Project #58844 - Personal Memoir

Write a short memoir (400-500 words) about an important time in your life. 

Any moment will do. Think of a time or an event that’s unusually vivid in your memory: your first day at summer camp, an academic graduation, your first day on the job or at college or university, an athletic contest, the birth of a child, a moment of humiliation or pride or profound sadness.

Do some preliminary thinking about your memoir. Think of the city or town where you lived as a child. To nudge your memory, generate a list of names associated with that place, such as street names, geographical features: rivers, meadows, farms, parks. Include the names of stores, restaurants, public buildings. 

Generate as much detail as you can. You could pick an important time in your youth.  Think about the house, your bedroom and your family of that time.  Think about the school you went to: picture the school yard, the classrooms: what they looked like, what they smelled like and what they sounded like.

After you’ve done some thinking about a significant place where you grew up, see if you have any memorabilia from that time: letters, postcards, photographs, yearbooks, ticket stubs.

Talk to people who have a perspective on this important moment: family members, friends, for example.

In your writing, aim to "show" not just "tell" to give the reader a clear idea of your important moment. Use sensory and figurative language (metaphors & simalies) to add emphasis and strength to your writing.

Analysis: 350-400 words

Include in your analysis:

a.  a video that relates to the theme of your memoir. Link to the video and discuss your video choice in detail.

b.  three quotations from your memoir that demonstrate techniques you used to make your memoir vivid and memorable (e.g. sensory and figurative language, techniques to indicate a different time, geographical location, dialogue, and so on).

c.   a discussion of truth and fiction in memoir writing. Link to a video on this topic and discuss whether or not you agree with the perspective of the video. See videos below, but find a different one for your discussion.

Use three, well-developed paragraphs in your analysis. This analysis should follow your memoir in the same document.



After you write your memoir assignment, sit back and re-read it. Then consider how you might summarize it in six words. Use these six words as the title to your memoir. 

Here are some examples of six word memoirs from Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure:

  • A sake mom, not soccer mom--Shawna Hausman
  • Painful nerd kid, happy nerd adult- L. Williamson
  • I still make coffee for two-Zak Nelson
  • Became my mother. Please shoot me. -C.Kaplan
  • Oldest of five, Four degrees. Broke.-Kaitlin Walsh
  • Married for money. Divorced for love.-Rosie Abraham
  • Full of tequila and bad ideas. -B. Johnson
  • Unborn baby, dancing belly, arriving soon. -T. Piccione
  • I was concerned about my obituary.-J. Dunn
  • Type A personality. Type B capability.- K Lang
  • Clumsy girl found adventure. Also, bruises. -Rebecca Campbell
  • Loved a man, then a woman. -Kate Evans
  • Loved home. Left to make sure. -A. Krefman

Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 03/01/2015 01:03 am
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