no topic

For the essay, choose an experience or experiences from your own life where you overcame a challenge or obstacle or that taught you a lesson. Since this is about your experiences, there is no set topic; however, your paper should have a main point, a theme or a lesson learned.

If you need help developing a topic, use the Quickstart Guide on p. 71 in your text. You can also look at the Ideas for Writing on p. 72 and p. 76 for ideas to get your started.

Structure of the Essay

Your essay should include the following:

Introduction: You should have an engaging introduction (remind yourself of the funnel method) with an attention-getting hook, a narrowing in on how the hook applies to you, and a thesis that identifies your purpose for writing.
Thesis: As you think of your experiences, remember that your narrative thesis should inform the reader of either the overall theme of your essay (i.e. your main point) or the lesson you learned from the experience you describe in the body paragraphs.
Body Paragraphs: Your paper should have a story opening, middle, and ending where you tell the story using vivid details and descriptions that clearly show the reader what happened in an interesting way. This should be multiple paragraphs (with a minimum of 3 body paragraphs).
Conclusion: The conclusion should show the reader how the story relates to a larger issue—the moral of the story, or the lesson you learned from your experience. You should show the reader how your story and experience can relate to everyone and help them see how what you learned can apply to them as well.


Submit a paper with the following features:

  • Length: 750-1000 words
  • Typed, double spaced, 1-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman

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