Difference between Narrative and Descriptive Essay

In the narrative essay, the writer usually shares his/her experience with the readers, allowing them to immerse in the story, composed of a sequence of events. The descriptive essay provides a clear explanation or description of a person, an object, or a concept. However, there are lots of differences between the two essays.

What is a Narrative Essay?

This kind of writing is usually defined as an account of a person’s experience. Narrative essays describe personal experiences that have a great impact on the writer’s life. It can describe a journey, a special day or event, a person, etc. In the narrative essay, the author can share something special. Often, the events in the essay are presented in chronological order. This kind of paper, it is possible to use such words as I, me, myself, or the narrative be in third person when relating stories.
A narrative gives the readers an opportunity to understand writer’s opinion, perspectives, attitudes and worldview. It is the kind of writing that allows the readers become a part of the experience and understand author’s personality.

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What is a Descriptive Essay?

A descriptive essay explains or describes a place, a thing, a person or even an emotion or a feeling. An author can use sensory information, including smell, taste, sound, sight, touch of a certain object in order to clearly describe it. In the descriptive essays, a very extensive diction is used. However, some papers fail to express this totality of sensory information and confine the explanation just to one or two dimensions. If a paper is written well, it has the potential for creating a connection with the readers by allowing them to immerse in the described ambiance.

What are the Differences between these Two Kinds of Essays?


A narrative essay is defined as an account of a person’s experience.
A descriptive essay is defined as an account that explains or describes a place, a thing, a person an emotion, or a feeling.


Narrative essays, as a rule, relate stories.
Descriptive essays merely describe someone or something. They do not tell a story but give only a descriptive account.

Point of View

Narrative essays often use first person narration.
Descriptive essays do not use first person narration. They have an objective to present an image of someone or something.


Narrative essays are full of actions as they relate stories. They include a sequence of different events. They are not inherent to descriptive essays.


Narrative essays follow a logical order as they relate events or stories. They go in chronological order. In the descriptive ones, the writer can easily deviate from the following pattern.

Plot and Characters

Narrative essays have characters that revolve around the plot or take part in the presented events.
There are neither plots nor characters in the descriptive essays.

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