Narrative Paragraph Planning Guidelines

Topic: Choose a personal experience worth writing about. Think of a memorable event from your own life that you can condense into one 200-word paragraph. Do not choose an event that requires great length to tell. Use any one or any combination of prewriting strategies (freewriting, brainstorming, clustering/mapping) to generate topic ideas.

Attitude/Point: This is the point you want to make with your story, or your controlling idea. It could be something you learned from your experience or some truth you want to prove or demonstrate.

Audience: Be specific in selecting your audience. Who would be interested in hearing this story? Who might benefit from hearing it? The audience cannot be your instructor, your classmates, or yourself.

Purpose: Is your reason for sharing this story with that particular audience 1) to inform, 2) to entertain, or 3) to persuade? Choose one or perhaps a combination of two of these purposes.

Topic Sentence: Combine your topic and your point (controlling idea) into a complete sentence.

Paragraph Plan: Brainstorm a short list of key events of your story. This means the main events and important supporting details. Eliminate anything that is not relevant to your point and generate a plan similar to the sample in your text. Include this list in the space provided in the Prewriting Template (attached).

 

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