Past Experiences With Presentations

November 19th, 2012

To be honest, I’ve never really like giving presentations. Throughout middle school and into high school I was horrible at presenting and I always got extremely nervous. I think it was always really obvious as well (blushing, stuttering, etc.). However, as I went through high school and as I got into college, presenting became a lot easier. I still get nervous (as do most people I think) and I still have things to work on – I tend to talk really fast and I’m often not loud enough – however, presenting is no longer the bane of my existence like it used to be. I think in this case practice makes perfect. My advice to someone who has trouble presenting would be to do it more often. It may seem horrible at first but I think the more you do something the more comfortable you become with it. It also helps to remember that everyone gets nervous and that things you think people are noticing they probably aren’t noticing at all.

Research Progress

November 1st, 2012

I feel that I’ve made a lot of progress in my research over the past week or so. In going though my primaries and taking a closer look at them, I decided to get rid of a few of them, as they just didn’t seem to add very much to my topic. However, I also came across some new primaries that I’ve found really interesting and helpful. I managed to find one that gave a women’s perspective of other women who were politically active (so I shouldn’t have only men’s views) as well as some other letters and writings. Taking a closer look at the primaries as well as discovering new ones has brought me closer to a possible thesis. Hopefully, after a weekend of further research, I’ll have a solid thesis to work with.

Reintroducing My Primary Source

October 23rd, 2012

I would say that my main primary source is the one the got me interested in my topic. This is a British print published in 1775 depicting the women of the Edenton Tea Party. It mocks their efforts at protest by portraying them as ugly and neglectful of their children. In the bottom right-hand corner a dog can be seen urinating on one of the ladies. This source helped me to narrow my focus, and got my interested specifically in responses to women’s roles in the American Revolution, versus women’s roles in general. It also made me think about what responses to these women may have been in England, not just among colonists. I have not really encountered any problems working with this specific source, but rather I’ve had problems that have arisen as a result of this source. For example, I wanted to find out more about these ladies depicted in the cartoon, to get their view, but I could not find any diaries or letters by any of these women.

Primary and Secondary Sources

October 18th, 2012

In looking through numerous secondary sources on my topic over the past few weeks, the element that has been lacking the most is information on responses to the roles women played in the American Revolution. While it is covered a little in some sources, it is not extensive at all and leaves a reader with little understanding on the matter. The majority of my primary sources addresses this issue and shows reactions to these revolutionary women’s roles. Letters, cartoons, newspaper articles, and autobiographical works show how colonists responded to patriotic women and how those women felt. While my secondary sources provide the background on events and people, my primaries give first hand accounts of those events and opinions on them, thus filling the gap that currently exists.

Valuable Secondary Sources

September 25th, 2012

In going through my secondary sources, the most valuable ones I have come across thus far are Debating the Issues in Colonial Newspapers by David A. Copeland, and the article “Woman and The American Revolution” by Wendy Martin. I couldn’t pick just one source to talk about since they are both so valuable. The first source discusses women becoming politically active during the American Revolution and gives men’s responses to them. In addition to giving some background information it provides excellent primary sources that I have been unable to find elsewhere and provides context for those primaries. It has been great so far in helping me develop my topic.

The second source, I have not yet examined quite as much as the previous source, but in reading through it, I noticed it provided information on why the writings of women were not published like men’s were during that time period. This may help to explain why I have had more trouble coming across women’s responses and perspectives than men’s. However, this article also provides excerpts from women’s writings and letters about the war and women activism, which again is something I have been looking for. I think this will prove to be really helpful in my research and be a great source for this project!

Note Taking

September 18th, 2012

I’ve never really thought about how I take notes. I think my system of note taking is something that continues to evolve. I used to use note cards but I find I like using the computer better now. I organize my notes by source, writing the citation and keeping all my notes under that citation. When I’m reading and I see something I want to go back to or remember, I’ll either jot it down in my notes or make a reference to it so I can easily find it in the book/article/etc. again. If I come across something that I think helps to answer a particular question, I write that question and then proceed to put my notes underneath so when I’m answering that particular question in my paper, it’s easier to find.

I really like to write in books as well. I underline, circle, and write in margins. Most of the books I’m using are from the library so I either have to use post it notes or write very lightly, which is a little annoying. Also, I’ve recently started using Zotero and I want to try using that for note taking and see if I like that better.

Good vs. Bad Web Sources

September 12th, 2012

Two good websites I have found on my topic are the following:

This source tells the history of the Edenton Tea Party and provides the text of the protest composed by those women. The source is reliable and is published by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This source discussed the education typically received by women in the 18th century. It is published The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and provides a full list of sources.

Two bad sources I found are:

This website does not seem very legit. It does not give an author or provide any sources, nor is it set up in the most professional way.

This webpage discussing the Edenton Tea Party I do not find to be a reliable source as it is published on a website dedicated to tea. The author is not a historian, rather a tea connoisseur, and there are no cited sources.


September 9th, 2012

I’ve made a Twitter for 299 as well. In the past when I’ve had a Twitter, I was horrible at tweeting consistently and sort of abandoned it. Let’s hope I’m better this time!

Choosing A Topic

September 6th, 2012

The topic I have been working on has been the Leedstown Resolves, one of the first written protests against the Stamp Act. I’ve been focusing on why exactly it was the first. What was the context and what was going on in Leedstown and the surrounding areas at the time that brought the local men together to draft this document? Why Leedstown and why then? I was also curious to find out what may have come from this document, who it might have influenced and what it may have sparked. The primary source that garnered much of my attention was the Leedstown Resolves itself. However, after further research I have realized my topic is no longer doable. I’ve found information that contradicts the direction I was going with my topic. I’m not sure how else to rework so I’m choosing a new topic. I have an idea of what I would like to research and I’ve found a few primary sources to get me started. It’s within the same time period as the Leedstown Resolves but I want to refrain from stating exactly what it is as I’m still uncovering primary sources and I may deviate a bit. I plan on doing a lot of research over the weekend to gather more sources and information. I’m excited about my new topic and I’m looking forward to developing it.

Why am I a History major?

August 29th, 2012

All my life I’ve been interested in history, but it hasn’t been until more recently that I realized it was something I wanted to pursue. It’s hard for me to say what got me interested in history. I think much of it may have to do with my dad. He’s a high school history teacher and he is really passionate about history. Being exposed to different aspects of history a lot as a child helped me to become interested at a young age. I loved hearing stories about people and events in the past. I think being around someone so passionate about something is very infectious as well.

I’ve always found history to be fascinating – the way people lived their lives and the way things in the past affected how things are today, how they continue to influence what goes on in the present, and how things might be different if certain events turned out a different way. Everything from pop culture to politics, I find interesting. Basically, I want to be a history major because I want to be able to use what I know about the past to make better decisions about the future. I think it helps you better understand as well as form more learned decisions regarding news and politics. I want to be able to see the world in a broader way and not live in a bubble. Overall, I think being a history major helps one to be a more well-rounded individual with a greater depth of knowledge and understanding of the world around them.  Just the kind of person I would love to be.