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Purpose: Great Works, Historically Contextualized
You will gain practice composing informative historical context for a significant 19th or 20th century piece of journalism from the lists provided. The project will involve both primary and secondary research efforts. You will also build historical knowledge about a small part of journalism history, developing special knowledge of the history surrounding the work of journalism through a focused, independent study.
Format: 7-8 pages; standard margins; APA citation style.
Prompt: Explore the lists linked below and choose one of the examples. You will write a paper discussing the significance of the work by offering researched historical context that explains why the work is/was important, what kind of journalism it represents, and how it was responding to the period during which it was created.
Though papers will vary according to the piece of journalism addressed, potential important components of the paper’s content are:
offering research-based information that demonstrates a thorough understanding of the political, economic, and/or social issues the journalist(s) addressed.
outlining the type of journalism it represents and/or its historical context (e.g. how Hunter S. Thompson’s “Gonzo Journalism” fit into the countercultural movements of the time)
describing how the work was received and by whom (e.g. book reviews, political reactions, awards received, or responses in popular culture).
detailing any cultural or political influence the work may have had (e.g. political reforms, businesses practices changing, etc.)
using secondary sources: students must find at least five secondary sources (e.g. scholarly or journalistic works that discuss the piece as journalism history)
one from course readings
four from original research on the historical context and significance of the work(s)
at least 3 of those are sources are scholarly books or drawn from historical journals
using primary sources: students must include at least two primary source. The piece of journalism you choose to research counts as a primary source, but stronger papers will also seek out available primary material to support the paper’s characterization of the historical context (e.g. contemporaneous reactions to the piece in speeches, magazines, etc.).
Check uploaded prompt and rubric.

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