EduReviewerBlogHow to Write an Outline for a Narrative Essay
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How to Write an Outline for a Narrative Essay

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Without any doubt, writing a narrative essay can be a lot of work. They deal with telling stories, anecdotes, and experiences. The narration may either be from a personal, non-personal, our collective perspective.

As a result, there are many details to work with to come up with the final result. However, your work can be simplified a great deal when you come up with a narrative essay outline.

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Students are often asked to narrate a particular experience or explain a topic from a personal perspective. It’s not uncommon to find students who struggle to piece the details of their essays together. They simply can’t think of how to go about it. That’s where a personal narrative essay outline comes in.

Creating the outline for a narrative essay is an essential step in helping any student develop a well-written piece. It promotes organization and ensures that you don’t omit any important points.

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However, not everyone knows how to compile this essay outline. If you don’t know how to write an outline for a narrative essay, you’re at the right place. This piece will teach you everything you need to know. You can also read our article online vs in-person tutoring.

Main Parts of a Narrative Essay Outline

Before learning how to write a narrative essay outline, let’s look at the key elements that should be included in it. The first thing you need to note is that a narrative essay outline is broken into different parts.

Each part of this outline is important because it will focus on a particular aspect of your essay and help you come up with points to develop it. They include;


The introduction of your narrative essay is where you reveal the goal of your essay and introduce major points to the reader. It comprises the following;

Hook – To put it simply, the hook is your attention grabber. In a narrative essay, you must be able to catch the attention of your reader. To do this, you’ll need to be able to connect to the readers with your words and instill certain feelings in their minds. It’s a great idea to set a good tone from the first few lines of your text. You could start with a description of an uncharacteristic setting or a puzzling question.

Thesis – This is one of the most important parts of any introduction. This is where you introduce the main idea of the essay. Your thesis should be an arguable sentence that will describe the essence of the entire paper. Some students prefer to leave the thesis to the ending parts of the introduction. Then, they use subsequent sentences to support the idea in it.

Introductory Background – This part of the introduction is where you add all the additional information that you want the user to consider. You may include any valuable information that would help users visualize, imagine or recreate certain facts. Here, you could talk about why the story is important to you or why anyone should consider going through it.

Main Body

The main body of the narrative essay is where you start to describe the concept that you are describing. The main body should contain;

Setting – It’s possible that you don’t add information about time and place in your introductory sentences. However, you need to discuss them at the beginning of your essay’s body. And if you have already mentioned it in the introduction, this is a chance for you to give a more detailed description and add some more interesting details. Often, time and space are usually discussed here to give the reader an idea of the scene you are trying to paint.

Background Of Events – This is where you paint an image of the events preceding what you’ll be discussing in the content of your essay. It’s usually a good idea to give readers some preceding occurrences or circumstances to give them a better understanding of where you are with your narrative. It could come immediately after the setting description or much later in the body.

Characters – The main characters of a narrative essay are typically introduced early enough. You can do that immediately after providing information about the setting. You can reveal further info about secondary characters as the story builds up. Your narrations should be broken distinctly between two classes of characters – protagonists and antagonists. While protagonists are characters that support your main ideas, antagonists are the opposition.

Sequence Of Events – Here, you’re expected to give a detailed description of the actions that take place in your narration. It usually follows a certain plot, and the sequence of activities is expected to build up till it reaches a climax. Often, the climax of a narrative essay is the part where the conflict of ideas occurs.

Verdict – This is usually the ending of the sequence of events that you have plotted out. Often, it’s a form of a decision point in the narration. It describes events that have taken place and their consequences. Finally, this part looks at what the right course of action would be based on the evidence that has been discussed in this piece.


The conclusion is the final part of writing a narrative essay outline. The conclusion should typically contain;

Short Summary – The conclusion should revisit some of the important points that have been discussed in the piece. It should also describe any moral lessons learned or conclusions derived from the narrative essay.

Thesis Restatement – An essential aspect of the conclusion is restating the thesis that was mentioned in the introduction. This will serve as a sort of way to prove the claim made by the author. However, when restating your thesis, you mustn’t blindly repeat the same words you used previously. Instead, your restatement should be based on the knowledge you gained from building up the content to that stage of the discussion.

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How to Outline a Narrative Essay

Now, let’s look at some essential tips on how to write a narrative essay outline. The following tips will help you come up with a well-written essay outline;

How to Outline a Narrative Essay

Decide On An Interesting Topic

The first tip for creating an outline for a narrative essay is to decide on the topic that you’ll be writing about. For instance, you may be interested in talking about friendship, while your topic will focus on trust between close friends and how to maintain a long-lasting friendship. If you want to create a personal narrative essay, ensure the topic is something you can resonate with properly and write on.

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Keep Your Outline Short

A college narrative essay outline is meant to be a skeletal framework of the discussions that you will focus on in a narrative essay. Therefore, make sure to leave certain details out of your outline. All points should be covered and treated, but the outline will only be effective when it’s as short as possible.

Make the Outline Comprehensive

While you are expected to develop a brief outline, you should still ensure that it contains enough details to help you build up your points. List everything you want to discuss. You may go-ahead to use keywords to list out points you want to remember. However, you should never use unstructured text.

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Mark Important Points

If you intend to put more work into certain scenes, make sure you mark them out in your outline. It’s important to have these types of scenes where you describe everything in detail and remind the reader where you are in the story.

A Simple Example of How It Should Look Like

Essay Outline

Below is an example of a narrative essay format outline;


Hook – Numerous people have recounted terrible experiences with past friendships, and I can safely say that anyone would be wary about meeting new friends.

Introductory Background – I was in 11th grade when I got my first betrayal from a friend. My best friend had resorted to abandoning me and hanging out with someone else.

Thesis – Past failed friendships or relationships with people can affect future ones.


Setting – Describe the type of bond I had developed with my best friend when we were closest and the places we used to hang out.

Characters – Description of my former best friend and his new friend, including their appearance, personality, etc.

A sequence of activities – How my friend and I built up our friendship; how we developed a bond and walked to school together; my shocking discovery of his new friendship; how I struggled to deal with it; how I found it hard to trust anyone else after then

Event Background – high school setting where friendships mattered a lot and could make or mar your time in school.

Verdict – Despite my heartache and pain, I moved on to meet other interesting people because it felt like the right thing to do.


Restating Thesis – It’s easy to trust friends, and when they betray us, it can be difficult to reconnect with other people. But after some time, we readapt to the new situation.

Key lessons – One needs to prepare their minds that all friendships will not last forever, especially when growing up. This way, it’s easier to move on when disappointments happen.

Key Takeaways

Finally, we’ve come to the end of this piece. It’s been established that a narrative essay outline will help you come up with a better result. The real challenge is coming up with a well-written essay outline. That’s where we come in. This piece has discussed all the essential information there is to know about how to develop the outline of a narrative essay.

If you need to learn more essay writing rules, we’ve got you covered. You can learn about common resume mistakes too.


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