Essay One: Personal Narrative

Purpose: Your purpose for this assignment is to reflect on a personal experience and explore how that special moment in your life has affected you, influence the person you are today, or perhaps how it changed your outlook on life. When you finally reach these conclusions, you should compose a short essay in which you narrate the event to your audience and explain the impact that this previous experience had on you.

Learning Outcomes

  • Engage in writing as a process, including various invention heuristics (brainstorming, for example), gathering evidence, considering audience, drafting, revising, editing, and proofreading
  • Use grammatical, stylistic, and mechanical formats and conventions appropriate for a variety of audiences
  • Produce coherent, organized, readable prose for a variety of rhetorical situations
  • Reflect on what contributed to your writing process and evaluate their own work


You will be writing a personal narrative reflecting on how a past event from the list provided has shaped your present self. Remember to leave yourself plenty of time to consider what experience to select and be sure that you complete understand how it affected you before you begin writing, if you don’t understand the changes you went through, you can never hope to explain that to your audience. You should do more than just report your experience. Since this is a relatively short essay, you will have to make some decisions about what information to include and what to exclude. However, remember that your audience will not be familiar with the places and people you refer to in your essay, so use plenty of relevant details to establish a clear background (Hint: You may take poetic license to fill in details you may have forgotten). Incorporate sensory language in order to assist your audience in creating a vivid picture in their minds of the event you are describing. Be sure to indicate the time and sequence of events clearly. Consider variations on chronological order, but be sure to save an effective scene for the end. Your tone for the paper may be serious or more lighthearted, but you should be writing with your intended audience in mind.

Possible Topics:

Technology/Social Networking



I intentionally left the topics broad and open ended, so that you can come up with your own ideas for the essay.


3-5 pages in length

MLA format:

  • 1” margins on top, bottom, left, and right; left justified
  • Name block includes your name, instructor’s name, the class, and the date
  • Header should be 1/2” from the top right margin and include your last name and page number
  • The entire document should be double-spaced and in 12-point Times New Roman font


Your paper will be evaluated on the quality of the following:

  • Thesis
  • Development of ideas
  • Organization
  • Mechanics
  • Usage and punctuation
  • MLA format


Due Dates

In-class Review: Tuesday, September  24, 2013 (bring in 2 or 3 copies of your draft one for each group member )

Final Due Date: Friday, September 27 by 11:59 pm via Dropbox


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