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
- It must do more than tell a story; there
must be a purpose behind telling the story that speaks in some way to
- It should include experiences or anecdotes
to clarify your points.
- It should, ultimately, answers the So
- Your essay should include some reflection to
explain or speculate about what you understand now that you didn't
- It should be richly detailed. Show
what you mean, rather than simply explain or tell it.
Here are some ideas for coming up with a topic.
In every case, keep asking yourself questions about
- Follow one of the threads that came from
the brainstorming exercises you did in class. (pp. 123-126 in the Curious
- 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?
- 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.
- Look at the writing you've done in class and
see if you can use something as a seed for writing a longer piece.
- 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
- 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
Kay Benjamin, Spring 2007