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Freshman English Personal Essay Assignment

Earlier in the year, we read two first person narratives related by maturing young men: Elie Wiesels Night and Paul Baumers All Quiet on the Western Front. Though none of usthank Godhave endured the suffering and trials that both Paul and Elie face, we all have stories that shed light on our own maturation. More recently, we read Coehlos The Alchemist, a novel that not only traces the maturation of a young protagonist, but also explores spiritual ideas such as Personal Legends and fate, God and love, understanding and transformation. Assignment: Compose an essay about ONE event, experience or memory in your life; this event should be carefully selected with two ideas in mind. First, it should allow you to tell an interesting and vivid story. Second, it should show something about you. Do not feel compelled to write about major events (getting into Regis, deaths in the family, the first day you rode a bike). Instead, identify an event that offers you the opportunity to tell an interesting story and to share insight into how you have become the person you are today. DO NOT close the story with And this is how striking out with the bases loaded taught me to deal with disappointment. Instead, SHOW this insight. The essay should be at least 3 full pages (but no more than 5 full pages) in length. It must be typed in 12pt font (Times New Roman or Garamond), double-spaced, and formatted with one inch margins. Due date: Final draft Monday, May 9 ( C )

Some Guidelines to Follow When Composing this Essay Begin with reflection, then planning First, reflect upon a memorable event that had an impact on you or taught you a lesson. Second, plan how to tell the story of this event. Finally, begin writing, revising, writing, revising, ad infinitum ShowDont Tell Your composition should create a detailed, vivid picture. for example: dont say, He was tall; instead, show the trait: : His head brushed the doorframe as he entered. or His long stride made it difficult for me to keep up. Avoid to be verbs. Instead, use strong and active verbs. e.g., Instead of, I was happy. Consider: I grinned from ear to ear. Add Something with Each Sentence Make every sentence count. When revising, eliminate any vagueness and general statements. Be sure to convey the best, most telling details. Write vividly and creatively Avoid clichs Exercise varied and descriptive word choice You do not need introduction paragraphs, topic sentences or conclusion paragraphs Also: avoid excessive exposition The story should NOT open with an introduction paragraph. Instead, begin with a vivid and catching opening. Get right into the action and try to minimize exposition.

When you have questions, feel free to stop by my desk or email me.

Freshman English Personal Essay Assignment

Write in the past tense Make certain that you use the past tense consistently. Recall that stories have plots Think critically about how much exposition you need, how you will introduce a conflict and, finally, how you wish to resolve that conflict

When you have questions, feel free to stop by my desk or email me.

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