analysis), or at least a statement of focus forecasting what your reader will find in the paper. You might wish to wait until you have completed your analysis so you can write a more pertinent opening and thesis. Or you can write a preliminary thesis and then revise it later. Statement of Scope (1 paragraph) : Here discuss the focus and limitations of your paper (scope), explaining what information was available to you, and what was not due to lack of information. For example, you may explain that you have only limited information on your father’s family, but a lot of information on your mother’s family.
Because this class examines your “American Experience,” it is best in most cases to limit your narrative to no more than 1-2 generations before your family came to the US. Talk to me if you feel your family’s earlier circumstances warrant more space. Family Histories (about 3-4 pages—don’t get carried away!) : Here, describe, in separate sections of several paragraphs each, the history of the main branches of your family going back to 1-2 generations before their arrival in the US. Try to identify persons who were the first in your family to come to the U.S. When and why did they come, and from where? Gaps in your history are to be expected, but where possible, speculate based on what you DO know. Your histories should each identify the forms of racial or ethnic identity in the various branches of your family—meaning how they self-identified in this respect. Where possible, describe how specific family members were influenced by or reacted to major historical events of their time , for example, the Civil War and Reconstruction, events in Texas history, the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920), the Woman Suffrage movement, the World Wars, the Depression, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, and events in the 60s like the Civil Rights or women’s movement. Did these events help your ancestors assimilate into American culture, or were they further excluded or impoverished? Did historical events impact the way class boundaries, gender roles, or racial or ethnic categories affected your family members? Did they become more free? Less free? Analysis: (1.5-2 pages) After you tell your family’s stories, the final section of the paper analyzes these histories. No paper will receive higher than a C if this section is not completed. All papers must begin with an approx. ½ page Race/Ethnicity analysis. Then you should choose at least TWO areas you feel are most significant and meaningful in your family’s history and write at least 1/2 page of description and analysis for each. Race or Ethnicity Analysis: (required) Describe the way your family’s racial or ethnic categories—or perceived identity— impacted their history. Was race or ethnicity more pertinent, or both? (Note: you may think of national identity as ethnicity here, since both describe groups with a common culture). Did they experience discrimination as minorities, or were they part of a majority group? Or were they from a minority group that was
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- Spring '08
- 1968, 1982, 1989