Narrative Essay Vs. Descriptive Essay

Narrative and descriptive essays have so much in common. Both essays attempt to show the actual happening rather than telling what exactly happened. They both follow, “show, not tell” philosophy to describe the topic of the essay

There are many other things that are common in narrative essays and many things that are different in both essays. It looks like writing a narrative essay and descriptive essay is very easy. But that is not what it looks like. Painting a picture in the reader’s mind through vivid description is not at all easy. It requires some exceptional creative thinking skills that help you draft a creative vision through words. 


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Below we have explained the similarities and differences between narrative and descriptive essays. Read the similarities and differences and learn about the commonalities and uniqueness of descriptive and narrative essays.


Narrative Essay vs. Descriptive Essay: Similarities


  1. The narrative and descriptive essay follow the “show, don’t tell” philosophy.
  2. They both attempt to paint a picture in the reader's mind with the help of a vivid description.
  3. They both attempt to take the reader to the actual happening of the event.
  4. They both utilize the five human senses i.e. touch, smell, taste, sight, and hear.
  5. They both use literary tools to create a vivid picture.
  6. They both allow a great deal of artistic freedom.
  7. For writing a descriptive or narrative essay, you need to brainstorm about the topic of the essay and remember every little detail about it, so that you can easily paint a picture with words.
  8. They both use clear and concise language so that the reader can easily imagine what you are trying to show.


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Narrative Essay vs. Descriptive Essay: Difference


  1. A narrative essay is usually written in the first person. On the other hand, a descriptive essay is always written in the third person.
  2. A narrative essay presents a story that could be fictional or could be real. While a descriptive essay attempts to describe something in detail such as a place, a person, an emotion, or an event, etc.
  3. Effectively presenting your perspective in a descriptive essay or your personal experience in a narrative essay is not easy. So, whenever you get stuck writing a descriptive or narrative essay, hire someone and ask him to write my paper for me
  4. In the narrative essay, the writer tells about his personal experience but in a descriptive essay, the writer is allowed to tell other’s experiences as well.
  5. In the narrative essay, the writer develops a particular viewpoint and presents real life examples to elaborate on it. In comparison, the descriptive essay does not need any examples to describe something clearly.
  6. A narrative essay is based on five main elements, such as plot, character, theme, settings, and conflicts. While the descriptive essay does not need any element, but it should be organized and properly structured.


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