The purpose of a narrative report is to describe something. Many students write narrative reports thinking that these are college essays or papers. While the information in these reports is basic to other forms of writing, narrative reports lack the "higher order thinking" that essays require. Thus narrative reports do not, as a rule, yield high grades for many college courses. A basic example of a narrative report is a "book report" that outlines a book; it includes the characters, their actions, possibly the plot, and, perhaps, some scenes. That is, it is a description of "what happens in the book." But this leaves out an awful lot.
What is a personal essay? This type of essay has a purpose of revealing the personality of the applicant for a graduate education in a certain field of study. Ordinarily, the applicant is expected to include his personal history and experiences that were vital for this specific educational choice. Personal narrative essays are not limited by the instruction but the author should be very attentive to all the details revealed as an essay that tells too much is as ineffective as an essay that provides not enough information about the applicant. This essay is supposed to present the applicant’s personality to people who have never met him and that is the reason it is very important to be objective in order to make the people reading the essay understand that the applicant by no means is exaggerating.