Perspective on Homelessness

Required minimum length: 800 words. (Yes, 797 is OK. No, 770 is not. Yes, you can write more than 800.)

We’re spending the semester reading memoirs, or personal narratives, from individuals who have interesting life stories to share. But wait — doesn’t everyone have an interesting life story to share? I think so. What’s yours?

For this assignment, you will take a story from your own life (one that you are comfortable sharing and writing about) and place it in some larger context. You might choose to write about:

A pivotal experience and how it’s shaped you.
How you came to believe, realize, or appreciate something.
An important person in your life and how he or she has been influential.
Anything else that stands out as a key part of your life that would lend itself well to this assignment.
Whatever you choose, you’ll want to keep your story focused, and you’ll want to impart some larger meaning. Think about the larger meanings in the narratives we’ve read so far and what lessons we’ve taken from Tan, Wiesel, and Vance. What can we learn

from your story?
Keep in mind that your assignment is to write a short personal narrative and not a full biography! For starters, that will be boring for you to write. But mostly, 800 words are not nearly enough to write everything about yourself; you’ll be glossing over a lot and not giving us any real story or lesson.

You will earn an A and all 100 points for this assignment if you:
Write a well-organized narrative that has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Make your story stand out. After all, everyone’s got a story. What makes yours special? Why should anyone care?
Explain things well, with good details, careful descriptions, and a logical progression of ideas.
Use proper grammar, mechanics, and word choice.
Use well-structured paragraphs.
Proofread for content and clarity.
Follow MLA formatting.

No citations are required for this paper, though if you do refer to any sources, you will need to cite them appropriately.


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