The paper has to be 750-1250 words. it has to include introduction, three claims and evidences each in one paragraph so 3 body paragraph, opposition and refutation, conclusion.1
Project 1 Overview
In Project 1, you will construct a Literacy Narrative. Project 1 will take 5 weeks to
complete and includes 10 Activities, each of which is broken down into tasks.
Completion of each task as part of each activity is required and will contribute to a
successful Literacy Narrative.
The activities in Project 1 are organized to include assignment content, as well as
instruction, practice, collaboration, feedback, and reflection. Each activity focuses on
developing specific elements within the overall learning objectives and outcomes for the
course, and while the activities build to a Literacy Narrative, the tasks themselves are
designed to focus on developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with
college-level learning and production. In other words, every step is connected in a spiral
of activities designed to lead you to success.
Some of the skills you will encounter in Project 1 are skills most students were exposed
to in high school or in other educational settings. Our goal is to build on existing skills
and develop them for the expectations of higher education because these skills are
needed not only to succeed at USF but across your lifecycle of professional and
personal development whether you advance into graduate school or enter the
workplace. Other skills are probably new to most students. The goal of the skills
activities is to learn the language and logic behind the skill and to practice both within
the context of the assignment in order to develop the ability to continue the practice on
your own and tailor the practice to the areas of your life where they will transfer.
In Project 1, Activities 1-4 will allow you to develop and practice skills around reading,
annotating, summarizing, and collaborating with the goal of constructing the Literacy
Narrative in clear steps and while you practice foundational skills. Activities 5, 6, and 7
will allow you to practice the processes of outlining, construction, and revision. After
submitting your Literacy Narrative in Activity 8, Activity 9 will allow you to reimagine and
revise your narrative for a public audience. Reflecting on your writing and learning will
be included in Activity 10.
The goal of the reflection is to identify the important elements of the task and recognize
what has been learned and how that learning has created or shifted your personal
writing process. A literacy narrative is a reflection in and of itself; it allows the writer to
reflect on prior experiences and make sense of present impact. In a similar way, as you
will see, all of the Projects in ENC 1101 include reflections throughout the tasks and a
reflection activity upon completion.
Before jumping from one activity and project into the next, it is invaluable to pause and
look at what has been done in order to allow our learning to be identified and absorbed.
Part of that pausing and reflecting will include a one-on-one conference with your
Instructor in Week 5. Additionally, you will locate, engage, and share supplemental
ased on what your work throughout the tasks in Project 1 helped you
identify as areas where you feel comfortable and confident and areas where you would
like to develop your skills, you will be able to select resources that will strengthen and
supplement the specific skills while practicing self-directed and independent learning.
In-class activities connected to each task will allow for collaboration and feedback, and
many of your attached assignments will be posted to Canvas as discussion threads that
allow you to read and respond to the submissions of your peers.
All course content is embedded in Canvas. Additional tools, such as USF Writes, will
also be used to engage and upload materials. Readings are linked to Google Docs
within the tasks for each activity. The readings in each task include instructions on skills
that are then engaged through the Attached Assignment and content directly related to
the scaffolded steps that build to the Literacy Narrative.
The Attached Assignments are completed and uploaded before each class so that the
content included in the readings can be developed and discussed in class in
collaboration with your peers and your Instructor. The design is intended to allow you to
read and digest the content on your own and then apply the skills individually before
class. In addition to opening class time for active learning and discussion instead of
using classroom time for lectures and content delivery, this approach allows you to
absorb the material in your own way and at your own pace before entering discussions
that can then serve to deepen your understanding and comprehension of the content.
Time for workshopping the tasks in class may also be available as a result of this
approach to content delivery.
The course content for Project 1 is embedded throughout the tasks in the following
Task 1.1 Approaching an Assignment
Task 1.3 Literacy Narrative Assignment Details
Task 2.1 Genre: Literacy Narrative
Task 3.1 Reading and Summarizing Fiction
Task 3.3 Responding to Fiction
Task 4.1 Reading and Summarizing Narratives
Task 4.3 Responding to Narratives
Task 5.1 Rewind and Reflect
Task 5.3 Outlining the Literacy Narrative
Task 6.1 Evolving an Outline
Task 6.2 Checklist
Task 7.1 Self Review
Task 8.2 Scoring and Grading
Task 9.1 Audience
Task 9.3 Conferencing
Task 10.1 Self-Directed Supplements
Task 10.3 Reflective Statement
Project 1: All Project Content (pdf)
Content is also included in the form of primary sources that are embedded in the
readings. Any additional readings will be provided in class as part of class activities or
shared through Canvas by your Instructor.
The steps of the project will unfold across the assignments, so don’t feel like you should
understand the whole project right away. Content and reflection are spaced out across
Project 1 to allow you time to practice and absorb the material as in evolves. Task 1.3
provides an overview of the details and requires you to preview the entire project, which
will let you see how all the steps work together to build to the Literacy Narrative. Task
2.1 explains the genre, so it will start to become clear after those readings and
assignments have been completed. Activities 3 and 4 work on building the skills of
summary and response and allow us to read a narrative that will serve as an example of
the narrative genre while also allowing us to develop the skills of summary and
response that we will need to summarize our own stories as part of our Literacy
Narrative. When you develop your outline in Activity 5, all the steps with start to come
together and click, so feel free to ask questions at any point, but recognize that it is ok if
you are learning as you go.
Time on Task
Assignments are designated with an approximate time on task. The indicated range
(~20-30 minutes, for instance) is intended to provide a general length of time you should
plan to allot for the task. Some students will finish in less time, and some will spend
more time on each task. Don’t feel pressure to complete the tasks in the given window
of time. Do recognize that you will need to plan to give yourself time to get through all
the assigned work.
Although the main intention is to support your planning, it is also useful to recognize that
if you haven’t put in nearly as much time as the task is suggested to take, it is unlikely
that you will be working at the level needed to be successful. And if you feel confused or
want to ask questions or quit but know you haven’t put in much time, try to stick with it.
Most learning starts with confusion because that means you are processing information
about something that you didn’t know. Do ask your Instructor if you have questions, but
let yourself try to get through the content first so that you can develop helpful questions.
Similarly, if you are spending far more than the approximate time on tasks, talk to your
Instructor. Just as you will want to preview the content, be sure to review the schedule
in order to inform your planning.
Project 1 Overview
Activity 1: Introduction to Assignment: Literacy Narrative
Activity 2: Introduction to Genre: Narrative
Activity 3: Reading Fiction
Activity 4: Reading Narratives
Activity 5: Reflection and Construction
Activity 6: Reviewing and Previewing
Activity 7: Revision
Activity 8: Submission
Activity 9: Addressing Audience
Activity 10: Reflection
One early way to develop your ability to plan—often called self-regulation—is to place
the activities in your calendar with the approximate time you will spend on each.
Learning about realistic time allocation is an important part of creating your personal
writing process. And when you are done with a reading or task, don’t wait until the next
class meeting for direction. All the content is available, so always feel free to take
advantage of the opportunity to get started on the next reading and prepared for the
next task and class.
There are a number of graded assignments in Project 1. Each reading includes content,
generally in the form of a reading or video, with an attached assignment that
accompanies the content. Attached assignments allow you to engage the content and
apply the associated skills.
Project 1 includes 15 attached assignments each worth 15 points for a total of 225
points. Each of these tasks is designed to build on general skills and to support the
development of Project 1. Instructors will provide feedback on the attached assignments
throughout the term, generally in the form of brief comments on the content. Instructors
may also note patterns and suggest locating resources on specific subjects to support
your self-directed learning, which will be submitted in Activity 10.
The content and attached assignments will build to your Literacy Narrative. Before
submitting your final Literacy Narrative, you will receive feedback on the formatting and
content of your outline. After outlining your Literacy Narrative, you will develop the
outline into a full narrative, which you will upload and Self Review in USF Writes. You
will then revise your Literacy Narrative and upload your final draft in USF Writes for
Instructor feedback. Feedback on your Literacy Narrative will be provided in USF Writes
and a final grade, worth 75 points, will be included in your attached assignment
submitted in Canvas (task 8.3).
The attached assignments associated with Activities 9 and 10 will be uploaded and
scored in Canvas, as well. Project 1 is worth 300 points of the 1000 available points in
the course. Extra credit is available at the discretion of your Instructor and only in the
form of FYC Workshop attendance and participation.
Evaluation of work in ENC 1101 is designed to focus on providing you with feedback
that will allow you to learn and to develop your writing and your writing process. One
important way we support that goal is not to focus only on a huge, final product that is
heavily weighted. Small tasks that develop your skills and allow you to practice add up
to more points than the final product they feed.
