Posted in English 1103, Reading, Teaching, Writing

ENG 1103: Model Literacy Narratives

As a model for your own literacy narratives, today in class we will examine “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” originally published in Esquire magazine and later as the title essay in David Sedaris’ 2000 essay collection.

After we read  Sedaris’ essay, you will collaborate in groups of four to complete an exercise that involves exploring these aspects of his writing:

  • Shifts from summary to scene and vice versa
  • Figurative language
  • Hyperbole
  • Vivid detail

I will also ask you to consider what elements are the strongest aspects of the essay and whether “Me Talk Pretty One Day” has given you any ideas for developing your own narrative. Time permitting, we will also read Helen Keller’s essay “The Day Language Came into My Life.”

To read more of Sedaris’ essays, see the list of links under the heading Writing and Radio on his website. You can read more of Helen Keller’s autobiography, the full text in fact, here: The Story of My Life. “The Day Language Came into My Life” is Chapter Four.

Next Up

For Wednesday you should read Keller’s essay (if you don’t have time to read it in class today), and compose a short summary of both her essay and Sedaris.’ Aim for a minimum of fifty words each.

Keep Keller’s and Sedaris’ essays in your pocket portfolio and continue to look to them as models as you revise your literacy narrative. You will receive your draft with my notes at the beginning of Wednesday’s class, and you will have the class period to continue to revise. You will have an additional week to devote to your essay before you post it. It is due (on Blackboard and on your WordPress blog) before class the morning of Wednesday, September 14; the hard deadline is the morning of Friday, September 16.

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