Assignment #2: Urban Legends of Community College of Philadelphia

Assignment #2: Urban Legends of Community College of Philadelphia
“Urban legends belong to the subclass of folk narratives, legends, that—unlike fairy tales—are
believed, or at least believable, and that—unlike myths—are set in the recent past and involve
normal human beings… [They] gain credibility from specific details of time and place or from
references to source authorities… Urban legends are told both in the course of casual conversations
and in such special situations as campfires, slumber parties, and college dormitory bull sessions”
(Brunvand 270).
You have all read “Urban Legends: The Boyfriend’s Death” for homework; now it is time to get
your creative juices flowing because you are going to create your own urban legend, specific to the
CCP campus of Philadelphia community. Try to be original and create an urban legend all your
own. Re-read Whipps’ “Urban Legends: How They Start and Why They Persist” if necessary to
review what an urban legend is and what it is not. Your legend should have an implied lesson or
warning; like “The Boyfriend’s Death,” it should play off of the fears and anxieties of college
students. Use specific landmarks that a CCP student would be familiar with; could it involve the
food trucks? The dark basements of Bonnell and Mint? Be imaginative and ORIGINAL. Most of all
have fun!
You will take the aspects of an urban legend we learned about during this unit and incorporate them
into a creative writing piece. You can either write about something that “supposedly” actually
happened to you, something that happened to someone you know, or make something up. However,
it must be 100% your own work, as you are being assessed on writing skills as well as the
incorporating of the terms. The elements that must be visible in your story are:
 It needs to be told as if it were a factual incident.
 It needs to be told as something that happened to you or to someone you know.
 It needs to have a grain of truth…be sort of believable.
 It should have elements of horror or humor.
It is also important to remember that this is a creative writing piece, so it should have some
elements of figurative writing in it as well. The skills I will be looking for are:
 It is detailed
 You show, don’t tell. Paint a picture using all the senses so the listener can totally picture it.
 You have figurative language (similes, metaphors, personification, alliteration, symbolism,
imagery, etc.)
 It is told in a logical fashion to it is easily followed. There should be a clear beginning,
middle, and end and use transitions so it flows.
 Be careful with your conventions, like grammar, punctuation, spelling, sentence structure,
 If you use dialogue, each time a new person speaks, you start a new paragraph.
We will be sharing these for our haunted story day, so be prepared to read yours to the class.
Use first-person. The tone should be conversational, write it as though someone is transcribing your
words as you speak; in other words, it will read like you are telling us a story. It should be about 23 pages in length (at least 500 words), double-spaced, using Times New Roman font.