Writing and Narrative

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Literacy Narrative – W131 English Composition

“The term literacy event gives us a way to think about how reading and writing enter our lives and shape our interactions with others” (Trimbur 29).

Purpose: The purpose of a literacy narrative is to look at a time in your life when reading and/or writing had a significant effect for you and then to analyze this effect in writing. Refer to chapter 15 in The Norton Field Guide for memoir tips.

Audience: Your audience for this project is two-fold at least. You will have a primary audience which is the audience for which the narrative is intended. For example, if you are writing about a time when your mother read you a story, your primary audience might be your mother. You will also have a secondary audience of your classmates and me.

Genre: The genre, while in a typed format, should reflect your audience and your purpose. For example, you might consider using a letter format to write to an influential teacher.

Stance: Your stance should be one that reflects your experience, and purpose. If your audience is familiar, your stance will most likely be informal.

Media/Design: For a typical paper, the design should reflect an essay format. However, depending on genre, design might differ. You may use textual design to reflect purpose, audience, etc.

Task: You will write about this event in the form of a narrative paying particular attention to specific details in order to make the story come alive for the reader. The writer of a literacy narrative not only tells the story of the event, but also discusses a larger significance to that event as an adult looking back at the event (writer commentary).

With each draft after the first you must turn in:
1) The previous draft(s). (i.e. With draft two, you also turn in draft one.) 2) Peer Review sheets.

With the polished draft, you must turn in all drafts, peer review sheets, and invention activities.

Possible ideas:
- an English teacher – a great one, or a really bad one; we have all had them! - a writing assignment that provided insight
- learning to read
- reading to someone else or watching someone else learn to read - teaching someone to read
- writing an important or emotional piece of writing
- helping someone write an important document
- your own personal writing (journal)

Topics students have done in the past:
- struggling to find a topic for a literacy autobiography - helping a friend with dyslexia and other reading disabilities do her homework - filling out unemployment forms for an illiterate neighbor

Important Features:
- Remember that this is not just a retelling of the event; draw the reader into the moment by your use of description, narration, dialogue, or other techniques. - Remember to reflect on the event and its significance in your life. - Remember to explain how the event affected you then and how it still affects you today.

Format Requirements:
- 2 page minimum (typed, double spaced, default margins, Times New Roman font size 12 or equivalent) - Include name, date, and draft number single spaced in upper left hand corner - Stapled in upper left hand corner

Grading: See attached Rubric

Strong
Purpose: The narrative meets a clearly defined purpose (e.g. to persuade, inform, delight). The purpose is compelling because it goes beyond simply completing the assignment.

Audience: The narrative is addressed to a clearly defined and appropriate audience – readers with a stake in the topic who would benefit from reading the narrative.

Persona: The writer’s prose establishes a consistent and appropriate relationship with readers – one that is formal or informal; intimate or distanced; calm, angry, sarcastic, concerned.

Development: The writer develops one or a few incidents to a degree appropriate to purpose and...
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