Discuss your Speech

Get into your Writing Group and tell your group mates about your speech. If some of you have similar historical periods, you may work together to find sources for your historical context section.

Find the Historical Context of your Speech

  • What sources have you located so far? If you locate some more sources as we go through this activity, add them to your research log.
  • Using America History and Life
  • Another database: Dictionary of American History -- this could be a gold mine for you re. your Historical Context
  • Don't forget BOOKS! Using Portal

Daily Writing

Got to the Journal Link in Black Board and use the journalist's questions to "unpack" the historical context of your speech:

  • Who gave your speech? Locate a source that gives pertinent biographical information.
  • What is the speech about? (You may have written a summary already. But what is the main issue your speech addresses?
  • When was the speech delivered? What important historical events preceded the speech? In what historical period of American history was your speech delivered?
  • Where was your speech delivered? Seneca Falls? The battlefield of Gettysburg? Is the location important? Why?
  • How was the address given? Was it printed and read (many early Presidential addresses to Congress were NOT actually read aloud). Did it become famous AFTER it was delivered (like the Gettysburg address)?
  • Why was your speech delivered? What prompted the speaker to step up to the podium and join the conversation?


  • Use the daily writing we did today to draft the historical context portion of your essay. Remember, ALL factual statements that are not common knowledge must be cited, so pretty much everything in this section is going to be cited. Make sure you use scholarly sources.
  • After you finish the draft, add correct in-text citations and begin building a Works Cited list, as best you can. The section with the red tab in the back of your textbook, Everything's an Argument, can help you with this.
  • POST your draft onto Bb. (Attach this as a word doc). This draft is due to Bb no later than the beginning of class on Wed.
  • READ "Activity Theory" by Donna Kain and Elizabeth Wardle. Take notes as you read, and come to class on Wednesday with questions and your notes.