Below are the complete responses to survey questions about the use of literacy narratives in first-year writing and the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives as a research source.

Back to “Literacy Narratives, Genre Awareness, and Knowledge Transfer: A Case Study” from 4Cs 2016


What are your general thoughts about literacy narratives as a genre? Should they be in first-year writing courses

Positive Response (19)

“I believe that they were a great addition to our class, especially given what they bring to the dialouge of the Politcs of Language. Crafting ones own literacy narrative, as well as reading/listening to what others have to say as their literacy narratives, gives us first year writing and Emerson students (who will go on to participate in many facets of the communication and media sphere of our society) the needed perspective as to how important uses of langugae are to how we view the world around us.”

Literacy Narratives in FYW Chart“I think its an interesting genre–combining personal biography with literature and language conventions. I think it is great for first-year writing course because it teaches us to really understand the language we are using, which we then can apply directly/indirectly in our upper-level communication courses–which are pretty much every course at Emerson.”

“I think literacy narratives are really interesting and it should be in first-year writing courses.”

“As a genre, literacy narratives are a good way to tell a story. I think they should be in first-year writing courses because it’s a good way to express yourself.”

“I like literacy narratives more than any other topic that we have studied in the first year course. I think they are an interesting topic and it is cool to read other peoples stories as well as to tell your own.”

“I think literacy narratives are imperative to the FYWP — how can students be expected to write without looking within themselves to understand how they became the writers that they are. It is a really good way to ground yourself in your writing. It’s also nice that there is not one definition for what a literacy narrative is–very open ended and inclusive.”

“They should definitely. They open up awareness of language and get the mind going, sparking the thoughts of language and the effect of such on the world and individually.”

“I find literacy narratives very interesting and inspiring. I do think they should be in first-year writing courses, as they are generally very informative and inspiring.”

“I think that literacy narratives are interesting because they are people communicating about communication. I think they should be in first-year writing courses because it is almost some type of self discovery.”

“I think its a good introduction unit to understanding others as well as your own literacy.”

“Literacy narratives as a genre are important to understanding ones own personal literacy. I believe they should be a vital part of first-year writing courses.”

“Good to learn the concept. Yes, it should.”

“I think literacy narratives should be in first- years writing courses. This class served as a good introduction for me to literacy narratives and I enjoyed learning about them.”

“I have never really considered literacy narratives as a genre let alone as a thing. I was never really exposed to many literacy narratives throughout high-school. I definitely think they should be in first-year writing courses just to give people a good sense of literacy and how it affects our society.”

“I would definitely say they should be. I wish I had done this project in high school, so I could have taken the lessons out of it even earlier.”

“I think literacy narratives are very helpful, especially as a first-year writer. When I first came to school I had to unlearn a lot about what I wrote from high school, and had to focus on integrating my own voice into my essays instead of relying on supports from or for my reading. Literacy narratives directly rely upon the voice of the author/narrator to get the point and credibility across. Seeing how other people used their voice showed me how I can use mine.”

“I think they are helpful, for all of the reasons I just said, and i think they should be included in first year courses especially this class. This is because we are going to see all of these kids, and need to realize how different our own narrative may be from theirs, and recognize how we grew up and learning to read and write, vs how they say have grown up, not being so exposed to all of this language.”

“It seems neat I guess. I understand the point of having it in a first year writing class since it kinda opens your mind up to broader analysis of language and literacy.”

“Definitely. It’s a super important part of the human experience, and isn’t talked about nearly enough. Plus, there are so many variations on the literacy narrative as a genre that you can learn about a lot of different things through a singular theme, which is hella neat.”

Negative Response (2)

“As a genre, I feel it is very specific and almost too confined. It should be incorporated in the first year writing course, but should not be the main topic for an entire coarse. I believe we have overworked the subject.”

“They are a nice genre to read, write, and spend time on. I think they would function better as a part of 101. While the assignment did make me look at my own literacy differently, I don’t think it flows very smoothly at all into the annotate bibliography unit. I think that 101 flowed between topics very smoothly, but I think that self examination is so wildly separate from “here are my sources here’s what they say” that I personally am having making the transitions between those two frames of mind”

Mixed or Neutral Response (7)

“They were interesting to a point, but they aren’t that interesting for an entire unit…”

“Sure, why not? I don’t see a negative or positive putting it off”

“I think they are an interesting genre however, I do not know if they are beneficial for all majors here to spend a year studying.”

” I never thought of literacy narratives as a genre, because I felt like it was too broad to be – but now I know otherwise.”

