Essay Two

Essay Two: Creative Non-Fiction

This essay assignment is designed to help you move from a directly personal/subjective perspective in your writing, to a more impersonal/objective perspective. Choose an historical event (something before 1975) in the history of America, and write an essay, in narrative form, from the perspective of a participant/observer of the event. I want you to write the story from your perspective—not the perspective of a main historical figure (i.e. don’t tell the story through the eyes of someone like Abe Lincoln, or Martin Luther King). Your narrative should be limited to one day. Assume the audience knows the basic importance and relevance of the event to history. The idea is for you to tell a story using facts of history—like a movie “based on” a real event.

Requirements for the essay (see Grading Criteria for more):

1. A well-organized, thoughtful presentation of the story.
2. Lots of detail and use of concrete description throughout the story, using all the senses.
3. Appropriate use of dialogue.
4. Use of active voice.
5. Story written in present tense.
6. Proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

NOTE: You are required to use at least two research sources for the paper; therefore, I will need a bibliographical list of books, articles or internet sources you use to write the paper. Do not plagiarize—first, read the material to get an idea of the subject, then write the essay. You do not need a works cited page for this paper. Bibliographical listing only. However, any quotes or paraphrases must be given attribution.

Have fun.

In addition to these main points, look for:

  • Places to cut wordy phrases and clichés
  • The use of indefinite pronouns as the subject of a sentence
  • The overuse of helping verbs (look for –ing endings)
  • Forms of “to be” which might indicate passive sentence structure