English 101 Writer’s choice

ENG 101 Essay 1: An Experience that Shaped Me


  • Before we can examine our local and global communities, we must examine We have all been shaped by unique events, people, and ideas, and

we bring this life baggage to our writing. The purpose of this assignment is to help you cultivate your own voice as a writer.


  • For this essay, you will identify an experience (event or conversation) that has shaped you in a significant, lasting You will then write about this experience in narrative form (i.e. as a story). Your narrative should be creative non-fiction, which means that you may take some liberties in your storytelling, but must accurately present the impact of the event.


  • For example, in With the Fire on High, Emoni has several life experiences—such as the loss of her mother, becoming a teen parent, and getting accepted to the

culinary arts class—that impact her perspective and actions. Consider how your own life experiences have shaped you.The goal is to focus on a specific change of thought/belief/opinion/behavior that resulted from a specific experience.


  • Your narrative should demonstrate a clear focus through a thesis statement at the end of your Your self-analysis should be specific, thorough, and concise.


Writing Mode

  • Narration


  • Your essay must be 500-700 words in If your draft has more or fewer words, this means you need to do additional revision.



  • Just like all great stories, all narratives should have a clear beginning (introduction), middle (body paragraphs), and end (conclusion).


  • The intro should set the tone of the whole essay and establish any background information or By the end of the first paragraph, the

reader should know what your story is about and be hooked so that they want to keep reading. Your intro should hint at the larger point you want to make about yourself and what you learned.


  • The body paragraphs are where you tell the story with examples, specific details, images, and other details. Just like in any story, you will have to choose your details You can’t include everything that happened.


  • The conclusion should wrap up the story and make a larger point about what you learned about yourself from this experience. Don’t start any new stories or tangents at the



  • This essay is written for a general audience, bearing in mind that your audience does not know your life story. Be specific and clear in your explanation and use of


Research Requirements and Documentation

  • There are no outside sources allowed for this essay.
  • Do not copy/paste or quote from other

Point of View

  • You should be writing in first person (I, we, our). Do not use second person (such as you, your, yours).


Formatting Guidelines

  • Your essay should be formatted according to MLA standards for essays, including using Times New Roman in size 12 font and giving the essay a reflective, creative



  • Submit your final draft in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format to Blackboard by 11:59pm on the
  • Please see the course policies and the English department policies for questions about late



  • This essay will be graded according to the English department
  • This essay is worth 10% of your overall grade.

Academic Integrity

  • Your essay will still be run through plagiarism check software (SafeAssign), and any copied information from outside sources will result in a zero for plagiarism, which will be reported to the Dean for the School of Arts and
  • You may not submit an essay that you wrote for a previous class. Work that was previously submitted for any class will receive a


Additional Notes/Requirements

  • Writing Tips:
    • Focus on only one experience for this
    • Use brainstorming strategies such as freewriting and listing to help gather ideas before you begin to
    • Give yourself enough time to write a rough draft so that you can ask questions or get early Writing a rough draft gives you a chance to edit and revise, which is an essential part of the writing process.
    • Ask questions as you


  • To be eligible for a passing grade, essays must meet the following basic requirements:
    • 500-700 words
    • Content is on topic and follows the required writing mode
    • Has no issues with academic dishonesty (i.e. essay is original to this class this semester and includes no undocumented borrowed information)

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