Narrative Essay Structure, Outline, Intro, Conclusion

Narrative Essay Structure

Narrative essay is quite common at the various educational levels and even at the place of work depending on the career path chosen. In some of the cases, some people chose to use the writing skills in narrative creation, to write blogs and articles on other such platforms. As such, a narrative essay is one that used by the author to tell a story, which may be to illustrate some insights or even the truth. The development of a narrative essay uses a rather simple arrangement of the ideas into a straightforward outline which forms the narrative essay structure. Below is a simple outline of a narrative essay at the college level.

structure of a narrative essay

Narrative essay outline sample


  • The hook
  • Setting the scene
  • Thesis statement


  • Paragraph one
  • Paragraph two
  • Paragraph three
  • Paragraph four


Writing a Narrative Essay Introduction and Thesis

When writing a narrative essay introduction, the author has to first understand that this is a type of writing the requires them to tell a story and connect it with some personal experiences. It is important the author is able to reach the defining point of view which is presented in the paper and is achieved through sharing the emotions along with the sensory details. when the author wants to approach the essay as a story, it is important that they keep in mind the various elements of a story, these are; plot, characters, setting, climax and the ending of the story in question.

As part of the narrative essay structure, there are three main parts to the narrative essay introduction; the hook, setting the scene and the thesis statement. At the start is the hook. This is part of the narrative essay the author has to be very keen when developing and in the way that it is illustrated for the readers. The idea behind the hook is simple, catch the attention of the readers. One has to bear in mind this is the first statement of the essay and therefore it is the one which sets the pace. This is to mean, depending on the creativity of the hook, the reader may decide to read on or look for the next best essay to read. As such, the author has to make sure the hook is as interesting and thought provoking as possible. The hook in essence take several forms and the author has the freedom to choose the one that best delivers the kind of interest they would want to stir up in the readers. The hook may take the form of a quotation, fact, question or even a definition, either of which must be relevant to the rest of the story.

narrative essay thesis ideas

The second part of the narrative essay introduction in reference to the narrative essay structure, the author has to make sure they prepare the readers for the story is the setting. The setting is basically for letting the reader understand the story. As such, it contains the right information to make sure that, it is letting on the right details on where, when, who and why the events took place. As such, aspects such as the major characters, when the events took place and where are included in this part of the narrative essay introduction. It is also at this stage when the author clarifies whether whatever is told in the story, is part of their personal experiences, or it is part of a fiction creation. As such, the readers are able to follow with clarity the events that then follow.

Narrative Essay Thesis

What then follows is the development and illustration of the thesis statement. In a narrative essay, the thesis statement plays a rather different role, than the one it plays in other essays such as, expository or argumentative essays. The author has the freedom of using the thesis statement to identify the theme that will easily connect with the story and further give a universal experience. Ideally the story is supposed to speak to a universal audience and thus the thesis statement is one of the best chance the author can use to get the readers from different walks of life to connect with the events deliberated in the essay.

narrative essay structure

The next part of the narrative essay is the body as defined by the narrative essay structure. This may be composed of several paragraphs, depending the amount details that the story is built on. However, there is the general format, where in the first part of the paragraph is the topic sentence. This is a sentence which introduces the readers to the rest of the content. The most important aspect to consider about the topic sentence is, it’s supposed to be associated with all the senses of the author. Ideally, the opening statement is supposed to show that the author did not just see an event take place, but rather, they also heard and felt some emotional element. In an example, the author may point out:

My heart skipped, when I heard something move in the woods, I looked around and everything in the shadows seemed to move.

This is a statement that involves most of the senses and also brings out the element of suspense, such that, the readers would want to know what happened after. This is a crucial aspect of the narrative essays; suspense. The other section of the body paragraph, is the evidence supporting the thesis statement. Ideally, the content of this part is supposed to indicate to the readers the lessons learned in support of the thesis statement.

In the body paragraphs, the author has the freedom of to bring together the various events in a chronological manner. Some of the times the author may choose to bring the different parts into one, but with different parts interchanging on the timeline. However, this is a skill that requires the author to have mastered the element of intertwining different events along a time, without necessarily having to follow a straightforward development in events. The most important part of flow of events is that the author should use transition words for a narrative essay, to connect the different ideas. Transitions are crucial in the narrative essays, due to the fact that, every new paragraph marks the start of a different action in the story. However as mentioned above, all of these ideas and events should all be connected.

Narrative Essay Conclusion

According to the narrative essay structure, the last part of the narrative essay is the conclusion, which brings the story to end. This is also section that author uses to bring out the moral of the story. This means the author brings out the reflection on the events which took place, with reference to their lives and what it is that they have learnt, or what the readers can learn.

After writing the essay according to the narrative essay structure, it is important the author goes through the text to make sure there are no typos. This is relative to the fact that they tend to degrade the quality of the work and may cause the readers to misinterpret. The author has to also make sure all the different actions are tied to the thesis statement and the narrative essay conclusion part conveys clearly the lessons learned.


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