Another innovative way we work to support your learning is to take more than the
Literacy Narrative itself into consideration when evaluating your performance on the
Literacy Narrative. Feedback on the product, which is the Literacy Narrative you upload,
takes place in USF Writes and informs the grade, but your learning and development
cannot be judged by the product alone. Instead you will also be allowed to reflect on the
other learning that likely occurred throughout Project 1 so that those elements, the
learning not demonstrated in the one sample of your writing that the Literacy Narrative
represents, can be considered as part of the grade. Your performance on the Literacy
Narrative will still inform the grade and serve as the main consideration, but space for
other considerations is included. While this may make sense in theory just by reading
an explanation, the best way to achieve comprehension is by experiencing the process
across Project 1. The same design spirals into Projects 2 and 3.
USF Writes is a formative assessment platform, which means that it will create a digital
space intended to generate feedback you can use to develop your writing process
instead of feedback only intended to comment on or judge a final product. Using USF
Writes will allow you to undertake a systematic review of your own work and the work of
your peers using the same tools and task-specific rubrics that will be used when your
Instructor provides feedback to you. These rubrics include actionable elements that will
allow you to revise your work with precision. The scores in USF Writes are listed as
numbers to allow Instructors and students to be able to locate the text box on a scale so
that the rubric feedback can be understood. Scores are not grades. USF Writes is used
for feedback and everything that happens in USF Writes is intended to allow Instructors
to provide students with actionable feedback. The feedback will inform the grade, which
will be assigned in Canvas.
The scores you receive in USF Writes are designed to allow you to reflect on your work
in structured ways; however, these formative assessments are different from grades.
While grades are informed by the criteria described on the rubric, there are many other
elements of writing that no rubric can capture. Your instructor is an expert reviewer and
will be able to assign and discuss each grade based on elements from the rubric and
other elements of writing processes and products that are part of the submission at
There are two rubrics for Project 1: the grading rubric that is in Canvas and will be used
to grade all the Attached Assignments that are connected to the readings and
designated as Tasks, and the feedback rubric in USF Writes that will be used to provide
feedback for Self Review and Instructor Review.
The 15 attached assignments submitted regularly as tasks within the activities will be
evaluated for overlapping criteria using the grading rubric, which is a holistic rubric in
for Very Good
by meeting the
by meeting the
some areas of
The writer has
A number of
The writer has
The grading rubric will be connected to the 15 points that result based on the quality of
the uploaded content. The same grading rubric, which is holistic and not broken into
separate criteria, will be used to evaluate all of the Attached Assignments. Additional
comments may be given by your Instructor.
Feedback will be provided in USF Writes b
ased on a rubric that is not tied directly to
grades. Instead scores that inform grades will be used. A 6-point scale is tied to the
rubric in order to separate the scores from the 75 points that determine the grade. The
same feedback rubric, or scoring rubric, is used for Self Review and for Instructor
Review, which means that you will get to practice using the rubric on your own paper
before your Instructor uses the same rubric to provide feedback, which will help you
better understand the expectations and the feedback.
The Literacy Narrative will be uploaded to USF Writes so that feedback can be provided
with the following scoring rubric. The scoring rubric includes four criteria take allow the
complexity of the assignment to be addressed. Elements of the scoring rubric will also
be used to inform a grade, but the grade will not be based only on the feedback in USF
Writes and will be given in Canvas.
Scoring Rubric for Literacy Narrative
by meeting and
by meeting the
by meeting the
some areas of
The writer has
A number of
The writer has
Four Criteria: Introduction, Structured Narrative, Conventions, Holistic
The writer has
the writer has
The writer has
the writer has
The writer has
the writer has
The writer has
writer has very
The writer has
very brief ,
The Structured Narrative
In the body of
the writer has
narrative of the
major theme or
themes of the
way this theme
played out in
the writer’s life.
In the body of
the writer has
themes of the
the way this
out in the
In the body of
the writer has
themes of the
out in the
In the body of
the writer has
narrative of the
major theme or
themes of the
on the way this
out in the
In the body of
the writer has
narrative of the
major theme or
themes of the
brief details on
the way this
out in the
In the body of
the writer has
narrative of the
major theme or
themes of the
little or no
or no detail on
the way this
out in the
Knowledge of Conventions
The writer has
The writer has
The writer has
The writer has
burden on the
The writer has
the extent that
is difficult to
The writer has
the extent that
on this task.
on this task.
on this task.
on this task.
on this task.
on this task.
The goal of the rubric design and the clear segregation between feedback and grading
is intended to support your learning and success. We understand that it is different than
standard grading and evaluation methods most students and Instructors have
experienced and may take until the second project to really get, but we trust that you will
appreciate the impact this approach will have on our learning and success. As you
progress through Project 1, more information will be provided.
1.1 Approaching an Assignment
Attached Assignment: After you complete this reading on strategies to approach an
assignment, identify five main ideas from the text below that you think are the most
important and useful takeaways (for you and your writing process), and write one
sentence explaining each of the five points and why you think it is important and useful.
Upload your five sentences to Task 1.2.
Approaching an Assignment
When approaching an assignment, consider the whole process: where will you work,
how long do you have, what will you need, what is the genre, and who is your
audience? Depending on assignment and situation, you may identify different and
additional elements to take into consideration. The goal is to think through what
elements of the realistic situation must you take into account to begin an assignment
Before beginning each assignment, spend a few minutes considering its goals and
directions. Fulfilling an assignment is not unlike following a recipe. Before you start, you
need to know what kind of cake you are baking, read the recipe, gather the ingredients,
and make sure you have the necessary time and tools for the task.
The first step in engaging any assignment is to understand the assignment. A useful
practice is to cut and paste the relevant details from the assignment overview at the top
of your page and write a brief summary of your understanding of the assignment.
Elements of an assignment range from
● the medium (paper, presentation, poster, quiz . . . )
● to the genre (narrative, expository/informative, argument/persuasive . . . )
● to the audience (instructor, classmates, public . . . )
● to the details (due date, format, length, source requirements, evaluation
expectations, rubrics, grading, other expectations).
If there are elements you do not understand, ask your Instructor right away. Instructors
love to know that you are interested and invested.
Because the writing process is part of the content for ENC 1101, a number of steps in
the writing process will be made explicit and will be included in the larger project as
graded tasks. The content that will be engaged over the course of a project will continue
to roll out through the content, so it is ok if you do not understand every step at the
beginning when the project is launched. And don’t forget that there is not only one,
singular writing process that all writers can follow in all situations. Processes vary
across individuals, and as we evolve as writers, our individual process will continue to
develop and become advanced enough to allow us to respond to elements such as
genre and audience that should impact not only the written product but also the writing
In general, writing assignments vary across discipline, department, course, and
Instructor. Some writing assignments include explicitly stated and scaffolded steps in
the process (which means that they build upon each other), and some even include
submission of smaller steps throughout the process. Reading and research might be
submitted in the form of an annotated bibliography or outline, for instance. Once you
learn how the steps work for you, they can become part of your personal writing process
Even when these steps are not assigned, they are assumed as part of the writing
process required to succeed in college-level writing assignment. If an assignment states
that scholarly sources should be included, it probably will not explain that the student
needs to locate, read, and annotate an appropriate source so that it can be integrated
into the assignment. In fact, that step in the process is an unstated expectation because
it is required in order to fulfill the assignment of including scholarly source material and
the Instructor who created the task expected that students understood the necessary
steps in the writing and research process and was proficient in the associated skill.
When steps in the research and writing process such as outlining and revising are not
required or graded steps in the assignment, some students skip these steps or simply
do not realize their importance or know how to complete them independently. An
important goal of ENC 1101 is to learn and practice a number of the skills required to be
a successful writer across situations so that your process can continue to develop as
you grow as a reader, writer, and learner. Every one of us is capable of becoming an
independent learner and taking ownership of our education and responsibility for our
As you read an assignment and start the planning process, note which steps are overt
in the assignment and which are assumed as your responsibility. If steps in the writing
process are not i ncluded as part of the submission, be sure to add these steps to your
own timeline so that you don’t run out of time and miss out on the opportunity.
Think of a cooking show: just because the producers only show you the final product of
the cake, that doesn’t mean the bakers didn’t follow all the steps of the recipe off
screen. Similarly, when a step in the research and writing process isn’t assigned or
submitted, the expectation is that the work was completed independently, which
requires you to be aware of your individual research and writing processes and to be
self sufficient in relation to planning and managing your efforts. You might have a
personalized approach to mixing the elements or you might like a different kind of flour,
so you will want to take the opportunity to learn your own best practices, but no one can
skip major steps in the recipe and still make a delicious cake.
