This chapter provides detailed guidelines for writing a literacy narrative. In the following literacy narrative, Shannon Nichols, a student at Wright State University, describes her experience taking the standardized writing proficiency test that high school students in Ohio must pass to graduate.
She wrote this essay for a college writing course, where her audience included her classmates and instructor. I surely spelled every word correctly, used good grammar, and even used big words in the proper context. Finally I got over it and decided it was no big deal. In my honors English class I worked diligently, passing with an A.
She has served as consultant, editor, or writer on more than a dozen other textbooks for the first-year composition course.
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Grandparents tell how things used to be (sometimes the same stories year after year).
Schoolchildren tell teachers that their dog ate their homework.Brief, accessible, and inexpensive, The Little Brown Essential Handbook, Fifth Edition, answers questions about the writing process, usage, grammar, punctuation, mechanics, document design, research writing, and documentation.Minimal terminology, clear explanations and examples, and pointers for ESL writers help students at all levels.To my surprise, I did pass every part—except writing. This experience showed me just how differently my writing could be judged by various readers. Unfortunately the graders of the ninth-grade proficiency test didn't feel the same, and when students fail the test, the state of Ohio doesn't offer any explanation.Obviously all my English teachers and many others enjoyed or at least appreciated my writing. After I failed the test the first time, I began to hate writing, and I started to doubt myself. Failing the second time made things worse, so perhaps to protect myself from my doubts, I stopped taking English seriously.Nichols's narrative focuses on her emotional reaction to failing a test that she should have passed easily.The contrast between her demonstrated writing ability and her repeated failures creates a tension that captures readers' attention. As with most narratives, those about literacy often set up some sort of situation that needs to be resolved.The first time I took the ninth-grade proficiency test was in March of eighth grade. By October I'd be ready to conquer that writing test. I failed the test again, again with only 4.5 of the 5 points needed to pass. I had disappointed my family and seriously let myself down.The test ultimately determines whether students may receive a high school diploma. To make matters worse, most of my classmates, including some who were barely passing eighth-grade English, passed that part. That time I did cry, and even went to my English teacher, Mrs. Worst of all, I still couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Apparently—I told myself—the people grading the tests didn't have the slightest clue about what constituted good writing.Series All Books In 1985, the philosopher Jean-François Lyotard curated “Les Immatériaux” at Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.Though widely misunderstood at the time, the exhibition marked a “curatorial turn” in critical theory.