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Did you apply literacy skills to other content areas: sports, music, video games, etc.?

A Literacy Narrative is a type of autobiographical essay –“The Art of Eating Spaghetti,” for example –
that focuses on personal experiences with literacy be it positive or negative (speaking, writing, reading,
and the like) in order to confirm the importance of these rhetorical experiences in a person’s life.
Begin by recalling a rhetorical moment from your life. Think back and reflect on significant situations
that helped develop you as a reader and/or writer. Think about who helped you learn about and/or
appreciate reading and writing. Think about particular experiences that affected how you thought about
reading and writing.
The following questions may help you think of an event for your literacy narrative:
• What obstacles have you encountered (and perhaps overcome) in learning to read or
write?
• What are your most vivid memories of reading or writing?
• What unexpected problems with learning to read or write have you encountered in
school?
• What issues have arisen from: learning a second language? being bilingual? speaking a
nonstandard dialect? having a speech or hearing impediment or a learning disability?
• What teachers or mentors have helped or hindered your development as a literate
person?
Key Features of a Literacy Narrative
To start, a literacy narrative is a personalized story.
Keys of a Literacy Narrative
• Hook: Begin with a hook to draw the reader in. This could be your first experience with
books or how reading and writing define you.
• Focus: Rounding out your first paragraph, you’ll want to give a short thesis that tells the
reader the whole point of your story.
• Meaning: Throughout the remainder of your narrative, you’ll use stories and vivid
descriptions to explore the meaning of this journey to you. You might discuss how your
poetry has grown or your love of reading has turned into writing.
• Challenges: Explore the challenges that you’ve faced in your journey and how you’ve
overcome them, along with how your ideas and thoughts have transformed.
Another Essay Outline Example
• Introduce the story.
• Describe the setting and people.
• Tell about what happened.
• Say how the story was resolved.
• Say something about the significance.
Above all, try to recall a moment in your life when speaking, reading, writing, and the like had a
big impact on your life. Answer the following questions to get you thinking:
What is your earliest memory of reading and writing?
How did you learn to read and write? Did you ever teach anyone else to read or write?
Who encouraged you to read and write?
What events interrupted and/or slowed down your ability and/or desire to read and write?
Did you apply literacy skills to other content areas: sports, music, video games, etc.?
What kinds of reading have you done in your past and what kinds of reading to you do now?
What teachers had a particular impact on your reading and writing?
What assignments had a particular impact on your reading and writing?
Have different schools or other institutions had an impact on your reading and writing?
How do you currently feel about reading and writing?
What rewards have come from reading and writing?
Did a special or important event from your past make you the reader and/or writer you are
today?
Was there a moment or moments that were especially empowering?
Did you ever read a book or poem or song that made sense to you beyond the words on the
page?
Please turn in your final essay in MLA format, 12-point Times New Roman, saved as a word
document.

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