Nicole Cooke

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Personal Memoir assignment and links

Personal Memoir Assignment

A personal memoir is a reflection of one event in the writer’s life that had 
a significant impact on the writer.  The event does not have to be something 
huge or amazing.  It is just a moment in time when the author can look back 
and see the moment life changed.  Think of Janie when she tells us when her 
conscious life begins or Victor when he tells of his parents adopting 
Elizabeth.  These seem to be minor events that happen to everyone – however 
for these two characters – their lives were forever altered in these simple 

You will write a brief memoir of this point in your life.  It should be 
written following all grammatical conventions we have addressed in class.  
Sentences should be structured correctly with most written in active voice.  
MLA formatting should be followed.

Two important suggestions:

1.  Start early!  Read memoirs posted online.  Think about an important event 
in your life.  Ask a question like Janie did – when did my conscious life 
begin?  Or why am I going to college?  When did I know I wanted to be a 
nurse?  This is a reflection.

2. Finish early!  Finish your paper a few days before it is due.  PROOFREAD.  
Do several revisions.  This is a short paper, so it should not be hard to 
do.  I have given a lot of advice in class on how I revise papers.  Also have 
someone else read your paper out loud to you.  This helps you to hear any 
mistakes you may have made.  If you have any questions – ask me BEFORE it is 

These papers are due March 27 or 28 – depending on your class date.  I will 
NOT accept late papers.  If you are absent on the day the paper is due, you 
will need to e-mail me a copy of the paper BEFORE 7:15 so I can print the 
paper before school starts.  If you do not get a reply e-mail from me, then I 
did not get the paper.  You need to make sure you get a reply or find a way 
to get the paper to school and in the basket by the start of class.  Also – 
you will not have time to print these papers during class this time.  We have 
made changes in the past to formatting.  The expectation is that you now know 
how to do this correctly.   These papers will be given back to you the next 
class period!  These papers count as a test grade.  Even though this paper 
should be fun to write and is not long, take it seriously!

**This assignment and Rubric are also posted under the Their Eyes Were 
Watching God tab.

OWL Memoir Resources

Reader's Digest Tips on Writing a Memoir

*Many of these are longer than what you need to write, but you 
will get the idea.
Sample Memoirs

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Last Modified: Sunday, March 19, 2017
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