Tell the story of a significant experience that contributed to your


This project asks you to explore your learning and literacy development by narrating an experience or set of experiences. You could choose to focus on traditional literacy (learning to read and write) or another form of learning over time, including the following:

  • Technological literacy—learning how to build apps, navigate the internet, communicate through text messaging, blogging, social media, etc.
  • Academic literacy—learning how to think, talk, and write as a student or professional within your field of study (i.e., as a scientist, historian, literary critic, etc.)
  • Workplace literacy—learning the multiple ways of talking to customers, colleagues, and managers within a particular setting or situation.
  • Community literacy— learning to communicate with a particular group and understand their specialized language, practices, and values. Note: this could include communities surrounding sports, music, or other interests and values.

Writers can approach a learning and literacy narrative in many ways (working from a significant event or events, following a chronological pattern, discussing significant people, etc). You can choose any of these approaches or use one that you have seen at work in a narrative we’ve read or talked about in this class.

As you make these decisions, remember that your essay should do more than narrate events or accomplish self-expression as an end in itself: it should also interpret the significance of the experiences for you and your readers. In other words, this project requires you to think carefully about your audience and purpose. Keep in mind that writing in this class is public, and could be shared with the teacher and other students. Please only write about experiences that you are comfortable making public within our classroom community.

Assignment Components

 In order to finish this project, we will complete the following parts together over the next few weeks:

  • Invention/Prewriting: Collect and submit several pages of the invention work you complete in preparation for writing the Learning Narrative. This invention work can be typed from the questions in the CEL on Public Resonance, Analysis, and Point of Contact. If you complete this work by hand, include a picture or scan of a few pages of your work.
  • Draft: Include at least one pre-revised draft of your essay. The draft needs to meet the word count of 750 words and must also apply formatting requirements for the project—in other words it must be complete. Make sure that your draft is clearly marked “draft.”
  • Peer Review: We will complete a guided peer-review process via Canvas. You will need to provide thoughtful and targeted feedback to your peers to earn the peer review points for this unit. 
  • Final: For your final submission, you will need to have revised your draft(s) to incorporate the changes recommended by your peers and feedback from your instructor. This final should meet all of the assignment criteria, and will be evaluated with the Writing Experience rubric. 
  • Reflective Self-AnalysisThe essay submission will also require you to complete a reflective self-analysis assignment. This assignment is a brief reflective essay analyzing the effectiveness of your essay. The self-analysis uses passages from your own writing and pre-writing as evidence for the claims you make about your writing process and writing strategies.


These questions help to guide discussion and inquiry for this unit. The goal is not necessarily to answer these questions, but to explore them through the work of class discussions, writing, and reflection.

  • What is an experience? What are significant experiences in my life?
  • How is my own perspective on experiences different than the experiences of others? How do I perceive and report my experiences differently?
  • What significance do I perceive in my memories and experiences now that I missed earlier in my life?
  • How does writing about my experiences help me gain a more focused critical perspective on myself and on my understanding of the communities around me?
  • How can I use my experiences to build trust and credibility (ethos) as a writer? How can I establish emotional connections with an audience?
  • What issues and audiences from my personal experiences and memories are most important to me? What enduring topics or problems do I remain passionate about?
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