Essay #1: Remembering an Event/
Essay Due Dates: First: Conference
Final: Thursday, July 10
Write an essay about a significant event in your life that you never forget. The event may be one that, for example, influenced you in a special way, revealed a characteristic of your personality you suddenly recognized, or challenged your values or beliefs. Tell your story interestingly, dramatically and vividly, giving a clear indication of its autobiographical significance. The essay should be at least three pages in double space.
Purpose and Audience
Your readers are college instructor and classmates. They will want to know a little bit about you so that you may inform and/or entertain them with something about the world or life you experienced in the past. Overall, you essay should reveal your understanding of the significance of the event.
Your essay should have the following basic features.
1) A well-told story: An essay about a remembered event should tell an interesting story. The author must shape the experience into a story that is entertaining and memorable. You also need to know how to tell a story by using various story-telling skills. The main technique is specific narrative action with its action verb and tense markers.
2) A vivid presentation of significant key people and scenes: Re-create the scene with vivid language and specific details, and leave readers with a dominant impression. Use specific objects with real names. If you can, use figurative language such as metaphor and simile. Use dialogue if necessary.
3) An indication of the event's significance: Show the important scenes and people from the writer's point of view. Tell how the writer feels and thinks of them as s/he recalls the experience. Explain something about the event's importance and meaning.
Things to remember:
- Your story should unfold in one or two days, or no more than a week. The story should contain an event, theme, plot, setting, and characters.
- Start early and revise frequently. I am here to help you in the process of your writing. Feel free to call me or e-mail me, or to meet with a tutor in the writing center. Enjoy the assignment !!
Use your memory and conceptualize the whole story around its theme before drafting.
Story telling elements that you should consider:
Theme; Theme (thesis statement) is the most important element of a story. All the details you use in the story should be related to this sentence. (Unity) How to write a thesis statement.
Plot; A story should be structured (beginning->conflict->rising action->climax-> falling action->ending using one more orders such as chronological order, flashback/forward, and stream of consciousness.
Point of view: First/second/third person point of view. You may use ‘I’.
Characters; Describe main (protagonist and antagonist) and minor characters and their roles in the story. How do they look like and act (appearance and personality)?
Accident/incident; An accident does not happen abruptly. It has causes and effects.
Background information (five W’s and one H): In the beginning of the story, you need to have BI.
Setting (time and place), and scenes; When you narrate your story, make sure that it is a series of scenes.
Style; Is it a sad or happy story? Are you angry or frustrated? What kind of words do you want to use to express your emotion(s)?
The outline of your story
Setting Goals: Set the goals for yourself that deal with the story as a whole, for example, creating the conflict of the story and maintaining suspense or creating a dominant impression. The context of the event (beginning, conflict, rising action, climax, and ending or denouement) needs to be designed before drafting. Organize your essay chronologically or with flashback techniques. In the plot of your story, you should describe two things: one that is going on around you in reality and the other that is going on inside your mind, for example, the emotional fluctuation of the narrator.
Arouse the readers' curiosity or interest in the opening sentences, for example, with surprising announcement about your topic.
Tell a few things about yourself that are related to the thesis/theme of the story.
Do something unusual (with a funny dialogue).
Tell the importance or meaning of the event from your perspective and its impact on you.
Tell what you have learned from the event and how important it is to you.
Choose one among chronological, flashback, or flashforward orders to make the narrative neat.
The main story must be narrated from your perspectives.
Any details that are used for the story must be connected to the thesis or main idea.
Set a conflict that makes the story exist. Without the conflict, there is no story going on.
Make the characters work on their jobs. Describe the characters contributing to making the theme of the story.
The story should climb up to the climax with thrill and gradual suspense.
Use descriptive details to dramatize the story.
Use specific narrative actions to propel the narrative forward. Use dialogue if it intensifies the drama of the story.
Build the suspense leading to the climax.
Build the climax with trepidation or eagerness.
Conclude with some reflections on the meaning of the experience.
Contrast your remembered and current feelings and thoughts.
Major writing skills: Narration, description, and dialogue.
Grammar Grammar exercise
"Calling Home" in Concise Guide. Action verb
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