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class 9 fall 2015

Page history last edited by Jane Asher 8 years, 8 months ago


Discuss “Momma’s Encounter”

Choosing Essay I topics

Complete Invention Exercise I


WWI Email Follow up









Maya Angelou's "Momma's Encounter," published in 1970


Who is the audience?

What is the rhetorical situation? Historical context: 1930s rural Stamps Arkansas/ publication context- 1970


Rhetorical Situation (WOW page 32)


-an appreciation of the social circumstances that call rhetorical events into being and that orchestrate the course of those events

-each act of communication is anything but self-contained

-each communication is a response to other communications and other social practices

-communications, and social practices more generally, are considered to reflect the attitudes and values of the communities that sustain them


Describe the tone and style

How is it different than "Road Trip"? Why is it different?




Understanding the Structure of the Narrative

Review: Structure of "Road Trip"



All narratives have similar components; they may be arranged differently.



Identify the following areas of the narrative:


I. Introduction: 2 main threads/ideas

     Paragraph 1

     What are the two themes that are presented in the intro?


II. Background information (the back story to the coming event)

What paragraphs provide background information?

What purpose do these paragraphs serve?

Think about the 2 themes/threads that were developed in the intro. How are these background paragraphs organized to fit with these 2 themes?

Are these paragraphs necessary to the narrative? Why doesn't Angelou just start with the main event?



III. The main event of the narrative

In what paragraph does the main event begin?

In that paragraph, how does Angelou tie the main event with the background paragraphs?

How does she use foreshadowing here?


IV. Rising Action

Which paragraphs develop the rising action of the narrative?

How does this action connect with the 2 themes offered in the beginning?

What is Angelou thinking/what emotions is she experiencing? Why can't  Angelou verbalize her thoughts to her grandmother?

In paragraph 22, Angelou writes, "...but I knew I was as clearly imprisoned behind the scene as the actors outside were confined to their roles." What does Angelou mean here? Critical analysis. (using reflection throughout the narrative vs. only including it at the end)


IV. Climax


V. Falling Action

Significance of washing face and raking the yard


VI. Conclusion

no reflection

just ends with final action





Essay I Instructions/Review of narrative conventions


Repetition/Thematic threads

Sensory Description


Artistic Appeals



How might you use this sample to develop your own narrative topic?



Essay I: Narrative


Choosing a Topic (pg. 103)


  • What do you want to look for in a topic that you choose?
  • What must you keep in mind when choosing a topic?
  • What topics may you want to avoid?

Understanding Constraint (pg. 108)


Choosing your topic to fit the scope of the assignment (2-4 pages)

What does this mean?


The Rhetorical Situation (pg. 105)

Your goal is to shape your writing so that your readers understand your message

In order to do so, you have to take the rhetorical situation into consideration

present your narrative in a way that positions you in a larger conversation--it's personal--it's your story, but it needs a purpose that your audience can grasp

Often, narratives reflect a general theme in a personal way


First, you must understand your audience (Questions on page 105)


Questions about your purpose (pg. 106)


Choose your genre (pg. 106)



Brainstorm Topics/Prompts


general ideas that will work well for narratives




Objects---link to a specific event

Places--link to a specific event


Routine experiences that shed new light on the world around you






I never realized ___________ until I experienced ________________.


I never realized that (a daily routine or task) revealed so much about _______________.


Assignment for Thursday:

Invention Exercise 1



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