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Assignment for “Not Forgiven, Not Forgotten”

21W.022.01 Writing and Experience: Reading and Writing Autobiography

Louise Harrison Lepera



I. Memoir Assignment Sequence

*Monday, 3/2: Memoir first full draft (4-5 pages)

Due via email by 11:59PM


Instructions: Using the class discussions and the essays and extracts we have read in class to guide you, including the student essays from Angles, develop your second pre-draft into a fully-developed, purposeful memoir essay which your classmates will enjoy reading.

By fully-developed, I mean that the essay should be as polished as you can make it: mindfully structured, carefully proofread, and written in a clear, correct, and lively style.

Regarding the format of the essay, make sure it looks its best: use MLA style for the layout and for any citations needed, and be sure to number the pages, place your name on each page, and give the word count at the end.


Tuesday 3/3:  I will circulate by email first drafts by three classmates for you to read in advance of class on Wednesday, when we will have our postponed class workshop.

*Wednesday, 3/4: Class workshop (writers TBA)

Monday, 3/9: I will return your first drafts of the Memoir in class


Monday 3/9-Friday 3/13:  Instructor conferences

I will be sending an email in advance to the class with blocks of 30-minute meeting times so that you can schedule your conference with me for this week.

Monday 3/9-Sunday 3/15Review Groups (pods)

Instructions: Sharing feedback and discussing your writing with thoughtful fellow writers is an essential part of the writing process. Not only that, but giving effective feedback in a supportive, collaborative way is also a crucial professional skill, as is working in groups.

Therefore, after you receive your first drafts back from me in Monday 3/9, plan to hold a pod meeting outside of class time. I will give you a questionnaire to guide these mini-workshops, but you are free to meet where and when you wish as an independent, collaborative group. Your responses to each other will form a vital part of your revision process and you’ll be submitting the written responses you receive as part of your complete assignment package on 3/16.

If you experience any difficulties (eg. with contacting a podmate, or with the group process) don’t hesitate to contact me.


Monday, 3/16: The Revised Memoir Essay (5-6 pages: include word count at the end of your essay)

Due in class.

Instructions: To complete this final stage of the Memoir assignment, you will revise your first draft, using responses from your pod, my comments, and the revision strategies we will have discussed in class to guide your work.


To receive your grade you will need to submit the following in a two-pocket folder:

[    ]  Pre-drafts 1 and 2 with my comments

[    ]   The first draft with my comments

[    ]   The responses you received from your writing review group

[    ]   Your polished revision, presented attractively

[    ]  A letter to me (250-300 words)  in which you thoughtfully describe and reflect on the process of writing the memoir. Be sure to explain which of the responses and comments and which essays and memoirs you read (published or by classmates) influenced the ways in which you revised and reimagined your memoir essay.  Assess its strengths and weaknesses and indicate what skills or aspects of writing autobiography you would like to focus on strengthening next.