This unit, you read, analyzed, and discussed several narratives about learning, including David Sedaris’s humorous essay “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” Annie Dillard’s “An American Childhood,” Jenee Desmond-Harris’s “Tupac and My Non-Thug Life,” Plato’s famous “The Allegory of the Cave,” and others. All of these narratives tell a story about the nature of learning. To complete this writing assignment, you will add to this genre by creating a learning narrative of your own.
Create an essay, between 500 and 1,000 words, that illustrates your perspective on learning by telling a true story from your experience. Your learning narrative should be aimed at a general audience. Assume that your readers are interested in your ideas about learning, and are hoping to read an engaging, personal, thought-provoking essay.
You may choose from many acceptable approaches to this assignment, including:
Telling a story about a particular time that you learned an important lesson
Describing a relationship you had with an important teacher or mentor
Discussing an experience in which you overcame significant challenges to learning
Developing an analogy, metaphor, or allegory that illustrates your beliefs about learning
Whatever approach you choose, remember that your goal is to teach your readers about your experiences with learning. Keep the focus on your own experiences and ideas, while also telling a story. If you would like, you may emulate some of the development strategies used by the authors we have read. In addition to development, your assignment should show signs of revision, editing, and proofreading.
Remember that you may use any of the material from your Writer’s Journal as a starting point for this assignment.
When you submit this assignment, include a brief cover letter (no more than 300 words) that answers the following questions:
What is your purpose in this assignment? What is it you are trying to do or say in this piece of writing?
What are you proud of about this assignment?
What challenges did you face while completing this assignment?
What sorts of feedback do you want from your instructor on this assignment?
Include your cover letter as a comment on your uploaded document — not as a separate file. Your cover letter will not count for or against your grade, but will help your instructor respond best to your writing.
Length, Design, & Formatting
Your learning narrative should be between 500 and 1,000 words. More important than length is quality. Make sure to fully tell your story, using development strategies that help you support, clarify, or extend your focus.
Use MLA guidelines for document design. This includes using 1-inch margins, double-spaced type, a page number in the upper right corner, and a Works Cited page (if applicable). For details on designing documents according to MLA guidelines, see Chapter 41 in Easy Writer, especially the section labeled “Following MLA manuscript format.”