The following outline is typical for developing a narrative essay. After you do your
prewriting, you will be able to insert your content into the format indicated by the outline. You
will want to create some variation based on your topic and purpose, so change the template to fit
your purpose. Also, be aware that you may have several paragraphs where we have listed one
Roman numeral, depending on the length and depth you are trying to achieve in your paper.
This is a typical outline for a chronologically developed narrative. You can also use chronology
creatively by playing with the order of points III, IV and V. Finally, you should add another
level of detail designated with lower case letters.
Tips for Narratives
• Show, don’t tell.
• Use description of all five senses to make your writing come alive.
• Create a meaningful conflict to drive your narrative.
• Add details to make your reader emotionally involved with your story.
• Make sure the resolution of the story fits the purpose and plot you have developed.
• Make sure your reader can understand what is happening.
• Use dialogue to show what your characters are like.
Choose details that serve your purpose
• Use the template below as a guide, but be creative.