How to Write a Narrative Essay Outline
The definition of a narrative essay is likely to vary one institution of higher learning to another. But as a rule of thumb, the narrative essay refers to text that can be used to help tell a story. The text should also make it possible for you to share past personal experiences in a manner that can be said to be inspirational.
It is common for this type of stories to garner more attention from readers as all human beings tend to love stories. Many consider it the perfect way for science to easily be heard as well as understood by those seeking to learn more. This is the primary reason why you ought to develop a good structure for the essay.
Structures make it easier for you to tell a compelling story. By using the accepted guidelines, the narrative essay gets to earn a better assessment. If you are not familiar with narrative essays or are not sure where to start, it would be best to first take a look at existing samples of similar texts.
Alternatively, you may choose to find inspiration wherever possible. It will, however, be important to know and abide by the requirements that have been handed out by your instructor. Be sure to stick to these requirements when drafting your narrative essay.
Types of Narrative Essays
Narrative essays typically fall under two main groups:
Descriptive Narrative Essays
Autobiographical Narrative Essay
This particular kind of narrative is one that will make it possible for you to explore your creativity depths. Its purpose is to help describe vivid memories, experiences, and situations.
Generally, a descriptive essay is expected to be very direct. It can help simplify a situation that may have been seen as complicated. A good narrative essay writer will be able to avoid using unnecessary and complicated exaggerations choosing instead to focus on the title.
Unlike the previous type, this kind of narrative will require the writer to narrate a particularly memorable event that may have occurred in their lives in the past. Note: this is not to mean that you should mistake it for an autobiography as may have been suggested by its name.
In reality, you will need to narrate a story pertaining to an event that you are closely associated with. Here, you will need to place your emphases on the main purpose of the narration instead of focusing on the details regarding that event.
Having looked at the background information, the next crucial step will be to come up with an outline or a structure.
Narrative Essay Structure
As is the case with all other kinds of essays, the narrative essay will need to have a very functional outline. This outline ought to be able to clearly detail all aspects of the paper that is being written, including the key points that will be needed to complete it.
The outline mainly comprises of three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.
In a narrative essay, the introduction acts as the make or break point. This implies that if you were to mess up, your entire narrative essay would have a very negative implication. You need to use the introduction to provide the reader with a picture of what you intend to talk about in your essay.
As such, the introduction should be able to introduce your topic, all the primary ideas, as well as the event that you intend to talk about for the remainder of the essay. Keep in mind that all the sentiments that you will introduce here will need to provide an explanation of why this particular subject is important to you, and why it should matter to your readers.
Ensure that your introduction has included these aspects:
- The hook
- The event setting
- A clear description of the topic you intend to cover
- Importance of the topic
The hook always serves as an introductory sentence which is meant to engage or hook your reader. The statement should, therefore, arouse curiosity and evoke interest in the reader’s mind.
For instance: “Success is not a singularity that you should pursue, instead, it is something that must be attracted by the individual that you will develop into.”
You need to work on the hook as this is what the reader will first come across when they start reading your essay. This means that if the hook is dull, there is a possibility that the reader will not be stimulated enough to want to continue reading your narrative.
Event or plot setting is also essential as it is meant to provide your readers with a brief insight on your subject. Readers can use it to place an issue into context. It also makes them visualize your narrative’s starting point, making it easier to get a bearing on your story.
Having finished writing your hook, it will be crucial that you categorically inform your reader what you would like to achieve with this narrative essay. It may be because you are interested in proving a particular point, or are looking to justify certain events that have occurred, or are looking for public support on a certain line of thinking.
The thesis statement needs to serve as a summary of the lessons you have learned pertaining to the topic that you are covering in your narrative essay. You can, thus, view it as the story’s main argument. As such, any assertions that you raise thereafter will be done in a bid to justify your argument.
For instance: Even though pursuing success is always a good thing, it is better to become an embodiment of success.”
Once you are done writing your introductory paragraph and summing it up with a strong thesis statement, you will now need to proceed to the body portion of your essay.
The body will in many cases contain three paragraphs, although this is dependent on the story you are telling and the extent to which it goes. This is also where you will get to place all your main arguments in order to support the thesis statement.
You will also introduce the characters in your essay in the body section, including mentioning how these characters make a contribution to the main storyline. Use the body paragraphs to convey the story’s main theme.
As you are writing the body, you need to make sure that the template attempts to answer these questions:
- Who are the characters involved in the story?
- Where is the central setting?
- Why did events occur in the sequence that they did?
- What is the supporting or opposing view of the events that took place?
As you are drafting this section, you can use various literary techniques to try and describe all the events that took place. Some of the excellent methods that are likely to work include the use of suspense and foreshadowing.
Always make it a point to describe the events in question in a vivid manner. Use as many descriptive adjectives as you like. Additionally, try and incorporate some light humor in the essay so as to break the monotony.
It is best to remember that a narrative essay is not the same as a research paper. Try to ensure that it is enjoyable as this is only but a narration of events that have already taken place. You could also try to provide a brief onset of circumstances that could have led to another event before you come around to discussing the central theme.
The Conclusion of Your Narrative
When you are done narrating all the events that occurred in the body paragraphs and have given them a verdict or resolution, you can start concluding the essay. It will be noteworthy to remember that the conclusion holds the same level of importance as the introductory and body paragraphs.
You should, therefore, always aim to end the narrative essay using a very powerful or solid conclusion. The conclusion paragraph should incorporate the following:
- A restatement of the thesis
- Lessons learned from the narrative
- A good and viable call to action directed to the reader
In principle, the narrative essay can be described as a write-up that needs to be enjoyable. This is because the write-up will be drawing from events and scenarios that have already taken place in your life. This means that you are at liberty to express personal opinions as well as provide a perspective on different matters as you may deem fit.
The outline above for writing a narrative essay will guide you to draft a good and interesting write-up that can easily endear you to many readers, and in some cases even give them something to smile about. It will be important to try and follow it keenly, ensuring that you get to apply it whenever you need to write a narrative essay. It will be the surest way to earning good grades and while at it, learning how to become a good storyteller who can easily hold readers’ imaginations for a long time.