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American Literature

Narrative 2016

Multi-Genre Junior

Purpose: To use multiple genres of writing to tell your story in a unique and compelling
Audience: Your teacher and anyone else with whom youd like to share your story. An
opportunity to share your pieces with our class will be available before the end of the
What it is: Using multiple genres of writing, this narrative is all about you. Its about
conveying some aspect of yourself or some memory or story about yourself through
different genres in a collection of vignettes.
A vignette is a self-contained piece of writing; it makes a point on its own. So your
multiple genre narrative will have multiple vignettes written in different genres. Theres
no set format for how you put together the vignettes; its up to you. You decide how to
present your story. Written messages come in a multitude of forms: newspaper articles,
poetry, prose, song lyrics, e-mails, postcards, business letters, blog entries, etc. Any
genre, any style of writing will work for each vignette. Its your job to use those forms
and choose those that will best convey your story. Ultimately you decide how many
vignettes you need to tell your story as well as how many per page. The layout is
completely up to you. However, there needs to be cohesiveness, a connection, a theme
that ties all of the vignettes together to create a compelling multiple genre narrative.
Remember, a good story has a heartbeat, a pulse, a purpose. It has a beginning, middle,
and end that develops and builds tension in order to propel your reader to the last page,
to the last line, to the last word of the story. So you need to ask yourself: What do I want
to convey about myself? How will multiple genres help me to do that?
What it isnt: Its not a collection of newspapers articles, photographs, diary entries, or
letters gathered about you. Its not someone elses writing, someone elses news report,
diary entry or letter about you. It is NOT a scrapbook.
Its not using every single space on a page. Its not double spacing every line. Its not
indenting every paragraph. Its not even about thesis statements or topic sentences or
five-paragraph structure.
Opening Letter / Prologue / Preface
Your narrative needs to begin with an address to your reader. This address can be
written as a letter, a prologue or a preface. The purpose is to TELL what you
SHOW in the narrative. This is your chance to set up what is to follow. Explain
your SO WHAT, WHAT, and HOW. Tell your readers what you want them to get out
of your narrative. So what did you hope to accomplish? So what do you want them
to realize or know about you once theyve read your narrative? What genres did
you use and why? What is your repetend/motif and how does it connect your
pieces together?
A genre is simply a type, a category or a class of writing. There are many different
types of writing. This narrative incorporates a variety of genres to tell your
personal story.

1. You need to include a minimum of four (4) different genres in your narrative.
Any written genre is acceptable. We will discuss in class the variety of
styles from which you may choose.
2. When choosing a genre to tell your story, consider the purpose of each
genre. Consider time period. Consider how the reader will receive the
information via that genre. Be thoughtful with your selection. Try out
different genres for each moment, each scene in your story. See which
works best. Experimentation is the key to making each genre work in and of
itself and as a collection for the whole narrative.

There is no specified length. Your story is finished when its finished. Quality is
more important than quantity. However, most students usually compose multiple
genre narratives that are anywhere from 5 to 10 pages in length. Remember,
multiple genre narratives use the white space on each page with effect and
purpose. Every line on every page does not have to be filled. Instead, the
arrangement of words on each page, on the white space of the page, is significant
when composing a multiple genre narrative.

You will build a website that will house your four pieces. In the event of
technically difficulties, you should always draft and save original copies as Word
documents to have as back ups. Using, create a portfolio of your
four final pieces.

List of Possible Genres (No genre may be used twice):

friendly letter
persuasive essay
greeting card
book/movie review
bumper sticker
business letter
interview transcript
college application essay
job application
commercial script
job manual
cover letter
journal entry
declaration of war
letter of complaint
letter of recommendation
love letter
dictionary entries
news article
news feature article
newscaster script
eviction notice
nursery rhymes
extended metaphor
travel log
Possible Topics:

free verse poem
post card
preface or
product evaluation
product jingles
psychological profile
public announcement
rejection letter
scene from a TV show
script of a telephone call
six word memoir

1. Some students have a background or story that is so central to their identity. If this
sounds like you, then please share your story.
2. Describe an experience where you were unsuccessful in achieving your goal. What
lessons did you learn from this experience?
3. If you were given the ability to change one moment in your life, would you do so?
Why or why not? If so, what moment would you change and why?
4. Choose the invention that you think has had the most negative impact on our
world and explain why you chose that invention.
5. What movie, poem, musical composition, or novel has most influenced your life
and the way you view the world? Why?
6. Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea. What prompted you to
act? Would you make the same decision again?
7. Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do
or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
8. What is your favorite mistake? Explain how it has impacted your life.
9. From Michelangelo to Mother Teresa, from Jackie Robinson to Elizabeth Bennett,
the human narrative is populated by a cast of fascinating characters, real and
imagined. Share your favorite and explain why that person or character inspires
10.Discuss an accomplishment or event, formal or informal, which marked your
transition from childhood to adulthood within your culture, community, or family.
May 2: Introduction of project & time to set up portfolio shell
May 3/4 : Time to start brainstorming, prewriting, drafting
May 10/11: Two drafts due to be shared with classmates. These should be printed and
brought to class.
After peer review, you will have time to work on personal narrative project
May 16 & 17: In class workshop time
May 18: Projects are due at 8:15am