How to Write a Great Narrative Essay Outline

Writing an essay is a burden to bear for every high school, college and university student. That is why the chances are you`ll most probably have to deal with this task on your own. There are many types of essays. For instance, argumentative, expository, persuasive and more. In this plethora of essays, one of the most interesting is a narrative one. In this article, you`ll learn what it takes to create an A grade narrative essay outline in the easiest way ever. So keep reading to be in the loop of academic writing tips and the things you are about to discover now will come in handy later. Maybe tomorrow.

What you need to know about a Narrative Essay

They say that you`ll be asked to conduct a narrative essay as a course assignment for English communication class and college admissions. Thuswise, it`s really important to understand what exactly you will have to deal with.

Narrative essay mixes up storytelling and essay composing. This means that you`ll have to write a response to some prompt. The tricky thing about a narrative essay is that your answer has to depict a particular real-life story, to show your personal experience of something and, thus wise, explaining to the reader your values. This shows the things that shaped you as a person and gives a reader insider information about yourself (FYI it`s a vital factor to get enrolled in a college).

Composing a perfect narrative essay lies in the structure you are to follow. So when you are crafting a narrative essay, you`ll have to create a compelling introduction, support it with the story in the body of your text, and arrive at a conclusion, which will sum up the whole document.

Why do you need an outline?

Admit it. You have been advised several times to create an outline for your essay, but you never actually thought to do it. Yes, it`s hard to structure the pace of your thought. You are just doing research, and afterward, your creativity takes in. So you write it with no structure or planning at all. Do not say it`s not true.

However, you do need to create that goddamn outline. Why? Who`s doing drafts these days? All the smart people out there are already getting the A+ just because they`ve spent some time to design a decent outline. Moreover, only by studying material you are not able to create an impressive essay. You`ll need to see a broader picture to make your professor go WOW. Secondly, when you plan your paper, you`re setting the structure of your essay-to-be. Plus, you are to get engaged in choosing the right wording. And if you`re doing two processes at once, everything ends up in a mess. Multitasking in essay writing is a half the battle of its flop. All in all, planning is everything it takes to succeed in academic essay writing.

Killer technique to create an excellent Narrative Essay Outline

Ok, and now is the moment you all have been waiting for. Top tips to create a cool narrative essay outline are all here!

Your essay may have a tight deadline, especially if it`s for college admissions. So the best advice to beat the deadline and create a marvelous paper is to stop that crazy heartbeat, take a deep breath, sit comfortably, and focus on the task you have to complete. Your panic attacks will do no good.

All professional writers advise starting your paper with an introduction that will highlight main aspects of the story but will intrigue the reader. Your introductory part has one aim, that is, to make a reader want to keep learning the story you`re about to bring upon him or her.

Basically, any introduction consists of three elements.

  1. The hook. That`s the first sentence of your story, and this is the part where you can tell some fact, or describe your feelings in order to captivate the attention of the reader. It`s better to choose an experience that influenced your future decisions or was extremely dangerous/ funny/ poignant.
  2. Setting the scene. This enables your target audience to visualize the situation clearly. Let the reader know when and where the action takes place. Provide general info.
  3. Conduct a thesis statement. Understand the problem or the situation you want to show. Try to remember what you were feeling at that moment. Here you can tell a lesson learned, a theme you`ll be speaking about or write something like, «This was a usual day when I had breakfast and made ordinary decisions about places to visit, but it all ended up differently.» Remember what happened, pick the essential things from your plot and attack your readers will all these, so they will have no chances to put your papers down.

On the other hand, you may have a topic or prompt to write about or respond to. Here you`ll have various options to choose from. For some students, it makes the task harder, for others it works vice versa. Do not get distracted by the choice you have. Pick the topic, which is the most appealing to you.

Think about each theme carefully, note down the things you can say about every prompt. What incidents are stuck in your mind? What experience can you tell about in great detail? Such list of ideas to write about will help you see what subject you are the most passionate about. Review all your thoughts and select the one and only topic.

When you`re choosing to write about a prompt you feel emotional about, your writing style becomes more captivating and animated. Remember a situation in your life when you`ve felt or experienced something similar to the topic of the text and start working with this prompt.

You can also get a few topic ideas for your narrative essay here.

Now that you are done with the introduction, you can get going and move on to the main body. This is the part where you tell your experience or provide few stories that depict (support) the main idea of your text.

Your main body consists of several paragraphs. Bear in mind that each paragraph is the continuation of the previous one, so make sure you use transition sentences that transform all the sections into one complete story. Such transition sentences can appear either at the beginning of a new paragraph with the references to the prior sentences or at the end of the previous paragraph to introduce the next one.

Top style recommendations to ensure great narrative essay outline:

“Show, don’t tell”. Use descriptions that will construct the picture of your story in the head of a reader. The more descriptions, and emotive words, the better.

Avoid using clichéd phrases, or direct and dry statements. Show the story in bright colors, make a lively atmosphere, and add actual phrases from your past.

Make sure your text has a climax when the primary problem of the story is resolved.

Do whatever it takes to make a reader emphasize your characters, get engaged in the storyline.

Remember that the sequence of events in your plot has to be sequential and make sense. You don`t want to confuse your target audience with inconsistent actions that lead nowhere.

Make the ending clear. Even if it`s not a happy ending, your readers have to know how the story finished.

And the final part of your narrative essay is the conclusion that in the majority of cases sums up everything from the main body. Here you tell a reader how you benefited from the things that happened to you. Do you want to change your past? Would you act in another way if you could relive the situation one more time?  It`s essential to clarify the lessons learned from your past and make them clear to the reader.

Highlight the moral of the story, analyze, and reflect the importance of such experiences for yourself.

Do not forget to check your essay once it seems to be finished. Make sure there are no grammar, stylistic, spelling or any other errors. Scan your papers on plagiarism, if you have this opportunity. Ensure the retrospective is understandable for the reader and check if there are too many «I» and «my» in the text. You do not want to seem intrusive.


So folks, now you have all the instruments to create a compelling, intriguing and original narrative essay outline. The only thing left is actually to sit and start crafting it. Come on. Maybe there is a Stephen King or Emily Bronte inside you. Let`s find it out!

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