In Project 1, the steps are included as tasks within each activity. The tasks include new
content in the form of text or video and practice with the skills associated with each
step, but again, when these elements are not stated explicitly, you will want to develop
your own process and your personal approach. In other words, if you are not required to
annotate the reading so that you are prepared to write a summary and response, it is
still a best practice and is an assumed step in college-level reading and research (are
you taking and making notes on this text now?). And whether or not annotating the
reading is assigned and submitted, as an advanced reader, you should have your own
Some students read and annotate in a digital space. Some read on a laptop but make
notes on paper. Some print course readings and write on the doc. And these practices
vary in relation to the kind of material being read and the purpose. If you have an
established approach to reading, feel free to use that method, but as we advance
through the course, and as you move into upper-level courses in your discipline, your
approach to reading and annotating should evolve—just like your process of writing.
Another (sometimes unassigned) expectation of college-level work is an organized
system of storing assignments in a place where they are safe and accessible. Whether
you use folders on flash drives or categories in clouds or public web portfolios, it is
important to develop a method that works for you—for now and for later. Not only will
you need to produce copies of your work for this course, but you will also want, perhaps
need, to reference materials for future courses, which will require knowing where the
documents are stored and how they are named.
Transfer and Access
Remember that each assignment is part of a larger syllabus and feeds future
assignments and overall themes and goals. Many of your minor assignments help you
prepare for a major assignment. And researching a topic in one class can impact your
topic selection for an assignment in a seemingly unrelated course. You can think even
bigger by considering what you might use in your future studies or jobs or in the many
roles we play in our lives.
The content of ENC 1101 is designed to develop skills that will transfer into other areas
of your academic practice and material that will be useful across majors and throughout
and beyond your time at USF. Many of the resources we engage and the skills you
develop will help you build the overall competencies expected of all USF graduates.
You will also explore your personal writing process and practice adapting your writing to
different audiences or communities while developing individual approaches that
continue to build upon basic skills and practices in preparation for the specific content
and conventions of your chosen field of study. Reading, annotating, summarizing,
writing, communicating, collaborating, and the other skills we focus on practicing will
also serve you well on any career path you find yourself following. In addition,
throughout the semester, you will also be engaged in a process of self-discovery that
will hone your writing skills and feed your intrapersonal (such as tenacity) and
interpersonal (such as collaboration) competencies.
Because the course content is intended to transfer across academic areas, storing and
organizing assignments so that you maintain access is important. One option is to start
a new folder each term and create a folder for each class within the folder for that term,
You will also want to develop a naming strategy for each draft and assignment that
works for you. Because you have an assigned gmail account, you have access to
Google Suite and will be able to access Google Docs from any computer. You also
have access to Word Online through Canvas as an app.
Once you understand the assignment and have created a plan to approach each step,
you are ready to dive in. Unknown variables can always impact your process, so the
ability to code-switch (switch through varieties of language in writing and conversation)
and code-mesh (combine different types of language and literacy practices) when you
want to adapt your language is important. Knowing that there are steps and that you are
ready will help you focus and relieve the initial anxiety of not knowing where or how to
start. And even if your first few cakes are too sweet, know that with practice and more
time in the kitchen, you will be able to bake anything.
1.3 Literacy Narrative Assignment Details
Attached Assignment: After you read the assignment details closely and carefully,
think through your approach to the construction of your Literacy Narrative. Then preview
all the Activities and Tasks in Project 1 (see all content links). Once you have digested
the material, post your considered responses to each of the following:
Where will you do the reading (location and device)?
Where will you write and store assignments (hardware and software)?
When and where will you work (main times and locations)?
What are the main details of the assignment?
What, specifically, did you learn from previewing all the activities and tasks in
6. What planning or calendering technique will you use to plan for the next five
7. Describe this assignment in one sentence for a defined audience.
8. What question would you ask your Instructor?
9. What will you need to succeed in this assignment?
10. What terms and concepts will you need to understand to fulfill this assignment?
11. What part(s) of the assignment interest you most?
12. Finally, do you feel prepared to complete the assignment. If you do, what steps in
this preparation process have helped most. If you do not, what will help you feel
Details: Project 1 builds to the delivery of a 750-1000 word Literacy Narrative written in
MLA, which is due on Week 4 and is to be submitted through USF Writes. The process
of constructing the Literacy Narrative is broken into 15 activities with distinct tasks that
will total 300 points.
While literacy narratives take many forms, the format of the Literacy Narrative that will
submitted in week 4 will be a written document. As we move through the process of
writing our Literacy Narrative, many audiences will be engaged. At the core, you are the
primary audience for your writing, specifically for a narrative genre, but your peers in the
course and the Instructor will also serve as audiences.
You will also upload any version or section of your Literacy Narrative in any format to
the DALN, which is a public audience. Pay attention to the shifts you make when you
move from an academic audience to a public audience because these shifts will be
discussed in Project 3. You are free to be creative and change format or medium for this
upload as you edit your submission for a public audience.
With these audiences in mind, consider how personal you want to be and what
experiences (yours and those of other individuals in your stories) you want to share so
that you can work where you are comfortable. You are the main character in your story.
The steps of the assignment are broken down into tasks that will be submitted in
Canvas. Because this is a Composition course and the writing process is part of our
content, time is spent on the elements of writing that are not necessarily explored
explicitly in other courses.
We are mentioning this again because it is important to recognize that the content
related to the assignment will be included in each of the tasks and that all the tasks will
build upon each other and up to the submission of the Literacy Narrative. The building
process makes sense in theory, but in practice, it can feel like the whole assignment is
not immediately clear yet, which is true. But everything is intentional and connected.
Learning something means shifting from not knowing to knowing, and the step in the
middle is often confusion. When the thing you are learning is a complex process, it can
take weeks for elements to start to click. If you have questions after a reading, ask your
Instructor. But if you just have an overall sense of worry that you are encountering
things you don’t know, that is because you are learning, which is a good thing and is the
goal of being here.
Constructing the Literacy Narrative
To construct a Literacy Narrative, we will engage short readings and complete attached
assignments. We will practice reading and annotating texts and explore sample
narratives. We will outline and answer questions intended to explore our literacy
experiences and look for connections across those experiences in an effort to locate
one, overarching outcome or impact of literacy in the formation of who we are today.
Although this is your story, you will be collaborating with peers in a number or ways,
most of which will come in the form of sharing your attached assignments through posts
in Canvas threads on discussion boards.
Once you have outlined and drafted your Literacy Narrative, you will have the
opportunity to review and revise your paper. The practice of using a checklist to review
your paper and the process of Self Review will allow you to develop a strong Literacy
Narrative for submission. The final narrative will be submitted to your Instructor for
review. After you submit your final Literacy Narrative, you will upload your public-facing
narrative and take some time to reflect on the process.
Beginning to consider your relation to and with literacy will serve as the foundation for
the subsequent assignments in which you will take a deeper dive into the exploration of
individual and collective communication practices and processes—all with the intention
of understanding and developing the main character in your story.
Knowledge of the conventions of documenting source material and formatting your
assignment is part of successful college-level writing. Fortunately you are not expected
to memorize that knowledge but only to have a working knowledge and the willingness
to locate credible sources and apply the knowledge before submission.
Stated simply, you must use MLA carefully and correctly, but you are able to look up all
the answers all the time. Following formatting expectations only requires spending the
time and energy necessary to follow basic directions. Ample content is spread
throughout the internet on numerous .edu sites that you will learn to navigate as you
complete written assignments for courses for years to come. Resistance is futile and
costly. Simply look up the formatting expectations and do the work.
For the Literacy Narrative, source material is not required but is allowed and should be
cited in the text and at the end of the text in accordance with MLA style guide
expectations. Proficiency with formatting is an expectation for all college-level writing,
but different assignment requirements result in different formatting requirements. For
instance, if you do not use source material for your Literacy Narrative, your submission
doesn’t require in-text citations or a Works Cited page. If you use sources, you need
Different formats will be used depending on the discipline in which you are writing, but
the general concepts of attribution and organization apply across all academic writing.
The goal of learning to write in MLA is not simply to learn MLA but to learn the value of
sharing a standard style that guides the overall approaches to the use of source
Projects 2 and 3 will require the use of sources, so documentation will be discussed
explicitly in those sections. If you want to use sources in your Literacy Narrative, check
any credible source (like USF Writing Studio or the Purdue OWL).
