How To Write The Best Literacy Narrative Essay

September 16, 2022 F WP

How To Write The Best Literacy Narrative Essay

Table of Contents

Opening Remarks

A literacy narrative essay is something quite different from other forms of academic writing. In the simplest terms, it is about coming of age in terms of literacy and chalking out the complete journey through rich details and description.

A good literacy narrative essay is more like a story of the writer about he first started and how the process of learning and then becoming a master of the craft affected other things. For students in schools and colleges, it is about connecting with the process of thinking and writing and looking inward for inspiration.

Literacy Narrative Essay – Brass Tacks

The most definitive thing about a literacy narrative essay is that it explores the relationship of the writer with the language and rallying points that serve as anchors for the craft. Like a narrative essay, it is about going down memory lane and coming up with incidents that shaped the succeeding part of their lives.

It is often found in schools and colleges for students who come from other cultures and countries where English was not their first language. It is easier for them to trace back all the steps of getting introduced to the language, understanding and memorizing its nuances, and then putting them into action.

Standard Essay Structure

A literacy narrative essay follows almost the same structure and format as that of a narrative essay

Writers start with the earlier setting where everything was going well until they felt a drive or need to learn to write, read, or speak a language that could shape their future. In the body section, they can detail the mentors, the trials and tribulations of the process, as well as the key learning points and tricks. In the conclusion, they can summarize their insights from the body and help readers understand the moral lessons of the whole journey.

Why Literacy Narrative Essay Is Important In Academia

Even if students are not exposed to visible cultural and geographical changes in their lifetimes, there are phases of awakening that can trigger changes. These triggers compel people to abandon counterproductive things and pick up skills and passions along the way.

Many writers often cite instances of reading other writers’ work or observing a natural phenomenon that brought a drastic change in them resulting in becoming a professional writer or any other artist.

That’s why these emotional changes in students should be reared from an early age and asking them to write literacy narrative essays will persuade them to look deeper and harder inside.

Things That Define A Literacy Narrative Essay

Although everyone’s journey is different, from waking up at a fortunate moment and then progressing from there to being who they are today, there are often parallels and common elements in their lives. Since it is a writing category, experts have identified different elements that define the literacy narrative essay.

Students who are struggling with the essay can learn a lot in this section as it will show the necessary things that must be addressed in the essay. Also, keep in mind that the literacy narrative essay and narrative essay share many similar aspects as they are both about the journey of the main character.

Disruption in Status Quo Through Unexpected Change

The journey begins when the status quo gets disrupted by an internal or external force. It could be that the protagonist went to a new place and met new people. Or, it could be about reading or meeting a person in the neighborhood who sparked the flame for writing or creativity in general. In any case, a change needs to happen at the start so that stakes can get higher and readers become more invested in the story and can relate to it.

The Struggle of the Protagonist

When the change is introduced in the beginning, it compels the protagonist to change his ways and introduce big changes in his life. As has been observed in real life, not many people welcome changes, and many struggles to adjust to the new normal. The same often happens to the protagonist who resists the change, or if he does not resist it, he does not welcome it either. This struggle should be highlighted in the body of the essay along with the positive changes taking place in the main character.

Finding The Solution

As the laws of nature dictate, any change introduced in the first place becomes a routine later on. This is also what happens to the change in the literacy narrative essay. Once the protagonist gets face to face with the problem or change, he sets out to find the solution or mold himself into a better being. For instance, a writer was born when he could feel things and would put off the mind chatter until he met a girl who was ambitious and passionate about art. She wanted to see the same things in the writer. The solution was to harness those feelings and passion into something quantifiable.

Finding Meanings In The Problem & Its Solution

The literacy narrative essay should have elements for the readers, be it practical advice to become a writer or poet, or it could be about simple issues that writers faced at the start of their journey and how they outsmart them. These parallels are drawn in the conclusion of a literacy narrative essay. The theme or the central point should be clear and resonate with the thesis statement and tie the loose ends. Many writers make the mistake of rushing through the conclusion or closing. In reality, it requires more time and effort to be eye-catching and compelling.

