RWA4: Drafting a Personal Narrative Essay

RWA4:  Drafting a Personal Narrative Essay

You have already written an exploratory draft of your essay.  To create the next draft, you will want to work with this draft and other materials related to your project, particularly the assignment guidelines.  You may also want to consult the other personal literacies narrative essays that we read in class, your brainstorming exercise(s), your earlier class assignments and journals, your class notes, and various handouts.  Feel free to use one of the essays you read last week as a model for structuring the essay that you are now drafting.  

To get started, first, read over your literacies narrative essay exploratory draft and take notes on it.  What is it about?  What is the "story" that you are trying to tell?  What are some of the most interesting passages in your draft?  Do these support what you think your personal essay is about?  If no, should you perhaps change your focus to make it possible to include these passages?  Is there anything important that you may have left out?  If so, please make a note to yourself to include this in the working draft.  In reading through the exploratory draft, did you think of other things related to the topic to write about?  If so, please write these down.  

Next, you may want to create either a formal or informal outline and then start drafting from that.  Alternately, you may just want to start writing and then, based on what you have written, figure out what goes where.  It will depend on what type of a writer you are and what your writing process is like.  

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND:  The draft that you will be bringing into class next week is A FIRST “READER’S” DRAFT, meaning, it is neither just a lot of interesting unstructured ideas written down, nor a finished draft. Rather, this draft is one that you can show to a peer editor to receive feedback on and suggestions regarding. As a result, put your best foot forward but also know that the draft you are writing WILL CHANGE in some substantive way based on the suggestions of others and your own thinking about the draft and the topic.  In this draft, you will be shaping, expanding, and re-presenting material from your exploratory draft.  You can do this by hand or on the computer.  However, the draft that you bring in to our next class MUST BE TYPED and DOUBLE SPACED.  Your working draft must also must include a TITLE, an INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH, and some BODY PARAGRAPHS; it should also be no less than two pages.   

As you prepare this draft, you may want to refer to the Steps in Drafting on the CUNY WriteSite.  You will find links to a sample student paper that is used to illustrate how the steps in drafting work here.

While not required, you may want to consult the following as you prepare this draft: Norton Guidelines for Writing Literacy Narratives