Essay 1: Personal Revolutions Essay Requirements: Background: Rough Draft Due April 15

Essay 1: Personal Revolutions Essay
Rough Draft Due April 15
Final Draft Due April 19
Requirements: This essay should be 3-4 pages double-spaced, typed in Times New Roman
font with 1” margins.
As you read the personal narratives in 50 Essays, you saw how other writers used narrative
to chart their own personal revolution--a fundamental change that happened in their lives.
Each of these writers told an emotionally charged story rich with evocative descriptions,
and yet each writer also had a focus and purpose to that narrative.
Now, you will examine one of your own personal experiences, explore its meaning, and
focus on what the experience has made you realize about one of your own personal
Before getting down to the logistics of how to write the essay and what will need to be
included, I want you all to think about the actual story you want to tell for this assignment.
The most important question to ask first is why. Why this story? There are many
experiences that have shaped us into who we were or are, teaching us about ourselves,
others, and the world. And then there are moments that have radically changed our point of
It can be extremely difficult to pinpoint just one event and deem it the defining experience
of our lives, but I am not asking you to do that here. The goals of this assignment are letting
your audience learn about who you are while conveying what you learned through living
this experience and why and how it changed you. Why would you consider this a personal
revolution? The revolution might be intellectual, cultural, spiritual, psychological,
physical, or several of these all at once.
The purpose of this essay, like any personal essay, is to represent what you think and feel
about a certain experience. A personal essay represents your ways of communicating those
thoughts and feelings to others. In this essay, you will SHOW your readers an experience
through your use of evocative details, imagery, dialogue, and analysis..
In this essay, you will be practicing two writing skills: description and analysis.
You will need to describe the experience vividly so that readers can
understand and connect with it. You want to make your reader care about what you
have to say about this experience. We will practice this skill in class.
As you analyze the experience, explain the kind of personal revolution that
you have experienced and why that revolution was so significant. How does this one
specific experience continue to resonate in your life? Why should we, your readers,
Here are some things to consider and implement in the writing of the first draft:
 Bring your audience into your world through the use of specific details and
 SHOW, don’t tell.
 Ground your audience in a specific place and time.
 Have a beginning, middle, and end to your story.
 Include reflection and analysis of this specific time in your life and explain
why this defines a revolution.
 Make sure that your reader can clearly understand the central point of your
 Continue to ask yourself why this story is so significant.