This diagnostic writing exercise will help your instructor
discover who you are as a writer. The essay will be used to help you
identify your strengths and weaknesses as a writer, and it will allow
the instructor the opportunity to identify grammatical, stylistic, and
mechanical problems specific to each student. Do not fret over the idea
that grammar, style, and mechanics will be evaluated in this assignment.
This diagnostic writing exercise is merely one way to take a look at
any particular patterns that exist in your writing. You will earn full
credit for completing this assignment as long as you follow
A narrative is a story that you tell to an audience for a reason. You
can use your own experience or your role as an observer to frame a
narrative, but the story itself should stir readers into thinking about
and remembering their own stories.
As children, we often seek out or create mysteries. Every town seems to
have stories of haunted houses or swamp monsters. One reason might be
that children have to learn how to conquer a fear of the unknown. Based
on your own experience, that of someone else, or a tale from your own
imagination, write a narrative essay that tells a story about conquering
fear. Your essay should be 550 to 800 words. For the purposes of this
essay, please do not worry about incorporating any external sources.
For more information about how to write a narrative essay, please review
the major elements that define narrative in Chapter 5, which include
character, plot, purpose, action, and point of view. You may use first
person and should incorporate dialogue (using quotes) if appropriate.
Keep in mind that your essay is about connecting the story to your
readers to expand their own understanding about conquering fear.
The essay written for this section is diagnostic in nature. As such, you
will receive a grade based solely on whether or not you submit the
assignment and that it meets the minimum word requirement. Your essay
will not be used to place you into classes. Your instructor will use
this essay to provide you with assistance tailored to your needs.
When reading your essay, your instructor will look for the following features:
- Structure: The consistency with which the writer identifies and
maintains the essay’s main idea. Two main points of structure include
the thesis statement and topic sentences.
- Thesis Statement – Emphasizes the main point proven in the
essay. The thesis usually occurs early in the essay, most ideally as the
last sentence in the introduction.
- Topic Sentences – Occur near the beginning of each
paragraph; they state what the paragraph proves and advance the main
idea conveyed in the thesis statement.
- Development: How the writer uses details and examples to evolve
ideas throughout the essay and sequence of ideas presented in the
essay. All of the ideas within the essay should clearly relate to the
- Style: How writers chose to express themselves. Elements of
style include word choice, sentence construction, and clarity. Style
elements can vary according to the audience and purpose of the writing.
- Grammar: The instructor will evaluate your essay for common
grammatical mistakes that can often affect the overall quality and
clarity of your writing.
Note: Your essay should be 550 to 800 words, double-spaced, and formatted according to APA Style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center
. Save your essay as a Microsoft Word document (.doc) or Rich Text File (.rtf).