Old-timer’s Narrative Paper

Old-timer’s Narrative Paper = 40 possible points

You are an old-timer, born in 1880 somewhere in Nevada. In 1940, as part of a federal jobs program, a 20-year old kid is making the rounds, interviewing people to learn what it was like to live through the first forty years of the 20th century. Because this 20-year old is an excellent interviewer, he/she will have edited their voice out of the project, so the only voice in this paper will be that of the old timer. (This really happens when you do oral histories. You want to showcase the interviewee and have the interviewer disappear into the background.)

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The point of this paper is to identify the legal/political, economic, and social changes,as well as the events of this period, and think about how those changes or events would affect individuals. One obvious example in our lifetimes would be the 2008 housing bust. People lost their homes; the construction industry all but dried up. Construction and housing related businesses struggled or failed. Most of you could probably tell a story of how the housing bust affected you or someone you know. Instead, you’re going to assume an identity and tell people what it was like to live through the events of 1900 -1940.

Pick an area of Nevada (to save time, you might consider one of your counties, which you should already have started researching), and one of the following identities:

1 – A miner or other wage worker

2 – A farmer or rancher

3 – A politician

4 – A business owner or banker

5 – A progressive reformer or a person from a group affected by the reformers

For the sake of this assignment we will assume you were not in the military, and continued in your occupation during the war. Your interviewer will have asked you to mention where you lived and worked, under what conditions, and what kind of life you were able to live.They will want some specifics about how or if the Goldfield/Tonopah boom and bust, WWI, Roaring Twenties, and the Great Depression affected you. How were you affected by Progressivism? Would you have been affected by Wingfield’s political machine?

In three double-spaced pages with normal margins and no more than 12 point font, tell of “your” life between 1900 and 1940.

Grading rubric follows on the second page

***Heavily dependent on “Grading Rubric for Written Assignments: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert/criteria.pdf***







Criteria Exemplary =A

Far exceeds requirements

Above Average =B

Exceeds requirements

Adequate = C

Meets requirements

Inadequate = D

Does not meet


Level of Content

30 points

Content indicates in-depth analysis, original thought, a high degree of critical thinking, and some investigation beyond the text.27-30 points Content indicates original thinking, and suggests some investigation beyond the text.




24-26 points

Content indicates thinking and reasoning applied to the material in the text.


21-23 points

Content indicates some thinking but most ideas are underdeveloped or unoriginal. Padding to hide lack of content is evident.

18-20 points

Historical accuracy

4 – 1 points

Your chronology and dates are correct, and you go beyond the events listed above. You include little-known events or effects. (4) Your chronology and dates are correct, and you go beyond the events listed above. You include fairly well-known events or effects. (3) Your chronology and dates are correct, but you stick with the events listed above.  (2) You have an error in your chronology or dates.  (1)

3 – 0 points

Outstanding writing style goes beyond the usual college level; tone is used effectively. (3) Writing meets college level; tone is used effectively. You dive right into the topic. (2) Writing approaches college level; tone may be flat. You get right to your topic. (1) Very basic sentences; tone is flat. You wander around a bit before settling into your topic. (0)
Grammar and Mechanics

3 – 0 points

Essay is free of distracting spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors; there are no sentence fragments, comma splices, or run-on sentences. (3) Essay has few spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors; Very few sentence fragments or run-ons.  (2) Most spelling, punctuation, and grammar are correct. Some errors remain. (1) Spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors are distracting. Sentence fragments, comma splices, and run-ons abound. Margins or font oversized. (0)






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