Your text reminds us that we share experiences with other people every day. We share anecdotes in face-to-face conversations with roommates, friends, classmates, and family. We also share personal experiences in social media, emails, letters, or text messages. In college, we read and write about personal experiences because it “…requires reflection, which is a powerful tool for gaining insight into and understanding about life” (75). Narrative writing is a way to explore your place in the world, and the world’s relationship to you.
After you have completed the reading, and considered our class discussion, write a 4-6 page narrative about an event that had a significant impact on your life. This event could be something you remember vividly from childhood (when you finally got a puppy or a new game system for Christmas, etc.), or it might be something more recent (such as your high school graduation ceremony, the day you moved in to the dorms at CMU, etc.). We will discuss other potential topic choices in class. In addition to meeting the minimum length requirement, your paper should do the following:
1. Intro paragraph
• Open your paper in an interesting way. Engage the reader: what opening strategies do the samples in your text use? Can you use one of those?
• Identify/introduce the event you’re writing about. (Who? What? Where? When?)
• End your intro paragraph with a clear purpose/thesis. Your thesis should express the reason WHY you’re writing… what do you want your audience to learn from your experience? What do you want your audience to understand from reading about your experience?
2. Body paragraphs
• Organize your content in a way that makes sense for your topic. Maybe chronological organization is best; or, maybe you need to break an event down step-by-step.
• Use vivid, specific details.
• Incorporate some dialogue to add dimension and life to your text.
• Demonstrate your purpose/thesis in action.
• Represent your experiences honestly (without exaggeration), so your readers can truly understand the significance of your content.
• Reflect on your thesis to transition from one point to another in your paper.
• Remind your readers of how this event shaped you into who you are today.
• End in a memorable way: what closing strategies do the samples in your text use? Can you use one of those?
• Keep it relatively short: 3-5 sentences.
4. Throughout your paper
• Write from the first-person perspective. Use “I.”
• Incorporate at least 3 lines of dialogue to add dimension and life to your text. This is your Grammar Goal for Assignment #1. I have placed a link in the “Assignments” section of Bb which explains how to punctuate dialogue correctly. We will go over this information in class, and you can refer to the web link throughout your process of doing the assignment.