You will prepare a six-part (1500-word minimum) biographical essay on a fictional character who turned 18 years old in 1760 and lived until 1805 or who turned 18 years old in 1820 and lived until 1865. (Instructors may choose or allow you to select another relevant era)
You may choose your character’s place of birth within the United States (or perhaps as a young immigrant to the United States), gender, ethnicity, race, religion, class, occupation, and overall personality traits.
Your character may not die prematurely.
Your character cannot alter the course of history in any fundamental way.
Your assignment will consist of the following parts:
Part I (200 words minimum): Utilizing your course readings and materials, introduce your character in two or three paragraphs. Provide historically- accurate and meaningful details regarding your character’s name, date and place of birth, current place of residence, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, class, and other relevant personal detail and information. Each of these personal characteristics must be identified and explained. In addition, create an avatar (or some other artistic representation) of your character and explain why you chose the characteristics depicted. (COM)
Part II (500 words minimum): Analyze one of the major historic conflicts taking place in the time-period your character is living through (such as the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam War, Cold War, etc.) and is having a direct impact on the life of your character. Explain the historic antecedents or causes of such events. Be sure to identify the major historical figures and organizations that are associated with this event and the specific role(s) each played. Be sure to identify precise historical, social, political, economic, cultural, and global forces that shaped the event or conflict you are describing. Last, explain how this historical event or conflict affected or, perhaps, divided, Americans living in this era. (SLO1; SLO2, SLO3; CT; COM)
Part III (200 words minimum): Find and analyze one primary source document directly related to the historical event or conflict you described in Part II. Explain the historical issue or issues raised in the primary source document. In other words, what does the document tell us and what insights does it shed on the historical event you discussed in Part II? In your review of this primary source, explain the view or perspective of the author of the document. What is the overall purpose of the document? Last, provide at least three examples or quotes from your document that help you understand the perspective of the person(s) who produced it. Last, consider how the issues raised in the primary-source document you analyzed would have reinforced or challenged your character’s worldview, ethical values, and/or historical perspective. Would your character agree or disagree with the view or perspective expressed by this document? Be sure you properly cite the source you use. (SLO2; CT; COM)
Part IV (200 words minimum): Identify one major historically relevant ethical dilemma or moral choice that your character is struggling with in regards to this historical conflict. What personal or unique impact is this historical event having on your character? Be sure to explain how this ethical issue relates to this historical event and how the event is directly affecting your character (i.e., impacting his or her everyday experiences and/or challenging your character’s world and ethical view(s)). (SLO1; CT; COM)
Part V (200 words minimum): Explain how your character has decided to respond to the ethical dilemma at hand and why he or she responded in the way you identified. Explain how your character’s cultural background and historical setting (i.e. the historical, social, political, economic, cultural and global forces), and the broader conceptions of ethical behavior embedded within, shaped your character’s response. Consider at least one of the following: (1) your character’s conception(s) of civic responsibility; (2) your character’s understanding of the importance and role of the democratic process; (3) your character’s respect for social justice, fairness, and difference; (4) your character’s experiences with prejudice, racial or gender discrimination, and/or economic and social marginalization. (SLO3; SR; COM)
Part VI (200 words minimum): Last, explain how your character’s understanding of self and his or her related personal values influenced their response to the ethical dilemma faced and/or was altered by the historical events of the era he or she experienced. (PR; COM)
Each “Creating Lives” Signature Assignment Project will meet the following requirements:
Your paper must be typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12-point font, and 1500 words (minimum) in length*.
You must submit your essay into Canvas by the assignment due date set by the instructor.
Paper will count towards 20% of your final course grade*.
Your paper must draw from and cite a minimum of 1 secondary and 1 primary source document.* Individual instructors may elect to require specific or additional sources.
Use appropriate in-text citations and a complete bibliography, formatted according to the most recent edition of an academic citation style (i.e., MLA/APA/Turabian/Chicago Manual of Style).
Papers will be graded according to the essay rubric posted online and below.