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Before studying this genre and composing my own narrative based argument, I had never

really encountered it before in an academic setting. I assumed upon hearing just its name that it
was an argument based on something personal, and what came to mind immediately was
something similar to the open letter assignment, but instead of being addressed to one personal
with an implicit audience as well, I assumed it would be focus on a larger argument. Through
analyzing and peer reviewing other students’ assignments in this genre, I learned that this
assumption was mostly correct (with some tweaking), but that the part I had been missing was
that the argument needed to not only be personal, but also relevant to most people in terms of the
fact that it could be expanded into a larger and more universal social, political, or spiritual
argument beyond the scope of my own life. This was a challenge for me, but after putting
enough thought into it I finally settled on a personal narrative that both held significance in my
life and could be expanded into a broader argument.
When learning about this genre and constructing my own piece, reading the sample
narrative based arguments that were provided, as well as looking up others’ work and other
related pieces was very helpful to me in terms of getting a better handle on the conventions of
this genre. Reading others’ pieces and learning from both what was and wasn’t effective about
their arguments and stories better helped me both choose my own narrative argument topic for
this assignment and gave me lots of options in terms of tools to use when constructing my
It took me quite a while to come up with an intricate topic that was both personal to me
and could form a broader, more universal argument beyond the scope of my own life. There are a
lot of personal stories I could have told for this assignment, but I chose a moment that I
remembered where my perspective on an issue changed and I learned something about myself,
namely when I was punished for violating my elementary school’s dress code. This moment in
my life is not only one that I remember in vivid detail because it helped shape my beliefs from
that point forward, but it was also a critical moment in my mom and I’s relationship. The vast
range of emotions I felt that day helped me better understand my connection with her and what
she believed in, which had an enormous impact on my development into the person I am today.
Even though coming up with a personal narrative that was both meaningful and was able to form
a broader argument beyond the scope of my own life was without a doubt a challenge, I’m glad I
took the time and put in the effort to comb through my memories and moments in my life that
were meaningful to me so I was able to enjoy constructing this piece.
I think one of the most significant skills I have learned in this class that will always
influence my writing from this point forward is the fact that personal arguments are always more
persuasive. Most, if not all, of the assignments I have done for this class have been based on
some kind of personal experience or raw emotion, and I think that it is because of that that I was
able to construct these pieces with so much passion and care, which I think was visible to my
readers. This skill was definitely one I used in this assignment because this narrative is obviously
very personal and is a very significant part of both my relationship with my mom and my
development into the person I am with the beliefs that I have today. This class, and especially
this assignment, has shown me that there is almost always, if not always, room in my
assignments to insert personal emotion, experiences, or stories to make my writing more
meaningful, personal, and impactful.