Descriptive Narrative Memoir

For your first formal writing assignment in this course, you will be writing a memoir, a story taken from your life. You will need to choose a moment in your life that is important and memorable to you, and replicate that moment for readers in words using narrative elements such as character, dialogue, descriptive language, setting, and effective narrative ordering. A memoir, though, is more than just a simple reporting of events; a well-written memoir builds to a greater theme, as it reveals an important aspect of personal and human experience that makes it stand out as a significant moment in your life and helps readers understand an important aspect of your existence. A good example of this can be found in Haruki Murakami’s story “On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning”, in which the narrator, in explaining to a friend what he wished he had said to a woman he passed on the street, reveals the pain that comes with a life of hesitation, second-guessing and missed opportunities. It’s important to note that a memoir need not focus on a massive event or moment in a person’s life (a tragedy, a major milestone accomplished, etc.) but should focus instead on a meaningful one; sometimes the smallest moments of our lives produce the largest realizations. Regardless of what moment in your life you decide to narrate, it should be focused to a single event or period of time (no timelines of your life), it should use narrative elements effectively, and it should have a theme that the reader can either pick out of the story or is stated outright.

Additionally, this narrative should be a multimedia narrative, which means it should include more than one medium of communication. You might choose to support the text of your narrative with meaningful photos relating to the event, or you might choose to include examples of famous artwork that you believe capture the spirit of the moment you are describing. If you like to draw, you might include illustrations that support the story as one would find in a storybook, or, if you’re feeling really ambitious, you might try your hand at producing your memoir as a comic book/strip. Alternately, you may want to have an audio component to your work, and include a musical soundtrack for your memoir or even record yourself reading the memoir as a spoken performance like you might hear on This American Life. You might choose to use video to support your narrative. The choice is ultimately yours, and I’m willing to help you as much as possible (I do know of easy to use and free audio recording programs); let me know what you’d like to do, and I’ll happily give you a hand.

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As for the specifics of the assignment, your narrative should be 750+ words and needs to include one other type of media in addition to text. For narratives that don’t lend themselves to a word count (such as comics and video), talk to me and I will work with you to make sure what you plan is fulfilling the assignment. Please see the rubric for specific details regarding grading.

The topic I have chosen for the essay is the time in 6th grade when I got called to the nurses office and was told my father had been in a car accident and I was being picked up to go see him. When I arrived at the hospital my father was unrecognizable from the damage. He had a tube down his throat so when I spoke tears rolled down his eyes because he wanted so badly to tell me everything will be ok. I spent my middle school years helping take care of him from doing medicine when he had a pick line going to his heart, to cleaning his wounds, helping dress him, help with therapy, just over all care. This is when I knew my calling in life was caring for others. I grew so much passion for it by caring for my father and seeing how much people need help when ill or injured. I realized I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. That is what made pursue my goals of being in the medical industry, and to this day I am continuing to work towards being a nurse. If you could just please add to that main theme and spice it up to make it match all criteria for the essay. I wanted to use photos of the accident but I do not have any and currently cannot locate them. So I was thinking to use an illustrated image of a truck crashed into a tree, an illustrated image of a father lying in a hospital bed, and maybe one that would reflect me now as a caregiver like an image of a young woman caring for someone. I would prefer cartoon like images if possible. I need a copy of the rough draft and final draft please. The rough draft can just have the text but the final draft has to have the text and media corresponded in to it. Does not need to be more than 2 pages. I have attached the grading rubric.

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