Literacy and Identity

Joan Didion’s “On Keeping a Notebook
Sherman Alexie’s “Superman and Me”
Toni Morrison’s “Strangers”
Essay Assignment:
Didion, Alexie, and Morrison each reflect on how language helps shape our experience in the
world. Now, you get the opportunity to do the same in your own reflective writing piece.
Write a short literacy narrative about yourself. Literacy narratives can often have slightly
different focuses, so you have a bit of room for creativity, but they primarily deal with detailing a
person’s path to reading and writing (education and experiences as a reader) and/or the impact
that reading and writing has on their lives.

Your literacy narrative can involve your experiences
with various “great” books or it may encompass your experiences with a variety of texts, from
internet reading, to newspapers, to comic books, to whatever you tend to read or even write in
your spare time depending on your own unique experiences.

The organization of your paper will depend on the focus you want the essay to take, but the
paper should illustrate a formative aspect of your identity as related to reading and/or writing.
The idea is to use this example to create a dominant impression of an event and its significance
that can help the reader better understand who you are as a reader and/or writer. The story you
tell should be about a formative experience in your life that significantly contributes to who you
are as a person
Throughout your paper, you should bring your narrative to life through vivid
details that appeal to the reader’s five senses and that help the reader experience the events with
Format: about 2-3 pages: Typed, double-spaced, 1-inch margins on all sides. Give your essay
your own title.