n the essays, the writers relate a personal experience in which they faced a “cr

n the essays, the writers relate a personal experience in which they faced a “crossroads,” when they made a decision that has ultimately shaped the person that they have become. For the subject of this writing, choose a significant incident in your own past when you faced a similar crossroads that became a “teachable moment” , when you were faced with a decision which involved a reckoning with your own conscience. Did you “shoot the elephant?” Did you surrender to forces against your own will? Or did you follow your conscience? What factors drove that decision? What was the “price” of that decision? Would you make the same decision today? How has this one incident been significant in shaping the person that you are today? Ultimately, what insight did you discover from it?
Consider a poem or song lyric that has resonated strongly with your life experience. In what respect do phrases from that poem or song amplify a “truth” that you have come to embrace due to an experience in your life. What “insight” do you take away from your interpretation of that poem or song? What experience in your life examples the significance of those words, that insight. Select a personal experience as the subject for your narrative. Include selected words of the poem/song to build an introduction towards a thesis that speaks to that one experience.
First, tell the story of the incident, recreating the relevant details of the experience. Be sure to select a narrow enough focus so that you open a scene, instead of just writing a summary. Remember that a relationship or a journey is composed of many incidents; if you attempt to tell all of it, you will not be able to show in detail and dialogue. This is just a small segment in one chapter of your unfolding autobiography. The narrative should compose roughly 80% of the writing.
Then, analyze the effect(s) that the decision has had on you. What immediate or long term effects did the experience have on you? How did it change you? The effects should compose roughly 20% of the writing.
In your introduction, establish any contextual information that the reader must know in order to understand your experience and allow that to lead into your specific thesis which should suggest the epiphany of that experience. What insight did you gain from the incident that has shaped the person that you are today, that might be a lesson from which your readers might benefit? Which poem or song best amplifies your personal insight? You can also return to the poem or song to further connect it to your narrative in the conclusion of your essay.

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