A Turning Point in My Life
Your Writing Task:
Write a narrative of a turning point in your personal life, focusing on one particular event that changed you.
- Aim at being concrete and specific. By the time we are finished reading, we should have a very definite sense that we have been through this with you.
- On the other hand, we do not know details of setting, history, and people, so you will have to bring us up to speed on the concrete details that matter to your account.
- Ask yourself how you were changed by this event. If you caught the winning touchdown pass that got your team the state championship, so what?
Skills you should learn in this assignment:
Human beings are natural story-tellers, and if I simply tell a class to "write something about X," 99% will write some sort of story. Those stories, however, are often rambling, confusing, and dull. The skills I want you to work on for this assignment are vividness and focus—making the event come alive with particular details and leaving out the details that are only distracting.
Length: The equivalent of a three-page paper. A three-page paper should be between 880 and 1060 words long, not counting title, your name, etc.
Format: Standard MLA format. (12-point Times Roman type, double-spaced, 1" margin all around, MLA header.)
Submitting the paper:
- The English Department wants electronic copies of all your essays this semester, so please upload the final product to the drop box in Blackboard. Some students (especially those who use Google
Docs) have trouble figuring out how to do this, so ask if you are uncertain how to proceed!
- If you have any trouble getting the Blackboard upload to work, simply print a copy and bring it to class.
- Final copy: Wednesday, February 14, 2018
This essay is worth 75 points.