LITERACY NARRATIVE

Following the examples of the readings completed for this class, write your personal story about a significant event or a succession of related events in your life when you learned some new skills or gained new useful life experience(s) that fostered your academic or professional development . For example, in the first two articles that you have read for this class, the authors discuss the power of language, the way we change ourselves depending on who is in front of us, the role of education in our lives , and some other themes. Find such important theme related to your life experience that you want to share with your audience and develop this theme as an idea . Develop your essay around this idea which will become your thesis. Explain and support your thesis/idea in a sequence of paragraphs using various related examples . Read more about thesis in “ A Writer’ s Reference. ” Engage your reader s with an interesting introduction . To get your readers interested in your story, you could try out one of the following ways, but do not limit yo ur choice to these c lues because y ou may invent your own unique way that would work to launch your story: ? a compelling graphic description of the place or a person ; ? a startling specific narrat ive action you or someone else took that would surprise readers and arouse curiosity ; ? a telling bit of dialogue ; ? your present reflections on your past self or on the context of the event ; ? an interesting or provocative question; ? an engaging humorous or con troversial observation. After the introduction, the proceeding paragraphs (known as the “ body” of the essay ) should be used to support the thesis. The opening sentence or sentences of each body paragraph should clarify to your reader how you transition f rom one paragraph to the next. The topic sentence of each paragraph must clearly show how this paragraph supports the thesis /the main idea of your essay. Read more about topic sentence in “ A Writer ’ s Reference. ” Notice that “sequence of paragraphs” does not mean “five paragraph essay”. While your essay should h ave an identifiable beginning, middle and end, you are not bound by the number of paragraphs. Broadly speaking, this essay should be between two and three pages long (2 – 3 pages). Each body paragraph should contain some form of support (one support per paragraph). Support can come in many forms: ? Personal observations and/or personal experience ;  ? Current events/happenings covered by the media ; ? Historical references ; ? Quotes and paraphrases from supporting texts . Good supports will provide ? details (about people, place(s), objects, feelings, and other things that could possibly be observed with all your senses at the time of the event and now recalled from that time; you may also opt to incorporated short dialogues / brief conversations related to th e event (s) ; ? connections between people involved directly or indirectly in the event (s) ; between place(s), object(s), etc.; between the past event and your present – possibly different – perspective at this event ; 2 ? significance of the event without mo ralizing . In this essay, your purpose is not to give a lesson to others. You rather reflect and look back into your own life experience to make a meaning of what happened then and satisfy your curiosity of why you still remember this event and how differen tly you look at or react to it now comparing to the moment/time when it happened. Tell your story formally . That means: ? t o be aware of your audience: a large group of college – aged adults interested in your topic but potentially unfamiliar with it ; ? t o avo id informality such as slang, profanity, cont ractions and explanation points; ? t o write in an organized way; to structure your thoughts so that they build on one another and support a central idea ; ? t o write within an academic format, specifically MLA form at (see attachment to this handout: an example 1 st page ). Also, find the MLA Guidelines for an Essay Formatting posted in the Blackboard. Finally, your paper should conclude with a few closing sentences . The conclusion should not merely be a restatement of your thesis. That’s boring and obvious. Instead, the conclusion should inspire your reader to keep thinking about your essay’s idea even when he or she is done reading. This can be done in many ways, but a few sugge stions include: ? Considering how the idea you’ve chosen to discuss might change as time progresses, either positively or negatively; ? Considering the impact your idea has on larger society; ? Proposing a solution if you’ve presented your idea as a problem; ? A sking an open – ended question related to your idea. The size of this essay will be 2 – 3 pages (500 – 750 words). The essay must be typed, double spaced, in Times New Roman, Font 12 . The essay will be evaluated according to the following criteria : ? Does the essay have an introductory paragraph ? ? Is that paragraph both clear in its build up to a thesis , and does it engage the reader ? ? Does the introductory paragraph have an identifiable thesis ? ? Is that thesis clearly a statement worthy of further discussion? ? Is that thesis relevant/meaningful to a reading audience? ? Has the writer clearly broken down the thesis into meaningful paragraphs ? ? Are those paragraphs supported by substantial examples and further discussion? ? Does the essay have a concluding paragrap h? ? Is the conclusion thought – provoking or merely a restatement of the proceeding paragraphs? And in terms of style and mechanics: ? Has the writer followed MLA guidelines for formatting (see the final page of this handout)? ? Has the writer used language appropriate for an academic audience (i.e. formal)? ? Has the writer refrained from using dull and/or vague language? ? Is the essay mostly free from minor punctuation and/or grammatical errors? Submission of the Literacy Narrative Essay : Draft of the essay d ue on September 10 : a hard/paper copy for in – class review . This draft must be a full – size (2 – 3 pages) completed essay, appropriately structured and formatted and edited to the best of your abilities. Essay 1 due on September 17 : essays will be collected at the beginning of the class. Reminder : To complete the policy of the required four (4 ) tutoring sessions at the CSU Writing Center before the midterm (week of October 15 ), take at least two (2) drafts of your Narrative Essay to the Writing Center. Schedule two (2) tutoring sessions as explained in the course syllabus on page 1

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