The Hill we Climb: Detailing the Pivotal Moments that Shape Us

This activity you will help you practice analyzing how style, audience, social context, and purpose shape writing. 
Step 1: Read Amanda Gorman’s Inaugural Day Poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at least twice. As you read, take notes on rhetorical elements that you find interesting, revealing, significant, or strange.

Step 2: Using Gorman’s poem as inspiration, compose your own account of a pivotal moment in our nation’s history or a pivotal moment for a community of which you are a part. Your composition could take the form of prose (a brief description around 200-250 words) or a poem (see Gorman’s poem for inspiration), or song lyrics (optional: a video your singing them!) to capture your pivotal moment.

Step 3: Write a brief reflection (1-2 paragraphs) in which you respond to all of the following questions:

  • Why is the pivotal moment you have chosen to write about important?  
  • Why are you a convincing person to write about this pivotal moment? What are your qualifications?
  • What are the characteristics of the audience you are trying to reach?  How does this impact your goals? Where would you share this text to reach your audience and accomplish your goals?
  • What is your purpose for writing of this text (beyond the class assignment)? What goals or outcome do you hope to achieve by sharing it? 

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