Literacy Narratives

For your very first major assignment of ENG1000C, you will be crafting a literacy narrative. Today, you read one and heard about a few others (“The Library Card,” “On Being 17,″ “Coming to an Awareness of Language,” and “Shitty First Drafts”) that you can feel free to use as models.

What is a literacy narrative?

Black Columbus gives a pretty good definition:

  • A literacy narrative is a first-hand narrative about reading or composing (or teaching reading and composing) in any form or context.
  • Literacy narratives can be short or long, two minutes or twenty-five.*
  • Literacy narratives can be about your experiences as a small child, a teenager, an adult, a senior.
  • Literacy narratives can be about reading stories books, cereal boxes, music, or video game cheats—anything at all that you read or any story about teaching reading.
  • Literacy narratives can be about composing letters, Facebook pages, song lyrics,’ zines, blogs, maps, essays in school—anything at all that you compose, or any story about teaching writing.
  • Literacy narratives can be sad or happy, poignant or funny, informative or incidental. Literacy narrative often focus on powerful memories about events, people, situations, places—times when you tried and succeeded or tried and failed; someone who gave you a chance or took one away; situations when someone taught you how to do something or when you taught someone else; churches and schools, contests and performances, plays and public presentations.

For our purposes, you should be prepared to write a print-based document (.doc, .docx, .rtf). I’m asking that your last pre-portfolio draft is at least 750 word, but you are welcome to exceed that.

Think of the assignment as storytelling challenge rather than an essay. Don’t be afraid to take a unique angle, describe things at length, or use dialogue. You can play with text and formatting if you wish, or you can go with the 12 pt., double-spaced, Times New Roman standard. Express yourself in whatever way you believe will best get your message across to your audience.

When you are finished, you might consider publishing your literacy narrative here: Digital Archives of Literacy Narratives.

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Draft One Requirements– due Monday, February 6 by 12 p.m.

To get credit for draft # 1, you must:

  • Have at least 500 words.
  • Post the draft to your blog either by copy-and-pasting the text or attaching the document. If you aren’t comfortable with the whole world having access to your writing, you can password protect the post.
  • Tweet a link using #np501.

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Draft Two Requirements– due Monday, February 13 by 12 p.m.

To get credit for draft # 2, you must:

  • Have at least 750 words.
  • Revise the work using feedback from your classmates. Think about clarifying your ideas, not just your sentences.
  • Edit your work. Look for sentence-level errors, typos, etc. This is not the same as revising.
  • Post the draft to your blog either by copy-and-pasting the text or attaching the document. If you aren’t comfortable with the whole world having access to your writing, you can password protect the post.
  • Tweet a link using #np501.
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