The Personal Writing Worksheet - PBS

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Here’s a clip that makes what personal writing IS really clear – thanks to Faith Whelan (English teacher) for the heads up.

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Joyful Learning In KC: Personal Narrative Writing

way to structure a week of instruction on personal narrative writing The Personal Writing workshop outside the east side of the Old Capital on the pentacrest.
Front to Back (left to right): Charlie Vavrick, Auriana Moctezuma, Maisie Rossi, Olivia Crall, Ashley Miller, Medina Jusufovic, Claire Hassler

Growing Firsties: Personal Narrative Writing Workshop Unit

Writing isn’t only for professionals. I believe that everyone is creative and has a story to tell. In my classes we again put pen to paper and discover writing as a way to experience and empower our lives and leave a written legacy for those who come after us. My students are encouraged to examine the writing process in all its forms: journaling, letter writing, poetry, memoir, and, fiction, as we explore how personal writing is the basis for all of them.

Personal Narrative Writing Strategies


However, if you check out the mini-lessons on paragraph writing elsewhere on the OWL, you'll see that writing begins with a question or problem. This applies to personal writing too, which has a variety of academic uses. It's not just a "touchy-feelee" exercise to get things rolling before getting on to "real" writing-essays, reports, reviews, etc. In fact, the personal can be the focus of an entire paper, such as we're describing here. It can also be an element of other forms of writing, even formal writing. bell hooks, the African-American feminist educator starts her book, Teaching to Transgress, with a personal anecdote about her simultaneous attraction to and fear of the academic life. This opening leads into a range of subject areas, including race, gender, so on. These impact the classroom experience in serious, unpredictable ways. So there's a definite dramatic quality about the personal. The point is that this quality, the fact that the personal begins with a question-a research question-is what gives it its own type of rigour.Here's a sample of personal writing that shows some of the principles we've outlined in the "Personal Writing" mini-lesson. Notice how it begins with a personal memory (of a shoebox full of war photographs taken by the writer's father). The memory contains a contradiction: the pictures had an effect on the writer, since they seemed to put him in contact with the war (WW2), to bring the war into his own experience. But he also feels aloof from the war, from his father's actual involvement, aware that these are "only" pictures, not the real thing. So the question arises: do pictures bring reality closer, or do they keep reality far away? From this we can also ask: Does even the person who was in the war, on the scene, have a grasp of what was going on around him?