What are the events that happened around the time of the text that helps us understand the text itself?

Communication 200 Paper—Historical Context Paper

ASSIGNMENT: Pick a communication “text”: an article, speech, radio clip, movie, TV show, photo, work of art, etc. Write a two-page paper describing the context within which it was made.
RULES FOR YOUR “TEXT”: It must date from pre-2000.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

1. What are the events that happened around the time of the text that helps us understand the text itself? 2. What is the background of the creator (or creators) of the text?
3. What should we understand about the cultural/social/political context of the text?
4. Any other related “texts” that would help us understand this test?
APPROACH: Some of the questions above may not be relevant to your topic. Your goal is to research and reflect on how the historical context helps us better understand the historical text.
***IMPORTANT: You’re writing about the context of the time period in which the text was made, NOT the history of what the text is about.

PICKING A TOPIC: To help you brainstorm and narrow down a topic, I recommend that you: 1. Skim the syllabus. Think about the topics we have already covered and the topics coming up and see if anything jumps to mind
2. Skim the textbook. Same thing. See if anything jumps out as interesting.
3. Pick something specific, not broad. “Nineties television” is too broad. Researching the entire series of Seinfeld, for example, might be ok. But the best strategy would be to pick a specific episode to discuss. You could write an interesting paper about the original Star Wars trilogy, but you also might have a slightly easier time focusing on just one of those films.
Still, stuck? If you email me a couple of ideas that you have, I will pick my favorite!
SOURCES: A works cited is optional and does not count toward the length of the paper. If you do rely on outside sources, it is always proper to cite them, somehow.

Tips:

➢ Use paragraphs to organize your thoughts
➢ Make sure you stick to the assignment and use the instructions above to guide your writing and research
Rubric:

A

▪ Shows exceptional depth of thought in completing the assignment
▪ Demonstrates exceptional preparation and research in completing the assignment ▪ Well-written, properly formatted, and free of careless errors.

B

▪ Shows some depth of thought in completing the assignment
▪ Demonstrates sufficient preparation and research in completing the assignment ▪ Mostly well-written and free of careless errors.

C

▪ Lacks thoughtfulness
▪ Insufficient preparation and research in completing the assignment
▪ Assignment goals only partially addressed/completed.
▪ Many writing and formatting errors

D

▪ Too short or otherwise incomplete
▪ Lacks effort and care
F (0 pts)
▪ Does not make even a reasonable attempt at completing the assignment ▪ Not turned in

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What are the events that happened around the time of the text that helps us understand the text itself

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