9.1 The Literacy Narrative Assignment

“Literacy Narrative” by the authors

“Reflective Writing Prompts: Narrative Assignment” by the authors

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  • Describe the components of a narrative essay.
  • Identify a focus for writing projects.
  • Discuss a discourse community.

Literacy Narrative

by the authors

This section discusses an “I-centered” essay: a literacy (or literacies) narrative. The traditional literacy narrative essay is an account of a situation that helped you develop as a writer or a reader. (For example, how the actions of a parent or teacher; a particular location or object; or a formative experience had a significant effect on how you feel about reading and/or writing today.) However, there are actually multiple forms of literacy (multi-literacies), not just reading and writing alphabetic texts. So, depending on the specific guidelines provided by your teacher, this assignment might broaden the definition of literacy to consider experiences that somehow play a role in defining your identity (or membership) within a discourse community (loosely defined as a group of people with shared goals who use communication to achieve those goals).

As you choose your subject, look for some experience that helped you develop or discover a literacy, some ability or process that has produced growth in some significant-to-you learning process that gave you a greater understanding of yourself as an individual.

One of the goals of this essay is to develop composing strategies that will help you best communicate to your readers the “how and why” of a significant literacy experience (good or not-so-good). As important, you should develop your reflection abilities by considering and explaining some new understanding, meaning, or insight that might help your audience understand why this is so significant to you.

Important Concepts

literacy narrative

discourse community

composing strategies

reflection abilities

Reflective Writing Prompts

Reflection * Genre * Purpose * Rhetorical Situation * Audience

These are four important concepts that will help develop your writing. 

These reflective writings really help you figure out what you have learned and are learning and how you can hopefully apply those concepts to writing in any number of writing situations.

Develop a 300-word (minimum) response that addresses ALL of the questions in the list below. To focus your response, we would like to focus specifically on Audience and Reflection. An effective response will likely include examples from such sources as your own writing, classroom discussions, assignment guides, and material from the text. Be sure to take time to explain your thinking.

  • What did you learn about your own writing habits and yourself as a writer while doing this writing project?
  • Name one thing from one of our reading assignments for this project that (1) helped you OR (2) got in your way? Or both? Use details and explain why.
  • What is a writing strategy you have read that you used to help you write? Explain why you chose this one and why you think it was so effective in completing your writing assignment. Point to examples from your own paper to help support and explain your point.
  • What has focusing on audience consideration taught you about writing? How can you apply this to future academic or non-academic writing situations?
  • What has reflecting on and writing about a past experience taught you about writing and about yourself as a writer? How can you apply this to future academic or non-academic writing situations?

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Composing Ourselves and Our World,  Provided by: the authors. License: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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Composing Ourselves and Our World by Elizabeth Burrows; Angela Fowler; Heath Fowler; and Amy Locklear is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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