Oral History – Writing Assignment

Assignment Requirements

Helene Fuld College of Nursing Bachelor of Science Program World History Page 1 of 4 ORAL HISTORY – WRITING ASSIGNMENT PRE-INTERVIEW 1. In order to adequately prepare to conduct this oral history assignment, you are required to review your class notes, course hand-outs, and textbook readings related to the history of the 20th century. 2. Choose a friend, relative or acquaintance that was born and/or lived during the 20th century, preferably the early 20th century (1900-1950). Inform the person you are interviewing of the educational purpose of the Oral History interview as part of your requirement to satisfactory complete World History. 3. For preliminary information on how to conduct an Oral History interview, review: Columbia University Library. (n.d.) Columbia Center for Oral History: Oral History Philosophy, Procedures and Evaluation. Retrieved from http://library.columbia.edu/content/dam/libraryweb/locations/ohro/CCOH%20Three-Pager.pdf 3. Obtain, formal written consent from the person you plan to interview. Your interviewee must agree to your interview by signing the following form. If they are unable to write, they may consent verbally. However, their consent must be recorded, along with the date of consent. You may cut and paste the sample Consent Form below onto a separate sheet and obtain the written person of the person you are interviewing. Helene Fuld College of Nursing Bachelor of Science Program World History Page 2 of 4 Oral History Project Consent Form I, [add your name] give my permission to [add your name] to use this interview, or part of it, for educational purposes in a World History course at Helene Fuld College of Nursing. [Add your name] has informed me that they will obtain additional consent if my interview is to be used for any other purpose. Name of Person to be interviewed: _____________________________ Signature of Person to be interviewed: __________________________ Date of Signature: __________________________________________ Interviewer________________________________________________ (Print your Name) Helene Fuld College of Nursing Bachelor of Science Program World History Page 3 of 4 4. Conducting the oral interview and writing the essay. Your first step is to interview an older family member, friend, or acquaintance. Choose someone you feel comfortable asking questions of, and who is interested in your project. You may choose to interview the person about: a) His or her life history or b) You may focus on a particular event (e.g., the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s, 1960s, or 1970s; the Jim Crow Era) or c) A period in the person’s life (e.g., the Depression, the building of the Panama Canal, the Harlem Renaissance, migration to the North or to the South), or d) A period of political turmoil (World War I, WWII, or the Vietnam War). 5. Prepare a series of questions ahead of time, but don’t feel restricted by them. If other questions come up during the interview, don’t hesitate to ask them. Take notes or tape the interview. Below are some sample questions. Choose at least three questions from each section for a total of (21) questions. Helene Fuld College of Nursing Bachelor of Science Program World History Page 4 of 4 Basic Questions What is your full name? Does your name have any special meaning? What is the date and place of your birth? What was your schooling like? Family History Questions Do you remember hearing your grandparents/aunts or uncles describe their lives? What did they say? Do you remember your great-grandparents? What do you know about them? Who is the oldest person you can remember in your family from when you were a child? What do you remember about that person? Lifetime Changes What would you consider to be the most important inventions during your lifetime? How is the world different now from when you were a child? As you see it, what are the biggest problems that face our nation and the World and how do you think they could be solved? What are your thoughts on America’s election of a Black president? What is the biggest challenge for people of color today? What do you think will resolve the issue of race and color in the World, if at all? Family Life Where have you lived as an adult? List the places and years that you lived there. Why are you living where you are today? Do you wish you lived somewhere else? If so, where? Career What was your first job? What kinds of jobs have you had? How did you decide on your career? If you served in the military, when and where did you serve and what were your duties? Were you ever injured in the line of duty? If so, what were the circumstances and what were your injuries? Travel/Vacation Have you ever been to Africa? If No, would you want to visit Africa? Why or Why Not? What is the most beautiful place you have ever visited and what was it like? What is the longest trip you have ever gone on? Where did you go? What was your favorite vacation? Where did you go and why was it special? What is the favorite place you ever visited and what was it like? Personal What person had the most positive influence on your life? What did he or she do to influence you? Is there a person that really changed the course of your life by something that he or she did? How did it happen? Do you remember someone saying something to you that had a big impact on how you lived your life? Who said it, and what did that person say? How would you like to be remembered? Helene Fuld College of Nursing Bachelor of Science Program World History Page 5 of 4 6. Immediately after the interview, you should review your notes (or listen to the tape). Also try to write information related to the interviewee’s facial expression or body language. Also, if relevant, include the place where the interview took place. 7. In order to prepare to write the essay, your first paragraph should reveal the period of World History that relates to the interview. Begin your essay with some general information about the period (remember to use APA in-text citation and cite your source on the Reference page).


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