Choose a topic that enables you to tell a short, interesting personal story. Your story can be funny, suspenseful, meaningful, or exciting, but it must focus on one event. For example, if you decide to write about traveling to Denmark, you should not write about the entire trip. Choose one event (e.g., an afternoon you spent bicycling on an island, or your first taste of smoked herring, or your visit to the childhood home of Hans Christian Anderson) and tell a detailed story that focuses on that event.
The following are some ideas that can help you to select a topic for your story:
Firsts: Think of a “first” in your life and describe that moment in detail.
Proud Moment: Choose a moment when you felt proud about an accomplishment.
Adversity: Describe a time when you had to think or act quickly to overcome a challenge.
Travel: Recall a memorable experience you had while visiting an interesting place.
C. Narrative Guidelines
DIRECTIONS: Refer to the checklist below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your Touchstone until your essay meets all of the guidelines.
Narrative Focus and Flow
❒ Are all of the details in your story relevant to your purpose?
❒ Are the events presented in a logical order that is easy to follow?
❒ Is your story 500-800 words in length? If not, which details do you need to add or subtract?
❒ Is there an opening paragraph that introduces the setting, characters, and situation?
❒ Are there middle paragraphs that describe the progression of events?
❒ Is there a closing paragraph that provides a thorough resolution to the story?
Narrative Language and Techniques
❒ Have you incorporated narrative language and techniques (e.g., figurative language, concrete and sensory details, dialogue, and vivid description)?
❒ Can examples of narrative language and techniques be found throughout your story, or are they only evident in some places?
❒ Have you double-checked for correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, formatting, and capitalization?
❒ Have you proofread to find and correct typos?
Before You Submit
❒ Have you included your name, date, and course in the top left corner of the page?
❒ Have you answered all of the “Think About Your Writing” questions?
❒ Is your essay between 500 and 800 words in length (2-3 pages)?