Narrative EssayWrite a 400-500-word narrative essay about a personal experience with reading or writing. This should be an experience that had an impact on you in some way, whether positive or negative. The essay should be divided into at least 5 paragraphs and should be written in standard essay form with an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. It should also have a clear and strong thesis statement in the introduction. Picking a TopicYour topic should be something that you have personally experienced related to reading or writing. It might be about a school assignment. It might be about a story or poem that you wrote. It might be about encouragement that you received as a reader or as a writer. It might be about a character or event in a story that changed the way you saw a particular issue or that inspired you to want to be a better person. The experience you choose might be either positive or negative. If you were discouraged by a school assignment and developed negative feelings about reading and writing as a result, you could write about that. On the other hand, if someone shared a book with you that got you excited about a subject or about reading, you could write about that.The experience you choose might also be either formal or informal. A formal experience would be one that took place in a structured environment like school. An informal experience might be one that took place socially. For example, if you have had only mediocre experiences with writing for school, but you have had good experiences with writing for social media or communicating with friends via text messaging, you could write about how one of these experiences has shaped you and the way you see the world around you. Have you ever written fan fiction?Have you ever written love letters?Have you ever written song lyrics?Have you ever kept a journal for your private thoughts and feelings?Have you ever received letters from grandparents or other people who are special to you?Have you ever composed Facebook messages that made you feel like you had a voice on a particular issue?Have you ever learned a new skill through careful reading of highly technical instructions?Have you ever read a book that made you want to make a difference in the world?Have you ever read a book that made you want to be the main character?Have you ever read a book that taught you a moral lesson?Have you ever shared written recipes with family and friends?Have you ever had a particular experience that taught you the power of words?Do you have strong memories of someone reading to you when you were a child?Did you grow up reading comics?
Did you grow up reading jokes or the stories from the Reader’s Digests at your grandparents’ house?Is there a magazine that you love? Any of the above might lead you to a topic for this assignment, or you might think of something that is not on the list. This is your literacy narrative. Make it about something that is meaningful to you. Choosing a ThesisYour thesis statement should express your main idea and should appear in your introduction. In college writing, the thesis is often expected to be the last sentence of the first paragraph. Basically, your thesis should tell people what your point is. What is the main lesson or the main idea to be gained from reading your essay?It should be worded as a statement (not a question), and it should be expressed in one sentence. For this assignment, try using one of the following prompts to craft a thesis statement:Reading _____________ taught me _______________.Writing _____________ empowered me to _______________.Having my writing critiqued as ___________ pushed me to _____________.Sharing the experience of reading _________________ with _____________ made me appreciate ______________________.These are just examples. You might think of something else, or you might write about a topic that requires a different approach. Just be sure to express a point that encapsulates an overall idea to be found in your story.Notice that these prompts all refer to “me.” Because this is a personal narrative, you will write about yourself, and your thesis will refer to you. Remember that it is also important to establish what your story has to do with other people. It is okay in a personal essay to say “me” in the thesis, but make sure that you don’t leave your readers thinking that your story is so much about you that it cannot pertain to them. Reach out to the readers in your introduction to be sure they understand why and how they might also gain from your experience. Organizing the EssayParagraph 1: Start by setting the scene. Hook the audience’s attention with something that makes what you have to say sound interesting and important. Give some detail that helps to establish your overall topic and your overall purpose. Sum up the lesson learned or the main point in one sentence that falls at the end of the first paragraph.Paragraphs 2-4: Tell the story of your own literacy experience. Be sure to use descriptive detail. Tell it as a story. Write in chronological order, and be sure to make use of narrative elements such as scenes, settings, characterization, tone, voice, and point-of-view. Draw the reader into your own experience,
and make it come to life on the page. Once you’ve developed your narrative, you can make some non-narrative commentary to explain your opinions, but don’t forget that this is a narrative assignment, so the story-telling should be the most prominent aspect of your writing. Paragraph 5: Restate the main point in new words, and explain a little more about why it matters to you. Talk about the ultimate impact that it has had on your life. Make sure you also clarify what others might gain from your story. Checklist for Key Requirements400-500 wordsFive paragraphsOrganized in essay formAn original titleA strong thesisNarrative writing with vivid descriptive detailPersonal experienceA topic related to reading or writingNo grammatical errorsUse of first person and third person okay; avoid second personStrong verbsCollege level vocabulary (without using ridiculously strange words)
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