Write a creative nonfiction essay that evokes a strong sense of place.

Write a creative nonfiction essay that evokes a strong sense of place.
A strong sense of place may be achieved in a variety of ways; some of
which include the use of description, imagery, simile or metaphor. If you are focusing on a neighborhood (Town Lake) or a city (Kennesaw),
you should make sure that you tell us enough about the neighborhood or
city so that we can distinguish it from others. All details about the place,
whether you are writing about a rural (Blue Ridge, GA), urban
(Atlanta) or wild landscape (Appalachian Mountain) or a lake (Lake
Lanier) or a river (Chattahoochee) or a highway (hwy 75) . . . need
to be in service of some story you want to tell. Think of an
issue/problem about the place people are concerned with or find a way to
make them concerned or interested with the issue/problem the place is
facing.

Do not submit papers that have nothing to do with “a strong sense of
place” such as autism, football, ADHD, ESOL . . .; these types of papers
will earn failing grades.

Make sure that you name names, name places, name things. If you mention
something in the text, in other words, if you announce to the reader
something, do not just go on to the next issue, but provide explanation. You
may use a phrase or a clause or a sentence to give the reader more
information so he/she won’t ask, for example, “who is he” or “what does he
do” or “why did he do that” or “what is his relationship with her,” and so on.
Make sure that you provide enough facts and details so the reader can
perceive and visualize everything.

Your story needs to be based on some tension or conflict—a change, a
crisis, a turmoil, a problem . . .; include the “before” and “after” so the
reader can see the difference; include a protagonist, an antagonist and
some kind of resolution, however tentative. The conflict may be subtle, but
without it, you have no story, only facts.

Use vibrant language; avoid clichés; make sure your nouns, verbs and
sentences are strong. Make good use of paragraphing and compose
reasoned, carefully structured and well-organized narrative. Use metaphors
and other figurative language devices to give depth and complexity to your
writing. Move intelligently between scene and summary.

Purpose: you must have a purpose to the story you are telling. It is not
important for your story to be didactic, but we should feel that we learned
something new after reading your story. This something new should not be
just facts, but rather there should be something about the story you tell
that gives insight into the place you are writing about and how the place
shaped you (you may say I, me, my, mine…) or your family or by
extension your culture.

“Truth.” To the best of your ability, tell a story that is true. The creative part of
this essay is what you do to give meaning and value to that “truth.”

Remember: Just as the essay is one whole unit with introductory paragraph,
body paragraphs and a concluding paragraph, the paragraph is one whole
unit too. Develop one idea per paragraph; each paragraph is a unit with
beginning, middle and ending or, in other words, with a main idea, supporting
ideas and a clencher.

This is a short research-type of a paper. Budget your words; don’t give
space to “common knowledge” or generalizations or questions; they are just
space fillers. Even if these are documented correctly, still they won’t
contribute much to the quality of your paper. Have specifics, facts, evidence,
statistics, details that come from credible, (written by exerts in the field;
use Galileo) research instead.

Proofread your essay carefully. Notice the red lines under your words and
right click to verify if your words are spelled correctly; notice the green lines
under the words and right click to verify if what you have stated is exactly
what you wanted to say. Look at your words; if you notice that you are
overusing some of the words, simply right click on the word and view the
synonyms; check if there is a better choice for your context.

Read your paper out loud and notice if there is a problem with the flow of text;
let someone else read it out loud to you so you can hear if your ideas and
expressions are flowing smoothly. Make sure that you use the Essay Check
List handout to eliminate all the grammatical errors and preserve the quality of
your paper; otherwise, you will see them in my automated comments on your
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paper, which will decrease the quality of your paper. If you have a chance,
stop by the Writing Center and meet with a tutor to discuss your paper and
make the necessary changes.

Your essay should be minimum 500 words, maximum 600 words long; use
minimum 2 different types of sources; avoid Wikipedia or any type of
encyclopedia as well as fact sheets; use professional sources (Galileo
is free for your use) written by experts in the field and published in
professional magazines. If your source does not bear the author’s name, it
is probably not very reliable unless it comes from a well-known credible
organization. Follow MLA guidelines for formatting, documenting and listing
sources on the Works Cited page