Your thesis statement can set the scene within a narrative essay, or it can be used to direct the reader towards the moral or principle of the essay. It may even state the moral or principle of the essay and the essay then takes the reader on a journey that brings them to that principle or moral.
Setting up your narrative correctly will win you more points/marks
Plan your narrative essay from start to finish. You start with a little background information and/or by putting your topic into context. Your introduction is where this should happen, and your introduction should contain your thesis statement. Your introduction will win you quite a few marks because it sets the scene and the direction of your narrative essay, so plan it well and make sure you go back and refine it once you have finished your essay.
Your introduction lays out the context and background for your thesis
The introduction should help the reader figure out if he or she should read your essay. It also lays out the context and a little background so that the thesis makes sense. If this was not the case then your introduction would just be a thesis statement.
Write a thesis at the start and amend it at the end
You amend it at the end because the way your essay starts may not be in line with the way your essay ends. You may touch upon various other points and your essay may take a very different slant as you write it. That is why you should amend your thesis when you finish your essay to be sure it still makes sense when held up against your essay.
You do not have to put the moral of the story in your thesis statement
This is only one option that is open to writers. A student puts the moral of the story into the thesis statement and then the narrative essay explains how the moral of the story came about, but there are two more ways you may go about this.
You could allude to the moral of your story with the thesis statement in a manner that leaves a question mark at the end. Or, you can simply introduce your essay and use the thesis statement to help explain what it is all about, which means the moral of the story is a bit more of a surprise.
Remember you will have to call back to your thesis statement at least once
Your thesis statement is not a throwaway piece of text that you add into your introduction. If you do not call upon it within your narrative essay body, then you will have to insert a conclusion and call to it in there. You can copy it out verbatim before you comment on it, or you can simply remind people of it before you comment on it. This means your thesis must interact, in some way, with the major theme or moral/lesson of your narrative essay.
Your thesis statement describes what you are doing in your essay
This is when you use your thesis statement to tell the reader what your essay is all about and only allude to the possible moral of the story. If you are having trouble writing your thesis statement, then think of it in terms of describing what you are doing in your essay. For example, if your essay is about the time you broke your foot, then your thesis statement may be “The events that led to me breaking my foot” or “How I broke my foot.”
Be careful of which person-view you start your essay and thesis with
If you are writing your essay with a first person perspective then keep it up during your essay. You may have the writing talent that can knock the world off its perch, but your professor will simply think you have changed perspectives because you are a bad writer, so to stay on the safe side you should pick a perspective and stick to it.
Conclude and mention your thesis statement
Some articles and marking guides will tell you that you do not have to mention your thesis in your conclusion, but there has never been anyone that lost marks because the thesis was mentioned directly and/or verbatim.