Literacy Narrative

We have been discussing what literacy means, how it varies among individuals, and how it is ever-changing in our society. In this assignment you will analyze and discuss your literacy history, habits, and processes. The purpose of this reflective analysis is to help you discover your ideas surrounding literacy, namely reading and writing, and to help you gain a better understanding of the readings and research on literacy you will encounter as you complete your final project.

Invention and Drafting

This is a story about you as a writer and reader. To get started on developing your narrative, here are some questions you can ask yourself:

  1. How did you learn to read and write?
  2. What in your past has made you the kind of writer/reader you are today?
  3. What memorable (good or bad) kinds of writing/reading have you done in the past?
  4. How much have you enjoyed the various kinds of writing/reading you’ve done?
  5. What kind of writing/reading do you do most commonly?
  6. What is your favorite kind of writing/reading?

You do not have to answer all of these questions in the paper, and answering all of them should not be your goal. Instead, your goal in constructing this paper is to tell your literacy narrative in a way that best expresses your story. Maybe your struggle with learning to read or write becomes your focus. On the other end of the spectrum, maybe discussing your like or dislike of reading and writing becomes a major focus as well.

As you ask yourself these questions, try to develop a theme. Perhaps a particular literacy sponsor impacted your reading/writing, or maybe your love for writing turned to hatred as you studied years of standardized testing methods, and now you love it again because of your college composition courses! Remember, it’s a narrative about your literacy journey; be as creative as you like, as long as it falls under the criteria outlined below

Who Is Your Audience?

Your audience is your classmates and myself.   Think about what information you would need to tell them to get the best out of their story. What information would best give your classmates an idea of your literacy history? What information could you possibly keep out? We will be talking more about audience awareness in later classes, but definitely focus in on trying to communicate a narrative that your audience can connect to.

What Makes It Good?

A good literacy narrative is one that tells the story of the writer’s literacy history in an organized fashion. The paper follows a narrative style and the story telling of the paper can be easily followed. The narrative develops a theme that the audience can easily recognize.

Nuts and Bolts

  • Your literacy narrative must be 3-4 pages in length. This means a full 3 pages. (Don’t think one sentence on the next page equals a full page). If you do not get a full 3 pages, there will be point deductions. All pages must use 12-point Times New Roman font, be double-spaced, and use 1-inch margins on all sides. All pages must be numbered. You should set your Word specifications to have no extra space between paragraphs (0 pt spacing).
  • Don’t think you can get away with making your periods or commas bigger to make your paper longer. I will notice this, and I will count off for it.
  • Your paper should be formatted to proper MLA standards. I will show you what this looks like in class.
  • Your literacy narrative must have an original title that hints at main ideas, themes, or images in your work. It should be thought-provoking. In other words, your title should not be “Literacy Narrative” or “Assignment 1.”
  • You must turn in your peer review draft and peer review worksheet on the day the initial draft is due in class. They must be put in a folder with your name clearly marked on it.   If you are not present for peer review, you will receive a 10 point deduction.
  • A word about grammar: Studies have shown time and time again that a preoccupation with grammar or making sure your sentences, paragraphs, etc. are “correct” or “right” gets in the way of articulating ideas. This is a draft, so your ideas should take center stage. That being said, errors should not prevent me from understanding what you’re saying. Take the time to run spellcheck. Disregard anything your grammar check tells you (it’s wrong ~90% of the time). If you’re not sure if something is correct, feel free to use a trusted online source (such as the Grammar Girl website). However, it’s not vital at this point for you to do that. If you have multiple repeated grammar issues, I will note them at the end of your draft. Since your portfolio drafts will need to be more polished, I will expect you to take some time correcting errors.
  • Don’t forget that the University Writing Center is there to help you. Use them!

How to Turn in Your Literacy Narrative

  • You must upload it to USA Online/Sakai prior to class on the day it is due. I will not accept late papers.
  • You will turn in your peer review worksheets and drafts at the beginning of class inside a folder. Do not turn in loose papers. This is how materials get lost.

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