ESSAY #1 – HOW TO… 

WHERE: POST TO BLACKBOARD IN SUBMISSIONS ESSAYS 1-3/ESSAY 1 & BRING A HARD COPY TO CLASSLENGTH: 750 – 1000 WORDS 

ASSIGNMENT: 

Following Lorrie Moore’s two “How to” examples from Self-help, complete your version of “How to _____” 

  1. Use the second-person point of view (i.e., “You”) as an instructional guide or a “How to…” manual for some aspect of yourself.  
  2. Focusonasingleaspectofyourselforasinglerolethatyouplayinthisworld,ratherthan trying to include everything about you or every role that you play. The aim is to ostensibly and superficially present one view while sneaking in a more comprehensive and complex view .  
  3. Beascreativeasyoulike.Youdonothavetofocusonthebigrolesthatyouplay,e.g.,asa SCAD student (please avoid this specific approach anyway). Often, the smaller, more distinctive roles you play are more interesting.  
  4. Aim to reveal something larger about yourself and the world around you. The “How to…” device is just that—a device. What you reveal within that device is your story. Perhaps you are a champion chili grower and have won many state fair championships. You might write “How to Become a Champion Chili Grower,” while at the same time revealing an odd and rambling family history in small town Georgia.  
  5. The singularity and power of your story will be in the concrete details. This is about you and only you, not some general you. We should understand that the details apply to your story specifically. Therefore, avoid generalizations and focus on concrete and sensory details.  
  6. Don’t be afraid to make the reader laugh or cry. Be funny. Be sad. Whatever emotions you evoke, engage us and create a connection.  
  7. As always in this class: consider this to be public writing that you will share with the class. If you don’t wish to share your story, then write about something else.  
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