Definition of Narrative Statement

Narrative statements also are referred to as personal statements and statements of purpose.
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Whether you are vying for a position on a sports team, competing for an internship or applying for a job, you might be asked to supply a narrative statement -- a succinct “story of you.” This is where your experience writing essays -- particularly narrative essays -- will serve you well.

1 Limit the Scope

A narrative statement provides an opportunity for a screener to get to know you beyond the straightforward questions you might be asked on an application or the perfunctory information you provide on a resume. A narrative statement -- about one paragraph long and written in the first person -- allows you to share a poignant story that is relevant to your purpose. For example, if you are asked to write a narrative statement about your wish to join the staff of the school newspaper, you might focus on why you love the field of journalism and the turning point that drew you to the field in the first place. By revealing your motivations and intentions, your narrative statement can provide telling insights and reflections and thus set you apart from other contenders.

2 Avoid a Common Pitfall

Take a cue from the narrative essays you've written for school and narrow the scope of your narrative statement with earnest. The statement should not be the all-encompassing story of your life; an application and resume serve the purpose of providing a holistic view. Think in terms of painting a colorful anecdote and choose the information you share selectively. Mimic the style of a narrative essay and craft a succinct thesis statement. Then provide supporting information and detail and conclude on a memorable note. To begin a narrative statement -- almost always the trickiest part -- you might try a relational approach such as, “I remember the day I found a stack of my father's copies of the now-defunct 'Chicago Daily News' -- how I marveled at the glory and urgency of the news and also knew at that moment that I had to be a part of that world.”

With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.