Personal Narrative (15% of final grade)

Write a 4-page essay describing the person you will interview. The profile brings the person alive using descriptive details as well as a focal metaphor.

The essay needs to be 4 pages double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 inch Font with 1 inch margins.


  • Recognize role of audience, purpose, and voice in writing
  • Understand basic essay structure: controlling thesis, organizational structure, strategies for a successful introduction, conclusion
  • Support ideas with concrete details and examples


  • Complete a full draft of the profile (at least 2 pages).
  • Drafts (three) are due on in class for peer review. If you do not have three copies of a full narrative draft on this day, you will lose a letter grade on the final draft.
  • Then revise. Revision is not correction; it is a re-seeing of your narrative and involves content and organization.
  • I’ll meet individually with you to talk both about your revision to the narrative and about your research project.
  • Edit the narrative at the sentence level for style and grammar:
    • Is the summary typed in Times Roman 12 inch font? Is it double spaced with one inch margins?
    • Is the essay clean stylistically, using concise and clear sentences, strong verbs and sentence variety?
    • Are filler sentences eliminated?
    • Is the essay grammatically correct?
  • The final version of the narrative is in a folder that includes the first draft, the peer review, and the final draft.

see student-created grading criteria
“5” essays, while not perfect, fulfill the grading criteria exceptionally well.
These essays may take risks that are successful and may show evidence of outstanding revision.
“4” essays meet the grading criteria successfully for the most part. These essays may take risks that are only somewhat successful, and they may show evidence of serious and sustained revision to content, organization, and style.
“3” essays satisfy the grading criteria. These essays communicate a theme, bring the person alive for the most part, employ ethos, are organized coherently, and contain competent prose. This essay may not take any risks and may not show much evidence of revision.
“2” essays do not satisfy the grading criteria. They may have a barely perceptible theme or many multiple underdeveloped themes. They use but few of the writing strategies that can bring a person alive; in particular they rely on vague, abstract expressions. The organizational plan may resemble a list. Sentences may be awkward or confusing.

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