Literacy Narrative Assignment

Posted: December 10, 2013 in Pedagogy, Writing Center

A “literacy narrative,” as its name suggests, is a story about some experience or group of experiences that helped you to become a writer. Being a “writer” can mean many things and range across many genres (from diaries and letters to novels, poems, song lyrics, advertising copy, etc.).  But at some point in your life, you chose to make writing an important part of your life.  Why? How?  And mostly, who? Who helped to lead you there? How did “writing teachers” (in or outside the writing classroom), influence you as a writer?


The narrative (i.e., story) you will write should help your classmates and I to better understand your path to the writing life, your commitment to rhetoric, your motivations, etc.  But as a narrative, your mode of telling us about your commitment to writing should be illustrative by narrating a moment or series of moments when you discovered something new about writing and about yourself—and about how that influence came with the assistance of others.

An effective narrative will have a number of characteristics:

  • It will be engaging, helping us to get to know the characters and to involve ourselves in the plot (brief as it might be)
  • It will use vivid language to bring moments and characters to life
  • It will develop the details of the story in ways that reveal the path to literacy
  • It will be revised so as to include details that are focused on developing a single, dominant impression about your experiences
  • It will be carefully revised and edited so as to be free of UNINTENTIONAL grammatical errors
Writing Center Visit

In order to help you 1) improve your piece and 2) learn about the processes of tutoring, you are required to bring a draft of this narrative to the Writing Center

One of our tutors will help you think about further development of the topic and consider additional stylistic moves.  After you have visited the LRC, you should revise the paper before turning it in, using ONLY the suggestions that you feel are useful. In the end, the decisions, like the final product, should be your own.


Try free writing for 10 minutes on the following: I learned that I was a writer when…
Write freely about a variety of experiences, considering a variety of people who influenced you, describing pieces of writing that you taught you a great deal about writing. Consider which of these ideas provides the most promising start for your literacy narrative.  


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