History isn’t just about what happened when and to whom: it’s about how we, as human beings, understand and ascribe meaning to events. Sometimes we may see ourselves as historical actors, and sometimes we might see ourselves as being swept along by events we can’t control. Being able to exercise historical empathy– that is, appreciate and respect how different people understand themselves in the context of a particular historical moment– is an important skill which extends far beyond the classroom.
For this project, you will get into the mind of someone living through a significant moment of our rapidly and radically changing history as human beings. As this is a world history course, your individual may live virtually anywhere on Earth between the years of 8000 BCE to the present. You will immerse yourself in primary and secondary sources and write a first-person monologue exploring the moment or event you select from the perspective of a person who witnessed it, experienced it, or instigated it.
A general description of this project may be found here: Final Research Project. You will receive detailed instructions on every portion of this project as the deadlines approach.
Your final draft of your monologue will be due on May 18, 2016.
In order to help you develop the necessary research and analytical skills that will be needed in this project, you will have a number of assignments leading up to your final project.
These assignments will be as follow:
- Topic Selection: You will go to the associated page on this website and complete the online form to choose your topic for the final paper. I will go through the results and assign topics on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Sources Scavenger Hunt: You will receive a handout instructing you to find a series of different types of sources for your topic, as well as ideas as to where you might find them. You will need to identify various types of primary and secondary sources which might be useful in your final paper, although in this activity you will not have to read them thoroughly. (Yet.)
- Annotated Bibliography: Once you have identified potentially useful sources for your topic through the Scavenger Hunt, you will need to look deeper into each of them in order to determine which sources you will actually use in your final paper. This assignment will help you to identify the most useful primary and secondary sources.
- Content Paper: Don’t panic– this isn’t a lengthy paper. You will write a brief two-page paper describing the historical context of the individual you will write as in your final narrative. This should be a brief but formal historical narrative, and will identify the causes, effects, and potential interpretations of the historical event or context your individual experienced.
- Final Monologue: As the culmination of all of your research, you will write a four- to five- page first person narrative from the perspective of the individual you selected at the beginning of this process.
You can see further details on each assignment by clicking on the links above, or by following the drop-down menu at the top of the page.
If at any time you need assistance on this project, please don’t hesitate to ask– and remember, procrastination is the enemy. Get started on your research NOW. Don’t wait until the last minute, or you’ll be a very stressed (and sleep-deprived) AP World History student.
And because it’s always important to cite your sources: all credit for this research project goes to Dr. Susanna Linsley. Thanks for your help, Dr. Linsley!