Essay Outline

Narrative Essay Outline

Narrative Essay Outline

What is a Narrative Essay?

While they remain remarkably useful, narrative essays are not properly or fully understood. The main purpose of this guide is to shed light on the essence of this type of essay and the outline on which it should be established. Essentially, narrative essays are a form of writing in which one tells a story. For example, an individual can use a narrative essay to talk about their personal struggles or accomplishments. It should be noted that the stories that one tells need not necessarily be personal.

To fully understand what narrative essays are like, it is helpful to contrast them against regular essays. One of the distinct features of these essays is the use of personal language and perspectives. In academic writing, students are usually discouraged against using the first-person perspective.

This prohibition is lifted in narrative essays. These essays permit and even strongly encourage individuals to write in the first person. This perspective helps to imbue the essay with greater impact and allows the writer to connect better with the audience. 

Narrative essays can also be understood in terms of their purpose. Generally, when they write these essays, students aim to convey an important point or message. For instance, suppose that you have been tasked to write about your personal struggles.

In writing the essay, you may wish to highlight the role that resilience and steadfastness plays in the accomplishment of one’s goals. From this example, it is evident that narrative essays are hugely important. 

Components of Narrative Essay Outline 

Now that the basic components of narrative essays have been highlighted, the stage is set for an overview of the various components that make up the typical outline of these essays. In the following sections, light is shed on some of these components. 


The hook is certainly one of the most consequential components of the narrative essay. In fact, it can determine whether the audiences decide to read on. Essentially, the hook enables the writer to grab and retain the attention of readers. For example, as the hook for your narrative essay, you could present ideas or facts that will shock your readers, thereby intriguing and persuading them to commit their full attention to the essay. 


No narrative essay is complete or persuasive without a thesis. As in academic writing, the thesis basically establishes the main point, ideas, and purpose of the essay. In most cases, the thesis is contained in the last statement of the introductory paragraph. All the information that you present in the essay should be geared toward substantiating the thesis. 


When writing a narrative essay, it is advisable to provide contextual information. The background allows you to do this. In the background section, help your readers understand why you chose to explore a particular topic and why you feel it is significant. 


It is nearly impossible to write a compelling and impactful narrative essay without characters. Essentially, the characters are the individuals who bring your narrative to life and facilitate plot development. For non-personal and fictional stories, be creative with your characters. Listed below are some of the traits that your characters should have:

  1. They should help to advance the plot
  2. They need to embody the message that you communicate
  3. To captivate the audience, go for complex and multi-faceted characters. 

Narrative Essay: Onset of Important Events

As noted earlier, in a narrative essay, you are expected to tell a story. Therefore, be sure to include all the important events that constitute the story. The events should be presented in a chronological fashion and should help you prove your thesis. Do not forget to ensure that these events add to the drama and appeal of your essay. 

Buildup and Climax

No reader like a boring essay. To elevate and enrich your essay, you should build up tension and release it at a climactic height. For example, as part of the buildup, establish some conflict among the key characters in your essay. The conflict should be relatable and such that it allows your essay to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Well-crafted characters will certainly allow you to deliver unforgettable experiences for your readers. The following are some of the elements of well-designed climaxes.

  1. Allow readers to experience relief and catharsis
  2. Result in a natural resolution of your narrative


The resolution is where your narrative settles. Here, you should set out your interpretation of the story. Alternatively, you could step back and allow the protagonist to resolve the narrative. For the best outcomes, you should not provide clear answers. Instead, offer some clues and leave it to your readers to form their own judgments and reach their own conclusions. Basically, the narrative essay should be a platform that you use to share your perspectives without imposing your ideas on the readers. 

Moral Lessons and Significance of Narrative Essay

There are many who feel that the moral lessons that audiences derive from narrative essays are the most important part of these essays. You should tell your readers why they should care about your narrative. It could be that your story highlights the value of patience or the dangers of selfishness. Basically, use the narrative to present vital lessons that your readers can take home. However, as noted above, it is best to allow your readers to form their own ideas about the moral lessons that they feel your essay conveys.

In closing, the importance and value of narrative essays cannot be overstated. These essays are particularly vital for individuals who wish to share their personal experiences and develop their own voice. However, even as they write freely, individuals must remember that there are rules that govern narrative essays. Among the guidelines in these rules is that the narrative essay must include a number of vital outline elements. With these elements, you will certainly write essays that have profound impacts on audiences. 

One reply on “Narrative Essay Outline”

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