2.1 Genre: Literacy Narrative
Attached Assignment: After reading this overview of the genre and watching the two
videos, answer the following questions:
1. How are the concepts of literacy and the expectations of a literacy narrative as
explained in the assignment similar to and different than Selfe’s expectations of
2. Link two narratives you explored in the DALN and discuss what each did well?
3. Identify and list four literacy memories, two formal (related to reading and writing
in a formal, educational setting) and two informal (related to reading or writing for
personal purposes). How do they overlap and how are they different?
When individuals compose a literacy narrative, they often recall how they learned to
read and write, describe a memorable event involving their literacy acquisition or
exploration, or consider how reading and writing continue to play roles in their lives. In
general, a literacy narrative is a narrative that connects events and personal
experiences related to literacy to an individual’s personal development. Just like there
are various understandings of what comprises literacy, there are various
understandings of the literacy narrative as a genre.
The Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives is a public space where anyone can upload a
literacy narrative and read the literacy narratives of others. Cynthia L. Selfe, Professor
Emerita at the Ohio State University and cofounder of the DALN, defines a literacy
narrative as a “personal account of any event involving reading or composing” (“What is
a Literacy Narrative”). Selfe discusses literacy narratives in What is a Literacy Narrative
and The Power of Literacy Narratives. Watching these videos will help you understand
Selfe’s definition of literacy and her ideas on literacy narratives as a genre. (Question 1)
For our Literacy Narrative, we will connect literacy events and look for a thread that ties
the experiences together and to an outcome. The outcome will be the impact the
experiences with literacy had on you.
Literacy, in general, signifies being competent in an area or demonstrating a basic
proficiency with a skill. More specific and standard definitions of literacy focus on
reading books and writing text, but concepts of literacy have expanded to include critical
literacy, digital literacy, visual literacy, technological literacy, and emerging literacies.
In this course, we view literacy as a form of identity. We are shaped by words, and we
shape our world by words. Language, therefore, is part of identity. We will also
recognize that literacy is a social practice and cannot be divorced from audience and
These expanded literacies are built on the traditional literacy of reading and writing. We
read an image, and we read code, and we read clues and context by building on the
competencies developed by reading books. Similarly we write code and copy and
content and text and context by building on the skills developed by writing.
Looking at our interactions with literacy also includes considering the learning process
that moved us from building blocks to USF, which includes the formal learning, reading,
and writing that occurred in schools and the informal interactions that occurred in our
personal lives and exchanges.
In the same way that traditional notions of literacy conjure images of books and pens or
online books and laptops, college-level writing—in composition courses and
beyond—often conjures the idea of a research paper or essay. And much of
college-level writing does take that form. But just as you will be expected to learn in
increasingly digital spaces, the communication you create will likely follow a similar
Many of the Literacy Narratives in the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives are in visual
or video format already. In order to expand into these new and other spaces, our goal is
to start specific and practice honing and developing the standard skills that will facilitate
success with advancing and advanced literacy at USF and beyond. To explore the
variety of directions a literacy narrative can take, use search narratives on the DALN to
look for subjects or texts and read or watch a few of the uploaded narratives. (Question
In your Literacy Narrative, you will be expected to organize your narrative around an
overarching theme or thesis that connects the literacy events to a meaningful outcome
or statement. Once you have established the moral or takeaway of your story, your
narrative of the role of literacy has played in your life should describe the literacy-related
events or experiences that impacted you.
In addition to telling a good story, a main goal is to reflect on your personal experience
in a way that demonstrates your ability to make meaning of the narrative and exposition
you have provided. Not only will doing so allow you to practice many of the skills
required for success in college-level research and writing, the process will also allow
you to examine your personal relationship with reading and writing in a formal and
informal capacity as you prepare to launch into your college career and beyond.
The process of becoming a better writer benefits from self-exploration and an
examination of the elements that have made you the reader and writer you are today;
these experiences impact your interactions with formal and informal reading and writing.
While the two overlap, many students share different experiences with and express
different opinions of formal reading and writing in comparison to the experiences and
opinions they share in relation to reading and writing that occurs in informal ways such
as those related to reading for fun or entertainment or writing to communicate with
friends and family. Thinking of literacy events that include formal and informal
experiences with learning and the connected literacies can help you see if patterns
demonstrate connections and spaces of disconnection with your experiences and
opinions of reading and writing. (Question 3)
Impacts and Outcomes
Looking for and at the connections across experiences with literacy is the first step in
constructing a successful Literacy Narrative. The next step is to connect those
connections to the impact they had in your life.
Writing a Literacy Narrative requires contemplation, which means a necessary step in
beginning this assignment will be to allow yourself to sit quietly and reflect on your life
and experiences. You can make notes or talk into a recording device if you’d like. One
session of reflection is unlikely to be enough, so plan to give yourself a few
opportunities and some time to think. You can tell a friend or talk to a family member if
conversation helps you spark memories, but at least some of your time should be spent
in silence alone.
Allowing your mind to quiet without the distracting thought of what is due or what to do
can be difficult, but it is an important practice to practice. Having a personal plan that
includes time to think as part of your overall outline will allow you to trust that you won’t
get off track or lost in your deep thoughts. And because you have previewed the
assignment in depth, you know that the tasks work together to build to the final
submission and that they include attached assignments that help you focus your
thoughts in relation to the assignment and allow you to receive formative feedback from
your Instructor on a regular basis.
Supplemental Readings: What is a Narrative Essay, Writing a Literacy Narrative,
3.1 Reading and Summarizing Fiction
Attached Assignment: There are four parts included in this Attached Assignment.
1. What is and isn’t a summary?
2. How did you annotate the whole reading and the short reading on the creatures,
3. Write a one-paragraph summary of the short reading on the creatures.
4. Think of a piece of fiction you read that had an impact on you, and write a
one-paragraph summary of the text. Then write a one-sentence summary of the
situation in which you read the text (the context).
Close and Critical Reading
Bloom’s Taxonomy organizes learning as a progression through knowledge and
comprehension to analysis and synthesis. The step that bridges these stages is
application. Applying each element in the process distinguishes each step and skill,
which facilitates the progression to critical thinking.
Reading and writing play a critical role in advancing through these steps. Knowledge is
cultivated and conveyed by summarizing or paraphrasing material. Comprehension is
developed and displayed by responding to the material. Analysis is enabled and
encouraged by applying the tools of deconstruction. Synthesis is achieved and
advanced by completing these steps then connecting texts.
To practice the overall progression as it relates to the writing process, we will start with
reading and summarizing and move to responding in order to clarify the two and
practice how each is demonstrated at an advanced level. While a main goal of ENC
1101 is to practice reading across genres and develop the skills associated with
reading, annotating, summarizing, paraphrasing, and integrating source material, close
and critical reading can include practices that feed and move toward analysis and
In ENC 1102, we will take a deep dive into analysis and synthesis and practice critical
reading with the application of lenses and theoretical perspectives, but to start, we will
focus on practicing techniques that will build the advanced critical reading skills that
serve as the foundation of higher-level learning and writing.
Close and critical reading is required to understand a text. Close reading observes a
text closely in order to deepen understanding of the material and prepare you to
summarize and contextualize the text. Critical reading deconstructs the text in order to
support interpretations or arguments based on textual evidence. Both are needed to
summarize and paraphrase sources, and there are a number of techniques that
facilitate a close and/or critical reading of a text.
Making notes as you read is an important technique for close and critical reading. While
you read, summarize each section or paragraph as concisely as possible. On print
copies, you can summarize in the left margin, and for digital texts, you can use notes or
comments or start a separate doc to keep your reading notes. Different software has
different tools, but the general idea of summarizing as you read is always possible and
useful. Be sure to summarize only the major events and ideas of the text without adding
your thoughts (which would be a response instead of a summary) so that you can pull
the threads together to write a summary of the text. And underline as little as possible.
The summary notes can be reviewed to remember the text, deepen understanding and
comprehension, and write a comprehensive summary.
In addition to summarizing sections of the text as you read, you will want to ask critical
questions of the text, note where you supplement the text with context (where you
recognize allusions or make personal connections), recognize and record
contradictions, and offer very brief interpretations. On hard copies, this can be done in
the right margins. And on digital copies, you can use any technique that allows you to
distinguish between your summary notes and the critical notes that deconstruct the text
with your thoughts about the text. Critical annotations can be used to deconstruct the
text for purposes of analysis.
While you are reading closely and critically, think of what else you can note (words you
want to define, concepts you want to look up, reflections on your reading practices that
track when or where you get distracted), but be sure not to write too much. Once you
have read the text and annotated the margins or digital spaces, your summary notes will
help you construct an overall understanding of the text and your critical notes will be
ripe for interpretation, questioning, or criticism.
