GWRIT 103 Fall 2005 ~ Comfort
First Draft and Annotated Bibliography Due During Conferences Monday 10/24 – Friday 10/28
We all have our stories. We all have our histories. Through the filters of human memories and lives, stories evolve and interweave with others, creating a three-dimensional reality in constant flux. We call it history. Diaries, interviews, photographs, films, recorded conversations, letters and other forms of primary sources can help us get closer to the different truths of our collective pasts. After viewing the film Now After All These Years and after reading Limerick’s essay “Haunted America” and Griffin’s essay “Our Secret,” we have witnessed different examples of critical, analytical thinking and writing. We have explored different elements of history and the many forms it can take in our comprehension of it. The memories of those who have made history or who have been a part of history are often different from what we read in textbooks. We can see that the events that occur in the world and the events that occur in our lives are interconnected, and we have a vested interest in exploring the contrasting perspectives of these historical events and people’s actions (or inactions) and the causes and effects which surround them.
Your Main Assignment: Go to the library and find at least two or three first person accounts of a place, person, or event of local, national, or international significance before 1994. The more varied the first person accounts the better. Analyze the details and the different first person accounts surrounding your subject which reveal its/her/his complexities. Examine the parallels and contrasts between the different accounts and use them to illuminate a larger argument/lesson, a three-dimensional, humanized mini-history.
(Assignment Version #1) You may want to follow Limerick’s example and create a linear essay illustrating the importance of seeing the contrasting human experiences and perceptions which make up the multiple layers of your historical subject.
Keep in mind that this is not a report, this is a thesis driven essay built on analysis and critical thought, and I will be grading the final revision accordingly. The final revision of the essay will also be graded for depth of thought, focus, style, and mechanics. I know that you are not a professional historian and I do not expect you to have the time to write a complete history of a place, person or event. Think of this as a mini-history, an exercise in thinking critically about a subject and the sources which reveal its history.
The Final Revision must have:
Remember to include all drafts, peer reviews, and invention work along with your final revision in your essay folder. You must hand in all of these materials in a folder in order to get credit for your final revision.
Some examples of primary sources/first person account sources: