Peer Review Form

November 17th, 2008 by jmcclurken

peer-review-vet-interview-paper

You can fill this out and email it to the person you’re peer reviewing OR write on a printed copy. Either way it needs to be given or emailed to me by classtime next Tuesday (Nov. 25). [If you’re emailing an electronic version, send it to me and the author.]

Posted in Assignments, Citation, Class materials, Discussion, FSEM Topics, FSEM100RR, Interviews, Veterans, writing | Comments Off on Peer Review Form

Constructing the Paper

November 1st, 2008 by jmcclurken

Several of you seem to be struggling with the paper assignment so this post is an attempt to emphasize what we discussed in class and clarify those parts that seem to be confusing people.

Your paper should not just be a summary of your interviewee’s experiences, nor just what he or she thought.  The paper should be an attempt to set your veteran’s postwar experiences within the larger experiences of American returning veterans.  How typical were his/her experiences compared to other veterans returning from that war? Compared to soldiers returning from other wars?  How was he perceived?  Use the lectures as well as the primary and secondary source readings for this semester to help provide that context for your veteran’s experiences.  As you integrate your interviewee’s experiences into the larger context of US veterans’ experiences, it is appropriate to consider whether or not you think that he/she believed that her experiences were typical.  [Remember too, that although discussing wartime experiences are important, that the main focus of this class and of the paper is about the postwar experiences of these men and women.]

Keep in mind that you need to cite all information (including the interview) with footnotes or endnotes and you should certainly use quotations from the interview and other primary sources (as well as material from secondary sources) to support your argument.

[For more general writing and citation advice, see also the writing guidelines mentioned before, as well as the history department’s resource page.]

Finally, make sure your paper has:

  • A thesis about the experiences of American veterans (including postwar experiences)
  • A title page with a real title
  • Page numbers (starting with the first page of text as page 1)
  • A bibliography of works cited in the notes
  • One-inch margins
  • Properly cited footnotes
  • Quotations from your interview

Posted in Assignments, FSEM100RR, Interviews, Veterans, writing | Comments Off on Constructing the Paper

Interview with a Veteran

October 1st, 2008 by jmcclurken

1) Finding a veteran

  • The guidelines for who the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project is interested in are located here. [Note that for the purpose of this class, I’d prefer a focus on a veteran from one of the wars we cover in class.]
  • The easiest choice may be a relative or a friend of your family. Ask around. If you can’t find anyone, come see me.

2) The Interview process

  • You should tape (or video-record) the interview. Trying to take notes during the interview will likely result in a bad interview and/or poor notes.
  • You may need to be able to have two meetings with your veteran (initial and follow-up).
    • If you don’t know your subject or his/her life, you should consider an initial interview to get straight the basic biography
  • Plan on as much as a couple of hours (if needed). Try to set aside uninterrupted blocks to conduct the interview.
  • The specific questions or issues you discuss depends on the particular veteran and their service. Some topics that may get you started thinking can be found on page 3 of the VHP Field Kit. Given the focus of this class, make sure to emphasize the topics emphasized in “War’s End, Coming Home” on page 3.
    • A more specific set of questions can be found here. [For these, emphasize parts 5 & 6.]
  • While you can ask specific questions, make sure that you also ask broader questions eliciting longer responses. If the interview goes in ways you didn’t expect, that’s fine. Be ready for it; don’t be afraid follow up on those asides.
    • Remember that some of these topics may be emotionally powerful for your interviewee.  Understand that some questions might not be answered.

3) Tips to remember — See this essential list of guidelines from the LOC.

For extra credit, you can also prepare your interview for submission to the Veterans History Project, something I encourage each of you to do. To do that, you must follow the guidelines described in the VHP Field Kit (which you will want to print out). At a minimum you’ll need to record the interview and complete all the waiver forms (with the veteran). All materials (including waiver forms and the recording) must be turned in by the start of class on the day the paper is due to receive the extra credit.

Posted in Assignments, FSEM100RR, Interviews, Veterans, writing | Comments Off on Interview with a Veteran