Plan Your Narrative Writing

1. Analyze the prompt.
Is the prompt asking you to explain, tell, describe? These prompt action words tell you the genre in which you are to write. Typically the action word "tell" means that you will be writing a narration.
2. Print out the schoolwide writing assignment graphic organizer.
The graphic organizer for your grade level will reflect the expectations of the schoolwide writing assignment.
3. Plan your introduction paragraph and thesis.
One purpose of the introduction is to grab the attention of the reader. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as dialogue or the description of a physical trait, setting, or incident. Use the thesis to make clear the purpose of the narration which might be to provide the reader with a sense of being present at a particular event or understanding a particular human being or place. The introduction can be used to set the events in the context of time and place (setting) so that the readers can transport themselves there (e.g. San Francisco in the 1930's).
4. Select events and plan their order.
In writing about an event or a person, it is important to select the details that are the most important and the most interesting to the reader.
Next, select the order to the events you wish to communicate. These may not be given in chronological order (e.g. the last event may be given first, then the events given that led up to the last event). Either way, there must be a coherent unfolding of the events in a way that makes sense to the reader. Devote at least one body paragraph each to the events of the narrative. Use descriptive words and details.
5. Determine the point of view.
You have choices in the point of view from which you narrate. The first choice is between first and third person. Most of the time in this type of writing you will use third person unless you are writing about a person or an event of which you have first-hand personal knowledge. Occasionally, however, you may be describing an event you witnessed directly or a person you knew, and in those cases a first person point of view is appropriate. You must also decide whether your point of view will be told by a narrative voice outside the action or limited to a particular character. With an omniscient or narrative voice, you are outside the action. With a limited point of view, you will discuss how the events appear to one character. In the latter case, you might even speculate about a character's motives.
6. Choose voice and tone.
Voice and tone may vary according to the subject matter, and you may choose to sound formal or informal. When your emotions are less engaged, you will probably choose a more detached tone than for an event about which you feel passionately.
7. Plan your conclusion paragraph.
Each conclusion paragraph needs to have at least three sentences:
1. A sentence that shows how the topic or problem was resolved.
2. A sentence that restates hook, but in a different way.
3. A concluding 'wrap it up' sentence.
4. An effective conclusion returns to the thesis, reminds the reader of what the author set out to do, and makes clear that the author has indeed fulfilled their purpose. A superior conclusion goes beyond, and answers the question, "So what?" Possible extensions of the conclusion could include how the narration plays a part in a wider historical context or how these events help illuminate the reader's own life.