Reading with Intention
Close and critical reads are performed best when informed by the assignment. Knowing
what to look for as you read is directly related to what you are planning to do with what
you are reading. How close of a close reading also depends on the assignment and the
length and depth of the material.
If you are writing an extended literary analysis of a text, your read should be very close
and very critical and involve multiple readings of the text. If you are using an article as a
minor source in a research paper, you will still need to read carefully but not as closely.
If you are only reading to inform context and provide background for a topic, your read
should be critical but not close. But critical reading for academic purposes is always
closer than leisure reading or skimming, which fulfill different intentions and involve
Remember that your intention can be framed by the assignment, and reading with your
intention in mind will clarify your understanding and allow you to annotate the margins in
useful ways that will allow you to avoid rereading or misreading. When planning for an
assignment that requires close reading, be sure to allow time to read slowly and more
Acquiring and applying vocabulary to identify structural elements can be very helpful not
only in summarizing the important highlights but also in supporting your interpretation.
Start with Summary
Writing a summary helps readers understand the text, identify the important elements,
and practice paraphrasing. Summary differs greatly from response, analysis, and
synthesis and prepares you to perform all three. Remember that the first step in Bloom’s
Taxonomy is moving from knowledge to comprehension. If you cannot provide a clear
and concise summary of a reading, you do not comprehend the text.
Understanding how to summarize material is important for fiction and nonfiction texts.
While scholarship in the Arts tends to use both fiction and nonfiction and to summarize
material with the inclusion of selected quotations, scholarship in the sciences (and
social sciences) tends to focus on nonfiction and to paraphrase without direct quotation.
Paraphrasing is essentially a specific summary of a specific section, while a summary is
a more general overview of a larger section or entire text. Although both summarizing
and paraphrasing convey the main idea(s) or argument(s) of the text in the words of the
reader, paraphrasing is more likely to use more details from the original text.
When summarizing, be sure to avoid interpretation or editorialization. Integrating quotes
can be useful. One way to summarize is by using benchmarks. Reading for standard
elements in texts can help you locate the major benchmarks that inform a summary and
help you avoid shifting your attention from summarizing the text to allowing yourself to
start adding your ideas, opinions, and interpretations, which would move you from
summary to response. Knowing a few basic terms will help you read for structural
elements that can frame and inform your summary.
Fiction generally describes imaginary events through prose. Most people think of
literature in the form of novels or stories told through film or scripted video. Because
story is the driving factor, close reading of fiction expects the reader to look for elements
of story that highlight pivotal points in the plot.
When reading fiction closely, look for standard story elements such as exposition,
rising action, tension/conflict, climax, falling action, and denouement (day-new-mah).
Noting these structural benchmarks as part of your summary annotations will prepare
you to construct an overview of the text and help you recognize themes and patterns
that connect the reading and create meaning. Identifying a possible quote from the text
that demonstrates the benchmark can be very useful when writing your summary.
Summaries are intended to be informative and are often the focus of descriptive or
expository writing. Generally speaking, major writing assignments will build on summary
to advance to the intellectual skills noted by Bloom instead of simply asking you only to
summarize a text. Summarizing and paraphrasing are important skills that ground
understanding and comprehension, as well as serving as the necessary foundations of
responses, analyses, and syntheses.
While the main goal of summarizing is to recount the essential elements of the reading
that are priorities to the intention and meaning, an additional goal is to avoid adding
your opinion (intentionally or unintentionally). Once these key components are
perfected, adding advanced techniques can move you from a simple summary to a
sophisticated paraphrasing of material.
Practicing this approach with fiction will make the process clear. First review the
elements for which you are reading so that you can note them in the text.
Exposition: The first stage of a plot in which necessary background information is
Rising action: A set of conflicts and crises that lead to the climax
Conflict: A struggle between opposing forces (internal or external) usually resolved by
Climax: The turning point of the action or greatest point of tension in the plot
Falling action: The action following the climax that moves toward denouement
Denouement: The resolution or closure of the plot
With the vocabulary in mind, read the following fiction text (below) and underline or note
the terms in order to prepare to write a summary. Once you have read and annotate the
text, list five or six major plot points (use the vocab terms). Then, from those major plot
points, write a one-paragraph summary of the story, and quote the text at least once
(don’t worry about an in-text citation or signal phrase in this task).
Writing a summary generally requires reading a text more than once. As noted, you can
read and annotate the text from a print copy or a digital copy. You will need to upload a
summary of the reading, however, so make notes somewhere you can locate them and
move them to a Word or Google Doc so that you can write your summary to upload into
Canvas. To start, read the following with the assignment in mind:
Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river.
The current of the river swept silently over them all — young and old, rich and
poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal
self. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the
river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current was
what each had learned from birth. But one creature said at last, “I am tired of
clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows
where it is going. I shall let go and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall
die of boredom.” The other creatures laughed and said, “Fool! Let go, and that
current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed against the rocks,
and you will die quicker than boredom!” But the one heeded them not, and
taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the
current across the rocks. Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the
current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.
And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried “See a
miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah come to save
us all!” And the one carried in the current said, “I am no more messiah than
you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this
voyage, this adventure.” But they cried the more, “Savior!” all the while clinging
to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left
alone making legends of a Savior.
(Excerpt from Illusions by
Once you upload your Attached Assignment in task 3.2, review the posts of your peers.
You will notice by reading your peer’s posts that not all summaries are precisely the
same, even when following a shared approach; however, similar major elements should
appear across summaries, and all summaries should be supported by the text. Be ready
to share your annotation of the story of the creatures in class and to discuss annotation
Proficiency in close reading, annotating, and summarizing are foundational to success
in higher education and beyond. For the Literacy Narrative, in particular, you will
summarize your experience in the form of a narrative, and you will likely summarize
parts of one or more text you are discussing as part of your literacy events.
To start, think of one fiction text you have read, which can include a short story,
fanfiction a narrative that overlays a video game, a novel, or any piece of fiction. Using
the terms above, think of major plot points in the story, and use them to write a
summary of the story. Then think about the situation in which you read the text, and
write a one-sentence summary of that context. (Question 4)
You may or may not decide to use the story or situation as part of your Literacy
Narrative. The goal is to practice summary in a specific way that will move beyond
summarizing the story of the creatures and will help make connections to your life and
Supplemental Resources: Dramatic Structure
3.3 Responding to Fiction
Attached Assignment: There are three parts included in the this Attached Assignment.
1. In 3.1, you read and summarized the short piece about the creatures (question
3). Now write a one-paragraph response to that same piece.
2. You also summarized a piece of fiction that had an impact on you (question 4).
Now write a one-paragraph response to the fiction text and context you
3. Finally, write a one-paragraph explanation of the difference between summary
Response after Reading
Crafting a solid summary and paraphrasing material allows readers to recognize what is
inherent in the text and what is interpretation. Reader opinion should not appear in a
summary of a text, but writing a summary helps the reader understand the text and
prepares him/her/them to identify and examine his/her/their opinion by responding to the
text. Responses are also an important step in the process of understanding material
and in the progression toward analysis and synthesis. Asking questions can allow you
to evolve your response from “I liked it” to “I liked this specific part because it does . . .”
A response is your opinion of the text and reaction to the text. Responses are informed
by supplementation of the text, which means they are openly informed by your personal
experiences and opinions. Initially, such supplementation is unconscious or
unintentional. Critical responses recognize where you are adding personal context,
noting allusions, recognizing universal themes, and supplementing the text in other
ways, all of which develop your perspective and opinion.
Bringing awareness to your response promotes comprehension and helps readers
understand their role as audience members who move from summary to interpretation
by seeing the material through the lens of their experience. Defining and practicing
informed responses can help you identify your voice and integrate it with informed
interpretations of source material instead of working on the level of editorializing and
unsupported opinion based on a reaction instead of a response. The more you have a
clear sense of your voice on the page, the more you will have a sense of identity as a
Response allows the reader to move beyond summary and start to include other
considerations, such as personal opinion and contextual analysis. When reading with
this goal in mind, start to consider your critical notes (from your annotating process) and
allow yourself to move beyond the summary notes.
To practice, reread the story of the creatures and make note of the following: How did
the piece make you feel? Did it remind you of anything (personal or any other text)?
How (else) did you supplement the text? What do you think it meant? What else could it
have meant? Did you like it? Why or why not?
Building on these considerations and your close reading and summary of the text, write
a one-paragraph response to the story of the creatures (Question 1).
