similarly, both styles should include a thesis statement. The narrative thesis is built to tell the reader the main point or object of the story while the descriptive thesis is pointing out the main elements of the event, a sense, a person or experience. If the narrative is telling a story it should also include character, plot, setting, and climax. On the other hand, a descriptive essay does not have those requirements but must stay organized in a way that allows for a logical description of the topic. The author must be careful not to ramble. Either way, both styles should include details in the body of the paragraphs to support the thesis statement.
The narrative and descriptive styles of writing are both effective ways for a writer to get their point across. Both styles of writing rely on the effective use of language. Descriptive words and concrete language are very important for both however they can be used for different outcomes. The narrative writer uses concrete language to allow the reader to visualize everything that is happening in the story. Concrete language makes the story clear and the images real. The language is used to “tell”, to allow the reader to imagine and picture the story. I can clearly see myself in the living room of This Old House “The walls were papered in a faint, floral pattern and doilies were everywhere, laid flat on tabletops and sagging like cobwebs from the backs of overstuffed chairs” (Sedaris, D. 2007). Sedaris used this explicit detail throughout the story which makes it easy to visualize everything. I could picture the setting and visualize the characters but that is what it remained, a story. I was not sure what the point of the story was after I had finished reading it. I was left questioning my understanding of the author’s point which is not how I want to feel after reading a story.
Descriptive writing also relies heavily on the use of concrete language and description. The descriptive writer is trying to paint a picture with words, their goal is to “show” the reader how it feels, what it tastes like and how it sounds. They are using sensory...