12th Grade Assignment - Outlining an Original Novel

Instructor: Sudha Aravindan

Sudha Aravindan has taught high school Math and professional development in Information Technology for over 10 years. Sudha has a Doctorate of Education degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Delaware, USA, a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Kerala, India, a Bachelor of Education degree in Teaching of Math from the University of Kerala, India, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Math, Physics and Statistics from the University of Kerala, India. Sudha has a certificate in Java programming and Statistical Analysis.

Have you ever wondered how to get started if you wanted to write a novel? This assignment for 12th grade students guides you through pre-writing techniques - brainstorming and mind mapping - to create an outline for a novel. A rubric is included for assessment. Updated: 01/13/2021

Assignment Explanation and Topic Overview

Writing a novel is an elaborate process for a 12th grade student. This assignment guides the student through brainstorming and mind mapping to create an outline for an original novel. The outline will help identify the plot, subplot, characters, and setting and specify the sequence of events for the story. The events should lead to a coherent story and build towards the intended outcome - mystery, suspense, growth, or resolution.

The outline will become the foundation for the novel, and expanding on the outline will help the student write the entire novel from beginning to end! A rubric is included for assessment of the outline.

Key Terms

  • Brainstorm: Thinking about and discovering ideas and solutions
  • Mind Map: A diagram to visualize and connect the different components
  • Sentence Outline: Using sentences to write down the overview without filling in the details
  • Plot: The events and organization of events that make up your story
  • Subplot: The story within a story
  • Characters: The main character is the protagonist and the villain is the antagonist
  • Setting: The time, place and physical location of a story
  • Sequence of Events: Order in which events happen and how one event leads to the other

Assignment Instructions for Students

To familiarize yourself about the concept of a novel, start by reading any ONE of the following novels:

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes; Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe; 20,000 Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne; Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury; World War Z by Max Brooks.

Follow the instructions in Part A and Part B. Finally write your outline following the template described in Part C.

Note: For an extra assignment you can follow Part D to write your original novel.

Part A: Pre-Writing Techniques

Brainstorm: Start by brainstorming an idea for your original novel. This would start with generating ideas and deciding which ideas you'll keep and which you wouldn't be able to use. Write down the ideas in your notebook or on a Word editing document on the computer.

Mind Map: After you have decided on your idea of the novel, the next step is to create a mind map. Start with your main idea. Draw lines to connect your main idea to plot, subplot, theme, setting and characters.

Outline: The next step is to create an outline. Use the full sentence outline method where you write out full sentences for the overall summary without the details. Once you have the outline, you can fill in the details and combine sentences into paragraphs to indicate complete thoughts and expression of ideas.

Part B: What to Include in Your Outline

  1. What is the main story?
  2. What is the conflict?
  3. Who are the main characters?
  4. What is the setting of your story? Current or historical time? A house or a resort?
  5. What is your plot? Is there a subplot? What is the timeline of events? What happens in the beginning, middle and end?
  6. What are your scenes? What actions do your characters engage in?

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