Rhetorical Situation: For the first Major Writing Assignment (MWA1), you will compose a literacy narrative that tells a compelling, detailed personal story about reading, writing, composing, or communicating within a particular discourse community (See topic suggestions below). The intended audience is readers of the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN).
Purpose: Your rhetorical purpose in this assignment is to inform (DALN) readers of how learning the discourse of a particular community impacted your life. Furthermore, writing about the event encourages you to reflect on your own literacy practices—to consider how the ability to decode and encode language within particular contexts influences your identity and ability/inability to gain access to and participate in a particular discourse community (e.g., academic, professional, or extracurricular communities).
How acquiring literacy in a particular high school course impacted your life;
How a previous educational experience positively or negatively impacted your being literate within a particular academic or extracurricular community;
How a literacy sponsor helped initiate you into a particular discourse community;
How you functioned as a literacy sponsor for someone else;
How a book or text has been significant to you;
How you found (or still find) a particular writing or reading task especially difficult or challenging;
How joining a particular discourse community (e.g., sports team, Greek organization, academic club, skaters, musicians, church group, volunteer organization, gamers, etc.) by learning the lingo and its ways of thinking and behaving either positively or negatively impacted your life or others’ lives;
How learning or failing to learn a foreign language impacted your life or others’ lives;
How using or misusing a particular social medium negatively or positively impacted your life or others’ lives; or,
Other ideas you generate.
* Please keep in mind that you are not expected to divulge sensitive and/or private information about yourself or someone else. The assignment is broad enough for you to select a focus that you feel comfortable sharing with DALN readers.
The narrative should explore an event surrounding literacy (as defined in class).
The narrative should have a thesis, which addresses the importance of this literacy event either for you personally or for the intended readers.
The narrative should have a title and an introductory paragraph that promote interest.
The narrative should include narrative strategies (e.g., chronological ordering, use of flashback, vivid description, and/or dialogue) to describe the literacy event, the activity(ies) you took part in, and the people (or characters) involved.
The narrative should relay the importance/meaning of the experience for you and/or the intended readers.
Length: This narrative should be 3-5 double-spaced, word-processed pages.
Format: Your literacy narrative should contain the following:
a 12pt, readable font (Arial, Cambria, Calibri, or Times New Roman);
a heading in the upper left hand corner (on the first page only) that notes your name, course title and number; and date narrative is submitted (See the example below.); and
page numbers preceded by your last name located in the upper right hand corner of each page.