Essay #2: The Narrative
Essay #2: The Narrative
The Assignment: Write about a specific experience that changed how you acted, thought, or felt. Use your experience as a springboard for reflection. Your purpose is not to merely tell an interesting story but to show your readers the importance and influence the experience has had on you (think about the Douglass, Angelou, Orwell, and Barry pieces). Your essay should provide a glimpse of who you are (again, think about those essays). Narratives provide human interest, spark our curiosity, and draw us close to the storyteller. In addition, narratives can do the following:
Create a sense of shared history, linking people together.
Provide entertainment. Most people enjoy a thrilling movie or an intriguing book.
Provide insight. Narratives can help you discover values, explore options, and examine motives.
Guidelines: This essay asks you to question how you arrived at a particular reading of a “text” or an understanding of a life event. How did your life experiences affect your interpretation of the event or text? You may want to consider the social, political, economic, ideological, and historical forces at work in the interpretation. How might your interpretation reflect your cultural influences? Show how some specific points of your personal context—your identity, experiences, beliefs, values, and convictions—have given you a distinctive insight into the event/text.
Requirements: Write a well-organized, well-thought-out essay. It should be 3-5 pages standard academic format—MLA header, double-spaced, approximately one-inch margins, 12-point Times font or equivalent, and it must have a title.
Phase 1: Brainstorming and Freewriting:
Why do I remember the experience(s) I narrate? Why does it stick with me years later?
Why do the experience(s) seem important and influential to me now? How did the experience shape or influence the kind of person I am today?
What role have these encounters played in my life, in creating who I am and how I think today?
What have I learned from the experience(s)–about myself, others, the world? By the way, failures and/or successes can be addressed (for we sometimes learn as much, if not more, from our failures).
Phase 2: Researching and Drafting (strategies: narration/description and analysis)
Phase 3: Peer Review and Proofreading
Phase 4: Final Draft and Revision