The main difference between narrative and descriptive essays?
Both a narrative essay and a descriptive essay provide you, the student, with the opportunity to write from the heart. Both of these essays do not necessarily require you to conduct extensive research, note-taking and planning. In fact some people find it far easier to write these types of essays than the more traditional ones where there is a thesis statement and a need for arguments to support that statement.
In a nutshell the difference between a narrative essay and a descriptive essay is the plot. The plot of course is the information or storyline which runs throughout a piece of writing be it an essay, a novel or film script. In a narrative essay the plot becomes a central plank of the structure of the writing. In a descriptive essay the characters and their lives and inner feelings are more important than a basic plot line.
Is one type of essay easier than the other?
It depends on your writing skills, your interests and your imagination. If you are given the option of writing either a narrative or a descriptive essay, you should choose the one which comes naturally to you. You should choose the type of essay which you find easier to write.
If you find it a good idea to write a plot in which events happen to certain people with a beginning, a middle and an end, then a narrative essay is one which you should find a pleasure to write. Of course you can add an unusual twist to your plot so that the unexpected brings surprise and possibly delight to the reader. But it is the plot itself which will dominate your writing with a narrative essay.
On the other hand, if plot creation is not your favourite occupation, then the descriptive writing and a descriptive essay could well be your choice. Here you concentrate on the characters in detail. You enable the reader to really get to know each character. You tell what makes them tick. You describe their emotions when they interact with one another or in situations of stress.
Despite a basic difference between the narrative and descriptive essays, both require expertise when it comes to the actual writing. You must do away with every superfluous word. You must make your writing lean and interesting. By tackling both of these types of essay you will quickly find which is the one you like and enjoy.