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Personal Cemetery Research Assignment
You will be assigned a name at random of someone who is interred at [whichever cemetery you choose] that you will visit. (you can use any cemetery including those that are local both military and public). To help connect you with this place and to understand the historical-sociological connection, this assignment will help you to connect to a person who is there and whose gravesite you will then visit.
The paper has 2 components – one you will complete prior to the visit to the cemetery and one will be submitted afterwards.
First Portion of Assignment: You will combine 3 items into a paper and is no longer than 5 pages maximum. Your project is to learn about your person, their historical context and the events of their lives and then place them in their sociological context. Keep in mind this is not about you!
• You will research and write a biography of the person assigned. You can of course begin with Googling the name, but this should also be followed by looking for an obituary of the person and other resources that you are led to by what you find initially. For example, if you learn that the person grew up in a particular town or city then research about that location especially during the time your person was born there. You would do the same for schools, organizations, etc. Also examine the branch of service in which they participated and the time of their service as well as where they served.
• This leads into and is part of the second item you are writing about – the intersection of the biography of your person and history in general. Think through how this person’s historical context did (the time, place, etc. in which they lived) shape their biography. Therefore, the more you learn about the time and place in which they lived, the better you can complete this second portion of placing them in their historical/sociological context.
• And then finally how did their service shaper their lives and those of their families and others with whom they interacted or maybe crossed paths.
• Think of this as a mystery you are unraveling.
You will turn this written paper in prior to the cemetery visit. You will also prepare about a 2-minute presentation on your person. You want to share what you learned about them and their lives.
Second Portion of Assignment: During the visit to the cemetery and you will find the gravesite of your individual and you will leave a commemoration at the gravesite so others will know that this person has been remembered.
Upon returning from the visit, you will then write a two-page follow-up paper which reflects your intersection with this person and their history. You will share how doing this project and going to the grave and marking it affects you and how you see this person. This is a reflection on your experience connecting research and a real person