Prewriting and Outlining for the Narrative Essay
This week, you will be preparing for next week’s essay: the narrative. Take a moment and review the directions for the Week 3 narrative essay. Once you have a topic you want to write your narrative about, you will complete this three part assignment.
Part I: Respond to Questions
These questions are intended to guide you through your free write and outline and are part of the preparation for your narrative essay.
1. What specific event do you want to write about that had a lasting impact on your life?
2. In one sentence, describe the event.
3. Where and when did it happen?
4. What people were involved in the situation?
5. What people are your audience? Who would want to read your narrative? [Note: The answer to this question should not be “everyone” or “my instructor/classmates.” See Chapter 5 of your textbook for ideas on choosing your audience.]
6. What message do you want to convey to your audience?
Part II – Prewriting
Now expand the answers to your questions. Take 10-15 minutes to free write about your topic. Chapters 4 and 5 in your textbook can help you decide what kind of free writing you want to do, but don’t feel restricted by one genre. Write down everything that pertains to your topic, including questions your readers might have. Don’t worry about grammar or sentence structure; this is a brainstorming activity.
Part III: Outline
Next, create an outline as a preliminary structure for the narrative essay. Use several of the outlining rules on pp. 111-115 of The Writer’s Way, but be sure to include the following:
· Outline in three to five parts only (rule no. 1)
· Don’t describe; summarize (no. 5)
· Outline whole sentences only (no. 8)
You may use as many of the other rules as you feel necessary. The goal is to present a structure for how your final essay may look. As such, an outline is not a series of paragraphs or a rough draft. Here is a sample free write and outline that you can use to help you get started.