You will listen to a short podcast from the BBC Witness archive for these assignments. The BBC Witness program has over 500 oral histories presented in context. Students may choose any topic as long as it falls between 1877 and the Present and has some connection to American history. You can interpret that connection; just explain your thinking in your response. You will summarize and respond to each podcast with a summary and response. Your essay should be at least 750 words, but you can write more if you need to.
The title of the podcast, the name of the featured speaker, and a link to the podcast.
A description of the speaker and their unique perspective on the historical event.
A summary of the event. You should put the event you are writing about into historical context. What happened? Who was involved? When did it happen? Why is it significant? Can you put it into context with topics we’ve covered in a class? If your topic does not directly link to American history, you need to explain the relationship?
Half of your response (around 350 words) should be a personal reflection on this topic. What are your impressions of the broadcast? What struck you as interesting or unique about the event or the person? Do you personally connect to the speaker, the event, or the topic? Did you select this topic for a personal reason?
Some Tips on Selecting a Podcast:
There are over 500 broadcasts to choose from, which can seem a bit overwhelming. Here is a link to the archive where episodes are listed in the order they first aired, and these are grouped by topic. You can try to use a search engine by entering “BBC Witness” along with a topic of interest. I’ve had mixed results using this method. If you do this, make sure you are responding to a program under the BBC Witness heading and not another BBC program.
I suggest that you navigate around the page for a while, click through a few pages, and try to find topics that interest you or maybe even pertain to your chosen major or career path. That will make these assignments a lot more personally rewarding to you.
While I’m not grading you for originality, or lack thereof, finding a unique topic that no one else has written on will make your paper more interesting.
Tips for Writing These Assignments:
While this is a more casual assignment than a proper essay, you are still writing for an academic audience. Your tone, language, and grammar should reflect your position as a student at Valencia College.
You can organize your summary any way you’d like, but it must be coherent and easy to follow. I suggest having a short introduction, at least.
You should not need citations for this assignment. Your citation is the link you provide to the podcast you are summarizing. You must provide a link.
While these are summaries, don’t be afraid to engage with the topic intellectually.
Stay focused on the topic at hand. If you have a sentence that does not directly engage the oral history you are summarizing, ask yourself why that sentence is there.
While these assignments are due in batches, I suggest doing them gradually over the semester. Waiting until the night they are due and writing them all at once will produce sub-par work.
How I Will Grade These Assignments:
Was your summary clear, concise, and easy to understand?
Did you accurately represent your selected topics?
Did you do so with minimal grammatical errors while also fulfilling all of the assignment requirements?
Did you go above and beyond to engage with the source critically?
Did you provide your personal reflection? Why did you choose this topic?
Assignment:
Select one podcast from the BBC History Witness series about a topic that occurs between 1877 and the Present and has at least some relationship with U.S. History.
Write a 750-word summary. Your summary should also include a personal reflection answering what you learned from the individual’s perspective in the podcast, your relationship to the topic, and any thoughts or feelings you had after listening to the podcast.

Do you need any assistance with this question?
Send us your paper details now
We'll find the best professional writer for you!