“I think it’s good to have them in first-year writing courses but I don’t prefer them as a genre when there are other forms of writing I vastly prefer”

“I think they’re easy to comprehend.”

“interesting because it isn’t talked about in most high schools”

Back to “Literacy Narratives, Genre Awareness, and Knowledge Transfer: A Case Study” from 4Cs




How helpful is the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives to understanding the genre? Will you use the DALN in the future?

Positive Response (8)

“If the opportunity presents itself, I will most definitely utilize teh DALN in the future. As for potentially submitting my literacy narrative, I would definitely like to think that it is a possibility. Given the chance to adapt it of course.”

“I will definitely be using the DALN in the future for coursework and personal use. I never think I have anything good to say, so I am hesitant to submit my own narrative, but with some convincing I might just do it. I could be fun to see what others think of it and let future students see my stories!”

“Yes, I would be excited to become a part of the community and I would love to share my experiences/influence another person.”

“DALN was extremely helpful although a bit rough to navigate. I might submit my narrative after i get my notes back to extend my own definition in hopes of helping others find their own.”

DALN Chart“The DALN was helpful in seeing the wide array of different types of literacy and seeing the relevance of literacy narratives in different contexts. I might use the DALN in the future to find different sources, and I might submit my literacy narrative because I think it is cool to archive these stories.”

“I think the DALN is really interesting, I might consider submitting my literacy narrative. Maybe someone might be able to relate to it.”

“interesting to see all these different events compiled in one place ”

“It’s more interesting than reading plain texts. I would, to share and inspire.”

Negative Response (8)

“Probably not. It’s not something i’m interested in.”

“Probably not, unless I do another paper/ project focused on literacy narratives.”

“I don’t see myself going back there. I’d find more diverse and creative literacy narratives on youtube”

“I don’t feel the need to. It’s on YouTube, people usually go there first for anything. If they are inspired by my video then they can search for the DALN an contribute.”

“I didn’t find it very helpful, and there is very little chance I ever return to it. It was filled with too many poorly done narratives by college students.”

“I don’t think I will use the DALN in the future, though if I was so inclined I would submit something to it, but I don’t really trust other people’s work on considering there are more reliable sources of information should I need to gather it, like Google scholar with more accomplished people publishing their work.”

“Not very helpful at all! It was really hard to find stuff that was actually interesting or useful. I guess I would probably use it again as a resource, just because it does have a lot of a genre that’s kinda hard to find otherwise, but it’s not very well designed or usable.”

“The DALN in my experience was not that useful simply because the resources I found did not do as good of a job as those from my peers in understanding literacy narratives. I don’t expect to use the DALN in the near future and don’t expect to submit simply because I won’t get anything out of submitting a work.”

Mixed or Neutral Response (11)

“I didn’t write a literacy narrative for this course. I did a commentary. I would most likely consider submitting it after I have done some revision to the paper.”

“It was kind of helpful. I mean, i feel like my narrative personally would have been the same without reading them, but I did like the one i went with when talking about literacy narratives, so I’m glad I got to read it. I don’t think I’d post mine there but who knows, maybe.”

“It wasn’t mind-blowing, but to be honest, we didn’t do a whole lot with it. My opinion of the DALN probably is colored by the fact I chose the first entry I clicked on to write about. I would say it has solid potential.”

“I thought it was pretty helpful but I don’t see myself using it in the future.”

“The DALN was nice because there was a database of literacy narratives there for me. It was a little hard to navigate and there were a lot on there that were not really literacy narratives, but I understand that it would be hard to regulate and still think it is good that there is a place for literacy narratives to collect.”

“I thought the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives was reletivly helpful, but I also felt that a lot of the topics and narratives that I read were poorly written and uninteresting.”

“Somewhat helpful. It took me a really long time to find an acceptable narrative that met the genre conventions of a literacy narrative. I will not use the DALN in the future, but would consider submitting my narrative.”

“DALN was helpful in expanding the idea of what literacy is. I may use the DALN if I’m just looking for something to read, but I don’t know that it is something I would visit regularly. I don’t think I’d share mine on the DALN. I prefer to share my creative writing.”

“The DALN is helpful just because it brings together so many different forms of literacy you can really see what literacy consists of.”

“DALN was very helpful because there are so many different kinds of literacies. Also, there are many multimodal elements. I don’t know if I’ll use it in the future and I probably wouldn’t submit mine because I don’t feel comfortable sharing with others”

“While I probably wouldn’t use the DALN in the future, it was helpful for the literacy narratives we had to accomplish.”

Back to “Literacy Narratives, Genre Awareness, and Knowledge Transfer: A Case Study” from 4Cs 2016