| May 20, 2015

autobiography(events:a difficult situation,for example, when you had to make a tough choice, or when you struggled to perform a challenging task)
The 4 key elements in an Autobiographical essay are:
1. Narrating the Story
The point is to try to arouse curiosity and build suspense
They always use identification – 1st person Point of View �I� �We�
They try to have a Surprise in the essay. Dillard�s surprise was that the man got out of the car. Shah�s surprise came from Amina, who knew exactly how to get Shah out of the arrangement.
They usually contain many action verbs. Shah�s essay has verbs like, �out-classed, fired, cut, slammed, stormed in.� Dillard uses lots of verbs in her essay, �running, terrified, cherishing, caught, choking, pounding, straining.� Using action verbs like these help put the reader in the moment, and they create drama.
2. Presenting People
Use the five senses to describe the people in the essay. Sight, sound, touch, taste, smell � five things that help take a description on a page to flesh and blood person in a reader�s mind. Think of the moustache, or the demure bride from Shah�s essay. Recall the skinny boys from Dillard�s essay.
3. Describing places
Name the place � use those descriptor and we all can picture a location in our heads � the snowy Pittsburgh streets, Peshawar Pakistan.
Give it specific detail – again use the five senses. �6 inches of snow�a clearing�backyards� �inhuman sound�
4. Conveying the autobiographical significance �
this gives the essay meaning. An author recalls the event or person in order to make a point about something.
Using show and tell works very well to convey the autobiographical significance.
Show: to describe an action or event that has significant meaning to the author
Tell: Authors usually tell what they were thinking at the time, and how they feel about it now
A strong thesis (at the end of the essay) based on the significance of the event or person presented as the topic.
Topic Sentences in each paragraph which introduce the topic of that paragraph or summarize it.
A strong action oriented introduction, detailed body paragraphs, and an appropriate conclusion
Clear detailed examples which support your thesis.
Your ability to write an essay which responds directly to the given assignment.
Use of the key 4 elements of an autobiographical essay.
Use of a compelling opening
Use of action verbs
Should meet minimum length requirements of 1100 words, and should not exceed 1300 words.
To pass, must have less than 5 major errors per page.
Use MLA style
You need to use in-text citations when you use a direct quote, or when you summarize or paraphrase anyone else except yourself.
Include a in-text citations AND a works cited page if you use any outside sources, or you may not pass the assignment
There is MLA information in your KEYS book in section 3
There is MLA help on the mission college website:




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