Professor of History
ORAL HISTORY REPORT
U.S. HISTORY II — DIL
For the grade of A
In addition to the two course contacts, the student must take all 5 exams, and make an overall course average of 80% (24 out of 30 questions)NOTE: You do NOT have to complete the Book Review AND the Oral History Report to qualify for an A in the course. You do the Book Review for a B OR the Oral History Report for an A.
produce one A-Level Objective: the Oral History Report. See the Course Schedule for the exam deadlines and the deadline by which you must:a.) submit the respondent for your oral history report;
b.) submit the outline for your oral history report; and
c.) turn in the completed oral history report.
Remember, in addition to the two course contacts, the student must take all 5 exams, and make an overall course average of 80% (24 out of 30 questions) to be eligible to complete the Book Review for a B OR the Oral History Report for an A.
See your Course Schedule for the dates by which you must: select a Respondent, turn in a preliminary Outline, and turn in the Recorded Interview and the Final Draft.
Purpose of the Oral History Report
The oral history project will give students an opportunity to explore important events and historical themes by conducting an in-depth interview. The United States found itself at war with peoples of the Pacific Rim three times in living memory: first with Japan in World War II, then Korea in the early 1950s, and finally in Vietnam from 1965-1975. Students will be expected to find someone who lived during at least one of these conflicts to discuss how the war, or wars, affected their lives. In addition to gathering basic biographical information, students will be expected to determine to whether or not their subject accepted important historical themes, i.e., containment, racism, anti-Communism, etc., and to what extent they still share those beliefs. Finally, students will be expected to analyze their person’s experiences by using course notes and reading material.
Selecting an Oral History Respondent
The oral history Respondent will be chosen in consultation with the instructor. Respondents can be family members, neighbors, family friends, co-workers, classmates, or someone you have just met. No, your respondent does NOT have to be someone who served in the United States Armed Forces. They must, however, have reached 18 years of age by 1965. That is, they must have been born no later than 1947. Students MUST confirm their choice with the instructor.
Conducting the Interview
Students will rely on the suggestions contained in the Sample Outline and Required Questions (See below) to direct the conversation with their respondent. Feel free to range beyond the categories and specific questions listed below, but be sure that you do cover each of the categories that you will need to write about in your final draft. To ensure that you can accurately depict the words and experiences of your respondent, students must record the interview. Use a recording device, e.g., tape recorder, answering machine, or iPOD.
Developing the Historical Context
Students are expected to provide appropriate historical context for the events of their respondent's life. To help the reader understand the time and place of the respondent's life, students will use at least three secondary sources. Secondary sources are books and articles written at a later time, usually by historians who were not participants in the event. Students must use scholarly works that investigate an aspect of life in the United States during World War II, the Korean War, and/or the Vietnam war that corresponds with the respondent's experiences. Encyclopedias and general information web sites, e.g., The History Channel, Wikipedia, History.com, etc., are not considered scholarly works and will not be accepted as secondary sources. You may use your textbook America Past and Present as one of your secondary sources.
Turning in the Recorded Interview
You must turn in the recording either on tape, or submit the recording on a disc/CD or via e-mail as a file that can played on Windows Media Player. Students and are strongly encouraged to make sure that the instructor can retrieve any and all electronic files prior to any and all deadlines. It is the students responsibility -- and not the instructors -- to ensure the accurate and timely submission of all course materials. Do it early!
Schedule for the dates by which you must: select a Respondent, turn in a preliminary
and turn in the Recorded Interview
and the Final Draft.
Writing the Final Draft
The oral history report must demonstrate the student's ability to write clearly, use good grammar and punctuation, analyze the material in a concise manner, and offer thoughts on the period, themes, and the person in question. Students completing an oral history will also be asked to give some comparison of what they learned from their oral history subject with the material contained in the secondary sources and in America Past and Present as appropriate.
There are a few important things to consider when you write the oral history. To begin with you must:
When you write your findings, DO NOT ASSUME that you can leave out critical
information because you know that I am familiar with the time period.
Instead, you must tell me the:
MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION
so that I will clearly understand your interviewee’s life, your analysis of his/her experiences, and your reaction to the interview as a whole.
