At this point, you should have done a significant amount of groundwork in preparation of your final monologue: you have researched potential sources; read, analyzed and selected your sources; and researched and created a basic historical narrative. Now, you will use all of your previous research and preparation to create a four- to five-page first person monologue written in the voice of the individual you selected at the beginning of this process.
What Should Your Monologue Contain?
Your monologue should NOT be simply an account of an event written in first person. Instead, your monologue should make an argument about the event, context, or period in which your individual finds themselves, as well as demonstrate a level of fluency with the cultural, political, economic, and social realities of the era, as well as the appropriate historical terminology. Use your primary sources as a window into the way people during this time thought about their world, and try your best to reflect that in your writing. While there is definitely freedom to be creative and imaginative in this assignment, you should consider following the general structure below:
- Establish your individual’s identity and the circumstance. Your opening paragraph(s) should firmly ground the reader in the historical period. Use details and evidence from your primary and secondary sources. You should also introduce whatever controversy, event, or circumstance your individual is experiencing.
- Fully describe the event or historical moment. This may take several paragraphs. Remember that you are to engage with the historical narrative from the perspective of your individual, and that means embracing all the limitations, biases, and misconceptions a person in that historical moment would have. Remember that people are the products of their times and places; you may not agree with the way your individual thought about certain things—and that’s okay. The purpose of this assignment is to encourage you to try and understand how people thought and felt about the world they lived in, even if we don’t feel the same way today.
- Describe and explain your individual’s personal role within the event or circumstances. What decisions have they made, or are they making? How do they feel about the event? What disagreements or objections do they have to whatever is going on? Why are they making these decisions? Why do they feel the way they do?
- Look forward. What does your individual think will happen next? What do they hope will happen? Why? Remember, you have the advantage of hindsight—but your individual does not. Their vision of the future may be very, very different from what will actually happen. What lessons does your individual think should be learned from this event? Why does this event matter to them?
And just a note: while some of you may choose to write from the perspective of someone illiterate or someone living in a preliterate society, please know that all normal grammatical and spelling conventions should be observed in your monologue. Do not use your individual’s level of literacy as a justification to forego proper editing.
Your monologue will:
- Be four- to five-pages in length
- Be written in 12-point Times New Roman font
- Be double spaced
- Have one inch margins
- Have an original title
- Adhere to all normal mechanical conventions (spelling and grammar)
- Have a properly formatted Works Cited page (which will NOT count towards your page length)
- Use proper MLA formatting and in-text parenthetical citations
Your final monologue will be due on Monday, December 14th. You must turn in a hard-copy at the start of class, and upload a digital version to TurnItIn.com. (You can find instructions on how to use TurnItIn.com on the Annotated Bibliography page.)
Below you will find the rubric which I will use to grade your final monologue. It would be a very good idea to look it over before turning in your final draft.