Narrative Essay Outline Template


Tutoring and Testing Center
Characteristics of a Narrative Essay
The purpose is to inform or to tell a story
Writer is a storyteller
a person, scene, or event
in detail (emphasis on showing rather than telling)
Information is presented in a chronological order
person voice (using “I”), somewhat informal
Written in 1
Can include dialogue
Sample focus of the paper:
o one’s high school years
o a favorite family member
WARNING: If the purpose of your writing is not to inform, but rather to analyze something or to persuade a
reader about something, it is possible you have wandered into the wrong essay. Please check our other
handouts on writing Critical and Persuasive Essays to determine which is the most appropriate for your
writing purpose.
When writing a paper, you should follow these six steps. This handout guides you through the six steps for writing
a Narrative Essay.
Step 1.
Organizing your Thoughts (Brainstorming)
Step 2.
Researching your Topic
Step 3.
Developing a Thesis Statement
Step 4.
Writing the Introduction
Step 5.
Writing the Body of the Essay
Step 6.
Writing the Conclusion
Step 1: Organizing your Thoughts (Brainstorming)
Believe it or not, there is almost no topic on which your mind will draw a complete blank. Even if you know very
little about the subject matter, you are likely to respond based on something you heard or read on the topic/subject,
or even your basic values. It is imperative to take an inventory of what you know first. This kind of brainstorming
can be done in a number of ways:
Free writing –
writing quickly, without stopping, editing, or self-correcting to become
aware of what you already know, think, or feel on a topic
Subject tree –
related ideas, connecting outwards from the main topic, in a tree form
(See illustration 1)
List –
free flow of ideas on a topic
(See illustration 2)


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