English 102, Spring 2011
Assignment 1: Literacy Narrative
Overview: For this assignment you will write an autobiographical narrative based on your past literary experience that communicates insight about yourself as a reader and/or writer to your audience (in this case, your instructor and your classmates). Your essay should center around one remembered event and/or one remembered person. It should not be several small anecdotes combined into one essay, although you may refer to these in your essay. You may consider places, family traditions, teaching methods, school experiences, classes, assignments, or anything else from your past that has helped shape your literacy. You will want to make sure that your essay explains how your chosen topic changed you in some way. Use detail, description, and/or dialogue to tell your story compellingly and vividly. To get started, we have read and will continue to read and discuss both professional and student narratives. As a group and individually, we’ll look for common factors that help these narratives succeed as both powerful stories and conveyors of personal knowledge.
Goals: The literacy narrative is designed to
• give you practice articulating your role as a reader/writer • practice using style, tone, and description in order to convey significance within your writing • give you practice establishing ethos (credibility) and pathos (emotional appeal) through your personal writing
A successful paper will…
❖ be at least 3 full pages in length (you’re welcome to write more, if additional pages are relevant to the narrative).
❖ tell a story about yourself as a reader/writer, as influenced by a past experience.
❖ be honest. Don’t claim to be a bookworm if you aren’t. And don’t use the word “bookworm” if you really are one. You should know better.
❖ avoid clichés and generalizations like the plague (though moderate levels of self-aware irony will...
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