Personal Narrative: a piece of writing describing an event of personal significance to the writer Academic Help

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For your first formal writing project, you will write about a personal experience that resulted in a significant awareness reflecting the importance Judith Rich assigns to “personal Sputnik moments”: “those large or small events that jar our sense of reality, perhaps ever so slightly, or land like a major earthquake. One thing is for sure: after you’ve had one, nothing is ever quite the same” (par. 4). As Rich describes them, personal Sputnik moments also can create an awareness or awakening about ourselves and life itself, taking us out of the drama of the story and opening our eyes to a much deeper reality

For this assignment you are telling a story about a significant personal experience and new awareness about yourself and life. You may (but are not required to) reference and incorporate a discussion of Rich’s definition of the term “personal Sputnik moment.” Either way, your emphasis should be on telling your story and describing the significant impact of the experience. Your argument (main claim) should allude to a “new awareness” that you want your reader to gain from reading your essay. Your purpose should be to get your reader to learn about or see life or your subject in a new way. [[See the following two links for examples of personal narrative essays: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carla-seaquist/sputn… http://www.youbeauty.com/health/columns/everyday-w… ]]

Begin with a general commentary on the scenario with which you will develop your narrative. If you choose to incorporate references to Rich, introduce her essay and her definition of “personal Sputnik moment” at a coherent and relevant point. Your development strategy should combine narration and reflection to transform your experience into a significant awareness to show your reader a new way to see the experience. The event does not have to be “dramatic,” “traumatizing,” “unusual,” or even “exciting” to have significance. A single moment in time when you had a realization or saw something or someone in a new way, for example, can have extraordinary significance.

Your description of the event should indicate or imply what your life (or attitude/experience/etc.) was like before the event, should detail the event specifically, and should indicate the significance of the experience, and/or what can be learned from it. Your “new view” may be implied or stated directly (this is a choice you will make in your writing). Include a direct discussion of underlying assumptions (either your own or social/cultural) that this awakening or new view may challenge.

Write for an audience of your peers (SDSU juniors and seniors) Criteria for Evaluation: Successful papers (earning a grade of “C” or above) will accomplish the following tasks:

1. Introduce your essay with an experience that will engage your reader’s interest and that is related to your “new awareness,” upon which you will develop your narrative.

2. End your introduction with a clear main claim (your thesis) that sets up your narrative. Alternately, you may state your main point in your conclusion—but the intro should at least set up an expectation that your thesis will come later.

3. Engage a reader (an SDSU student) who is not necessarily familiar with the issue or experience you are describing.

4. Use multiple paragraphs to describe the event or situation that created or led up to your new awareness.

5. Include a reflection on how your life (or reality) seemed to you before the “new awareness” and how your perception/perspective changed. This can be done in chronological or reverse chronological order. Part of this reflection should address any underlying assumptions either your own or social/cultural) that this experience may challenge.

6. End your essay with a thoughtful conclusion or recap of the significance of your experience. Based directly on your main point in this paper, indicate what might make your reader think about this topic differently. What new insight would you want your reader to have after reading your essay?

7. Use an effective structure that carefully guides the reader from one idea to the next, and thoroughly edit your paper so that sentences and vocabulary are readable and appropriate for an academic audience.

Guidelines: Length: Minimum 3 pages (900 words minimum); 1800 words maximum Format: Follow standard formatting guidelines: One-inch margins Double-space text, no extra line between paragraphs Use standard 12-point font (e.g., Times, Palatino, Arial) MLA heading information (put in this order, top left of first page, double-spaced): Your Name Instructor’s Name Course/Section # Date (spelled out) Word Count Title centered on first page (no bold, italics, or underline) Paginate with your last name and page number in the header at the top right margin (e.g., Smith 1)

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