Assignment Guidelines: Personal Narrative & Discussion

Identifying Your Immediate Context in a Personal Narrative

As you embark on exploring the broader context related to your field of study, the initial step involves identifying and articulating your immediate context within a personal narrative. When examining context, it’s crucial to first scrutinize your own frame of reference. You may discover assumptions that warrant questioning! The following guidelines will assist you in developing your narrative.


A personal narrative serves as a written dialogue between you and others, allowing you to share your experiences and ideas. The purpose of the personal narrative you’ll write this week is to pinpoint and express where you currently stand in your understanding of your field of study and its associated professions. This self-awareness prepares you for the subsequent research assignments that delve into the larger context.

Because your personal narrative will serve as a reference for other course assignments, specificity is key. The more precise your narrative, the better it will serve as a reference for you, your instructor, and your classmates throughout CRIT 602. We aim to collectively comprehend the current larger context of your field and its implications for your academic and professional growth. Rest assured, you need not divulge private details; this assignment serves as a starting point for your critical analysis and strategic thinking. Additionally, it provides insight into why you chose to take CRIT602 within the College of Professional Studies at this juncture.

Content: Please use the following prompts to develop your narrative:

  1. What is your field of study, and why did you choose it?
  2. Based on the “Understanding Context” reading, how would you characterize where you are in your academic and professional development?
  3. What context do you currently believe is most relevant to your academic and professional development: professional organizations, employment trends, social media, or information resources?
  4. What knowledge or strengths do you already have related to your field of study?
  5. Are there trends related to your field of study that you’re already aware of?
  6. What areas of your field of study are most exciting or intriguing to you?
  7. What information have you heard about your field that concerns you?
  8. How do you want to use CRIT 602 to your own best advantage this term?

Please keep in mind that while the above questions are intended to prime the pump of your thinking, there is no set expectation of what the answers should be, and some questions may be more relevant to your situation than others.

Looking Ahead to the Critical Inquiry Question

In an upcoming assignment, you will be asked to develop a critical inquiry question to serve as a focal point for the research assignments. The answer to either #5 or #6 above can serve as a good starting point for identifying a focus area that can be articulated as a critical inquiry question. (More to come about the characteristics of a good critical inquiry question in an upcoming reading!) We’ve included #8 as a reflection question to give you practice in thinking strategically at the beginning of a course.

CRIT 602 & Prior Learning:

In CRIT 602, we encounter a diverse group of students, each with distinct backgrounds. While some students are embarking on their bachelor’s degrees, preparing for specific professions, others arrive with substantial knowledge gained through workplace training, hands-on experience, self-study, and alternative learning methods outside the traditional college setting. This variation prompts us to consider how to tailor assignments effectively. For those students with existing expertise, focusing on question #4 within the personal narrative assignment becomes particularly relevant. By doing so, they can lay the groundwork for developing a prior learning credit plan later in the course. This strategic approach acknowledges their unique context and aligns with their professional journey.

Page-length & Format: Your personal narrative should be between three and five double-spaced pages. You should cite according to APA format unless you are more familiar with Chicago-style footnoting.  Click on the link below to see an example of how to set up your paper in MLA format:

Note: Later in the course, the format for your exploratory paper will be determined by your major. Majors in the social sciences, education, and management will use American Psychological Association (APA). Majors in the humanities will use MLA. History majors will use Chicago-style.

Discussion Assignment: Due Thursday

In this class, context is everything. We start with your own background, or context, before exploring your field of study and its various contexts.
In the discussion board for this week, please answer the following prompts by Thursday night.  These responses will be the draft to your personal narrative which is due Sunday night.  Your responses may be informal, however they should be proofread for clarity, syntax, and content.

Discussion Prompts:

  • What knowledge or strengths do you already have related to your field of study?
  • Are there trends related to your field of study that you’re already aware of?
  • What areas of your field of study are most exciting or intriguing to you?
  • What information have you heard about your field that concerns you?
  • How do you want to use CRIT 602 to your own best advantage this term?


NOTE: This is an assignment tailored to this specific course.  Submitting a personal narrative from another class is not only a form a plagiarism, but will not necessarily fulfill all the requirements for this assignment. For details, please go to Ch. 4 “Assignment Guidelines: Personal Narrative & Discussion.”  in the e-book.

By Sunday night, please also respond to at least two other student posts in this forum. Your goal is, in part, to act as a peer reviewer of their personal narrative draft. Because this is a personal narrative, please be sure to keep your comments constructive, and please also receive student comments constructively as these are meant to help improve the content of your writing. Please do not copy edit.  If there are grammatical or mechanical errors, suggest only that the student check over for clarity and to proofread.

In forming a substantial response that moves the conversation forward, you may want to draw connections between your experience and the student’s, ask students to elaborate on their prompts, build on their findings, or connect it to the readings and videos from last week.

Submission for Grading

The final activity for the week will be to submit your personal narrative to the instructor for grading, either the version you posted for the class discussion or a revised version; please use the assignment submission link found in the activities section for this week.

Any assignment submitted later than three days after the due date will receive a zero for the assignment.



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