General Instructions for Writing the Personal Narrative ENC 1101 Dr Miller Assignment To re create a f

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					           General Instructions for Writing the Personal Narrative
                                  Dr. Miller

             Assignment: To re-create a first-person experience

   A first-person narrative essay recreates an experience for a central
purpose: usually to reveal an insight about the author (you), the action, or the
people involved. You might write about an experience in which you
encountered people from a culture different from your own. You might
write about a turning point in your life—perhaps a time when you were
forced suddenly to grow up, a time when you faced a difficult challenge, or a
time when you reassessed your values. You might describe an experience in
which you learned to do something new: coaching a Little League team, or
designing stage sets for a play, or forming a musical group. Or you might
recount an adventure that tested you in some way. If you have experienced
work in an emergency room, or on an ambulance or fire truck, or as a police
officer, you might describe in vivid detail one day or evening at work to give
readers an inside view of this stressful job.

   Try to find an interesting topic, something that a general reading audience
will appreciate. You should avoid narratives about “the last speeding ticket,
the last time you got wiped out by a big wave, the last time you got wiped
out at a party—and especially avoid travelogues like „Last Tuesday, I got up,
dressed, brushed my hair and teeth, ate breakfast, got in the car, went up the
turnpike to Disney World, and had a good time.‟” Try to narrate an event
when you learned something (perhaps something small) about yourself,
your friends or family, life in general.

    A narrative should have a central focus, but it is not always necessary to
express the focus in a thesis sentence early in the essay (see The Handbook
for Writers, sections 2q and 4b) because you may want to get right into the
action. A narrative should, of course, be based on personal experience;
however, you may borrow and/or invent ideas and details—but you should
still tell the narrative as if it were true. Avoid “moral” statements and
cliches; let the reader discover what you learned by reading your narrative.

                                           My Documents: narrative101.doc
                                           Narrative Instructions (cont‟d) p. 2.

   For this first assignment only, you may use the first-person pronoun (I),
slang, contractions, sentence fragments, or other devices of informal
communication. (Note: All subsequent assignments in this course will require
you to use the more formal style of the conventions of standard written English
as defined on the departmental Syllabus and instructed in this course. See the
Addendum attached to the class Syllabus for more detailed instructions on the
conventions of standard written English.)

    You should incorporate appropriate styles, devices, and techniques as
discussed and illustrated in class as found on (but not limited to) the Style
Sheet and Organizational Chart. Specifically, you should include in your
essay at least one original metaphor, simile, personification, alliteration, and
onomatopoeia—I will be looking for these devices as examples of your
attempts to improve your writing skills. Of course, you may correctly use
other devices as you wish or as necessary, such as change-of-pace
punctuation (the dash, colon, semi-colon), but be careful not to over-use any

    Your essay should be typed on alternate lines with standard margins,
have a cover/title page (See departmental Syllabus), be stapled in the upper
left-hand corner, and be ready to turn in at the beginning of the class period
on the date the essay is due. (See class Syllabus about limitations and
penalties on all late work.) Be sure to put your name and page number on all
pages of the text. Plan on an essay of about 500 words (+/- 10%), not
counting words under four letters long; be sure to give an accurate word
count on your cover page. Please use standard-size print or the size of font
(14) on this sheet. Any essay with font smaller than 12, will be returned
without having been read or graded.

   Finally, do not be hesitant to question yourself about your writing. Go
ahead and help yourself by looking up suspected problem areas in The
Handbook for Writers. And be sure to enjoy this writing opportunity!
Know that I look forward to reading your work.

                                             My Documents: narrative101.doc

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