How You Became Literate

How You Became Literate

Write a page or two describing how and why you became literate and what happened as a result. You may choose to write about your early memories of learning to read and write either at home or at school. Or you could think of literacy more broadly, focusing, for example, on one or more of the following:

computer literacy — learning how to program, how to “read” the Web efficiently, or how to communicate through text messaging, blogging, and so on

workplace literacy, perhaps including ways of talking to customers, colleagues, and managers

academic literacy, perhaps focusing on learning to think, talk, and write as a scientist, historian, literary critic, and so on

sports literacy, as a player, coach, or fan

music literacy, as a musician or as a fan of certain kinds of music

community literacy — learning to communicate with people of different ages or with people who speak different languages or dialects

In reflecting on the results of your learning to be literate, you might want to consider the following:

how your new literacy changed you or changed your relationships

ways in which you may have had more power in certain contexts — and perhaps less power in others

how you felt about being bilingual or multiliterate, and how you used your new literacy

The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing has helped many students become more thoughtful, effective, confident writers. From reading and analyzing an array of dif- ferent kinds of essays, you will learn how other writers make their texts work. From writing for different audiences, you will learn to compose texts that readers want to read. To help you take full advantage of what you are learning, The Guide will also help you reflect on your learning so that you will be able to remember, apply, and build on what you have learned.

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut. — STEPHEN KING

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