Tip Sheet

Essay #1: Your Road to Writing

Your Writing Task:

Write a brief essay explaining one or more of the things that shaped you into the writer you are today.

Suggestions for Success:

You may not feel like a writer, and you may not feel like much of a success, but you can write this paper. After all, Kristi Stone begins with a sad story of a teacher who belittled all of her efforts. If you feel that school and teachers really hurt your attempts to write, tell us that story.

When I was in the 12th grade, my English teacher told us that no high school senior could ever write a paper good enough to get higher than a "B" from her. It was Advanced Placement English, and all of us were hoping for good grades so we could get into good colleges. Her little spot of news did not exactly encourage us. Though she did later give me some glowing feedback on a couple of my poems, I never quite got over her "not good enough" judgment.

She wrote "My Road to Writing" as a student, and you should use it as a model for several things:

This is something of a cause/effect essay, so you should concentrate on what happened and what it did to your self-awareness as a writer.

Stone's essay has a LOT of concrete details—specific things you can remember long after you put the essay down (what kinds of writing she did, who her characters were, what she won in that contest). She wasn't satisfied to say the movie was a disappointment; she told us it was about dental hygiene! Imitate her. Give us details to flesh out your paper.

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The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by Ashland University.
Revised 8/15/18 • Page author: Curtis Allen • e-mail: callen@ashland.edu.