Tested Approaches On How To Make A Narrative Essay Outline

A narrative essay is a type of writing common in all fields of education. But, to get a good essay in the outcome, you should make a well–rounded outline for it. First of all, let’s find out more about this style of writing.

Briefly About How to Write a Narrative Essay Outline

Before we start reviewing the specifics of a narrative outline, let’s find out what are the main features of the narrative style itself. At first glance, it may seem to be easy to tell an engaging story.

But, any narrative essay has certain peculiarities you should consider, like these ones:

  • it has a non-fiction nature and is focused on events that have actually happened;
  • this essay is written from a first-person perspective;
  • it looks and is organized like a story;
  • information in this essay appears chronologically;
  • an author usually needs to include a lot of supplementary details in this narrative essay;
  • this content is for informing about specific issues but not arguing on such;
  • the narrative is nearly always limited in length. so, you should keep it brief;
  • the writer needs to provide enough details to make readers informed and interested.

The purpose of any narrative essay is to tell a story. You share with readers a certain experience and emphasize why it is important or valuable. But, you make this in a storytelling manner and present arguments and extra pieces of evidence where this is necessary. The narrative essay has many variations we should review before starting working on developing outlines for each type.

Main Types of Narrative Essays

The actual structure of an outline depends on your essay’s type and the story you are going to speak about. Here are the main types of narrative essay:

  • Descriptive

As its title suggests, this essay’s main purpose is to describe a certain situation, experience, memories by using explicit details about such. Your main purpose here is to raise sincere emotions in your reader and form a clear picture of certain circumstances or events. 

This essay is more straightforward. You can take a complex story and expand it narrowly. In this case, you leave for a reader a room for thinking. So, you should limit your content to the extent necessary for expanding a topic and describing certain points.

So, the outline for this type of essay should be focused mostly on the limits of a story and the details you want to share with your readers. You should list all of them first to evaluate whether you have included enough details. Such listings will also help you in choosing the most suitable ones and arranging them logically.

  • Autobiographical

This essay requires sharing your personal story. So, in this case, you need to focus more on the overall situation rather than on its details. Emphasize the purpose of such and the life lessons you have learned. 

So, the outline for this type of essay should include the basic description of a situation, its purpose, and the outcome. Your outline has to follow the development of the described situation itself. 

Tips for Writing Personal Narrative Outlines

To complete the writing, successfully follow certain writing tips that can help you in expanding any story. Here is what we suggest you use:

  • Think about your past experience to find certain points you would like to share with your reader. Here you should pick only those points you will feel comfortable speaking about. Also, make sure you intend to speak about those points that can bring value to your readers. For instance, you may have made certain mistakes that you advise others to avoid. This can be valuable.
  • Define the main purpose of your writing. What do you want to achieve? This may be informed about some points, expressing your considerations, sharing life lessons experience, etc.
  • Brainstorm ideas you have about this story. Indicate those you think as required to form a proper understanding of this story. When you brainstorm, it is always better to take a short break or go for a walk for some time. This will surely help you to generate more good ideas.
  • Research well – sometimes, you need extra info to expand a story. We suggest you use at this point not only journals and magazines but also social media accounts. These sources may inspire you a lot.
  • Apply freewriting for your draft – list all ideas about your story that comes to your mind. You will always have a chance to correct such after. But, the most important task at this stage is not to miss anything important for your story.
  • Prefer active and dynamic words for your content. If you want somebody to believe in your story, state all points confidently. Using active words will also help you to sound more persuasively.
  • Focus on your target audience. Before crafting your outline, make sure you understand the type of audience you will write for. Choose the most appropriate style and manner of narration for your audience. This will help you in establishing contact and making content more interesting for them.

How to Choose the Narrative Essay Format

The narrative outline format always depends on your requirements. If you don’t have such, use Times New Roman or Arial font, 12 font size to complete your writing. Formal requirements may vary, of course. But, in this section, we will also focus mostly on the manner of writing that should be applied to your narratives.

The most appropriate format for this type of outline is storytelling. The narrative sounds more academic. But, in its root, lies storytelling in any case. To grasp that, try to imagine that you are telling a story to your good acquaintance. Make it in a manner, so this person could understand what this story is about. You may notice here the level specification you need to apply for explaining all properly. This approach will help you also to fix difficult words and combinations. When you use this style, you can always see the main line of your story and correct it if this is necessary.

The format of narration is also about simple language. Use it without adding unnecessary prepositions, difficult words, clichés, and other things.

In the outcome, you should get flowing content with one or a couple of lines in its plot, easy to read and understand. That is what the narrative format is about. Still, to get this, you need also to structure your ready content properly. Here is what we suggest you do with that.

Narrative Essay Outline: Example of How to Structure It

The narrative style of essay writing is more reflective and should be easy to read. But, at the same time, it requires proper structuring. That is a place a narrative writing outline becomes required.

There is no perfect essay structure outline. But, there is a basic structure you may apply to any type of narrative outline:

  • Introduction

In this part, create a background for your story, indicate the purpose of your writing. For making it more engaged, include some interesting points for your readers. Your task here is thinking as your future reader and stating that info that can make he/her interested in this story. Remember, you should always describe your points as brief statements in any outline. You will always expand them further during writing. 

  • Main body

Basically, in the main body, you should explore the development of a story. Start from raising an action. You need to place here info on how your story started. If this is necessary, place here some background details to describe preconditions for your narrative. 

This rising action should bring you to the climax of a story. This is a place of the highest tension in your story. Develop this spot in your outline by describing such an event. To make this, use extra details. You should get a comprehensive picture of your story in the outcome. You should list ideas for approximately 3-5 paragraphs.

After the climax, a falling action always comes. Describe here how your story had been finished, what outcomes it had. This is also a place in your outline where you should make a smooth transition to the final conclusion of a story. 

  • Final

The story you are going to tell with the help of an outline should be interesting. Think about certain life lessons you have experienced from this story. What conclusions have you made from it? How it can help others in resolving similar matters. Again, write suggestions as short statements to expand further in your narrative.

Does and Don’ts for Narrative Outlines

Here is what we suggest you do while creating your narrative outline:

  • Write your outline and text from the first-person perspective.
  • Start with a good hook that can interest your readers from the first lines. That’s maybe a definition, a good quote, or a question. Think like your reader at this point.
  • Indicate an explicit thesis based on your opinion.
  • Apply the respective narrative format.
  • If you think this is appropriate, add some conflict to your story to make it a little bit spicy.
  • Try to express all feelings from all kinds of senses – describe what your characters saw, felt, smelled, etc.
  • Follow the logical order of presentation statements, preferably in chronological.
  • Write in clear and plain language.
  • Use various descriptive techniques, like transitions, descriptions with strong words, etc.

We also suggest you not do these things:

  • Avoid writing from the “You” perspective.
  • Don’t use slang, clichés, or too formal a manner of narration.
  • Avoid making your story fictional – write only about real-life events that had actually happened.
  • Don’t overload your paper with details – write only the basic number of such.

Last Words about Narrative Essay Outline

A Narrative Essay Outline is a basic scheme for writing stories that contain your main statement and supplementary ideas presented in a storytelling manner. To reach this writing target, develop a clear structure for your outline by including only necessary details and thoughts so your readers could understand your story. Express certain aspects of your story by relying on the experience of the 5 senses and highlight these points in your outline. 

We know that making long stories short and flowing is difficult sometimes. But, you may always refer here again for extra help.

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