Personal Narrative

Assignment:              Write a detailed personal account of a significant moment in your life that you believe illustrates some aspect of your generation.  You may choose to write about an extraordinary moment that is memorable because it left you with an important insight or a new perspective, or because you gained a new understanding of yourself.  You may also choose to write about a time that didn’t seem very special to you then, but which, in retrospect, led to significant changes in the way you see yourself, others, or writing/communication.

Notes:                        Because this is a personal narrative, you will certainly need to use the word “I.”  However, “personal” does not necessarily mean private, intimate, or filled with powerful emotion.  Everything you write in this class will be shared with your peers and your instructor. If you have doubts about the appropriateness of your topic, ask your instructor.

                                    Writing this paper will require selecting and sorting the many fragmentary images, sounds, tastes, smells, thoughts, and feelings that come to you as you work at remembering the moment.  Your task will be to select enough of these details and to arrange them carefully to produce a vivid narrative that clearly communicates the significance of the moment, either directly or implicitly.  This assignment will give you practice in writing more about less, and in developing your writing with appropriate details.

                                    Remember, you must focus on a “moment.”  Do not write about the events of a year, a month, a week, a day, or even an hour.  A moment lasts perhaps 5 – 10 minutes at the most.  You will therefore need to use flashbacks and other literary techniques such as rich, vivid description of people and places, as well as realistic dialogue to present this moment as vividly as possible.

Readings:                   The Writing Commons: Vary Sentence Structure

Employing Narrative in an Essay              

Page Limits:              2-4(i.e., 2 full pages minimum)    
Due Dates:               Typed 1 page exploratory draft: _______________________                                    Typed Draft for Peer Review:___________________________
                                    Final Packet: ________________________________