Thursday, March 05, 2009

Using a primary source: Vietnam veteran interview due Th, March 19

Originally uploaded by Kathy~
These Vietnam veteran questions are designed to create a low-stress interview. The primary reason for this interview is to give you experience in using a Primary Source. The material you gather will not come from a book or online entry; it will come from a person who was an eye witness. You will be gathering a bit of evidence as a student historian.

The paper must be typed but may be written in a simple Q and A style.

1. Name and your service branch?
2. Year(s) you served in Vietnam?
3. Your responsibilities in the service while in ‘Nam.
4. Locations you visited in Vietnam. In which place did you stay the longest?
5. The geography of the Vietnam you observed.
6. Climate?
7. Describe the people of Vietnam, both physically & psychologically.
8. Changes in your attitude toward the US in Vietnam. (optional)
9. What should teens learn about the conflict?
10. Your favorite movie or book about ‘Nam? (optional)

You may have the flexibility to use some 8 of the questions as you see fit. if the vet declines to interview an item, it's OK. Simply record his reason. If the vet seems talkative, please ask additional questions. This project becomes a part of history. It might be valuable in the future in American History class or another project.

Recording the interview electronically is a good idea. If you try to write down the responses both you and the interviewee might be frustrated. It is not easy to write down all the words that flow in the average interview.

* A cassette recorder.
* Using a mic and simple software program to record into your computer.
* Record via your videocamera. If the vet does not want to be on camera, put on the lens cap. The voice will still be recorded.

* Stop the interview and test the recording after a minute. It is easy to get weak sound and be frustrated later.
* Place the mic as close to the person's mouth as possible.

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