DO NOT REWRITE THE INTERVIEW
One of your tasks in this assignment is to show that you can digest an entire interview of a person’s life, and then distill it down to its essence. You simply do not have the space to repeat everything. So, do not waste time and effort trying to rewrite their life history.
Students are expected to accomplish five tasks in the oral history project:
To assist you in developing your final draft, students will be required to complete an Outline of their proposed oral history. Please see the Outline page for the requirements for the outline.
- briefly summarize the person’s life;
- describe the person’s experiences during the time period in question;
- explore his/her experience in light of course themes;
- compare the information given by the interviewee to the presentation provided in the secondary sources and in America Past and Present; and
- give your reaction to the person and subject(s) of your oral history project.
Remember: ONLY students who do submit the outline before the deadline listed in the Course Schedule will be permitted to revise their Outline as necessary and to submit an Oral History Report.
A typical review would be organized as follows.
By [Your Name]
A. Historical context and purposeII. Life History and AnalysisIn this paragraph you should briefly tell me what your oral history project is about. First, summarize the historical context that your subject lived through. Students will be expected to draw upon the historical literature on the period in question to frame their discussion of the context in which their respondent's life takes place. Use at least two (2) secondary sources in addition to your textbook to help you describe the historical context. Then briefly tell me how your person experienced the events and time period in question. Finally, tell me what you have learned from this person about the war or wars that they lived through. Remember, this is what this assignment is all about.
A. Biographical SummaryIII. ConclusionThis is where you tell me about your interviewee’s life. When and where were they born? Where and how did they grow up? Tell me about their family, childhood, hometown, and education. Did they ever marry? Have kids? Tell me about their adult life. What kind of jobs have they held? Why? Spend some time getting to know your person and what has made them who they are. Be sure to give examples.B. ExperiencesNow you need to tell me how the war or wars that they lived through affected their lives. Tell me about their experiences. Where did they live during the war(s)? Did they serve in the Armed Services? War Industry? Did any family member so serve? How did the war change their lives? Their friends, neighbors, and family? How did the war shape their view of life, family, and the future? Be sure to give examples.C. ThemesHere you should rely on the course readings and lectures to explore your interviewee’s personal experiences and opinions with important course themes. How did issues of ideology, patriotism, and racism shape their thinking and their lives? Do they have the same feelings now? How have they changed? Remember, these are very personal issues. Let your interviewee tell you their thoughts. DO NOT JUDGE THEM. The purpose here is to gather a slice of life. They lived through very different times. Learn about those times through their experiences. Be sure to give examples.D. ComparisonThis is where you compare your respondent's experiences with what the authors of America Past and Present had to say on the subject of your oral history project. Did your interviewee support or contradict what you read in your textbook? What did you learn that was new? Give some examples from your interview and the text. Demonstrate your points by quoting from your oral history subject and the text. Be sure to give examples.E. ReactionThis is the most important part of your oral history project. In this section, you must describe your reaction to the subject of your oral history project. What did you learn from this person? Do you agree or disagree with your interviewee’s conclusions? Did you detect any biases that might explain their views? How did their account differ from the textbook and lecture? How has your understanding of the period and themes changed? Be sure to give examples.
In this paragraph you must summarize your oral history project. Briefly reintroduce the subject and the historical context. Then, summarize your person’s experiences. How did issues of ideology, patriotism, and racism shape their lives? Tell me how their experiences compared with the version found in lectures and the textbook. Finally, you should conclude by answering the following question: how did this oral history project help you to better understand life in America's past?Some tips on writing
Each paragraph should be at least thirteen (13), but NOT more than twenty (20), lines long -- NOT sentences, but lines on the page. Each paragraph is a mini-paper. Make the first sentence of each paragraph an introduction to that paragraph. Tell your reader what to expect in the paragraph. This is called the topic sentence. Summarize your point at the end of the paragraph, like the conclusion of a paper. In between, give lots of evidence to prove your point.
Make your sentences active. Fill your review with verbs that move the reader along from point to point. Writing that relies on the verb "to be" -- is, was, are, etc. -- quickly becomes repetitious and will NOT convince your reader. I do not expect you to eliminate the verb "to be" entirely, but come very close.
