X1: Experience-Based Writing

Describe a past experience or event—something that happened to you—as evocatively as you can. Try to recreate the event in a way that makes your readers feel like they are experiencing it along with you.

What you write does not have to be a complete essay. In fact, you may find it easier  to imagine this piece as a scene from a longer essay. You also don’t have to interpret or analyze the event you describe. Your task, for the moment, is to evoke it as fully as you can.

The event you write about does not need to have been especially dramatic or life-altering. It may simply be something that sticks in your memory, for whatever reason—a trip, a conversation, an evening with friends or family. The one thing you do need to be sure about, though, with this piece and all the others you write for this class, is that you write about something that you are willing to share, to make public—since we will discuss these pieces in small groups.

Finally, come up with a good title for your piece, one that grabs the attention of readers.

Length, Format, Deadlines

I anticipate that most of your X assignments will run about 1,000 words. If it turns out that your writing runs longer, that’s fine. If you write something shorter than, say, 600 or 700 words, make sure that the quality of your piece offsets its brevity. While the writing you do for X assignments is meant to be exploratory, I will expect you to compose these pieces with thought and imagination and to edit them with care.

Please save your piece as a Word document (.docx). Title your document “Lastname X1”. Post your X1 to your Google Drive folder. I will post my responses to the same folder.

Deadline: Tues, 2/14, 10:00 AM.


About Joe Harris

I teach composition, creative nonfiction, and digital writing at the University of Delaware.
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