Week 9 Blog Prompt: Historical Source

As in your last blog prompt, this week you’ll need to do some research that builds towards your Essay 2. Your task this week is to locate and summarise a secondary historic source that gives you an overview of the state of the world (or any subset thereof) around or in the leadup to the time of your chosen text’s publication. For example, you may want to research Canadian politics in 2008, the year before The Year of the Flood came out, or the history of punk you’re interested in writing about Tank Girl, or the Back To The Land movement if you’re interested in environmentalism in The Female Man. You can also talk about other time periods that you see as relevant to your chosen text (as one example, early Christianity might offer some interesting insight into The Year of the Flood, as might 18th century discussions about science versus religion).

You can be as broad or narrow as you want, although your text should give you some kind of overview — it should set you up to narrow your research as you get closer to the essay.

Your source does not have to be scholarly, although I recommend that you use Wikipedia as a starting point to locate better sources rather than as your primary source! (Which is to say: follow the links and read the stuff Wikipedia is citing.)

As last week, you will need to …

  • Briefly (1-2 sentences) justify your choice of source and its connection to the text
  • Offer a clear statement of the author/s’ main point
  • Run through any supporting facts and evidence provided within the article
  • Explain what this article illustrates about your chosen text (as a whole, or specific sections or concerns)

Some resources / starting points:

The University of Houston’s Digital History page

Fordham University’s Modern History Sourcebook

UT’s History Research Guide


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