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Memory Essay (A Short Memoir)
In the Life Story essay, you focused on diachronic identity shifts, for this essay, you will forge into a synchronic exploration of self (McAdams 102). By composing a very short memoir, based on one memory alone, you will gain an even greater awareness of your self-configuration. McAdams argues that in order to find “unity and purpose,” a person must conceive his/her life story both diachronically and synchronically (102).
McAdams explains, “A self-defining memory is a remembered episode from the past that is ‘vivid, affectively charged, repetitive, linked to other similar memories, and related to an important unresolved theme or enduring concern in an individual’s life’ (Singer & Salovey, 1993, p.13)” (108). For this assignment, you must deeply explore “a self-defining memory,” by way of memoir.
By recalling a self-defining memory with intricate detail, design, narrative and one inserted photograph, you examine your self and your personal history as well as configure a very intricate sensory piece of writing. You will learn to further connect with readers by way of vivid depiction and narrative scene (rhetorical strategies that will empower you professionally in all fields). You are encouraged to play with classic story elements like tension, dialogue and character. As you attempt to captivate and reveal, you will by default become more relatable with readers.
You are also required to include a one-page analytical reflection of your memoir where you might answer questions such as: How has this memory impacted my identity development? In what ways specifically? Am I the same person that I was in my memory? What has changed? What is the same? Do I see my present self in my memoir? Do I see my future self in it? How will this memory affect me going forward? What insight did I gain from this process?
One 4-page minimum memoir based on one memory (creative tone)
One 1-page minimum reflection (academic tone)
One use of McAdams quote in the reflection (well placed within context and analyzed)
Insertion of one related photograph anywhere in the essay
Works Cited page
McAdams, Dan P. “The Psychology of Life Stories.” Review of General Psychology, Vol. 5, No.
2, 2001, pp. 100-122. DOI: 10.1037//1089-2618.104.22.168.