Writing Prompt Paper 3
“Life’s Stories” by Julie Beck
“I am not a Story” by Galen Strawson
Your Choice Narrative Project
Julie Beck’s Atlantic essay “Life’s Stories” explores the important role that narrative plays in our lives. Beck claims that storytelling plays a fundamental role in how we, as humans, make sense of the world around us. Beck claims that the way we understand (and tell) our individual stories can profoundly impact our mental wellbeing, decision making, and outlook on the future. In contrast, Galen Strawson’s “I am not a Story” proposes that understanding life as a story could be “dangerous.” He explores the notion that many humans live lives that are too messy for narrative unity. He claims that this narrative unity may represent a falsehood as our fallible memories and capricious selves cannot be so tidily traced along a single narrative arc.
Your task: Consider how Beck and Strawson’s essays complicate each other as you explore the role that narrative plays in your life. Use our texts—including your choice narrative project–to frame your discussion on the power and/or danger of narrative as it relates to your identity and write a 750-900 word multimodal, personal academic essay that connects the disparate texts with your own experiences with narrative. Please note the shorter word count and do your best to make every word count.
Some questions to consider: Do you consider yourself a Narrative or non-Narrative? How does your understanding of story compare with the ideas expressed in our other texts? Try to get at the core of how you experience story and analyze it in light of our texts.
In order to fulfill the multimodal element of this essay, please include at least 3 other modes of composition (besides linguistic). This is your chance to put those blogging skills to work. Include hyperlinks, embed videos, audio, and/or images. Use your choice modes thoughtfully. I will collect a 250-300 word (1 page) Multimodal Statement along with your paper that includes an explanation for your individual multimodal choices as well as your reasoning for where you incorporated your media and how this placement influenced your overall argument. For example, if you chose to include an image, why that image, in particular, and why did you choose to place it where you placed it? How does your image work with your linguistic text to achieve your goal? Your Multimodal Statement will count toward 10% of your paper’s overall grade. Please post the formal draft of your paper and Multimodal Statement as a page on your ePortfolio under the parent page: ENG 110.
A note on MLA citation: It is important that you cite every source that you use, including images, audio, and video. If you do not have rights to the media you want to use, consider linking to it via a hyperlink in your essay. After you have identified your sources, use your Little Seagull as a resource to understand what information you need to provide in your Works Cited page (as well as in your in-text citations)