Memoir Essay

Choose an event or time period in your life that has special autobiographical significance to you. This differs from the personal essay in that the subject matter should be instrumental to your life and should have shaped you in some noteworthy way, either through the dramatic effects of the event(s) or the way it impacted you psychologically or emotionally. It may not be as thesis-driven and focused as the personal essay. You may write this in a traditional, mostly linear narrative or you may experiment with a form for this assignment.

Goals of this assignment:

To convey an important time period of your life
To use the principles of creative nonfiction in an artful way to do the above
To address a particular time in your life in a way that has universal appeal and incites some pathos in the reader
To recount memories in a true and honest way
Since this is fairly short, you may think about this as the first chapter in your memoir or a chapter in your memoir

Demonstrates your journey to understand the underlying event or events in your life
Examines some aspect of yourself that has emotional resonance for readers
Incorporates place or nature writing somewhere
Must give consideration to terms like allusion/ambiguity, audience, chronology, imagery, contrast/juxtaposition/characterization, digression, narrative braiding conflict, scenes, voice, persona, style, metaphor, dialogue, tone, pacing, narrative lift/shift, structure, etc.
Must meet word count
Use first person (unless using 2nd person experimental form)

Feel free to write your essay using one of these forms:

Hybrid essay form
Lyrical essay form
Hermit crab essay form
Second Person point of view
Braided essay
Bookended essay

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