Personal Essay Assignment 
(8% of total grade)  650-700 words - 2 pages
1st Draft Due Monday February 5
Final Draft Due Monday February 12
Submit the both draft via

Write an organized essay that explores some aspect of your experience. Although you may use explanation and evaluation methods of inquiry, approach this more as a process of exploration, discovering what you think about a topic or what you have learned from an experience.

The essay should have the following qualities

Here are some ideas for coming up with a topic. In every case, keep asking yourself questions about

  1. Follow one of the threads that came from the brainstorming exercises you did in class. (pp. 123-126 in the Curious Writer)
  2. Pick a controversial topic that interests you, and explore why you believe what you believe. How did you come to see the topic in this particular light?
  3. If you keep a journal, find a line or passage that invites you to write more about an experience, feeling, or opinion. Use this as a starting place.
  4. Look at the writing you've done in class and see if you can use something as a seed for writing a longer piece.
  5. Consider one of the essays you've had to read for class and begin by writing a personal response. Or use an article you've read on your own that aroused a noteworthy response in you. Use personal experiences from your life to help understand your response to the writing.
  6. Think of a time when you traveled somewhere that took you out of the normal circumstances of your own life. What feelings and thoughts did the experience arouse? Begin with those impressions, then perhaps weave those into the story of your experience. How did your experiences affect your opinions and belief systems?

Be sure to follow the format in this MS Word template.

Composition 100, SUNY College at Oneonta, NY
Kay Benjamin, Spring 2007