What Are the Similarities of Persuasive & Narrative Essays?

A persuasive essay, also known as an argumentative essay, takes a stance on a topic or point and argues it, usually using research to back it up. Persuasive essays are usually written in third person point of view. A narrative essay is often more like a story, where the writer takes a creative approach and frequently writes in the first person point of view. While there are many differences between the two types of essays, there are also similarities.


One similarity between the persuasive and narrative essay is the presence of purpose. Each of these types of essays generally has a main point or purpose that is explored throughout the body of the paper. While the purpose of a persuasive essay is to persuade the reader, the purpose of the narrative essay is to make the reader feel something. Both types of essays strive to reach their purpose by the final paragraph, using specific techniques throughout, including research in the persuasive essay and imagery in the narrative.

Format and Structure

The format of both a persuasive essay and narrative essay are similar. While the persuasive essay follows the five-paragraph model more strictly, with an introduction, three body paragraphs and a conclusion, the narrative essay also has structure. For example, while a narrative essay is more like a story, it still generally has an introductory paragraph that gives the reader an idea of what is to come. Both types of essays also conclude by making a final point or observation.

Audience and Impression

Writers of both types of papers consider their audience and write accordingly. If the narrative and persuasive essay are written in college, for example, then both types of essays have an academic audience. Regardless of their differences, the writing should be clear and concise, and the message should be obvious. In both argumentative and narrative essays, the audience should gain an insight or learn something. Both types of essays should leave the reader with an impression at the end that the writer intended.

Details and Support

Both narrative and persuasive essays should take the reader down a path. In a narrative essay, that path is usually personal to the writer, whereas a persuasive essay typically takes the impersonal approach by arguing using evidence. Either way, each type of essay is supported by details. In a personal narrative, those details might be things that happened along the way to lead the writer to his final point or conclusion. In a persuasive essay, those details are arguments that back up the writer’s main premise.

Cite this Article