Writing and Object Essay

Submitted By Malik-Bowden
Words: 745
Pages: 3

Narrative essay assignment (Unit I essay):
A personal object and its significance

This essay is about a personal object and its significance. More specifically, in this essay, you will describe an object, its significance, how it represents you, how it is (or isn’t) representative of your generation, and then how this object looks through the eyes of someone of another generation.

For the essay, you will select one tangible object that is important to you and that in some way shows or represents something about you. This object can be anything that you have with you here in your dorm room or bedroom, as long as you’re willing to have others see or read about this object.

To get started, you should think about the following questions. It can be very helpful to write down your answers in order to generate thoughts and organize ideas.

What is the object?
Why did you choose to focus on it?
How and where did you get this object?
Describe the object through your eyes.
How would someone who doesn’t know you describe the object differently?
How would someone of a different generation or background see it differently?
Why is this object significant to you? Is it concrete or symbolic?
How does this object represent you, or what does it represent about you?
Is it on display in your room? If so, why? What do you want people to think of it, or think about you? Or why do you want to be reminded of it?
Is your object typical or unusual? Is it surprising or unexpected?
Would you consider it a common thing for someone of your generation to have? Is it specific to your generation?
How would someone of your parents’ or grandparents’ generation view this object? What would they think it says about you?

Now here’s the important, but trickier, thing: In your essay, do NOT answer these questions in the order I presented them, and do not present your answers as a report. This essay has two functions: It should tell your audience something about you, and also should entertain and interest them.

In order to achieve this, you should brainstorm your answers and ideas, and then, considering the information in front of you, figure out how to present your ideas in the most interesting way possible. You won’t necessarily be delving into all of these questions, or into only these questions, though you do want your essay to ultimately fit under the heading “A personal object and its significance.”


750-1000 words (about three pages, double-spaced)
Turned in as hard copy and posted to blog


Rough draft: Bring to class on Monday, 9/15
1st draft: Bring to class on Wednesday, 9/17
2nd draft: Email to me by class time on Monday, 9/22
Conferences: Tuesday, 9/23 – Tuesday, 9/30
Final draft: Due (hard copy and to blog) in class on Friday, 10/3


In addition to the work we do on drafts in and out of class, there are a number of places where you can (and should!) get feedback on this paper:
My office hours (Tuesdays 9:30-12:30, except during conference week, and by appointment; 5111 Harris Hall)
The Writing Center (M-Th 9 am – 9 pm, F 9 am – 6 pm; Located on 4th floor of Academic Learning Commons, http://uc.vcu.edu/learning-support/writing-center/ for information or to schedule an appointment)
The TAs (available during conference week and by appointment)


Creativity and critical thinking: 25%
Organization and development: 25%