Easy Steps on How to Write a Narrative Essay outline
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Easy Steps on How to Write a Narrative Essay outline

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A narrative essay is one of the most common types of essays. This type of essay combines both composition and storytelling. The narrative essay is like a short story; the only difference is that it follows the essay structure. It has an introduction part, a body section, and a conclusion part. It provides a vivid description of the event while engaging all the human senses

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The main purpose of the narrative style of writing is to tell a compelling story. It doesn’t sound like too big of a deal, right? You couldn’t be more wrong. Even if it might seem easy at first sight, telling an engaging story can be rather challenging. To help you overcome this challenge, our writers have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to write a narrative essay step by step.

What is a narrative essay?

A narrative essay is a type of academic essay in which the writer narrates a story. It is the most commonly assigned form of academic writing. Students have to face the narrative essay writing task quite often, so it is essential to know how to handle it.

A narrative essay is a story, so it’s important to know how to write one. The best way to start your outline is by brainstorming ideas.

Who are the characters? What do they want? How does this conflict with their goals and who wins in the end?

There are many different types of essays you can write about, but all will have some sort of conflict. Once you’ve figured out the basics, be creative! You could explore an event that happened in your life or tell a fictional story.

Narrative Essay Outline Format

Writing a narrative essay is much easier than any other type of essay. It doesn’t follow a set of essay writing rules, and it gives you freedom of expression. You can write your own stories in your own style. All you have to do is to follow a typical structure which is consist of 3 essential parts:


An introduction is the most crucial section of an essay. Either it makes or breaks the image of your essay. It should be compelling enough that it makes the reader want to read the complete essay.

Therefore, you need to make sure that your introduction paragraph catches the readers’ attention immediately. Here are the essential things that the introduction paragraph should have. The introduction consists of the following parts:

Hook – captivating readers is essential, especially in a narrative essay, that often wants to be personal, moving, reflective, or inviting feelings of appreciation or admiration. Also, it is highly advisable to set a proper tone from the very first lines of text. You could start with a shocking confession, with an uncharacteristic and intriguing description of people or setting.

Thesis – an indispensable element of any introduction, since it states what claim or point is made in a paper. It should always be an arguable sentence that describes shortly and comprehensively paper essence. It is typically among the last sentences in an introduction – all following content comes to prove this statement.

Introductory background – introduction would also typically contain additional information that helps take readers into the author’s world and help them visualize, imagine, or recreate narrated facts. This could be information about this story’s relevance for you or for everybody else. For instance, it could be mentioned that this story is about your first encounter with a negative manifestation of human nature and describing how shocking this was for you as a child, adolescent, young adult.

Narrative Essay Body

The body is the section where you present your story’s details, share facts and guide readers through the plot.

Here are the essential elements that should be included in each body paragraph:

Setting. Authors might or might not have details about time and place in the introduction – if not, these should be normally described at the beginning of the essay body. If already partially provided previously, here, one should normally offer a more comprehensive description, covering missing details. Typically, both time and space are mentioned given how informative these are in initializing a certain scene. A place could be defined by the country where the action happens – the USA or someplace abroad.

Background of events – this part shines light upon some preceding occurrences or circumstances that are important for a better understanding of facts. Such info would normally accompany a setting description to fully initialize readers but could also be mentioned somewhat later, as needed.

Characters. Main characters are often introduced along with the setting or early enough in a story, while secondary ones could be introduced later, as the story unfolds. Speaking about character types, there are protagonists – central figures around which narration revolves and antagonists – figures that come in opposition with protagonists not necessarily evil. Protagonist or antagonist descriptions may include appearance, beliefs, thoughts, worldviews, manners, behavior, feelings, dreams, their past, society’s attitude, and interaction with them.

Unfolding of events or action – this part describes facts in chronological order. It normally starts with the plot rising action – a description of the plot as it complicates and leads to the conflict. Conflict is defined as any form of the struggle faced by protagonists – it could be an internal struggle or a conflict with external forces, such as people, authorities, circumstances.

Verdict – it comes as a final critical decision: an interpretation of the story from the author’s or protagonist’s perspective, why everything happened as it did, who was wrong (if applicable), what would have been the implications if participants had behaved otherwise or if things had unfolded otherwise.

Narrative Essay Conclusion

Summary of key points – this conclusion section could briefly revisit described facts or situations, the role of certain characters, conflict’s essence, it could list key moral judgments derived, lessons learned, attitude changes inflicted on the author or protagonist.

Thesis restatement. An important element of any conclusion is restating the thesis – doing this shows that the author’s effort of proving the claim made in the introduction has a finality. However, a restatement of the thesis shouldn’t be formulated with exactly the same words. In addition, it should be a restatement through the prism of content that has been covered making appropriate connections with content.

Bottom line

Narrative essays help you get some point across through storytelling, but you shouldn’t mistake them for “regular” short stories. I explained how to structure your work, differentiate it from short stories, and how you can easily develop your narration. Following the outline will help you write a high-quality essay and a diagram from this article can serve as a visual clue you can use to compose your work. Start practicing today and write a narrative essay about some major event in your life. You can do it!




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