Literacy Narrative

Major Project 1

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This project offers you the opportunity to reflect on your personal relationship to our course theme by telling a story about your literacy in a topic related to the discourse of futures thinking. With reference to the questions and concerns of our class, that is, you will draw on a collection of related memories that work in tandem to portray your ongoing literacy in the discourse of a subject listed in the following document. I encourage you to contribute as much relevant content to this doc as you like, in part because I will ask you to begin this project by presenting three potential choices to me for feedback before selecting one in particular as the focus of your narrative.

In composing your literacy narrative, it is important that you pay credence to specific moments in which you have developed your literacy in the discourse of your topic — such as when you may have worked with a literacy sponsor to develop your initial knowledge of the topic, learned about and employed its discursive conventions, as well as joined in conversation with members of its discourse community. In order for your narrative to be a narrative, you should not only explain but also illustrate the progressive means by which your literacy has taken shape over and across time. Such memories should in turn be interlocking and relational, building to the present moment while also reserving space for you to reflexively explore your potential for future growth. In other words, your literacy narrative ought to conclude with a reflection on your own personal horizon of possibility, specifically as it pertains how you might imagine yourself learning more about this topic going forward, both at Baruch and beyond.

Guided questions

  • Did I work with a literacy sponsor when I first acquired my initial literacy in this topic? How might this person have introduced me to the discourse community of my topic? How might they have facilitated my knowledge and engagement with its conventions in the process? How have I since utilized these conventions in ways that may have deepened or cemented my literacy in this topic? In retrospect, how has this individual ultimately driven me to learn more about this topic?
  • With whom have I notably discussed this topic in the past and when have I recently joined in conversation with members of its discourse community? How comfortable did I feel recently engaging with this discourse community compared to when I first acquired literacy in this topic? Can I recall concrete moments when I might have felt tentative or unsure of myself when contributing to that discourse community? How have these memories built on one another sequentially and in meaningful, constructive ways? Looking back, which memories are seemingly most significant to my working knowledge of this topic and why might that be the case?
  • How could I learn more about this topic going forward? How might I engage with new and more diverse members of its discourse community? How might I attempt to widen as well as deepen my knowledge of the conventions tied to this topic? How can I imagine new possibilities regarding my literacy in this topic and why does such unrealized potential matter to me at all?

Grading criteria

  • Narrative (35%) Do you tell a compelling story with realistic interactions, sensory description, and vivid details that help drive your audience to keep reading? While you may include reflective writing about the topic for the assignment, do you avoid clichés, generalizations, and vague reflections, and instead focus primarily on one particular moment or example that captures the value of your ongoing literacy in the discourse of your chosen topic? Do you move between specific memories in ways that are interlocking and relational, and which build on one another so as to reflect the progressive growth of your literacy over? Does your narrative conclude on a note of possibility regarding how you might imagine yourself learning more about this topic? Do you reflect on the imaginative possibilities of your growth in an attempt to push the boundaries of your current working knowledge?
  • Focus/Analysis (30%): Is there a discernible argument and/or urgency to your narrative? What insight does it offer about the ongoing development of your literacy practices? How effectively do you interweave reflective and analytical thought into the narrative progression of your literacy in the topic? Do you use concepts and key terms from the course text such as discourse, literacy, literacy sponsor, conventions, and discourse communities to provide an analytical component to your piece? How thematically relevant is your literacy narrative to the course theme of imagined futures? Do you exemplify a growth mindset by making reference to the tools and techniques of futures thinking, while making sure to explore your own horizon of possibility at the conclusion of your narrative?
  • Organization (20%): How clearly and intelligibly do you organize the narrative progression of your paper? Is the sequencing of your narrative read as coherent and intuitive? Does your paper maintain consistent transitional logic between and among each paragraph? Do you structure your paragraphs with cohesion, and avoid jumbled or otherwise convoluted subject matter?
  • Style, Grammar, and Editing (10%): How precisely have you edited and proofread so that no grammatical or spelling errors detract from your narrative and compromise your credibility as a writer? Does your syntax and diction carry the content of your prose in clear and deliberate ways? Does your writing broadly adhere to the standard academic conventions of usage and punctuation?


  • 1400-1600 words / 5 double-spaced pages
  • 20% of course grade

Due dates

  • First draft (peer review): Wednesday, September 22
  • Revised draft with writer’s letter: Wednesday, September 29