Memoir and Letter Project

Length:Your Memoir should be 2-3 pages and the Letter should be 2-3 pg.

Due dates:Refer to the class schedule for peer editing draft and revision dates.

Format:Follow MLA format for the Memoir; however, a Works Cited page is not necessary.The Letter should include a salutation (Dear Ms. Hampl,) and a closing signature(Sincerely, your name) and should be double-spaced. The Letter should have an introductory paragraph (introducing yourself and the purpose of your letter), body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph with your final insights.

Audiences:Memoir—Your instructor and classmates, Letter—Patricia Hampl.

Purpose:To narrate and reflect on a past experience and to connect your memoir writing experience with Hampl’s perspectives on writing memoir.

Step One:

Write a 2-3 page memoir—recall a person, place or event from your past and reflect on its/his/her significance to you.See “Memoir” in Trimbur on pg. 150 for topic ideas.

Step Two:

Write a 2-3 page letter to Patricia Hampl, responding to her article about writing a memoir.How does your experience writing your own memoir validate/question/challenge her claims in “Memory and Imagination”?As you write this letter, you will discuss your own experience as an author of a memoir and cite passages from your memoir as evidence for your claims.When you write the letter, consider carefully what Hampl says about the difference between the narrative self and the reflective self in relation to your own project.

Here are some questions that will help you write your Memoir and Letter:

  • Does your Memoir narrate an event that had strong personal meaning for you?
  • Does your Memoir have vivid descriptive passages and sharp details?
  • Does your Letter demonstrate that you have understood (not necessarily agreed with) Hampl’s ideas?
  • Is the language of your Letter clear and appropriate to your purpose and audience(i.e., responding to the author’s claims about memoir)?

Key RWS 305W outcomes met with this assignment:

  • Analyze and Evaluate complex print, digital, and multimodal texts that engage significant academic, professional, or civic issues.
  • Apply rhetorical principles appropriate to different purposes and goals, within specific disciplinary, professional and civic communities.
  • Research and contribute to specific areas of inquiry by evaluating, synthesizing, and integrating strategies and sources appropriate to genre.
  • Adapt and employ conventions to communicate with diverse audiences who are members of or affected by a specific area or discipline.
  • Compose a variety of texts, working individually and collaboratively, through processes of drafting, critiquing, reflecting, and editing.
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