Instructions for Literacy Narrative Essay
For this essay, you will relate an experience or event that was important in shaping the kind of writer and reader you have become or an experience that illuminates the role of literacy in your life. The purpose of the assignment is to explore this experience in order to gain insight into who you are as a writer and reader and to examine the role literacy plays in your life.
NOTE: Before you begin with the steps below, be sure that you have read both the handout entitled “A Guide to Writing a Literacy Narrative” and the Sample Literacy Narrative provided on campus
Steps to take:
1. Begin by brainstorming ideas. Try to focus on a single event that took place during a brief period of time, such as:
• any early memory about writing or reading that you recall vividly
• someone who taught you to read or write
• a book or other text that has been significant for you in some way
• a writing or reading task that you found (or still find) difficult or challenging • a memento that represents an important moment in your literacy development • the origins of your current attitudes about writing or reading
2. Make detailed notes about your experiences and think about how to organize them into an engaging story.
As you make notes, consider the following:
• The setting. Where does your story take place? Employ your senses in describing the places where your story unfolds with as much detail as possible.
• The key people. Who is involved in the story? Again, describe the people in detail. • The key events. What happened to you in this story? A good story dramatizes the action. Use active and specific verbs to describe the action as vividly as possible. • The significance of the narrative. Why is this story important to you and to your reader? You need to make clear the ways in which any event you are writing about is now significant.
3. Write Your Literacy Narrative Essay
As you draft your essay, but sure it contains all of these elements:
1. An engaging introduction. This beginning of your narrative should provide a “hook” for the reader and make him/her want to read more.
2. A well-told story. Good narratives keep the reader engaged with things such as the development of tensions or conflicts, appropriate pacing of events, and a sense of discovery or resolution.
3. Plenty of vivid detail. Employ all of your senses and, where appropriate, include dialogue to paint a detailed picture for readers—let them see, hear, and feel the experiences.
4. Commentary on the significance of the experience. Make clear why the experiences described in the narrative matter to you—and to your reader.
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