Portfolio One: Generational Narrative

Due: Wednesday, February 10th @ 3pm (in FC 253 or on Wiki)

The Assignment:

For this project, you will create a narrative exploring an important theme, issue, question, or perspective as it relates to your generation, while incorporating the perspective of someone from an older generation. This can take the form of comparing/contrasting how the two generations view the same issue, or it might be relating an important issue of your generation in some way to a separate but relevant issue important to an older generation. You will use a mix of literary genres (3 or more), guided by your "primary project document," the narrative essay (or personal essay). Your two additional "secondary" project documents will "retell" the story or theme of your narrative essay using two separate genre choices, one of which should be a literary genre (possibilities include letters, fiction, poetry, autobiography, recipe(s), etc.) and one of which should be of a non-literary genre (possibilities include visual art, electronic media, music, photograph(s), a collage, etc.). If your secondary project documents are not created by you, you will need to include a written description of the piece and its importance to your overall narrative. You are responsible for building connections between the genres to construct a coherent, connected narrative that tells a "story" about your theme or topic from the perspective of different generations (yours and one other).

Included with this assignment will be a reflective overview (RO) in which you will analyze the narrative and genre choices you made in developing this project, as well as the process you took to create the final product.

An important learning objective for Triad K is to look at issues, beliefs, ideologies, and history from multiple perspectives. Part of this journey is identifying what it means to be a member of your particular generation and how that informs your decisions, guides your lifestyle, and influences your beliefs, especially in comparison with other generations.


Your audience is both yourself and your peers, but it also includes your teacher and anyone else you would wish to share the narrative with--family, friends, etc. Who you are speaking to is an important consideration. This document/task is both personal and academic. You must find the balance. While your final copy should be free of unintentional errors, I want to "hear" your voice in this. You can experiment with tone and style without penalty, and you are free to write in first-person. You do not need to include research or scholarship (unless you want to) other than conducting an interview with a member of an older generation. Your opinion is not only "ok," it is what drives the personal essay. However, be forewarned that the material you put in the narrative will be seen by others besides your teacher, so do not include anything that you would not want to be publicly known.

Portfolio 1 Rubric:

  • Reflective Overview (25%)
    • In order to get an "A" in composition, the RO must describe and analyze the writing processes (which included discovery activities, peer review, editing, writing center visits) used in the creation of the project documents. You should explain every draft and piece of writing included in the portfolio. Overall, the "A" RO serves as detailed argument written for your composition teacher (that's me!) arguing for a specific portfolio grade and supports that proposal with ample and appropriate explanation and support. Finally, the RO limits problems with sentencing, punctuation, usage, format (1 inch margins on all sides, 12 pt font, etc.), surface mechanics, and other standard conventions so that readers are not distracted by these kinds of problems.
  • The Project Documents (60%)
    • "A" Project- Displays a variety of genres that are tied together with a central theme. Constructs a cohesive, connected "story" about generational perspectives on a central issue or theme. Catches the audience's interest. Polished and organized.
    • "B" Project- Displays a variety of genres that show some semblance of connection, but are not completely connected with an overlying theme. Shows good effort, but does not seem to tell a full "story" about generational perspectives. Somewhat organized.
    • "C" Project- Does not include enough genres, but does show some attempt to relate the pieces included. Generational theme is not developed. Not very organized and/or contains grammatical or structural errors. Needs some polishing.
    • "D" Project- Shows no real attempt to include a variety of genres or a generational theme. Has organization, structural, and grammatical problems. Lacks narrative structure and story.
  • Writing Evidence (15%)
    • evidence of an interview with a member of an older generation
    • invention/freewriting, drafting, revising, and editing
    • multiple drafts /revisions
    • sharing and responding to work in progress of others

Project Documents Checklist:

  • Reflective Overview
  • Narrative Essay
  • One additional literary genre piece that "retells" your story for a different audience.
    • This can take the form of a short graphic novel segment, a children's story, a poem, a short story, a sci-fi story, a how-to manual, a blog, a letter, a recipe, etc. The only guideline is that it must in some way represent the theme or "retell" the story of your narrative essay for a different audience.
    • If your secondary project documents are not created by you, you will need to include a written description of the piece and its importance to our overall narrative.
  • One piece of non-literary rhetoric (a photograph, movie, collage, painting, PowerPoint, drawing, song, movie, etc.) to supplement your narrative essay. This must relate to your overall theme in some way.
    • If your secondary project documents are not created by you, you will need to include a written description of the piece and its importance to our overall narrative.
  • Evidence of learning: at least three pieces (examples of the process of writing, including pre-writing and drafting)

Ideas for alternative genres