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Assignment Objectives:


  1. Analyze the family culture, values, and metaphors communicated in the narrative event.
  2. Examine how the narrative event is communicated between you and your family member(s).
  3. Distinguish the difference between the content of a family narrative and how the storytelling event is co-constructed or told.
  4. Reflect on how you communicate with a family member.


Assignment Procedures

  • Step one: Ask your family members to think of a story that is told frequently and describes what your family is like. Having more than one family member tells the story is preferable, but one family member is acceptable. Feel free to engage in the telling of the story as you normally would when during storytelling interactions in your family.
  • Step two: Record you and your family member(s) retelling the family story.
  • Step three: Transcribe the audio recording word-for-word (feel free to just focus on the actual storytelling episode and ignore small talk and banter leading up to or after the storytelling).
  • Step four: Conduct an analysis of the story.
    • Read the transcript.
    • Analyze the story for its content. What is the theme of the story? How does the story reflect and affect your family’s culture, values, and beliefs?
    • Analyze the story for the way the story was told between family members. Was there turn-taking or perspective-taking? What was the emotional tone of the storytelling event? When not doing this for a class assignment, when and where is this story normally told? Are there family rules regulating when and where this family story can be told?
    • Look at your class notes and readings to locate concepts that are relevant to your family storytelling experience.
      • Select 2 storytelling concepts
      • Find an external academic journal article (e.g. journal article, book chapter, or academic book not used in class) for both concepts (total of 2 external articles).
      • Apply this knowledge and research to your storytelling event.
    • Think: What was eye-opening about this family member, your relationship, the story after analyzing this family storytelling event?


  • The turn in: Organize and write-up your analysis into a formal academic paper. Your submission should include the following information:
  • description of the story, including enough information to provide a context for understanding the dynamics involved. This section may contain information the experience of telling the story with your family member(s) including what you thought, how you reacted, and how other(s) responded or felt.
  • description of at least 2 family story concepts from the class. A summary of your story analysis of how the family story concepts explains the event. Use the questions from step four to guide your written analysis.
  • An application of the concepts to your family storytelling interaction.
  • Reference your external articles both in the text as well as in a reference page formatted to APA style.
  • Include an electronic copy of transcript in the same Word document
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