Whether you are writing a story or an essay, narrative form is a way of communicating ideas by telling a story. The American Psychological Association, or APA, has a style guide for writing essays whether they are in argumentative or narrative form. The basic portions of an APA-style paper, such as the title page, abstract and bibliography, are essential parts of the essay. The narrative paper is more conversational and personal than other types of academic papers.
Format your paper with 1-inch margins on all sides, as well as a header that includes the title of your paper and the page number. Throughout your paper, double-space your document.
Include a title page that indicates important information about you and the work. In the top center of your title page, center the title of your paper. On the next line include your name. On the final line list your school. The title page should also feature a header at the top of the document.
Write a one-paragraph abstract that summarizes your essay. This is standard with every paper written in APA style. It summarizes the entirety of your paper in less than one page to give the reader a brief understanding of your argument. Even if you are not exactly positing a thesis for your narrative piece, the intent of your essay should be clear and introduced in this abstract.
Use a conversational tone throughout the body of the paper to engage the reader. This does not mean to ask rhetorical questions, provide excessive anecdotes or over-personalize the piece. Rather, it means to use idioms or slangs throughout the piece to keep it reader-friendly, instead of jargon and clunky phrasings.
Avoid excessive in-text citations that interrupt the flow of the narrative. While multiple in-text citations might be effective in other writing styles, they can make it hard for the reader to follow along in a narrative style. Pulled quotes and occasional citations are still effective, so long as they do not distract from the piece.
Include a thorough bibliography page titled "References" that credits your sources. Because in-text citations are not as common in narrative style, a very thorough bibliography is necessary to avoid plagiarism and give credit where required. Consider also adding numbered footnotes throughout to make the sources easy to reference.
Liza Hollis has been writing for print and online publications since 2003. Her work has appeared on various digital properties, including USAToday.com. Hollis earned a degree in English Literature from the University of Florida.