by Rebecca Green
In my College Composition I class last semester, I assigned a personal narrative essay to my students. When I initially reviewed the project guidelines, I was worried. What if they won’t gain anything from this essay? What if they struggle to connect sources to their own personal experience?
I was hesitant, but I knew my students deserved the opportunity to write about themselves, to be creative, to take risks and not feel restricted by strict project expectations. I prepared them as best as I could: we spent weeks close reading, responding to sources, discussing our topics, and partaking in creative free-write exercises as a class. We talked about writing as a process, instead of a five paragraph formula. When that fateful Friday night arrived in which students were expected to hand in their essays, I sat by the computer anxiously waiting for a disaster to take place.