A closer examination of the first sample text will serve to illustrate some of the key points we have made in this curated exhibit and the work that can be accomplished by autobiographical literacy narratives.

In the following explication, we use a set of basic structural terms identified by Labov (1972): orientation (information that identifies the setting, characters, situation, and timing for the story), complicating action (the ensuing events, what happened next), resolution (how the story events end, how they were resolved), evaluation (the story’s import or point), and coda (the narrator’s observations about the story, comment on how the events effected the narrator) (Georgakopoulou and Goutsos, 2004, p. 61).

The first literacy narrative we analyze, “Being Labeled a Bad Writer Has Made Me a Better Instructor,” is told by Kevin Eric DePew, a faculty member at Old Dominion University, who, with a clear rhetorical purpose, links his memories of his distance-running coach to his 10th grade teacher’s assessment of his writing as “stylistically problematic” and also to his current identity as a successful and empathetic teacher of composition with the ability to help college students acquire self confidence as writers.

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This is a photograph of Kevin DePew

Kevin DePew's narrative in the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN):
Uncaptioned (.mov)
Captioned (.mov)
Timecode Transcript (.txt)