Assignment: Write a short essay about the impact of reading upon your life. A literacy essay explores one’s growth as a reader. Don’t confuse “literacy” with “literature.” The goal is to create a thesis that states how one or more specific texts have contributed to your personal development.
Your grade will be determined by your performance on the following elements of writing:
15% Introduction: You set a context for why it is important to discuss the place of reading and writing in our lives. How have your experiences in these areas shaped your values? What can other people learn from the story you have to tell? You may use a specific anecdote or episode from your life to illustrate your point.
15% Thesis: The culmination of the introduction is your statement of your main idea.
30% Organization: You have two options for organizing your essay depending on the focus you take:
OPTION 1: If you are writing about your experience becoming literate (learning to read and write), you will probably take a narrative approach while detailing your first experiences in school, your first memories of books, or the first time reading or writing seemed to make a big impact on your life. You will want strong transition from paragraph to paragraph which should be at least six sentences in length to be fully developed. Your organization will probably be chronological to coincide with life stages.
OPTION 2: If you focus more on a specific text or a specific reading experience, you’ll structure your essay in a more subject-by-subject fashion. Your introduction will establish that you are writing about significant moments at which literacy or particular texts impacted your life. Give a sense of why those moments or texts are important. Your body paragraphs will be organized around each of those texts or moments by explaining what they were and narrating why they mattered. You will want strong transitions and paragraphs of at least six sentences.
10% Conclusion: Regardless of which option you choose, you want a conclusion that avoids summarizing what you’ve just said. You also don’t want to say, “In conclusion.…” Your aim in a conclusion is to place the discussion in a larger context. For example, how might those experiences be similar to or different from those of other individuals? How do you envision the role of reading in your life in the future?
15% Grammar and mechanics: Your paper avoids basic grammar mistakes, such as dropped apostrophes in possessives, subject/verb disagreement, and arbitrary tense switches. The paper demonstrates a commitment to proofreading by avoiding easy-to-catch typographical errors and word mistakes (effect for affect, for example).
15% Presentation: Your paper meets the minimum length criteria of 500 words. Paper includes proper heading and format. See example in ANNOUNCEMENTS.