Examples of Literacy Narrative Essays

The example of literacy narrative essays is easy to find as many writers have written accounts of how they first found their passion and how they fought for it and came out triumphant.

This section is dedicated to three examples that are most commonly found in the literature.

Personal Inner Journey

This is about the introspection of life and ambitions that led to the struggle and then besting those hurdles. It is a common theme and can easily be related to a person’s narrative. Of course, they have to work around and relate things in the right places before actually connecting the dots from the past to the present.

Going Against Society

Contrary to personal inner journeys, sometimes people have to go through social and other external factors. Some people often face opposition from their family members who made them feel worthless. 

To prove their mettle, they started writing and improved it along the way, resulting in a career of a lifetime.

Finding & Pursuing A Passion

A more benign form of change that could be as harsh as the second example could be feeling a fire burning inside. People had an epiphany and they found that they care extremely about writing prose or poetry.

The rest becomes history as they champion both naysayers and well-wishers alike to materialize their passion. 

Process of Writing A Literacy Narrative Essay

The process of writing a literacy narrative essay can be intimidating, especially if the student doesn’t know exactly how to proceed. Setting the right direction and nailing relevant steps accordingly is the key to success.

In this section, we have chalked the major four steps in writing a literacy narrative essay without hitting roadblocks and experiencing unnecessary delays.

Sifting Through Reliable Sources

Indeed it is a personal journey for a writer but it needs to be following a certain path. That’s why before setting out to write the whole story, it is necessary to consult reliable sources and citation materials.

Many writers have dabbled in this field and have produced exceptional pieces of writing. They can serve as the reference for the writer to formulate a narrative that is riveting and relatable at the same time.

Preparing & Organizing Material

Writers often start to write without organizing and preparing all the necessary materials. Whether it is notes or ideas penned down somewhere else, they must get them all in one place and streamline them for better productivity.

Many writers also go through the process of setting up premises and boundaries for the writing. This can make or break the whole practice and is rather subjective to individuals.

The Writing Phase

During the writing phases, there are often two contrasting practices. One is blazing through the initial drafts, regardless of the quality and consistency of the narrative. Later, writers can proof and edit the drafts to get the best results.

The other practice is about treading slowly through the early drafts and editing them as they go. 

Depending on your style, you can go through the writing phase easily.

The Editing Phase

This is an important part of the process that is often overlooked by novice writers. There is no denying that early drafts have many errors and inconsistencies, no matter how careful you are. That’s the reason writers need to be proactive in this phase.

They can use online assistance tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway Editor to improve sentence structure and grammar. The ideal here is to compose a riveting literacy narrative.


By keeping the events of the story in mind, a literacy narrative essay can be started by;

  • Introducing the story
  • Inhabiting the story with people
  • Let the change happen

After that, the body and conclusion section of the essay will discuss further developments to complete the narrative.

There is no need to come up with anything fancy or otherworldly. All you need to do is think about the eventful time you felt sudden love and passion for the art of writing. This is the beginning of the story in the literacy essay.


A literacy narrative is about the journey of the writer from the earliest moment of realization to working hard and facing tribulations and getting where he is. In many forms, it resembles narrative writing.

There are three key steps involved in analyzing a literacy narrative:

  • Describing the most meaningful and important changes in the story
  • Profiling writers based on what they were and what changed in the process of learning a craft
  • Connecting with readers by showing them the true emotion and a complete picture of a journey

Students need to learn how to write literacy narrative essays because it helps them learn and fall in love with the language and form. They can understand the reader’s persona and compose a better narrative by keeping their needs and constraints in mind.

Potentially, there is no limitation to literacy narrative writing as writers can explore all types of incidents and experiences and conclude the readers. Some even argue that it can be opposite to the base narrative, such as it could be a story about how someone comes to hate reading or writing.

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