Now think of the piece of fiction you discussed in question 4 for Task 3.2. You wrote a
summary of the text and provided some context. Now write a considered response to
the text that allows yourself to include context. (Question 2)
Allowing context to impact your opinion can shift your experience of a text. Perhaps you
saw the worst movie on earth with your favorite person on earth. Your response to the
painful flick might have put it in a far better light, which couldn’t show through in your
summary because that would simply tell us what happened in the bad plot that resulted
in a bad movie. And your opinion of the film without the context might simply discuss
why it was so bad, which probably can’t be ignored in your response. But allowing
yourself to consider context creates a better picture of how the experience impacted
you. Making connections on this level will help you construct a better Literacy Narrative
and a broader understanding of how literacy has and continues to impact you.
Now that you have written a summary of and a response to both short readings, think
through summary and response as acts and products. How do the two differ? Are there
any ways they overlap and feed each other. Does it make sense to summarize before
you respond? Can a response be informed, or is it all about gut? Is one easier for you?
As you think about literacy in your life, start to notice the differences in summary and
response as they appear in writing and in communication around you everyday. Doing
so will help you hone your ability to navigate this and other complex spaces in learning,
thinking, and understanding.
4.1 Reading and Summarizing Narratives
Attached Assignment: There are three parts included in this Attached Assignment.
1. Write a one-paragraph summary of “Salvation.”
2. Write a one-paragraph summary of “Goin’ Fishing” from the DALN.
3. Write a one-paragraph summary of a personal literacy event.
Narratives and Nonfiction
Now that you have practiced reading fiction closely and writing a summary, we will look
at how those skills transfer to reading narratives. Most of what we read on a daily basis
and as part of our formal education is nonfiction, which can range from academic
research in the form of scholarly, peer-reviewed articles to narratives that can be
creative nonfiction. While genres vary, similar techniques can be used to read both
fiction and nonfiction.
The skills of close and critical reading apply to all texts (including visual), but
understanding the differences and individualizing the reading and the response to the
situation and task at hand will result in stronger reading, better notes, stronger
summaries, and better responses. Understanding the genres and how to navigate each
will also facilitate the development of a broader understanding of all literacy and the
means of creating and distributing knowledge and information and distinguishing
between sources of each.
While fiction shares stories that allow for wholly imaginary events to drive the action,
nonfiction intends to recount events as they occurred or offer information the draws from
concrete facts. When reading nonfiction closely and critically, it is important to
understand the intention of the genre and the text, as well as the intention of your
reading. When reading fiction, look for the main events and ideas that advance the plot.
Similarly, when reading nonfiction, look for the key points that highlight the information
being delivered or the story being told.
Nonfiction comes in many forms. Academic writing is often published in peer-reviewed
articles, which we will engage later in the term. Narratives, on the other hand, are
nonfiction, but they often apply the elements of fiction to tell a good story. Reading
narratives will allow you to start exploring the application close reading practices in
relation to nonfiction, but they will also provide mirrors to demonstrate ways to tell a
good story, which can help you as you tell your own story.
Nonfiction writing is used to share information through formal and informal learning
experiences. Nonfiction texts include textbooks, scholarly publications, memoirs, and
IKEA directions, to name but a few. Genres such as memoirs and narratives, while
nonfiction, include elements of story and apply many of the same techniques used to
engage readers in fiction.
But narratives still need outlining and organization so that the moral and intention
remain the focus and so that they don’t read like a stream of consciousness diary entry.
When reading a narrative, then, the story elements of fiction can be noted in addition to
considering the critical and contextual concepts identified in nonfiction. In fact, fiction
elements, such as the moral of the story or the climactic moment of change, often
overlap with concepts like the thesis and the findings that alert readers to the important
points in a nonfiction text.
When you read narrative to write a summary, you can look for the story elements of
fiction with an eye out for the informative elements of nonfiction. And remember that
summary does not include interpretation or analysis, so when reading a narrative with
the intention of summary, focus on the elements of the text you deem pivotal to the
moral and plot.
To practice, read Salvation, by Langston Hughes, and write a one-paragraph summary.
(Question 1). Although nonfiction, because the text is a narrative, annotate the text
looking for major plot points using story elements such as exposition, rising action,
conflict, climax, falling action, and resolution. Consider that there are threads and a
moral and other factors in the text, but starting with the major plot points is a great way
to summarize a narrative. The fact that Hughes’ story is true can add other elements to
the text and allow for the inclusion of context, for our purpose of writing a summary,
context is unnecessary.
In addition to providing an opportunity to practice summarizing, “Salvation” also allows
us to see an example of a narrative. While Hughes’ narrative isn’t focused on literacy,
the techniques used to share a meaningful event in a clear, compelling, and concise
matter provide an example of how narratives can function.
As we shift to the practice of summarizing nonfiction text for use in academic writing, we
also want to start including the expectations of MLA formatting. When you begin the
summary of “Salvation,” for instance, be sure to use a signal phrase including the author
and formatted title to introduce the text. Here is an example:
In “Salvation,” Langston Hughes recounts his experience as a twelve-year-old
attending a church revival with his Aunite Reed.
Also format any direct source material and include a citation with the paragraph:
Although Hughes “kept waiting serenely for Jesus, waiting, waiting . . .
nothing happened . . . “ (par. 7).
Any source material you summarize for purposes beyond your own notes should
include the standard expectations of the formatting style associated with the
assignment, which is MLA for ENC 1101. Because you are only uploading the summary
for the task and not the Literacy Narrative at this point, you do not need to include a
complete reference for the source, but in all formal submissions for college-level work, a
reference page (Works Cited for MLA) is required and should include all the sources
referenced in the submission.
Literacy and Narratives
Although “Salvation” does not include literacy as a frame for the narrative, the narratives
we explored in the DALN provide examples of literacy narrative. To see an example of a
literacy narrative, read “Goin’ Fishing” and write a summary. While this is a good sample
to discuss in relation to our Project 1 expectations, for now, only summarize the text.
The inclusion of ENG 101 suggests that “Goin’ Fishing” was written for a college-level
course not unlike ENC 1101. While the story follows a chronology line to some degree,
the final paragraph includes takeaways that suggest they were expected from the
assignment. As a result, reading for a linear story and looking for standard elements in a
standard order may not work as well when annotating this text to support the creation of
Writing the section summaries on the side and noting the terms will still create a strong
ground for your summary, but you may need to look at the story elements in conjunction
with the larger intention, which is to fulfill the assignment. For instance, the climax or
moral of the story might look more like a nonfiction thesis than a fiction moral.
Combining elements from different types of writing in order to tell a good story while still
fulfilling the expectations of an Academic assignment is a great example of the kinds of
moves you will want to make in your Literacy Narrative.
Now that you have read two narratives, think of a story about a personal experience you
had that includes reading or writing, and tell us the story in one paragraph. Try to think
of that paragraph as a short summary that would outline the major plot points you would
build into a complete narrative. (Question 3)
Use what you know about telling a good story to focus on important plot points that wrap
around an experience with reading or writing. When you construct your complete
Literacy Narrative, you will have space to include a summary of the text and the
experience, but for this paragraph, focus on the context of the larger story instead of
summarizing the thing you read or wrote.
In addition to helping build your Literacy Narrative for Project 1, practicing close reading
and construction of narratives also develops skills that you will use and expand in the
next projects and in general. Specifically, Project 2 will build on these skills by applying
them to scholarly, peer-reviewed texts. Spiraling deeper into these practices across
texts and genres will prepare you for the advanced reading and writing expected in ENC
1102 and across all academic disciplines.
4.3 Responding to Narratives
Attached Assignment: There are three parts included in this Attached Assignment.
1. Write a one-paragraph response to “Salvation.”
2. Write a one-paragraph response to “Goin’ Fishing.”
3. Write a one-paragraph response to your own summary.
Now that we have practiced summarizing narratives, we will practice writing responses
in the same way we responded to our fiction summaries.
When you read and reviewed “Salvation,” your goal was to write a summary. Your first
reading may have looked like this sample annotated reading of “Salvation.” Now read
“Salvation” again with the goal of allowing yourself to have a response that you can
define and explain.
Remember that when you responded to the creatures reading, you considered these
questions: How did the piece make you feel? Did it remind you of anything (personal or
any other text)? How (else) did you supplement the text? What do you think it meant?
What else could it have meant? Did you like it? Why or why not?
Other considerations can also be included in your response to the text, given its function
as a sample of a narrative. Within the context of this assignment, you can also read for
moves or choices that Hughes makes to engage his readers and connect his story so
that you can consider how similar moves might strengthen your narrative. For this task,
context related to Hughes’ life or the time and place with the text were written do not
need to be considered. (Question 1)
In addition to rereading “Salvation” and writing a one-paragraph response, reread “Goin’
Fishing” and write a one-paragraph response. The elements to consider when
responding to this sample literacy narrative should be different than the contextual
elements to consider when responding to “Salvation.”
