How We View Education.
For the last two weeks, you have been reading about the educational experiences of several people. Now it is your turn to write about your education. You will be writing a narrative essay, which is a fancy way of saying an essay that revolves around a story. You can use any of the pre-writing techniques to get yourself started (or any that you already use). Basically, you need to consider and respond to the following:
? Describe an education experience that has, in some way, created the person you are today. It can be an experience that happened at a school (any level), or, as Malcolm X did, you can write about learning something outside of school. Questions you might use to get yourself started include:
o When did I first learn how to _______ (something important to you)?
o Who was a teacher or mentor who taught me something life-changing?
o What books/movies/experiences are important in shaping how I behave/think?
Once you have decided what one experience you will write about, make notes for yourself, including as many details as you can remember. Your reader will appreciate detail, because it helps us see the experience the same way you saw it. You might even consider writing a timeline for yourself, if that helps. Once you start writing, let the story flow out of you in a rough draft. Don’t worry about grammar or word choice or anything at first. Once the whole narrative is done, go back through and make sure all your details are vivid and necessary, and that everything flows together. Consider your audience; is everything in the essay working to help your reader understand exactly why this experience is important to you?
Keep a few things in mind as you choose which experience you are going to narrate for this essay:
1) Please do not tell me about any illegal activities in which you’ve participated, as it is my responsibility to report such information.
2) Some things are easier to write about than others. Choose an experience that can be clearly and effectively explained in only 3-4 pages.
For more information on how to write a narrative, see Chapter 12 in Steps to Writing Well. This is not required, but it will help you get started and focused, and there are a couple more examples of narrative essays. Also, your instructor is always happy to look at early drafts, as long as you give her enough time!