five paragraph personal narrative

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When you think about your life, what is your most vivid memory? Take a moment to reflect on that memory. Try to picture everything—where it took place, the people involved, even what you were wearing. How do you feel when you think about this memory?

Whether that memory is happy, sad, or somewhere in between, chances are it is so vivid because the experience taught you something about yourself or the world around you.

Often, authors choose to share life-altering moments from their lives with an audience. Memoir is a subgenre of nonfiction writing that focuses on capturing a specific memory of the author and revealing it through detailed writing filled with imagery. You will be introduced to several examples of memoirs throughout this unit.

For your portfolio assignment, you will draft a personal narrative, or memoir, of any memory you choose.


4 The topic and details convey the experience powerfully to the intended audience

and fulfill the intended purpose.

3 The topic and details convey the experience to the intended audience

and fulfill the intended purpose.

2 The topic and details do not clearly convey the experience to the intended audience or fulfill the intended purpose.

1 The topic
and details do not convey the experience. They fail to address the audience
or fulfill the purpose.

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4 The introduction, body, and conclusion fulfill their purposes.

3 The organization
is mostly clear, but a few ideas seem out of place or transitions are missing.

2 Many ideas seem out of place and transitions are missing.

1 The organization is unclear. The narrative does not present, develop, or interpret the experience.

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4 The voice sounds natural, engaging, and personal.

3 The voice sounds natural and personal.

2 The voice sounds mostly unnatural with exceptions.

1 The voice sounds mostly unnatural.

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Word Choice

4 Words are vivid, specific, and rich in sensory images.

3 Words are specific and some appeal to the senses.

2 Some words are overly general.

1 Most words are overly general.

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Sentence Fluency

4 Varied sentences
flow smoothly. Devices that promote coherence are used effectively.

3 Most of
the sentences are varied
and smoothly flowing. Transitions help coherence.

2 Some sentence patterns are
not varied and some sentences are choppy. Few transitions are present.

1 Sentences
are not varied and are choppy. There are very few transitions and little coherence.

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4 Punctuation, usage, and spelling are correct.

3 There are only a few errors in punctuation, usage, and spelling.

2 There are some errors in punctuation, usage, and spelling

1 There are many errors
and at least one failure to follow a Power Rule.