Because “Goin Fishing” is a literacy narrative and related to our Literacy Narrative
assignment, your response should be framed by that context. Specifically, consider how
the literacy narrative relates to our assignment. Does it fulfill all the requirements? Does
it fulfill some? Which? What do you think the assignment this what written to fulfill
required? What does the literacy narrative do well? Why were the moves you found
effective to you? What impact did they have?
Also consider what moves and choices the author made to appeal to the DALN readers
(and perhaps to the Instructor and the peers in the course). At one point, the author
recalls of fishing “I was hooked—get it.” With this move, the author includes a pun which
he/she/they must consider appropriate for the setting (space and audience). The author
then adds “get it” to break the fourth wall with the reader and deepen the connection.
What other choices do you see in the text, perhaps some that work and some that do
not, and how do the choices or moves function within the genre and in relation to a
given audience. (Question 2)
Finally, now that you have summarized and responded to two sample narratives, revisit
the one-paragraph narrative you constructed. Ask similar elements of your summary.
Could this be expanded for use as one of the literacy events explores in your narrative?
What moves do you make and for whom or what? What worked well and what didn’t?
While you respond, think about your process and what elements of your overall
approaches to reading and writing have worked so far. In addition to reflecting on our
literacy experiences, a goal of this and other assignments in ENC 1101 is to include
thinking about thinking. Reflection and meta reflection are important personal practices
and support deep learning and understanding, which are some of the main reasons you
are here at USF. To support this aim, make the most of the opportunities embedded
throughout the course to deepen your understanding of your writing process and
5.1 Rewind and Reflect
Attached Assignment: There are three parts included in this Attached Assignment:
1. Answer at least five of the thought-generating questions from the bullets below.
2. Next list at least five memorable events related to reading or writing that had an
pact on you and who you are and are becoming.
3. Finally, find a connection between three of the events, and write a sentence
explaining the connection.
Rewind and Reflect
While your Literacy Narrative should display both structure and meaning, another goal
is simply to reflect on your relationship with reading and writing as you embark on this
new phase of your life and your learning, so don’t forget to leave time and space to
enjoy the memories of how you got to where you are and became you.
Sitting still with our thoughts can be surprisingly difficult. Sometimes our worries and
fears can start to take over and make us focus on all the things we could be doing
instead of sitting and thinking. Looking back can stir feelings of sadness, so allow
yourself to sit with a range of emotions. Reflection can also bring us joy and comfort.
Amy Ray and Emily Sailers suggest that every five years or so, we should look back on
our lives and have a good laugh, which is good advice (“Watershed”). We all have a few
TBT memories that make us laugh a little and cry a little. But remember that your focus
is on looking at the role literacy played in your stories.
It may seem like an exaggeration, but taking the time to pause and think can be the
most important thing we do—for our assignments and for ourselves. Without zooming
out a bit and getting meta, we can’t really see what is going on, which means we usually
have less agency—or power—over the outcome. And after we zoom out to see the big
picture, we can zoom in and get a close look at ourselves.
These skills that we apply to ourselves and our lives also apply to how we read and
absorb and digest and understand the world around us. Like reflection, focus and
concentration are especially important when it comes to learning. Focused
concentration is an important skill that impacts our personal and professional lives, and
it can be developed.
Stated specifically, learning about learning can impact your ability to learn. And learning
about your l earning will impact your ability to learn effectively. Thinking about thinking is
also an important element of having a say in your thinking. An important goal of ENC
1101 and of the Literacy Narrative is to learn about learning and think about thinking
and learn and think about you and your learning and thinking.
With so many options and distractions, our minds can become trained to bounce from
thought to thought and lead our actions from thing to thing. Agility in action and thought
are important, too, but not being able to slow down and switch to a single-pointed focus
can limit our ability to do deep work and achieve deep learning. Developing practices of
sustained concentration and contemplation develop competencies like perseverance,
resilience, and contentiousness that serve as the foundation for success in learning and
in nearly all areas of life.
So for this assignment, the goal is to sit . . . and to think. To prepare for this assignment,
pick a time a place where you can spend some uninterrupted time with your thoughts.
Hopefully the attached assignments you have submitted so far have helped you start to
think about your story and what you want to include or exclude.
Read the questions below to help guide your trip down literacy lane. You can either read
through all the questions first and then read them again to think of an answer to each, or
you can read them carefully the first time and think of an answer before moving to the
next question. A useful way to get the most out of each would be to jot down notes,
which will also prepare you to answer question 1:
What is Literacy? (What is your definition? What are other definitions?)
What kinds of texts do you read? On what do you read? Where do you read?
About what do you read? When and why and whom do you read?
Does the text you read usually have audio or visual components?
How many texts or digital messages do you read and write daily? With whom do
you exchange these messages?
● How often do you mix your reading with writing?
● What kinds of writing do you do?
● Where, when, to whom do you write? Why do you write?
● On what do you write? What do you write?
● When you think of reading for school, how do you feel (nervous, excited,
● When you think of reading as part of communication with friends, how do you
● When you think of reading to learn about something you’re interested in, how do
● What does literacy mean to you? How would your world be different if you could
not read or write?
● How would your life change if you had no access to devices that allow you to
connect through reading and writing?
● What aspects and individuals have influenced your relationship with reading and
writing and how?
● What are your clearest memories that include reading or writing in any form?
● What is your earliest memory of being read to or of reading or writing?
● How have your experiences with literacy impacted who you are today?
● What is the best thing you’ve ever read? What is the best thing you’ve ever
● Think of something you read or wrote that had meaning to you and consider how
it impacted you. What book or text impacts you most and why/how you are
● How has your relationship with literacy shifted?
● How have literacy experiences shaped your identity?
Once you have these signposts, take some time to sit with a few memories and dive
deeper into yourself. Think of at least five experiences from any setting that involved
any connection to reading or writing. (Question 2)
Can you recognize any connections or patterns do you across the events. Perhaps you
were with the same person or at the same place. Perhaps the texts you were reading or
writing were connected by genre or audience or platform or story. Perhaps the reaction
each text had on you were related. (Question 3)
Maybe you read a book about a girl who loved the Violin. And then you read your first
piece of sheet music for full orchestra. And then you read your acceptance letter to
music camp. Or maybe you read a highway sign that said “You are now leaving
Indiana,” and days later, you read a sign that said Welcome to Florida, and hours later,
you read a sign that said University of South Florida.
Don’t feel like you need to come up with huge or dramatic events. Many of the events
might feel trivial, which is absolutely fine. You read and write every day, and you have
for a long time. You have already experienced more literacy events than most humans
who have ever lived on the earth. Once you look at these experiences through the lens
of literacy and investigate the impacts they have had on you, connections and meaning
can be found in places you never realized they existed. And some of these connections
might even come together to tell a good story.
5.3 Outlining the Literacy Narrative
Attached Assignment: Upload a complete outline of your Literacy Narrative including
one overarching statement about your relationship with literacy and supporting life
experiences that demonstrate that statement or discuss the impact. Your outline should
be fully formatted in MLA, and your Instructor will provide specific expectations.
Outlining the Literacy Narrative
You have probably worked with an outline at some point in your academic career, and
the idea might conjure images of Roman Numerals or bullet points. When we talk about
outlining, we do mean the physical act of structuring a research design, and you can
use Roman Numerals or bullet points or any schema or structure that works for you. But
like writing, outlining is a process not just a product.
Outlining is a mental act as much as a physical artifact. When we outline our
assignments, we are adding the step of thinking through and visualizing all the pieces of
our product and all the steps of the process so that we can see where they are headed
before we commit to a design. The process also allows us to arrange and rearrange
pieces into the most effective order without the fear of losing our work along the way.
Much of the work associated with learning takes place in our minds through a number of
processes that can range from intentional and formal thinking to simply allowing
thoughts about course concepts and content to run quietly through the back of brains in
search of connections. Both the purposeful and the organic contemplations can produce
ideas that pop up and out and into our consciousness at different points throughout the
day in different forms. The result of recognizing one of those good ideas that has been
marinating in your mind can be to write a note to yourself or send an email to yourself or
to tell your friend about your brilliant idea with the hopes that you will remember. All
these acts are working as part of your outlining process.
When we are aware of this process and pay attention to how it works in our minds and
lives, we can take an active role in optimizing the act and the outcome of outlining. The
practice of outlining is connected to the practice of thinking critically and to the methods
and approaches and terms related to the processes of research design and analysis.
