Salinas/ENC 1102 Assignment for research memoir Length: 4-6 pgs Write a memoir similar to the ones we’ve

reviewed in class—in other words, tell a personal story—that gives a message, makes a statement or teaches a lesson that has been important in your life. You can focus on yourself or someone else who has affected you. Also consider focusing on a particular experience or a particular place. We’ve discussed some of the emotional or psychological reasons for hatred or prejudice. One of the purposes of this project is to get you in touch with these feelings as they have manifested in your own life. Talk about a time when you have experienced one of feelings listed below and how you have dealt with or overcome the feeling. Keep in mind that you don’t have to tell a story about prejudice or racism (though you can if want to), as long as you focus on one of these feelings. *Ignorance *Fear *Anger *Pain *Disrespect *Invisible (being ignored or neglected) All semester, you’ve been explaining what you’ve learned from literature. Now the process is reversed. Your job is to tell a story, to make the literature this time, in order to share wisdom that has made a difference in your life. In telling your story, concentrate on developing two literary elements. *Character: Of course, your memoir must include people, or it wouldn’t tell a story. (The main person in the story may be yourself.) It may be important to describe what the people in your memoir look like, how they think and how they act. Use the kinds of “moments of characters” we’ve analyzed in our literature to bring them to life. *Symbolism: In the course of the memoir, you must develop at least one symbol related to your theme. You can present the symbol in one section of your memoir or develop it gradually throughout. Think about important objects, places, images, people, and experiences that have special meaning. As part of your prewriting, you must include a paragraph that identifies your symbol and explains its significance. See your prewriting worksheet on the back. Research: You must also use four outside sources to develop your memoir, citing them a total of six times. Include the following sources: *A website. *An interview. Find someone who can give you information related to your memoir. (It may be the main character.) Write the responses of the person you interviewed and turn them in with your final draft. *The rest of your sources should be either scholarly articles or books (use LNCC and other Miami Dade library databases). *Remember that your grade depends not only on the quality of your ideas and how well you structure them, but also on how reliable and relevant your sources are. *Warning: Be sure to turn in copies of all the outside sources you use and highlight the passages you’re borrowing from. If your sources are long, copy only the first page and the pages you’re borrowing from. Essays turned in without copies of highlighted sources will not get credit. *Include a works cited page listing your sources. *Remember that these are minimum requirements. The more sources and citations you use, the more vivid your memoir will be. More guidelines: *Maintain strong focus. Make sure your memoir contains a clear overall “point” or theme. Don’t just assemble a bunch of disconnected symbols, images, characters, themes, etc., but make it all fit together. *Somewhere in your essay, include a clear, specific thesis statement that expresses your theme, which you should underline. You may want to save the thesis statement for the end of the memoir so that you didn’t give everything away right away. Try keeping your audience in suspense. *It’s crucial that you use abundant descriptive detail to develop your memoir. Fill your story with dialogue, descriptions, examples. Use your five senses as much as possible so that we experience your story. Show, don’t tell. *See handbook for proper MLA style, which requires a works cited page in which you list your sources. *Work out your ideas before you start doing research so that outside voices and opinions don’t drown out your own. *As you’re incorporating secondary sources, make sure you’re using them as evidence for your own ideas, and not in place of them. Avoid quoting huge blocks of text from your sources. *Include an outline along with two more pages of freewriting and/or clustering. You must also include the prewriting worksheet. *Plagiarism will result in failure of the course and disciplinary action by the college.

ENC 1102/Salinas Prewriting Worksheet for research memoir Due: Answer the following questions as you work on developing your memoir. (Use a separate sheet of paper if necessary.) You must turn in this worksheet with your final draft along with a detailed outline and 2 additional pages of prewriting. 1)What feeling are you focusing on? Summarize the point or theme of your memoir. Can you state it in a clear thesis? Why is this message important to you and important for other people to understand?

2)Who are the main characters in your memoir? What main traits do you want to portray? List two moments of character that would help you develop your characters.

3)What symbol are you developing to support your theme. Describe it. Explain the significance of the symbol.

4)List two parts of your memoir where you can include scenes using descriptive detail. What can you describe?

5)Are theme, character, symbol and any other focused around one strong point? Do any elements seem disconnected from the thesis?

6)On the back, list four secondary sources you’re considering. Summarize them and explain how they’re relevant to your theme. How do they help make your point?

The Making of Poems by Gregory Orr

Gregory Orr has taught English at the University of Virginia since 1975. He is the author of nine poetry collections and the recipient of NEA and Guggenheim fellowships. Orr lives in Charlottesville, Va., with his wife, the painter Trisha Orr. I believe in poetry as a way of surviving the emotional chaos, spiritual confusions and traumatic events that come with being alive. When I was 12 years old, I was responsible for the death of my younger brother in a hunting accident. I held the rifle that killed him. In a single moment, my world changed forever. I felt grief, terror, shame and despair more deeply than I could ever have imagined. In the aftermath, no one in my shattered family could speak to me about my brother's death, and their silence left me alone with all my agonizing emotions. And under those emotions, something even more terrible: a knowledge that all the easy meanings I had lived by until then had been suddenly and utterly abolished. One consequence of traumatic violence is that it isolates its victims. It can cut us off from other people, cutting us off from their own emotional lives until we go numb and move through the world as if only half alive. As a young person, I found something to set against my growing sense of isolation and numbness: the making of poems. When I write a poem, I process experience. I take what's inside me -- the raw, chaotic material of feeling or memory -- and translate it into words and then shape those words into the rhythmical language we call a poem. This process brings me a kind of wild joy. Before I was powerless and passive in the face of my confusion, but now I am active: the powerful shaper of my experience. I am transforming it into a lucid meaning. Because poems are meanings, even the saddest poem I write is proof that I want to survive. And therefore it represents an affirmation of life in all its complexities and contradictions. An additional miracle comes to me as the maker of poems: Because poems can be shared between poet and audience, they also become a further triumph over human isolation. Whenever I read a poem that moves me, I know I'm not alone in the world. I feel a connection to the person who wrote it, knowing that he or she has gone through something similar to what I've experienced, or felt something like what I have felt. And their poem gives me hope and courage, because I know that they survived, that their life force was strong enough to turn experience into words and shape it into meaning and then bring it toward me to share. The gift of their poem enters deeply into me and helps me live and believe in living.