Length: 500-750 words
Begin by doing some freewriting in response to the following questions. Don’t worry too much about how the pieces will fit together or what it will all look like in a final essay. Just let your mind go to wherever it goes as you think about the question. You should try to write for at least five minutes in response to each question. Use as much detail as you can — try to imagine as clearly as you can but don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or structure yet.
- Please write about the key moment when, where, and how you first learned to read. What was learning to read like for you? What sorts of books did you read?
- How did you feel about reading and writing as an adolescent — say, during middle and high school? What sorts of experiences did you have as a reader and writing in school?
- What are your experiences with social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, or others? What do you remember about your first experiences with such sites? Do you text on a smartphone? What sorts of experiences have you had writing to/for people with those sorts of technologies?
- What are some of the biggest struggles you have had as a reader and/or writer? What are some of your best moments as a writer?
Now that you’ve done some brainstorming, write an essay in which you analyze the key experiences that shaped the way you read and write.
Take a step back and reread the freewriting you did, looking for any interesting patterns that you surfaced about your history with reading and writing. You do not need to directly address the questions above or include points from the brainstorming you’ve done, but hopefully in the process of freewriting and thinking about those questions, you’ve recognized some issues or patterns that are interesting enough for you to analyze more carefully.
You’ll have opportunities for revision and later in the term I will ask you to remix the writing you’re doing here into a graphic narrative but for now just focus on drafting this essay.
Nuts and Bolts
Publish your narrative as a page (not a post) on your class website (make certain to add it to the menu, so we can all find it).
As with everything you publish for me this semester, you need more than just words for your narrative — you must have at least one image, video, or audio file with your narrative. You’ll need to provide a caption and give credit to the creator of the image (even if it’s your own). We’ll talk briefly in class on Tuesday about Creative Commons and finding CC-licensed images with Flickr.
Once you have published the page, you need to also write a separate blog post. That post should link to the page you have published and reflect on the process of writing it. Further instructions for the reflection post here.