Essay 4


Length: 6–7 pg., double-spaced.

The fourth and last essay assignment enables you to continue to craft narratives drawn from your own experience. These stories may follow from your previous writing or may focus on completely different experiences or themes.

As you craft your final essay, consider various options in narration discussed in class:

  • Using dialogue together with interior monologue
  • Narrating past experience in present tense to give a greater sense of immediacy
  • Employing techniques such as "day-in-the-life" or "the things they carried"
  • Including parts of actual or retrospective diaries, letters, text messages, etc.
  • Using "artifacts of the self" and "self-evidence"—such as treasured personal objects and clothing, favorite music, books, poems, movies, "to-do", grocery and shopping lists, credit card bills, phone records, transcripts—to help you tell parts of your story
  • Crafting your essay as a letter. (Think of the letter as using "dual address", written to a person / group—could be yourself—but simultaneously engaging a wider public.)
  • Thinking of your writing techniques in filmic terms (tone as musical score, flashbacks, flashforwards, etc.)


Prewrite – Due Session 23

Either a proposal and the first two paragraphs or the first version.

Workshop – Session 23

Bring five copies.

Essay 4 proposal / prewrite review (PDF)

Essay 4 in-class workshop review (PDF)

Revision – Due Session 26

Along with the revision of Essay 3

Final Cover Letter – Due Session 26

Should comment on the changes in both final versions of Essays 3 and 4, as well as the ways in which you have developed as a personal narrative writer this term.