Essay 1 Assignment

English 1101
Fall 2020

Essay 1 (3+ pages): Narrative + Definition

Write an essay that shows us the story of an interesting “educational” experience you’ve had—one that’s left it’s mark on you in some way.  The “scaredy quotes” in the preceding sentence tell you you can interpret this phrase broadly: you could write about a (good/bad/terrible/funny/cruel) teacher who you loved/hated/learned from/didn’t learn from; you could write about an experience you had while playing video games or sports; you could write about a friend who was/is smart but always getting in trouble (that is, if you think you “learned something” from this person); you could write about your difficulties learning in grade school; you could write about your difficulties at CUNY; you could write about potty-training your cat; etc.  You get the idea.

Note: this doesn’t have to be about a “learning experience” that was “rewarding”; in fact, I don’t want there to be a “moral” of the story; I don’t want there to be a clear “take-away”; I don’t want there to be a “thesis” (although I do want you to express your own point-of-view strongly).  We can talk about what a “thesis” is and why this essay doesn’t need to have one.  For now, what I want you to focus on doing in your essay is:

a) telling the story well—in an exciting, engaging way (we will go over strategies for doing this)


b) indicating or explaining somewhere, somehow (but not just anywhere or everywhere) HOW whatever experience was “educational” — in other words, explain to us how you want to define the word “educational,” how you think we should understand the meaning of this word.

Draft due next Wed (9/2), by 5pm, via Google Doc link posted to OpenLab (category: “Essay 1 Feedback”).  See OL Reference Bible page for info on how to POST essays.

Revised essay due after you get feedback from others in the class on OpenLab.