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How to Begin the First Body Paragraph of a Narrative Essay


A narrative essay tells a story. The introductory paragraph provides necessary information about the story's setting, and ends with a thesis explaining the narration's purpose. The body paragraphs then tell the story, leading the reader to your point. The first body paragraph in a narrative should kick off your tale, typically starting at the beginning of the events.

Opening Body Paragraph

Since your introduction contains the background for your story, your first body paragraph should dive into your narration. Starting at the beginning prevents your readers from being confused about what happened and how the events relate to each other. Expository essays typically require topic sentences to open body paragraphs, but narrative essays often do not. For instance, an essay recounting what happened during your disastrous first job interview or telling the story of the scariest moment in your life will likely not use topic sentences. Instead, the first body paragraph simply begins the story, like this: "The trouble began as soon as the clock struck 2." or "The day began in a typical fashion." The remainder of the paragraph should include concrete, sensory details to explain the events to readers.

About the Author

Kristie Sweet has been writing professionally since 1982, most recently publishing for various websites on topics like health and wellness, and education. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Northern Colorado.

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