While the final paper for this project will be a first-person monologue which can—and should—include some level of creativity and historical imagination, it should not be a work of fiction. To that end, you will write a brief two-page content paper (plus a Works Cited page, of course), summarizing the historical event or context which your final monologue will address. Your content paper will also identify and address any major historical debates or interpretations of these events.
What You Should Include:
Your content paper should begin with a brief outline of the major events, forces, and individuals involved in your historical event or period. For example, if your final monologue were going to be from the perspective of an American soldier returning home after a tour in Vietnam, you would want to explain the major points of the Cold War in general, the Vietnam War in particular, and the general political and social climate of the United States at the time of your individual’s return. You will likely pull heavily from your secondary sources for this section of your context paper.
After establishing the chronology and basic events you will address in your final monologue, you will then address any major debates, interpretations, or contentious sources that relate to your topic. Ask yourself, do the sources you have disagree with each other on any particular points? If they do, why? Are there debates about interpretations of events? Do modern historians interpret events differently than people writing about the event during its time period? If so, why might that be?
Once you have identified and described any major debates which address your topic, you will briefly describe the life and perspective of the individual whose voice you will be writing in during your final monologue. You will identify and explain both the limitations and benefits of their historical perspective—that is, what topics or events might they be blind to? What about their experiences would they see as important? What would they NOT see as important, and why?
You content paper has a strict limit of two pages. I will take off points for going over the page length. This means that you will need to be concise in your writing, and only include the most important information.
As a formal history paper, this assignment should:
- Be written in third person omniscient voice (no “I,” “you,” “we,” “us,” or “me.”)
- Be in 12-point, Times New Roman font
- Be double spaced
- Have one-inch margins
- Use correct MLA in-text citations
- Include a properly formatted Works Cited page (does not count towards page length)
Your content paper will be due on November 20th. You will need to turn a hard copy in at the start of class, as well as submitting a digital version of the assignment to TurnItIn.com. (You can find an explanation of how to use TurnItIn.com on the Annotated Bibliography page.)
If you would like a copy of these instructions to print, please download the file below.
Once you have successfully completed your Content Paper, it will be time to move on to the final stage of this project: your Final Monologue!