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ERA- Oral Histories Curriculum: Oral Histories with a Classmate

The ERA Debate: Oral Histories with a Classmate

Conducting an Oral History with a Classmate

                *Use the Guidelines for Conducting an Oral History

Choose from the list of events provided to you. You will both ask questions about this event and be interviewed about the event.

Begin by writing about ten questions related to the event. These questions should illicit more than a yes or no response. You should ask open-ended questions that do not hint at an answer. The questions should be specific to the event you are discussing and should provide a framework for how your partner experienced the event.

                For Example:

               -Instead of asking, “Were you excited when President Obama was elected?” You should ask, “How did you feel when the President was elected?”

               -To set up a background about your partner’s experience, you could ask what were you doing in the hour before the Supreme Court announced that DOMA is unconstitutional?

Once you’ve been assigned a partner, you will have your partner sign a release that says they’re okay with being interviewed. You should find a quiet space and turn on your recording device.

Provide a brief introduction about your partner and the chosen topic.

You should ask the question slowly and clearly and give them time to respond. Do not interrupt your partner. Be okay with silence. Allow your partner to finish before moving on to the next question.

When you’re done interviewing Partner One, move on to Partner Two.

At the end of the Oral History, always thank your partner for participating!

The ERA Debate: Rubric for Oral Histories with a Classmate

Rubric for Conducting an Oral History


__Introduction is concise, effective, original and appropriately explains who is being interviewed and why.

__Questions are appropriate and illicit deep responses.
__Interview retains strong voice of interviewee.
__Interview focuses on topic; doesn't ramble.
__Interview details significant as well as concrete details.

__Introduction provides adequate lead-in. 
__Questions are appropriate but illicit shallow responses.
__Interview retains some voice of interviewee. 
__Interview focuses on topic; generally doesn't ramble. 
__Interview details some significant as well as concrete details. 

__Ineffective or inappropriate introduction. 
__Questions are inappropriate and illicit short and shallow responses.
__Interview retains little voice of interviewee. 
__Interview may not focus well on topic; may ramble. 
__Interview details little significance; mostly concrete details. 

adapted from

The ERA Debate: Conducting an Oral History with a Classmate

Special Collections and Archives

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Oral Histories at GSU

Archives for Research on Women and Gender

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