First Draft: Literacy Autobiography

WRITING PROJECT 1: Literacy Autobiography Essay


30 points
First Draft due: Sunday, August 28, by 10:00 PM (at least 550 words)
Final Draft due: Tuesday, September 6, by 10:00 PM (between 700 and 1000 words)




The focus of this assignment is your development as a writer—in both your native and second or foreign language(s). Consider your entire life, including pre-school years, and do not limit yourself to school experiences. Some areas of your experience you might want to consider include: people who have influenced your writing, your memories of success and/or failure in writing, your feelings about writing (whether it is easy or difficult for you and why), and your strengths and weaknesses in writing. Given that you are all second language writers, any changes in where you were educated or in which language are particularly interesting to explore. You do not need to write about all of or only these areas nor follow this order in your paper. The purpose of thinking about these topics is to help you recover and arrange relevant memories.


Please note that, although the assignment asks you to focus on your writing history, you might have to include certain experiences that do not explicitly relate to writing but provide a context for those experiences.  You may also discuss some books or writers who may have influenced your own writing. Memoirs are usually not argumentative and do not require a thesis/argument or research (although you may structure your autobiography around an argument if you wish).  Memoirs are often structured around an encounter with an obstacle or complication and the lessons learned from that confrontation/encounter. Including details is vital.  See Chapter 6 in Writing Today for some advice on writing memoirs.




Your audience for this paper will be the members of this class.  This paper should be in the first person and can be less formal than the remaining essays. Remember that most members of your audience do not have the same linguistic and educational background as you.



Your Writer’s Autobiography should be in the form of a Word document. Your document should be double-spaced, have one-inch margins on all sides, and be done in a 12-point font. You should include your name on all your work this semester.




Your final Literacy Autobiography should run between 700 and 1000 words. The first draft should run at least 550 words. You will need:

  • A creative title
  • An introduction that contextualizes your narrative
  • A body which details your experience as a writer and reader—you may want to do this in chronological order (not necessarily beginning to end, but be conscious of time and sequence), and
  • A conclusion which brings a sense of closure to your account


This assignment meets the following ICaP Learning Outcomes:

  •  Demonstrate rhetorical awareness of diverse audiences, situations, and contexts
  • Critically think about writing and rhetoric through reading, viewing, analysis, and reflection
  • Provide constructive feedback to others and incorporate feedback into their writing


This assignment is worth 30 points. The 30 points will be allocated as follows:

Content 9

Organization 6

Vocabulary 6

Grammar 6

Conventions 3



Grammar: Correctness of the grammar (sentence level: verb tense, subject verb agreement, etc.)


Conventions: Punctuation, overall look, delivery, and professionalism of the paper (layout, fonts, name, title, etc.)


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