Unit 1—Literacy Narratives
For many people, the term “literacy” refers to the ability to read and write. This is the most common definition, but there are other aspects of being literate. First, being literate can mean being "educated" or "cultured." All communities, cultures, and subcultures—geographical, academic, religious, athletic, musical, social—have their own languages, rituals, and symbols which can be understood and manipulated by someone who is culturally literate. Second, being literate can mean "having knowledge or competence." For example, we speak of people being computer literate or politically literate.
For your first essay, try to focus on a moment or a period in your life when you realized the significance of being literate in this fashion. Did you have trouble using a computer to register for classes? Did you fit into a subculture because you learned to speak its slang? Did a special skill or aptitude you possess have a profound impact on your life? Try to remember a moment or incident in your life when you learned something about the importance of being literate in this way. How did it change you? What was at stake? What did you gain? What did you lose? How did this new knowledge change you in some way so that, like Sherman Alexie, you couldn’t go back to how you were before.
When drafting this essay, make sure to focus on specific events and details. Don't forget to show significance on a personal and a more universal level. Why should we care about this incident? What could we learn from it? Make sure to pick your topic carefully; choosing a good subject will help you write a better paper.
After drafting the essay, we will then focus on revision and explore concepts relating to structure, development, editing, and MLA format. A final folder with all work from this unit will be turned in _______________.
Essay One Topic: In what ways are gaining an education an act of defiance and assertion of power? Think about...
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