Education Narrative

EN 101
Dr. Fox

Personal Narrative (15% of final grade)

This assignment, with grading criteria designed by the class, asks you to write a personal narrative about an educational experience/incident.


  • Recognize role of audience, purpose, and voice in writing
  • Understand basic essay structure: controlling thesis, organizational structure, strategies for a successful introduction, conclusion
  • Support ideas with concrete details and examples

The essay needs to be 3-4 full pages double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 inch Font with 1 inch margins.


  • We’ve completed four in-class writing exercises: one on an education al experience (in or out of school) that made you excited to learn, one on a schooling experience that turned you off to learning, one on an important school event/incident in your past, and one on “school lunches.” One or more of these short writings may grow into your personal narrative.
  • Complete a full draft of the narrative (at least 2 pages).
  • Drafts (two) are due on in class for peer review. If you do not have two copies of a full narrative draft on this day, you will loose a letter grade on the final draft.
  • Then revise. Revision is not correction; it is a re-seeing of your narrative and involves content and organization.
  • I’ll meet individually with you to talk both about your revision to the narrative and about your research project.
  • Edit the narrative at the sentence level for style and grammar.
  • The final version of the memoir is in a folder that includes the first draft, the peer review, and the final draft.

Grading Criteria as written by the class:
A passing essay must:

  • have a purpose. There is a reason for the memoir existing (i.e. a controlling theme or a thesis).
  • establish ethos (the reader should like you even if you present negatives about yourself)
  • elicit emotion
  • create a vivid setting (people, scene, interactions)
    • so readers can relate and see themselves
    • so readers are changed, so they come recognize a different point of view
  • be full of sensory detail
  • possibly contain concrete, immediate language that lets the reader inside the writer’s head and shows exactly what the writer is experiencing (i.e. Maya Angelou wishing she was dead and everyone was dead in short, simple sentences while sitting on stage).
  • possibly include cultural references readers will recognize (nursery rhymes, music, tv shows)
  • possibly include the unexpected (perhaps in a list) such as when Welty mentions vaccinations in the list of reasons she was ready for school.
  • conclude somewhere near the bottom of page three (or on a subsequent page)
  • be submitted in a folder with all required components
  • be focused
  • have an introduction that draws the reader into the narrative
  • use transitions when appropriate
  • avoid not useful repetition
  • have an interesting ending

Style Checklist

  • Is the summary typed in Times Roman 12 inch font? Is it double spaced with one inch margins?
  • Is the essay clean stylistically, using concise and clear sentences, strong verbs and sentence variety?
  • Are filler sentences eliminated?
  • Is the essay grammatically correct?
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