Prof. Jonathan Glance

Paper #2: Personal Narrative

Prewriting Workshop Tuesday, 18 September
Draft Workshop Tuesday, 25 September
Revised Paper Due Friday, 28 September

In this paper you are to compose a narrative, or story, of an event in your life that either shaped or revealed what you consider your true self. It does not need to be a long narrative: 3–4 pages will be sufficient. Nor does the event have to be as traumatic or violent as those in Great Expectations or Exodus.

The structure of your narrative should include an introduction (with a thesis), a narrative of the event, and a discussion or analysis of the significance of that event. Note that this structure does not lend itself to the clichéd five paragraph paper. You will need to be detailed and descriptive enough for the event to be vivid for your reader, but selective enough in those details so that your paper remains concise and coherent. Your audience will be your classmates—you will need to tell them all they need to know to understand the event and its significance, while paring away everything else. Use the first person; after all, this is your life.

Feel free, if you wish, to refer to what we have already read as a class. These readings, whether a story, Great Expectations, Exodus or the Nicomachean Ethics, provide a valuable resource of shared experiences and information.