Your narrative essay outline is like the skeleton of your essay plan. Your structure is how you arrange the essay, but the outline features your main points, your start and your goal. Your goal with your essay is to get the reader to a certain figurative point. You do this by connecting items, events or subjects in a narrative manner. Your goal is the big point you add into your outline, you may leave out smaller details and smaller issues (you can add them into your bigger plan later).
You can set up your narrative essay with a simple structure
There is no need for a complex structure because there is only a single narrative to deal with. The reader is not going to be able to pick up your essay and read from the middle or the end and understand the essay, so a complex structure is not vital.
You can mention the goal, principle, moral or lesson of your story, but you do not have to. You can leave that part until the end of the essay. Your essay only needs to set up the essay, give people an overview of what it is about, and then give any background information that is needed.
Here your narrative takes place and here is where you connect your items or subjects so that they follow a narrative. Most people do this by putting things in chorological order, but this may prove difficult if you are not sure of the time of events or if numerous things happened at the same time. For example, you may narrate upon the actions of a group of kids at a funfair, in which numerous stories happen at the same time.
In the real world, you may end your narrative essay without a conclusion, or may end it with a concluding sentence. To be on the safe side you should end with a concluding paragraph. Your professor may have a very well defined and restrictive marking guide that demands a clear conclusion. If you are stuck for things to add to it, then you can use it to reach your goal, principle, moral or lesson. Or, you can call back to your goal, principle, moral or lesson within the conclusion (with the assumption you reached said goal, principle, moral or lesson earlier).
Learn the rubric used for grading
Sadly, this is going to depend on the subject in which you receive your essay. An English class is going to care more about spelling and grammar than your drama class. The list below gives you a general idea of some important essay aspects. The aspects are ranked based on importance, which means the lower the importance then the fewer marks they will earn you, though to forget about the low priority aspects would be a grade killer.
Sentence structure, grammar & punctuation – high importance
Yes, it matters that much. It is very easy to create a compelling narrative but to write it terribly and the people that grade essays know this. They cannot give you too many marks for something as intangible as the impact your essay has on the reader, but they can check your sentence structure, grammar and punctuation and penalize you for your mistakes.
Clarity of the lesson/moral in the narrative – high importance
The very point of your essay is to get people to your goal, so make sure you make your point very clearly. You may not have to spell it out for the reader–but it can’t hurt.
The lesson/moral present in narrative – medium importance
This is another reason why you should have a conclusion and why you should reach your goal, principle, moral or lesson in the conclusion or at least call back to it in your conclusion.
Introduction that sets up the narrative – medium importance
It is important because you cannot promise cheese and then give people rotten milk. The professor wants to see how well you set the narrative in motion and wants to see if you fulfill the promises you make within your introduction.
Word choice is appropriate and suitably varied – low importance
Yes, it is of low importance, but it can really hold you back if you get it wrong. You can use a word/phrase counter to see if you have used the same word just a little too repetitively. Your choice of words is also important, especially when it communications to descriptive words.
Spelling – low importance
This is not as important as it was because of spelling and grammar checkers, but the misuse of words is still considered a misspelling. For example, if you use “lay” instead of “lie” then it is considered a spelling mistake and you will lose marks–which is a shame because the spelling marks are the easiest to get.