Interview Assignment DIRECTIONS
GOAL OF THIS PAPER:
● The goal is to USE THE INTERVIEW QUESTIONS I HAVE PROVIDED AND
interview someone; note the first few questions are for you to identify A
PIVOTAL TIME, OR LIFE-CHANGING EVENT in that person’s life. In
other words, WHAT WAS SOMETHING IMPORTANT that person did, or
that happened to the person that changed his/her life in important
● What was the year or years, and what event? WHAT HAPPENED ?
● And how did it change the person’s life – in other words, what was life
like before that period, and how was it different afterwards ?
● You will write a paper, using additional research sources, using your
Once you (1) know the important time for your person and (2) do the rest of the
interview to give you more background details about your person, then this is your
● THIS IS NOT AN ESSAY. After your interview, You will simply type
detailed answers to the five (5) questions (found below ) based on your
interview and research about that pivotal time and event in your person’s life.
● By doing the research for this paper, you will better understand more about
that person’s era and U.S. history. You will also will learn more about your
personthat ties in with the era.
● You identified someone in U.S. history between 1865 and 1985 who has
written a memoir or an autobiography (a life story written by the person
him/herself, which is a primary source).
● You have identified a life-changing event or actions that person took during a
REQUIRED SOURCES for this paper:
1. primary sources:
1. Your interview with your person
2. One additional primary source
2. at least two (2) secondary sources.
● 2 secondar y sources about the important time period described by your
person and/or about events at that time related to the important turning point
in your person’s life.
● Your secondary sources must have at least one scholarly article or book in
print. You can use one (1) RELIABLE, REPUTABLE website, such as
historical organizations or universities (make sure the site was not created by
a student, which would not be reliable information) or other sources of
well-documented information. (Wikipedia or other common-space sites are
not reliable information.)
● NO DICTIONARIES OR ENCYCLOPEDIAS (except as additional – beyond 2
● NO children or young adult books (the front or back of the book will tell you if
it is age-appropriate)
1. your textbook to help you understand the era that influenced your person’s
● LENGTH: 6 – 6.5 pages double-spaced text (without the citations page) with
a font no larger than 12 pt, and a one-inch margin.
● Use short quotes .
● Cite your sources in an abbreviated way at the end of the sentence. (Gleick
142) (textbook 547) (1968 Documentary) Like so.
● Provide VERY SPECIFIC details/examples such as names, dates,
relevant explanations, etc.
● Use information from your course textbook
● No more than one long quote—most quotes should be a sentence or
fragment of a sentence only
● Always use quotation marks when copying directly from a source. Mostly, use
your own words.
● Plagiarism is easy to catch and anyone caught will receive an F for the
assignment and an F for the course.
● Spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc. count.
FORMAT OF THIS PAPER:
Below are the five (5) questions for your paper . This assignment is NOT AN
ESSAY. You merely type the question number and your answer. Like so:
1. and your answer to Q#1, (which is just a few lines).
2. answer to Q#2, (which will be 2-5 sentences).
3. and your answer to Q#3, (which will be a couple of pages or more)
You will be using your primary AND secondary sources, your interview, and your
Questions for this Paper:
1. WHO/WHAT is your primary source ? State the person’s name, date of birth and
relationship to you. OR if you are using an autobiography, state the author and author’s
date of birth, title, publisher and publication date. (just a few lines)
2. WHAT, exactly, was the pivotal event in your person’s life, and during which
years? (2-5 sentences) (example: got married and moved; a traumatic accident;
entered the military; finished college; immigrated to the U.S.)
3. WHAT FACTS DID YOU FIND IN YOUR RESEARCH ABOUT THE TOPIC and
YEARS of the critical event in your person’s life that help you to understand the person?
How to answer this? (2 or more pages)
● Your person will tell you which years or decade are important.
● Look up information about the period/years and topic important to your
person in your textbook and your other primary and your secondary sources.
If you cannot find this information in your sources, then the sources are not
useful for this assignment, and you need different sources. This is the whole
point of using primary and secondary sources for this assignment.
ANOTHER WAY TO THINK ABOUT and ANSWER THIS QUESTION:
What event(s) or arguments were related to your person’s experiences at that time and
What do you need to learn about a topic in that time period to understand the life of your
person? (eg, what do the sources say about the experiences and challenges for Iraqi
immigrants in the early 1990s; what was the U.S. government and U.S. society doing
about Vietnam between 1970-74? Or if your person lived through the Great Depression
or World War II, then what kinds of experiences that she tells you you can research and
learn more about? Or if it was during the 1950s, what was happening that relates to
your person’s experience?)
● While you are writing, cite your sources in an abbreviated way at the end of
the sentence. (Gleick 142) (textbook 547) (1968 Documentary) Like so.
4. WHAT FACTS ABOUT the PERSON who is your primary source help you to
understand period in which he/she lived? About this topic in U.S. history? (2 or more
–Use answers to the interview questions.
–How does your person help you to understand the events or arguments of the time?
This means you need to understand the period itself (“#3” above).
Use your person’s interview AND the research sources you found AND the course text
to answer this. Describe relevant examples of information from your person that reflect
the era in which he/she lived. What are all the major specific, DETAILS from the person
that help you understand life in that period?
5. List full citations, Chicago (Turabian) style, of all your sources. Examples of the
-BOOK: Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalom!. New York: Vintage Books, 1990.
-ARTICLE: Bent, Henry E. “Professionalization of the Ph.D. Degree.” College
Composition and Communication 58, no. 4 (2007): 0-145. Accessed December 5, 2017.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/1978286 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..
-WEBSITE: Mister Jalopy. “Effulgence of the North: Storefront Arctic Panorama in Los
Angeles.” Dinosaurs and Robots. Last modified January 30, 2009.
Interview Assignment DIRECTIONS