Narrative essays are arguably one of the popular write-ups you will meet in academic writing. They are common in high school settings and even institutions of higher education. In general, a narrative is a story. A narrative essay thus is an academic write-up that requires a lot of creativity and the ability to tell a compelling story.
As the writer of the narrative essay, you are considered the author of the story. Your main mandate is to create a masterpiece for the reader. Anyone who reads the essay should feel as if they are experiencing the scenario in real life. You need to be engaging and captivating so as to keep them hooked to your story.
This calls for the use of vivid details and realistic scenarios in your essay. With regard to the information you use, employ specific information for consistency in your essay.
There are various kinds of narrative essays. They are as follows:
This form of narrative is one that lets you explore the depths of your creativity. It is aimed at describing situations, experiences, and memories vividly. The vivid description should be used to tell a story that will captivate the reader.
In nature, a descriptive essay is direct. It simplifies complicated scenarios for better understanding. A proficient writer will avoid unnecessary exaggerations and will stick to the rubric.
This form of a narrative essay will involve the narration of some memorable event that took place in your life. It is not to be mistaken for an autobiography as the name may suggest. But it is a story that tells about an event that was closely associated with you. To write a compelling autobiography, place more emphasis on the central purpose rather than detail.
With this background in mind, the first and most crucial step in writing a narrative essay would be writing an outline.
Conventionally, all narrative essays have a specific format that applies to them. The arrangement includes:
For most of them, they contain 5 paragraphs. One of them being the introductory paragraph, 3 body paragraphs, and one concluding paragraph. Here is how to write a narrative essay outline.
The Introduction of the Narrative Essay Outline
This is the first part of your narrative essay. It introduces the reader to the subject that you are going to narrate. It initiates the setting and sets the tone for the rest of the narrative essay. To be effective, the narrative essay outline worksheet should have some proposed hooks. It is quite important to have a strong hook as it engages the reader from the beginning.
How can you create a captivating introduction?
Tell the readers what they should expect. You can depict something that will happen in the future to make the readers read through the whole narrative to understand why the future scenario took place.
“In ten years’ time, I became principle head of the department. Never did I imagine that I would occupy the position. Let me walk you through the journey.”
Every reader likes to read some words of wisdom and some sentimental words that are full of meaning. You can use this as the hooking point in your essay. Use a quote that fits harmoniously with the text of the essay.
If you want to write a narrative that focuses on persistence, you could start with a fitting quote like, “A river cuts through rock, not because of the power it wields but because of its persistence.”
With this kind of thought-provoking quote, your readers will automatically be geared to read your whole story.
Your introduction should define the purpose of your story. This is mostly done through the thesis statement. Though you shouldn’t give too much detail so as not to bring the narrative to a premature end.
“This essay will delve into the personal attributes that made me occupy the seat at the helm of my department.”
The reader, in this case, will have a sneak preview of what is to come subsequently. The introduction should at most contain one paragraph though this depends on whether the essay is long.
The Body of the Narrative Essay Outline
This is the central part of the narrative essay. It is where the subject matter of the essay is discussed and analyzed. The body paragraphs length and number will depend on the length of the essay and the range of the story. This is to say that if your account is about a brief observation or a quick life event, you should not stretch out the plot unnecessarily. Use the appropriate length to develop your story. To be effective in this, try to picture yourself as the reader.
In your narrative essay outline, the body should ideally have one point per paragraph. The topic sentence of each of the body paragraphs should state the point to be discussed, and the subsequent sentences should develop the point.
The first body paragraph could go this way:
The topic sentence: “I had my first job experience in Brooklyn, New York.”
1st detail: “Job description.”
Example: “I started working as an account’s clerk, having to foot in 12 hours a day.”
2nd detail: “My first encounter with life challenges.”
Example: “I had to go to work on foot since transport was expensive.”
Example: “I had close to zero disposable cash, thus, I didn't have many possessions. “
The second body paragraph:
Topic sentence: “I had to learn the area having come as a new resident in New York.”
1st detail: “I found it hard to mingle with new people at first.”
Example: “I had spent my whole life with my parents and didn’t socialize as often.”
2nd detail: “I was shy in nature.”
Example: “I never reached out first in social situations. I was always reserved as a person.”
The third body paragraph:
Topic sentence: “It was time for my turning point in life.”
1st detail: “The need to form new networks and social spheres.”
Example: "In order to make progress in the workplace and life generally, I had no option but to learn to meet new people and to accept new circumstances."
2nd detail: “Tolerance to other people’s cultures and dispositions.”
Example: "I was used to mingling with people of the same culture, but now I was forced to tolerate other cultures that I was not used to."
Example: "I met completely new types of delicacies, which I never imagined could be eaten, but for fear of sleeping hungry I learned to tolerate them."
How to Write Effective Body Paragraphs:
Your body paragraphs should follow a chronological order. To ace this, use sequences and always develop your plot in an organized manner.
The best way to bring life to your essay is by using dialogue. Some spoken scenes could capture the attention of the readers. While using dialogue, ensure that you pay attention to context. For example, if a conversation is between two kids, let the language be kid-like. Don't use pompous words. No one would believe that it was a kid talking.
It is essential to use the right voice in the narration of the story. For example, when you are narrating a personal story, it is proper to use the first person voice. If you are describing a story of a second or third party, then it is appropriate to use the third person.
The Conclusion of the Narrative Essay Outline
The concluding paragraph is usually a summary of the main points that were discussed in the narrative essay. When writing the outline for narrative essay, ensure that you list all the main points or what you think the reader should grasp from the essay. You should bring the narrative to a substantive end by restating the thesis statement and showing how your story proves the thesis right. The premise here is to end the narrative on a reconciliatory note.
In your outline, list all the attributes you have developed, e.g., tolerance, perseverance, and persistence.
Your concluding paragraph could take the following model:
“Indeed, it’s not the power of the river that makes it cut through the rocks but its persistence. My persistence in life and my career is what I can attribute to the success I have achieved so far.”
This conclusion has restated the thesis statement and has summarized the key attribute that the writer wants the reader to take home.
Study this narrative essay outline template to understand how to go about coming up with your own.
The above narrative essay outline example is indeed best placed to guide you through the process of writing the narrative essay. Follow it keenly and apply it to write the best narrative essay.