Personal Experience (or “Memoir”) Essay

Personal Experience (or “Memoir”) Essay Guidelines:

We have read four stories that all tell about a personal experience of the author.In “My Father’s Noose”, the story tells us about the cycle of abuse and the damaging effects of poverty on families.“The Fourth State of Matter” is about a situation that has become all too common, but no less horrifying.We never know when a person in our midst might “snap” and our lives will be changed forever.This is behind the argument going on now in favor of guns on campus and open carry laws.“The Scarlet Ibis” is about how cruel we can be, even to people we love, and how pride can be crippling to relationships.“Dumpster Diving” is about the experience of a homeless person – about the clutter and emptiness of our lives and what is really “enough”. Your assignment is to write about a personal experience that will allow you to recall events and feelings, but in a way that will have meaning and significance for an audience of your choice.

-Essay should be two to three pages (500-750 words typed, double spaced)

-Use proper heading (your name, my name, course, date all in upper left corner of first page, double spaced); Also give an original, interesting title

-Use standard margins, and indent paragraphs 5 spaces

-Use 10-12 CPI font

-See tutors (on any campus) to help with structure, content, and grammar

-You may use a personal, informal voice

-The experience you write about should be true (non-fiction)

-Be sure to tell why the experience you are writing about was/is significant to you, and how it made you feel

-Be aware of your purpose and audience (why you writing, and to whom)

-Remember that the THEME (point/message) may be implied through action and dialogue rather than stated directly. For example, in “My Father’s Noose”, the theme might be that we are all, to some extent, “victims” of our upbringing, and that abuse is cyclical in nature. It might also be that poverty can actually damage one’s soul. The author does not state this in so many words. It is suggested.

-IMPORTANT: Be aware of due date for this paper. It must be submitted via Turnitin (enrollment password and ID are given in Blackboard)