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Non-fiction

This assignment asks you to craft a story based on personal experience. This is different from literary analysis or research paper assignments which ask you to open with a thesis to continually reference and support. Stories are constructed differently. Successful stories describe events in such a way that readers get to experience the story as if they were directly observing events. Consider the following when drafting, writing, and revising:

Place your readers into a significant moment you’ve experienced. Narrow your focus from the start. Select a story out of one, tiny, narrow corner of your life and avoid expanding on all the details around the story. Do not give us an introduction that explains everything before it happens. Let the story speak for itself and trust your readers work at discovering what your story is about. Try to drop your readers into the action of your story to create immediacy.

Who are you? How have your experiences shaped your sense of what is important or possible? Realize the benefits of using writing to reflect on your life. Read exemplary autobiographies and write about a significant, unusual, or dramatic event in your life.

Autobiographies are stories that people write about themselves. These stories can be factual accounts of significant, unusual, or dramatic events. They can be remembrances of  famous   or interesting people. And sometimes, when people slip from fact into fiction, they can be fictional stories, what some writers call "faction."

Despite the fact that public writing in the virtual world has become increasingly popular, some people think less and less about what they write online. One particular consequence of this trend is the rise, in the past few years, of employers “vetting” the online personas of potential employees and scholarship applicants.

Whether or not you agree with the practice, employers are examining social media for information about their applicants. As Diane Stafford, a business writer for The Kansas City Star, reminds us, “Like it or not, your online presence will be part of pre-employment background and credit checks” (37).