Narrative Essay Outline

Narrative Essay Outline

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Narrative essays are often the norm in academia. There are two specific instances where you will meet them in your academic world; during your admission and in your Literature class. During admission, there is an essay requirement that is part of the admission process and the favorite essay is the narrative essay. This is because the narrative essay is of a personal nature. The admission personnel is normally interested in your personality and character hence the choice of an essay.

On the other hand, part of your literature classes would entail writing essays. Most students tend to think that the narrative essay is the hardest. We tend to think it’s the easiest since it basically entails your depiction of things. You get to write about your experiences and your opinions about something you value or believe in. With such freedom, you can typically write about anything since everyone has their own sets of beliefs.

Well, we’d like to give you some tips to write a narrative essay. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your school assignment or your admission requirement. The guidelines that we will give you will still apply. But before you get into writing the narrative essay, you would have to come up with an outline for narrative essay. Here’s how to write a narrative essay outline.

Narrative Essay Outline Introduction

The introduction is the first part of your essay. It consists of one paragraph but could be more depending on the length of the essay. It introduces your readers to the main item of discussion and gives a brief background of the essay in question.

A typical introduction paragraph has the following structure:

  • The topic sentence
  • The supporting sentence
  • The thesis statement

The corresponding details that have to be mentioned in these three sentences include:

  • The hook
  • The background
  • The thesis

The topic sentence should contain the hook and should be as compelling as possible. It should engage the reader from the very start. To do this effectively, write an interest-arousing scenario. For example, you may write about a traveling experience that turned tragic in say, Kingston, Jamaica. You can start by writing about the beautiful moments that you had there, for example, experiencing the vibrant Rastafarian culture.

To illustrate:

“Never had I seen a community that was loving and full of color in my life, save for the Rastafarian community.”

Your reader would feel the deep emotion and excitement that you had and would want to read more about it.

How not to do it:

While you write the hook avoid plain and emotionless statements. For example,

I went to Jamaica, and this is my experience.”

Any reader would quash your essay as fast as they laid their eyes on it if you take such a plain approach.

The key to a captivating hook is to:

  • Show emotion
  • Arouse curiosity
  • Show some enthusiasm

When you write your introduction based on these three facets, you would, in essence, hook your readers from the start.

The supporting sentence in your introduction should embody the background to the subject. This entails giving the reader a general feel of the place you are talking about and the time in which the events took place. It may be a number of places which are interrelated or may have happened over a period of time. It also may have happened in a single location for just one instance of time.

The importance of giving the background in the supporting sentences is so as to place your reader in the actual scenario of events. It enhances the reading experience and would make the reader to anticipate the story readily.

To illustrate:

I visited Jamaica during the summertime when festivities were the norm in Kingston.”

The Thesis Statement should quickly follow. Since this is a narrative essay, you would want to soften your approach when writing the thesis. It shouldn’t be too abstract. Remember that this is a narrative essay outline template. Your thesis shouldn’t sound as if it is a research paper or dissertation.

To illustrate:

All mornings in Jamaica were bright and full of hope, but the experiences that one would encounter were quite different at the end of the day.”

Or you could write:

“I now understand why travelers are told to enjoy their travel but also exercise caution.”

The above statements give the reader the bearing of the essay. Anyone can at least say guess that something is in the offing.

How not to do it:

“I traveled and had a bad experience.”

The above statement is not favorable. As much as it conveys what is going to happen, it somehow brings the subject to an early and stale start.

Give the readers something interesting to anticipate in your thesis. Let the statement be full of meaning and connotations that you would make the reader want to read more to see how events unfolded.

Narrative Essay Outline Body

The body of your essay is arguably one of the critical points of your narrative essay. It is where the story or narrative is conveyed. It is where you narrate your whole ordeal and experiences. It is also where you put forth your arguments in support of your thesis statement.

A typical body of a narrative essay has three paragraphs. The paragraphs, on the other hand, have five sentences in general. But this may vary depending on the length of your experience.

This is the format of your body paragraphs:

  • Topic sentence
  • 1st supporting sentence
  • 2nd supporting sentence
  • 3rd supporting sentence
  • Concluding sentence

The corresponding details that have to be placed in each of these sentences are as follows:

  • The point/experience to be talked about (topic sentence)
  • The arguments in favor of the point or argument giving examples. (supporting sentences)
  • The final position in relation to the subject(concluding sentence)

Each point that’s mentioned should be followed by a sufficient argument and examples to prove it.

While moving from one paragraph to another, use appropriate transition sentences. You can place them strategically at the end of one paragraph that precedes the other, or you can put it at the beginning of the new paragraph.

The premise of the body is to show the reader how events unfolded and not just to tell them. A good way of effecting this is by using dialogue and vivid descriptions.

To illustrate:

Paragraph 1

Topic sentence: “When I arrived at Kingston, I quickly concluded that the place was a marvel.”

1st supporting sentence: “The aura of the Rastafarian livity greeted me as two residents offered to help me navigate around.”

2nd supporting sentence: “I found them to be so kind and generous that I quickly trusted them with my belongings.”

3rd supporting sentence: “The two even went out of their way to show me a place where I could refresh myself to the indigenous delicacies.”

Concluding sentence: “Indeed, I wondered why tourists were told to exercise caution; it seemed to a nice place with nice people.”

Last body Paragraph

How to do the Topic sentence:

Topic Sentence: “As I got lost in the delicious delicacies and the cultural festivities, I felt something was off.”

How not to do the topic sentence:

“I felt something was not right.”

Though it conveys the intended message, it is too dry and arouses no interest in the reader.

How to do the rest of the sentences:

1st supporting sentence: “The feeling lingered for a while; I was no longer enjoying the food and cultural show.”

2nd supporting sentence: “I wanted to ignore the feeling until I looked around to find my luggage.”

3rd supporting sentence: “I was left agape, as my luggage was nowhere in sight and the two residents were now where in sight too.”

Concluding sentence: “It quickly dawned on me that I was robbed; no wonder we were told to exercise caution while enjoying our stay.”

The above illustrations show how to write your narrative essay outline worksheet with reference to the body. The chronology should embody this illustration.

Outline for Narrative Essay Conclusion

The conclusion of our narrative essay outline example will only be a reflection of what was written in the narrative essay. The outline for narrative essay is quite essential in this instance because it can help you navigate through all the major points you wrote about. It also draws vital lessons that were learned and the key takeaways that the readers’ should watch out for. It includes the restatement of your thesis and a reaffirmation of your position.


“Well, the experience in Jamaica was fun at first. I enjoyed the indigenous cuisine and the general culture of the people. Though this was short-lived as I was robbed of my belongings, it doesn’t mean that it will wash away the fun part. It only means that I will take caution next time as we have always been encouraged.”

How not to do it:

The experience in Jamaica was good though I got robbed. I will take care next time.”

The latter is too dull and negative. Your aim is to hook the readers to the very end and give them something to take home. The second conclusion is merely a rant and won’t engage anyone.


In essence, the above guidelines could be used as your narrative essay outline template. You will craft the most engaging narrative essay if you take heed of these guidelines.

Got more guidelines for us on outlines for narrative essays? Share with us below.

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