There are different ways to approach and structure the outlining process. All three of our
major projects include an outline, In Projects 2 and 3, we will also use gridding to
visualize our sources, which will serve as an element of our outlining process. For our
Literacy Narrative, the outlining process will serve as the explicit step of connecting your
thoughts and ideas with the assignment in an effort to organize your design into a
successful telling of your story to your audiences.
Adding thoughtful elements of design is necessary in any project, and trying to skip the
step will generally result in spending more work on a product that is less successful.
The narrative genre does allow for more freedom and creativity than other academic
genres, but the conventions of formal, academic writing are still expected. Although
source material is not required, if it is included, it should be cited according to MLA
We have all been impacted by written words or writing words in some way. Literacy can
be about books, but it is about far more. Once you have thought of a few examples, see
if you can find a connection across them. Or perhaps one experience is so defining and
extensive that it can stand alone. As you continue to think of these experiences, try to
remember sights, smells, and sounds.
You are the main character in your literacy narrative, and your readers want to see how
the main character developed as a result of interaction with people and texts and
contexts. Your development is the real moral of your story, and textual engagement is
one of the motivating factors that contributed to your development.
These considerations and a number of the tasks you completed earlier should help you
construct an overarching statement that summarizes your relationship with literacy—the
moral to your story. Your thesis will make a clear statement about your relationship with
literacy, and your narrative will share the experiences that explain the statement.
Your story is yours, and you can share as much or as little personal information as you
would like. Work where you are comfortable, and remember that you have multiple
audiences for this assignment. On some level, you are always writing for and to
yourself. Because this is a graded assignment, you are writing for your Instructor, who
will have specific preferences, so don’t forget to make choices and moves that tailor to
audience. And you will share parts of your story with your peers through attached
assignments and in-class discussions. You will also upload your narrative to the DALN,
which can be done with your name or anonymously.
Reading the narratives on the DALN gives you an idea of many different approaches to
writing a literacy narrative, and writing it for a course at USF also provides you with an
audience you know has specific expectations (formal, academic writing and the
associated conventions). As you think through these higher order considerations and
the intellectual expectations of the assignment, also consider the details of the
We know that part of fulfilling any assignment is understanding what it expects. Look
closely at the concrete elements of the assignment early in your outlining process. You
are to write 750-1000 words. Depending on the font and size, 1 page double spaced is
about 250 words, which is approximately 3 paragraphs. The Literacy Narrative, then,
would call for approximately 3-4 pages totalling approximately 9-11 paragraphs. An
introduction and conclusion will take up 2 of those leaving 7-9 paragraphs to weave
your story. Think through how you want to allocate that space to tell your story.
You probably know by now whether you tend to write long or short paragraphs, and
knowing your writing style is an important part of planning your writing approach and
developing your personal writing process. For instance, if you know that you write long
paragraphs and are more likely to write over 1000 words than under 750 words, you
might want to plan your outline with 8 paragraphs—an introduction and conclusion with
6 paragraphs for the body. Or you could know that you are incredibly concise and
should leave 9 paragraphs for your body. Students tend to write too much instead of too
little, and it is easier to add than delete, so if you’re unsure, aim low. You can always
add more imagery to build the story.
Your introduction and conclusion will outline the paper and state your thesis, so those
6-9 paragraphs in the middle are where your outline develops and your story unfolds.
Those paragraphs can tell one, extended story or can bring a few experiences together.
For instance, if reading Harry Potter over an extended time helped you through the loss
of your parent and you want to write about that time in your life for 6 paragraphs, do.
The structure we looked for when reading fiction can even be used to frame that one
extended story by building your outline on the major plot points from your story.
If you want to follow one extended event, make sure you can break it into a few clear
points so that it works to progress across a plot. Or if you read a series over a number
of years and different books aligned with different rites of passage in your life, focus on
a few. Or mix up a few different things you read or wrote and connect them with a time
and place or an outcome or meaning that tie to an overarching statement.
More than 3-4 events would be hard to fit in the allotted space, so be sure to think
through the layout before you start outlining. And recognize that while literacy is what
holds the events together, the story is also about you and your experiences. Just make
sure that literacy is a major character in the plot.
We probably have a wide range of experiences with literacy, and while some students
could write thousands of words about their story, others might not feel like they have
anything to say. One valuable outcome of constructing a defined narrative about our
lives and experiences is that it allows us not only to see that who we are impacts our
processes of reading and writing and learning and that who we are is valuable in
academic settings. Writing a structured narrative also allows us to practice merging
personal experiences and creativity with a structured academic assignment being
prepared for a specific purpose and audience.
Recognizing that the assignment, genre, and audience impact the approach is a very
important aspect of learning to write and communicate in ways that transfer across and
beyond institutions, environments, and situations. For instance, while you may
encounter assignments with instructions that explain why and when you would want to
avoid using first-person point of view, it would be odd if not impossible for you to attempt
a literacy narrative without the explicit inclusion of the stated voice of the main
character: you in the form of I.
There are a number of ways to layout your narrative. If clear events or texts do not stick
out to you right away, considering organization approaches might help. Here are a few
Chronological: elementary, middle, high school, college . . .
People: mom, brother, teacher, uncle, friend . . .
Platform: book, online, social media, texting, email . . .
Places: School, home, grandma’s, the community center, church . . .
Theme: joy, struggle, education, family . . .
Genres: academic, sci-fi, fan fiction, personal communications
Subject/text: Magic/Harry Potter, Romance/Twilight, Fantasy/Eragon . . .
Classes: English, History, Psychology, Band . . .
Types of reading: formal and informal, academic and entertainment, news and
Phases: when you were into My Little Pony, then soccer, then Pokemon, then
Halo, then Demi and Ariana, then . . .
You can also follow a literary device to create a theme: seasons, rain, dinner table . . .
As you create your outline, you may combine any of these elements:
● When I was 10 and reading Creepypasta at our dining room table
● When I was 12 and reading a Biology textbook at our dining room table
● When I was 17 and reading my USF acceptance letter at our dining room table
These three experiences already share a connection to reading and a physical location,
but how can they connect to an overarching theme that makes you the main character
in a good story? As you look across those three events, what changed, and what didn’t?
Who were you with, and who were you? What will you be reading where and with whom
years from now? Can these snapshots work together to tell a larger story?
And don’t forget what you know about stories. A narrative should tell an interesting
story, which requires that consideration be given to the elements of storytelling. An
exposition will let us know where the story is situated. The rising action of your story
might include a conflict in need of resolution. The climax might be the change in you.
And while there is an end to your paper, it isn’t the end of your story, so feel free to look
forward in your denouement.
Often it can seem that academic work is all research and sources and that stories exist
solely in another world or at least another genre. But genre lines blur, and it is valuable
to practice writing across lines and genres and audiences. These shared spaces will be
what you occupy and navigate in much of your writing life.
Remember that there are a number of ways to arrange your events into a compelling
story, so think through a few options before you pick or create the right choice for you.
Whichever schema you apply should tie all the elements to a thesis.
Your experience(s) with literacy will ground your story and serve as a through line, and
the impact of those experiences should connect to form your thesis. Identifying the
relevance of each experience and then connecting the impacts is one way to create a
thesis. What statement can connect your literacy events:
● Where I read may have stayed the same, but my relationship with reading slowly
transitioned from joy to fear as the informal childhood texts of elementary school
were replaced with the formal, academic texts of high school.
● Writing in my journal opened me to a love of writing that eventually merged with
my love of drawing.
● Most of my reading is on screens: phone screens, video game screens, and
laptop screens. But all of my reading connects me to the people on the other side
of the screens.
● My sister’s love of reading has been the main influence in my literacy life.
● When I think of reading, I think of reading music.
● I never thought of myself as a reader until I realized how much time I spend
reading and writing to my friends and how those friends and those
communications helped me become who I am.
Some of these statements stand alone, and others start a thread to be expanded, but all
require support from a structured narrative that tells the story under the statement. Once
you have a thesis and know what events or experiences you will share, start building an
outline. Outlining is often associated with more formal writing that does not draw from
personal experience and does include scholarly sources, but all formal writing requires
outlining. If you have a thesis and plan to write two paragraphs each for the three
events and then wrap it up with a conclusion, you already have your basic outline!
Mapping your plan before you start writing allows you to weave threads that connect
your story on multiple levels. Perhaps your first paragraph starts out with you in your
dorm where you are doing your homework for this assignment, which makes you think
of your childhood bedroom where so much of your reading took place. And then you
can state your thesis and dive into the three elements. At the end, you could tie it all
back to your dorm and what you are reading now and …
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