English 106: Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition

Division 29; Section 01

Assignment: Literacy Narrative

In your Literacy Narrative you will be telling us, an audience of your classmates and me, a story about you and part of your “literacy life.” As this is an English course, you should strongly consider writing about how your literacy (in the traditional sense of the word) has been shaped, whose affected, etc. But this is certainly not the only subject out there. If you feel you can produce a better narrative about a different “literacy” than you should do so. You must, however, be certain that what you are writing about is in fact an example of literacy and not just a skill.

Your purposes in writing this essay are numerous. First, you want to entertain your audience with a good story, but you also want to investigate a part of your own life in a way that reveals something to you. Second, we learn unexpected things when we write, and sometimes we write things that we didn’t realize that we already knew. All writing is itself an exploration of a topic. In this case the topic is you.

You will use your abilities of description and narration to pull your readers into your story. Be sure to convey the significance of your story to make your readers care about what you are saying. It is important and beneficial for you to use the following ideas and skills we will learn over the next four weeks to develop your ideas in this narrative: pre-writing; organization; defining audience and purpose; ethos, pathos, logos; narrative elements; and effective techniques for introductions, conclusions, and paragraphs.

Length: Whatever it takes, but it should be at least 3 pages long.

Format: MLA style (double-spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font). Be sure to use the proper headings outlined in the course syllabus.

Due: 3 pages of pre-writing are due Friday, August 31st. A rough draft of at least 2 pages is due Wednesday, September 5th. The Literacy Narrative and Map are due Wednesday, September 19th.

Grade: The Narrative counts for 10% of your final grade, while the Map counts for 5%. Creativity will certainly be a factor, but more importantly, this project will be graded in regards to the skills, techniques, and ideas cited above, as well as the overall mechanics.

lit•er•a•cy –noun
1. the quality or state of being literate, esp. the ability to read and write.
2. possession of education
3. a person’s knowledge of a particular subject or field.

"literacy." Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 22 Aug. 2007.
Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/literacy.

Assignment: Literacy Narrative Map

In the Literacy Narrative you are sharing a part of your own “literacy life” that effectively pulls in your readers and provides them (and in the process, yourself) with a clear idea of where you came from and where you are in your specific literacy. The Narrative Map is a visual companion piece to this written component. The Map does not need to chronicle every aspect, event, or point in your Literacy Narrative, however, it should reflect the central themes of the Narrative, successfully employing elements of visual composition.

The purpose of the Narrative Map is not only for you to display your visual prowess, but to gain an understanding of how visual and written components can work together to create an effective composition. The Map will act as a cover page to the Narrative essay. Keep in mind that the Map will therefore frame the experience of audience’s reading.

We will be studying composition design strategies in more depth later in the semester, but with all the visual media you are exposed to on a daily basis, try to utilize as much of your daily subjection to visual compositions in your own work. Be creative. Be thoughtful. But most of all make sure that the Map truly expresses the central themes of your Narrative Project as a whole.

BFF style collages made from magazine clippings is a good example of an unsuccessful Map. We will be learning how to use visual applications in the computer lab so that you can make the most of your Map, but don’t feel that these applications are the only way to produce your Map. Also, I will present some examples of creative and thoughtful Narrative Maps in class to help give you a better idea of the possibilities that are out there.

Due: Wednesday, September 19th at the beginning of class as a cover page to the Narrative. A draft will be turned in after our Computer Lab on Tuesday, September 11th.