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.
Please submit your responses to both prompts in a single document.
WEEK 3 INSTRUCTIONS FOR ASSIGNMENT ABOVE ONLY
: English Composition I – Week 3 Assignment
This essay explores the Narrative Mode, which is perhaps the most natural style of writing for most people.
One of the goals of the narrative form is to allow readers to feel as if they are not simply reading someone else’s story, but that they are somehow part of it. Unlike simply telling a story though, a narrative essay has a specific piece of information to share, a lesson for the reader. There should be a clear reason for your telling the story. This is where the “essay” in the narrative essay becomes apparent.
Your assignment this week is to write such an essay. Refer back to your outline of a significant event that you wrote for W2. Keep in mind that you are writing a story and it is important to freely tell your story. But, this is still an academic essay. The goal of your story is to support a clearly stated thesis/lesson for the reader. As such, your tale should be wrapped in a clear introduction and conclusion.
Your essay should contain the following basic features:
· An introduction with an attention grabbing opening (hook), a well-defined message or argument (thesis), and any background information the reader needs to fully understand your story;
· Body paragraphs which a tell the story of your clear and specific, singular event that illustrates the essay thesis;
· Vivid language that works to recreate the event, including descriptions of where the event took place, the people who were involved, and the things these people said and did. Vivid language that works to recreate the event, including descriptions of where the event took place, the people who were involved, and the things these people said and did. The Narrative and Descriptive Writing Lecture provides information and examples about descriptive and narrative writing.
· A conclusion that briefly implicitly or explicitly reviews your story, reiterates the lessons you learned and that you hope the reader to learn, and provides a closing thought such as
o why this event is still personally significant,
o the state of your life since the event and how you feel about it,
o future plans related to the event,
o rhetorical questions for the reader, etc.
In addition to the above, the final draft of your essay should be:
· Uses APA style (a title page and citations as needed which are modeled in your APA guide),
· Written in first person;
· Edited for spelling, mechanical, grammatical, and typing errors