OBJECTIVE: The goal of this course to explore border studies through the personal narratives of people who live in the local border region, and to associate these stories with larger themes such as movement, human rights, immigration, cultural context, among others.
YOUR ROLE: In this assignment, you are the storyteller, the central character of the story. This story can be about your experiences and/or your family’s experiences living in the border region. The purpose of a narrative is to look back and remember an episode in your life with great significance. The narrative is a first-person point of view; feel free to use, “I”, “me,” “mine”. Storytelling is an art that our families have passed down through generations without much notice. We usually tell stories when we are in communion with others, in informal conversations at the dining table, by remembering loved ones who are no longer with us, or reliving major life-changing moments. These are narratives that shape who we become as individuals and members of a community. Personal narratives are one of the most powerful ways to validate our lived experiences and to create a sense of collective solidarity.
DIRECTIONS: Write your personal narrative in the form of an essay using MLA format. Your essay should be between 3-4 pages, doubled-spaced, 12-point font (Times New Roman is standard font). This assignment is worth 25 points. The three most common personal narrative structures are: chronological approach, flashback sequence, and reflective mode, or a combination of multiple structures. Select one that best fits the story you are telling. Use the 5W’s: WHO, WHEN, WHERE, WHAT, WHY, HOW. Some examples of significant events:
- Immigration/migration: Moving and living in a new country, new state, new city.
- Family event: The birth or death of a loved one, reuniting with or separating from family.
- Establishing new notions of home, in a new community.
- Overcoming fear or vulnerable moments.
- Experiences with friends, in school, or witnessing something you felt was unfair.
Suggested Format :
- Introductory Paragraph: Catch the reader’s attention with an interesting opening sentence or two. Provide some background to your story, set the scene. Introduce your topic and the main idea you want to communicate about your story.
- Body Paragraphs: Tell your story with details. Use the structures to tell your story. Include your thoughts and feelings. Try to use specific nouns, vivid action verbs, and descriptive adjectives to make the experience come alive. Help us think and feel as you did.
- Concluding Paragraph: Conclude your writing with a paragraph that summarizes your thoughts and feelings about the experience. This is a very important paragraph! It leaves the reader with the final impression of your experience and your writing.