History 284:  Hawaiian History  
SPRING 2013
Instructor:  Colette Higgins  

WRITING PROJECT

(A Person's Place in History)

 

 

Overview

Historians often use written sources from the time period being studied, we call these primary sources. But do primary sources need to be written documents? This assignment will help you assess the value of other historical sources (i.e. historical sites, oral histories).

 

Your Journey

  1. Choose an event or time period in Hawai'i's history between 1940 and 1990. Some possibilities might include: immigration experience, sugar plantation life, working at the pineapple cannery, labor union strikes, the Pearl Harbor attack, living under Martial Law during World War II, the 442nd Infantry Regiment, Statehood, the growth of tourism, or the Hawaiian Renaissance. This list is not exhaustive, feel free to choose a research topic of interest to you, especially if you have access to a person who can share his/her experience and/or a place that is relevant to your topic.
  2. Do some preliminary research on your chosen topic using your textbook, internet resources and a vist to the library.
  3. Visit a place that is relevant to your topic. For example, if you're interested in immigration or sugar plantation life, you could visit Hawaii's Plantation Village in Waipahu. If you're interested in Martial Law, you could visit the Hawaii Army Museum in Waikiki. Alternatively, you may want to think about a place you'd like to visit, then determine which part of that place's history between 1940 and 1990 you'd like to focus your research on. By the time you submit your Part I, you should have made your site visit.
  4. Interview someone who remembers the event or time period you're researching. Alternatively, you could use transcripts or video recordings of oral histories done by others. By the time you submit your Part II, you should have completed your interview, or read a transcript/viewed a video of an oral history interview.
  5. Choose one of the three options provided for Part III to present what you've learned about the event or time period between 1940 and 1990 that you've researched. Be sure to incorporate what you've learned from your research, from your visit to the historical site, and from a person's oral history.  

 

Citing Historical Sources

During your research journey be sure to keep track of all your sources. For Part I, include evidence (i.e. photo, receipt, ticket) of a place visited and the date you visited. For Part II, include name of person interviewed, or transcript/video information, and date interviewed. For Part III, you will submit an annotated bibliography, which means, in addition to the typical MLA bibliographical citation (i.e. author, title, city, publisher, year published if it's a book), you need to also provide a brief explanation on how each source helped you.  I am interested in all the sources that you’ve consulted for all three parts (i.e. books, articles, videos, internet sites, historical sites, interviews).

 

Three Part Writing Process (worth 150 points total)          

o      If you choose to write an essay, you will develop a thesis and support it in a typical research paper format.  Imagine that you’re writing for a scholarly journal and the theme for that edition is:  People & Places in History.  You will develop a thesis statement, then support it with data uncovered through research.

o      If you choose to write a dialogue, you will need to identify at least two people who will have an imagined conversation (one being a person connected to your research).  It will read much like a script for a play, or a transcript of an interview.  Imagine that your written dialogue will be performed as a live play at a high school or middle school.  The curriculum objective is to have students appreciate the value of learning about people who came before us.

o      If you choose to write a vignette, you will be telling a story.  You could describe behaviors, thoughts, and events from an historical character's perspective.  This format also provides the option of a narrator's voice (i.e. someone telling the story, but not necessarily involved in it).  Imagine that your vignette will be published in one of KCC’s student journals and your audience knows nothing about Hawaiian history.

Organization, grammar, spelling and punctuation will be graded in this third part.  You must also resubmit your graded Parts I & II, and provide an annotated bibliography (all in a non-plastic folder).  Format:  double spaced, one inch margins, 800-1000 words, although it is understood that the dialogue or vignette may be substantially longer for scene setting reasons.*   Late papers will be accepted, but there will be a five-point penalty for each class day that a paper is late. Due: Monday, April 29th

 

*Please identify the font & provide a word count at the end of each part.

(e.g.  Times New Roman 930 words)