least 3 body paragraphs W r i t i n g
write a 2 to 3-page (double spaced, 12-point font, 1″ margins all around) memoir, following the five-paragraph, three-point thesis statement model. Use the narrative techniques we’ve talked about, like lots of description to paint pictures in the reader’s mind; give vivid details about places, people, and events you mention.
Memoirs are autobiographical sketches—a moment in time during your life. With narration, they tell a story about something that happened to you that was, in some way, a significant event, or about a person or place that had an important impact on your life. Memoirs are not meant to be an entire recitation of your life-to-date. To help you select an appropriately specific topic to write about, consider your answers to questions like these:
*Who helped to shape and mold me into the person I am today?
*How did the area (city, state, region) I grew up in affect my attitudes and lifestyle? *Where was a place that I felt safe and happy, and why did it make me feel that way? *What was an experience I had that formed or changed my attitude about life?
*What was one of happiest or saddest times in my life? Where was I, who was I with, and why did it make me so happy or sad?
Furthermore, you can think of the essay as a two-part response to the following prompts in relation to the event you’ve chosen as your topic (these are similar to the textbook examples we worked on as well!):
1. Describe an event during your lifetime in which you learned an important lesson. As part of the description, include more than just the simple “who, what, where, when, why, and how” of the surrounding circumstances. Use descriptive elements to help your reader visualize the scene. Also, try to describe the change in your perspective or mindset both before and after you came to realize the more significant meaning behind the situation.
2. Describe how the lesson you learned from this instance has shaped your life philosophy. This portion of the essay should address how the lesson you learned from the previous instance has affected your subsequent perspective on and approach to life. Use specific examples of when you acted differently than you would have before you learned the lesson.
Tips for this assignment:
*Narratives are usually organized by time or logic.
*Don’t attempt to write about your whole life; focus your essay on one event that you consider a turning point. *Use active verbs and avoid clichés and/or overly conversational language.
*Reflect on personal, educational, or ideological turning points for inspiration.
*Whatever event you choose, the essay should have a point (or thesis)—in other words, a reason the essay is important to both writer and audience. Aim for three points to why this moment impacted you.
Narrating a personal experience is still following those essay guidelines we’re building in this class. Consider your audience, purpose, and tone. Focus on the why you are sharing this experience, why you choose this memory,
and what do you want the reader to “take away” from your essay. These techniques will lead you to developing that strong thesis statement. Then, go through The Writing Process for this essay: prewrite, draft, revise, and proofread. Have an introduction, at least 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
The elements discussed here are what will be evaluated in the decision for the grade you earn. In brief:
- Narrative point clearly presented through thesis statement with three points.
- Five paragraph model followed for essay structure.
- Fewer than five grammatical/typo errors in final draft.
- Correct essay formatting, MLA document guidelines.
- Employed descriptive writing and narrative techniques. Revisit Ch. 8 as needed.