Project One: Instructions

The drive for connection is human. People typically connect with others who share a place of origin, cultural background, language, and/or experience. We also forge connections with people who are very different from ourselves. These connections, taken together, contribute to our understanding of the world and our place in it. The more connections we make, the fuller our understanding. While we continue to add new connections throughout our lives, we may also experience disconnection from people, places, and communities we were once a part of. Likewise, over time, we may find ourselves working to reconnect with those very same people, places, and communities. Human connection is never a static process.


Your study of the meaning of human connection will begin, literally, close to home. Home, in this case, can take the role of a microcosm of society at-large. For Project 1, you will use narrative inquiry to explore what home means to you and how your connections to home contribute to who you are now. You’ll then write a narrative essay (1000-1250 words) that makes a claim about how your connection to home (however you define it) contributes to your understanding of yourself in society, using stories as evidence to support your claim.

What is Narrative Inquiry?

Narrative inquiry is a method of studying lived experience that begins with a question about some aspect of our lives that we want to understand better. The process of systematically recollecting and reflecting on our past experience allows us to turn our memories and experiences into evidence—research data—that we can analyze and draw conclusions from, ultimately leading to new insights.

What's the Assignment?

In this project, you’ll be using narrative inquiry to answer the questions: What is home? In what ways am I connected to (or disconnected from) home? How does this connection to/disconnection from home reflect larger social practices? To get started, explore the people, places, and institutions that make up home for you and reflect on how and why you’re connected to/disconnected from them. After you’ve inquired into these connections, identify the dis/connection(s) you find most significant. Then use narrative evidence—stories—to support your claim about how your understanding of where you’re from affects your understanding of yourself in the present.

Assignment Objectives:
  • Use narrative inquiry to describe and reflect on the connections between you and your home
  • Analyze experiential evidence and develop a central claim about connection
  • Select evidence to support that claim
  • Use narrative strategies to communicate the significance of some connection to or disconnection from your home
Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to write in a range of genres, using appropriate rhetorical conventions
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to employ flexible strategies for generating and revising their writing
Due Dates
  • First draft with cover memo: 02/05 at 11:59 pm CT
  • Peer review: 02/08-2/10 during class
  • Revised draft with cover memo: 02/10 at 4:00 pm CT
  • Portfolio: 02/19 at 4:00 pm CT
Instructions for Cover Memo

The cover memo should be a paragraph at the top of your composition. It should give a brief summary of what you were trying to do in your writing, what you feel comfortable with in your writing, and what weaknesses you see in your writing. It's a brief paragraph, so 100-150 words is fine. The function of this cover memo is to reflect on your own writing and to give some direction to your classmates who will offer feedback.

Portfolio Checklist

The portfolio is due on Friday, February 26 by 5:00 pm CT to your Google folder.

  • Cover Memo
  • Invention Video
  • First draft with comments from two classmates
  • Revised second draft
  • Final draft
Criteria Incomplete/Not Submitted Emerging Developing Meets Expectations Distinguished
(This cover memo is for the final product not the first draft.) Cover Memo:

(300 words) explains what you learned in this unit and what contributed to your learning. Be sure to discuss what you learned about narrative inquiry, about writing, and about connecting. List the two people whose essays you responded to in writing.


There is a clear controlling idea about how your connection to/disconnection from home (as you define it) affects you ; the controlling idea goes beyond the obvious, demonstrating insight that results from inquiry.


The controlling idea is supported by evidence—a specific story or concrete examples from your experience that establishes for readers the significance of your connection to/disconnection from home.


The essay is organized to draw the audience in, maintain interest, and offer a resolution or insight.


There is effective use of narrative technique. The writer depicts stories using setting, character description, action, dialogues, etc. Concrete details bring the narrative to life.

Editing and Proofreading

Sentences are complete and concise; Obvious errors have been eliminated.

Drafting and Revision

Complete drafts, with author’s notes, are submitted on time. Revision demonstrates attention to peer and teacher feedback.

Process Work

Active participation in activities during class