Describe a time when you had to think or act quickly to overcome a challenge.

A. Choose a topic that enables you to tell a short, interesting personal story. Your story can be funny, suspenseful, meaningful, or exciting, but it must focus on one event. For example, if you decide to write about traveling to Denmark, you should not write about the entire trip. Choose one event (e.g., an afternoon you spent bicycling on an island, or your first taste of smoked herring, or your visit to the childhood home of Hans Christian Anderson) and tell a detailed story that focuses on that event.The following are some ideas that can help you to select a topic for your story:Firsts: Think of a “first” in your life and describe that moment in detail.Proud Moment: Choose a moment when you felt proud about an accomplishment.Adversity: Describe a time when you had to think or act quickly to overcome a challenge.Travel: Recall a memorable experience you had while visiting an interesting place.B. Think About Your WritingBelow your completed narrative, include answers to all of the following reflection questions:1. Which narrative techniques did you use to bring your story to life? (2-3 sentences) Sophia says: Did you use vivid description, sensory details, and/or dialogue to engage readers? Provide two examples from your essay in which you “show” readers rather than “tell” them. EXAMPLE: A sentence such as “I glanced at the clock, grabbed my briefcase, and sprinted for the elevator” uses more descriptive language than simply saying, “I was running late for the meeting.”2. How did your purpose and audience shape the way in which you wrote your narrative? (3-4 sentences) Sophia says: Your hypothetical audience extends beyond the people who will evaluate your narrative. Which individuals or groups were you addressing when you wrote your narrative, and how did consideration of your audience and your purpose influence the way in which you wrote it?3. Provide a concrete example from your narrative that shows how you have written specifically for this audience and purpose. (3-5 sentences) Sophia says: Consider including a quotation from your essay and explaining how it was written to appeal to your audience, and to accomplish your purpose. Alternatively, you might describe a theme, tone, or narrative technique that you used and explain how it was intended to appeal to your audience and achieve your purpose.C. Narrative GuidelinesDIRECTIONS: Refer to the checklist below throughout the writing process. Do not submit your Touchstone until your essay meets all of the guidelines.Narrative Focus and Flow❒ Are all of the details in your story relevant to your purpose?❒ Are the events presented in a logical order that is easy to follow?❒ Is your story 500-800 words in length? If not, which details do you need to add or subtract?Narrative Structure❒ Is there an opening paragraph that introduces the setting, characters, and situation?❒ Are there middle paragraphs that describe the progression of events?❒ Is there a closing paragraph that provides a thorough resolution to the story?Narrative Language and Techniques❒ Have you incorporated narrative language and techniques (e.g., figurative language, concrete and sensory details, dialogue, and vivid description)?❒ Can examples of narrative language and techniques be found throughout your story, or are they only evident in some places?Conventions❒ Have you double-checked for correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, formatting, and capitalization?❒ Have you proofread to find and correct typos?Before You Submit❒ Have you included your name, date, and course in the top left corner of the page?❒ Have you answered all of the “Think About Your Writing” questions?❒ Is your essay between 500 and 800 words in length (2-3 pages)?D. ScoringYour composition and reflection will be scored according to the Touchstone 1 Rubric, which evaluates the narrative focus, narrative flow, narrative structure, narrative language and techniques, use of conventions (grammar, punctuation, etc.), and your answers to the “Think About your Writing” questions above.E. RubricAdvanced (90-100%) Proficient (80-90%) Acceptable (70-79%) Needs Improvement (50-69%) Non-Performance (0-49%)Narrative FocusPresent a focused, meaningful narrative.The composition is consistently focused, and details are relevant and specific. The composition is focused and details are relevant and specific. However, a few details and descriptions detract slightly from the focus. The composition is mostly focused and the majority of details are relevant and specific. However, there are several details and descriptions that detract from the focus. The composition does not have a consistent focus. The composition exhibits no evidence of a focus.Narrative FlowTell the story using a logical, smooth sequence of events.The sequence of events and details is logical and easy to follow throughout the composition. The sequence of events and details is logical and easy to follow throughout the composition, with a few minor exceptions. The sequence of events and details is easy to follow throughout most of the composition; however, some areas are poorly sequenced or confusing. The events and details are primarily poorly sequenced and difficult to follow. The sequence of events and details is illogical. Readers cannot follow the progression of the composition.Narrative StructureDevelop a clear beginning, middle, and end.The composition has a clear and well-developed beginning, middle, and end. The opening paragraph(s) thoroughly introduce the setting, characters, and situation. The middle paragraphs thoroughly describe the progression of events. The closing paragraph(s) provide a thorough resolution to the narrative. The composition has a clear and sufficiently developed beginning, middle, and end. The opening paragraph(s) adequately introduce the setting, characters, and situation. The middle paragraphs adequately describe the progression of events. The closing paragraph(s) provide an adequate resolution to the narrative. The composition has a clear beginning, middle, and end; however, one of the three sections is minimally developed. The composition lacks a clear beginning, middle, or end; or, two of the three sections are minimally developed. The composition lacks a clear beginning, middle, and end; or, all three sections are minimally developed.Narrative Language and TechniquesUse narrative language and techniques competently.Uses narrative language and techniques (e.g., concrete and sensory details, figurative language, vivid description, dialogue, pacing, and plot development) effectively throughout the composition. Uses narrative language and techniques (e.g., concrete and sensory details, figurative language, vivid description, dialogue, pacing, and plot development) effectively in the majority of the composition. Uses narrative language and techniques (e.g., concrete and sensory details, figurative language, vivid description, dialogue, pacing, and plot development) effectively in some parts of the composition. Uses narrative language and techniques (e.g., concrete and sensory details, figurative language, vivid description, dialogue, pacing, and plot development) rarely in the composition. Does not use narrative language and techniques (e.g., concrete and sensory details, figurative language, vivid description, dialogue, pacing, and plot development) in the composition.ConventionsDemonstrate command of standard English grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and usage.There are few, if any, negligible errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage. There are occasional minor errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage. There are some significant errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage. There are frequent significant errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage. There are consistent significant errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, formatting, and usage.Think About Your WritingReply to reflection questions thoroughly and thoughtfully.Demonstrates thoughtful reflection; consistently includes insights, observations, and/or examples in all responses. Answers all reflection questions effectively, following or exceeding response length guidelines. Demonstrates thoughtful reflection; includes multiple insights, observations, and/or examples. Answers all reflection questions effectively, following response length guidelines. Primarily demonstrates thoughtful reflection, but some responses are lacking in detail or insight. Answers all reflection questions, primarily following response length guidelines. Shows limited reflection; the majority of responses are lacking in detail or insight. Answers reflection questions inadequately; may not answer all of the questions and/or may not follow response length guidelines.

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