Core Assignment 1: Literacy Narrative
A Literacy Narrative can be a story about how we form our identities through language. In this assignment you will write about your own experiences with writing, reading, and learning language(s), and how those experiences have shaped the person you are today. Create a narrative essay – an essay which expresses one or more stories in order to make a point.
Think of the various ways you would describe yourself to someone who doesn’t know you. How would you describe the language you use? What languages and language communities are you part of? How have those communities changed over time and why? What were your important early experiences of reading and writing? How did those experiences affect the way you read and write now? What stereotypes do you think people may have about you and other people in a language community you’re in? What are some stories you could tell about how you’ve been misunderstood or just not fully known because people draw conclusions about people who are “like you?” How do language and literacy come into play in your story? What words have been associated with people in your group(s)? Why is the particular language associated with your group(s) significant? What’s the history of the language or the words you consider important in your story and that have been used to describe you?
There are many ways to organize your essay, but you need to have at least one story (narrative) or multiple shorter stories that are tied together.
This assignment asks you to experiment and be creative. There are infinite ways to interpret the assignment prompt, and if you are wondering if a certain interpretation falls within the bounds of the assignment, it probably does! (But feel free to ask if you’re unsure.)
The goal of this assignment will be to start with personal observation and move outward to face what those observations reveal about the world.
Do you tell a compelling story or stories with realistic dialogue, sensory description, and details? Do you avoid cliches, generalizations, and vague reflections?
Thesis/ Analysis (30%)
What is the thesis or the “so what” of the piece? What insight does it offer? What argument does it make about the relationship between language and identity? Do you think about language and communities to provide an analytical component to your piece?
Does the organization make sense and add to the meaning of the piece? Is it interesting and logical?
Style, Grammar, Editing (10%)
Do you complete your first draft, give feedback to your peer partner(s) on theirs, and provide a writer’s letter with your first draft? With your final draft, have you attended to the tasks in your writer’s letter with an attached note that described what you added after getting feedback?