Quotes help spice up a paper by giving the reader the flavor of the interview. So, include quotations where appropriate to illustrate your points. Using quotes helps to establish your understanding of the key themes, events, person, etc., in your interview. Hence, the use of quotes constitutes a substantial portion of your oral history report.
ALL ASSIGNMENTS -- OUTLINE AND FINAL DRAFT -- MUST CONFORM TO THE FORMAT SPECIFICATIONS BELOW. ANY OUTLINE OR FINAL DRAFT THAT DOES NOT CONFORM TO THE FORMAT SPECIFICATIONS BELOW WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
The format requirements for the completed Outline and Final Draft are:
- Staple -- upper left corner;
- Page numbers -- top right;
- Title -- Top, center, page 1;
- Name -- Center; below title with appropriate spacing (see below);
- Text -- Begins right below the name on page 1, with appropriate spacing (see below):
- Spacing -- TRIPLE spaced, typed or from a printer;
- Margins -- one (1) inch from the edge of the page on the: top, left, right, and bottom;
- Pitch -- 12;
- Font -- Times Roman preferred;
- Length -- 7 pp; [There is no length requirement for the Outline the Final Draft must be 7 pp.]
- End notes -- place at the end of your document; [Not counted in the length. See Documentation below.]
- Bibliography -- on a separate page. [Not counted in the length. See Documentation below.]
DO NOT BOLDFACE; or
DO NOT ITALICIZE; or
DO NOT JUSTIFY
The above particulars are designed to ensure that all students complete works of similar length.
Do NOT use folders or other such binders; and
You do NOT need a cover sheet.
ALL ASSIGNMENTS -- OUTLINE AND FINAL DRAFT -- MUST CONFORM TO THE DOCUMENTATION SPECIFICATIONS BELOW. ANY OUTLINE OR FINAL DRAFT THAT DOES NOT CONFORM TO THE DOCUMENTATION SPECIFICATIONS BELOW WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
The documentation requirements for the completed Outline and Final Draft are:
To ensure that you give credit where credit is due, please refer to the source from which you extracted information. Please use end notes to document your sources using the appropriate formatting (see above). For the correct style, see John Grossman, ed., The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005). You can also use an abbreviated version by Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, 6th ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). The ACC Library has a new link to Turabian. Both guides can be found at the ACC Library. Include a Bibliography on a separate page (with no page number), at the end of your Outline, and Final Draft. Here you provide a complete citation for each work cited. Please use the appropriate formatting (see above). And, please, do NOT ask if you can use MLA. Use the Chicago Manual of Style or Turabian.
The Outline will be graded "ACCEPTED" or "NOT ACCEPTED." Recognize that an Outline rife with misspellings and grammatical errors will NOT be considered acceptable. Any Outline that does NOT conform to the format specifications above will NOT be accepted. If you submit your Outline before the deadline date in the Course Schedule and it is graded "NOT ACCEPTED" you may revise it and resubmit it prior to the deadline date. Any Outline submitted after the deadline listed in the Course Schedule will NOT be accepted.
ALL ASSIGNMENTS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN 5:00 PM ON THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE;
STUDENTS WHO DO NOT SELECT A RESPONDENT BY THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO SUBMIT A FINAL DRAFT;
STUDENTS WHO DO NOT TURN IN AN OUTLINE BY THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULEWILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO SUBMIT A FINAL DRAFT;
STUDENTS WHO DO NOT SUBMIT A RECORDING OF THEIR INTERVIEW WITH THE FINAL DRAFT WILL RECEIVE A GRADE OF "NOT ACCEPTED";
ANY FINAL DRAFT THAT IS NOT SUBMITTED BY 5:00 PM ON THE DEADLINE LISTED IN THE COURSE SCHEDULE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Students may submit the Respondent choice, the Outline, the Recorded Interview, and the Final Draft via e-mail as a Word attachment or by turning in a hard copy to my box at ACC Rio Grande by 5:00 pm on the deadline listed in the Course Schedule.
See your Course Schedule for the dates by which you must: select a Respondent, turn in a preliminary Outline, and turn in the Recorded Interview, and submit the Final Draft.
© David Marcus Lauderback, 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED