Key idea: Constructing an argument with experience as evidence.
This assignment asks you to write about literacy using your own experiences as evidence for a broader argument. While this essay will be about literacy, you will certainly write essays for other courses and purposes in the future which will require you to use personal experience as evidence. English 125 has chosen the topic of literacy, but this personal evidence-based genre will be useful for you in future contexts as well.
Goal: To use your literacy experiences as evidence to build a broader, important argument.
- 3-5 pages.
- MLA formatted (unless we agreed on another style during our conference).
- Pay careful attention to voice, style, detail, and description, matching these choices to your intended rhetorical effect.
- Use your best “read like a writer” (Bunn) techniques.
- Tell your story very carefully, selecting the right details, pacing, and wording.
- Be sure to connect your story to a larger argument you wish to make about people, circumstances, society, education, language, etc.
- Work towards writing something new, interesting, and relevant.
- Go beyond a re-telling of the story into a construction of an important argument/truth.
Literacy Narrative Scoring Criteria:
- Narrative contains moments of compelling argumentation (through explicit reflection or implied through story events) regarding listening, reading, writing, speaking and/or another aspect of language.
- Narrative is sophisticated in thought and communicates unique ideas.
- Narrative contains strategic moments of rich detail and in-scene writing that contribute to the argument and rhetorical effect.
- Key moments of the narrative are evenly and sufficiently developed throughout.
- Narrative is appropriate for an audience of first year writing students.
- Narrative is well-organized with strategic transitions between ideas.
- If outside sources are incorporated, they are done so smoothly to enhance the argument and adhere to MLA guidelines for citation (see me if MLA style does not match the style of your writing).
- Narrative answers the “so what?” question.
- Literacy Narrative includes a reflective cover letter explaining how the author made decisions about the writing, and an evaluation of the Literacy Narrative genre—was this a meaningful writing experience for you? Is this similar or different from other kinds of academic writing you have done in the past, and to what effect? Has this writing experience affected your understanding of the connection between language and identity?
- Tuesday, Jan. 24: Rough draft due
- Thursday, Jan. 26: Peer review in class
- Tuesday, Jan. 31: Typed peer review letters due for each person in your group
- Thursday, Feb. 2: Final literacy narrative essay due (including drafts, peer review letters from peers, and your reflective cover letter)