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English Essay

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Due Date: 11:59 p.m. EST, Sunday of Unit 1
Points: 100

Overview:

Think of the stories you heard growing up. You know the ones…they have repeated
over and over again until they took on an almost mythic quality. We all have stories that
define us that are a part of us. Even a really good book or a movie is comprised of
stories that draw the reader into them.

In this memoir, you will be focusing on three elements: actions, dialogue, and thoughts.
You will select a real-life story, something that is non-fiction and true, to write about.
Within that story, you will need to determine what happened, what was stated, and what
you thought both at the time and now when you are writing this memoir. These three
elements will come together to help tell your story.

Instructions:

• Create a Memoir about a specific positive event in your life.
• Consider the following questions when starting your essay:

o What was a specific past event that was particularly memorable to you?
o What was the significance of that event on you?

Action, Dialogue, and Thoughts – A memoir is a combination of the description of the
action, specific dialogue spoken at the time, and your thoughts on what happened.
Think about this assignment like you are writing about a scene in your life. You will
have to pick a scene that can be discussed in a short amount of pages.

• Begin by describing what happened. Allow the reader to experience the action of
the story as you are writing it.

• During this scene, what important conversations did you have with people?
Consider the best of the dialogue you had and include that dialogue. You want
the dialogue to move the scene along.

• Finally, be sure to offer your thoughts on the experience both as you were living
through it and as you are now writing about it.

ENG110 – College Writing

Unit 1 Assignment: Memoir

Requirements:

• The essay should be one to two pages in length.

• You should include an APA-style title page and headers in addition to the one to
two pages for the assignment. Please double-space the assignment, write it in
12 point Times New Roman font and use a 1-inch margin.

• You should include a title page in addition to the one to two pages for the essay.

• Utilize the senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, smell) to help you tell the story.
Through description, show the readers what is happening in your memoir.
Include details that help paint a picture.

• You need an introduction and conclusion for this essay. The introduction should
set up what specifically the reader needs to know before you get into the main
action of the memoir. You also can include a thesis, or a controlling idea
statement, that lets the reader know your purpose for writing the essay. Finally,
the conclusion will wrap up the essay and show how the action in the memoir
was resolved.

• Your body paragraphs should focus on one specific part of the experience each.
Please do not try to include too much information in each paragraph.

• Your writing should be free of punctuation, spelling, and grammar errors and
contain appropriate word choice for an academic setting with a clear sentence
structure.

Be sure to read the criteria by which your work will be evaluated before you write
and again after you write.

Evaluation Rubric for the Memoir Assignment

CRITERIA Novice Needs Improvement Proficient Exemplary
Introduction
and
Conclusion

(0-10 Points) (11-14 Points) (15-17 Points) (18-20 Points)
Introduction and/or
the conclusion are
not present.
Introduction/
conclusion is very
hard to understand
and significantly
missing details.

Introduction and
conclusion are
attempted. The
introduction and
conclusion may be
lacking details to
properly set up and
then wrap up the
essay. The
introduction/
conclusion is not
related.

Introduction and
conclusion nicely
set up and wrap
up the essay.
The introduction/
conclusion could
relate better.

Introduction and
conclusion effectively
set up and wrap up the
essay. The
introduction/
conclusion relate well
to each other.

Organization
and
Structure

Many details are
not in a logical or
expected order.
The paper does
not use
paragraphs, or
they do not each
focus on one part
of the experience
each.

Writing may have
some discernible
organization, but
some details are not
in a logical or
expected order. The
paper uses
paragraphs
ineffectively by lacking
some focus on one
part of the experience
each.

Writing is
organized, and
details are
placed in a
logical order.
Paragraphs are
mostly used
effectively and
generally focus
on one part of
the experience
each.

Writing is effective,
purposeful, and well-
organized. Paragraph
s are used effectively
and focus on one part
of the experience
each.

Story There is no clear
story because of a
lack of
development of
action, dialogue,
and thoughts.

Some aspects of a
story exist through the
development of
actions, dialogue, and
thoughts.

Many aspects of
a story exist
through the
development of
actions,
dialogue, and
thoughts.

A clear story exists
through the
development of
actions, dialogue, and
thoughts.

Description
and Details

Content does not
include any
description or
details that utilize
the senses.

Content includes very
little description or
details that utilize the
senses.

Content includes
some description
or details that
utilize the
senses.

Content includes
descriptions or details
that effectively utilize
the senses.

CRITERIA Novice Needs Improvement Proficient Exemplary
Paper
Length

(0-5 Points) (6-7 Points) (8 Points) (9-10 Points)
Significantly less
than 1 page or
significantly more
than 2 pages.

Only half a page in
length.

Only three-
quarters of a
page in length.

One to two pages in
length.

Clear and
Professional
Writing and
APA Format

Writing is hard to
understand
because of errors
in grammar,
spelling, and
punctuation. Word
choice is
inappropriate for
an academic
setting. Sentence
structure is often
unclear. APA
format is not
followed.

Writing is sometimes
difficult to understand
because of several
errors in grammar,
punctuation, and
spelling. Word choice
is sometimes
inappropriate for an
academic setting.
Sentence structure is
sometimes unclear.
APA format is
sometimes followed.

Writing is easy to
understand
despite minor
errors in
punctuation,
spelling, and
grammar.
Appropriate word
choice is used
for an academic
setting.
Sentence
structure is
mostly clear.
APA format is
mostly followed.

Writing is free of
almost all punctuation,
spelling, and grammar
errors. Appropriate
word choice is used for
an academic setting.
Sentence structure is
clear. APA format is
followed.

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