The experience of a single mother raising 2 or more children

Fundamentals of Research in Women’s and Gender Studies


Assignment #2 Oral History Interview and Analysis

Due: November 26, in class.

Worth: 35%

(Late papers will be docked 2 marks per day)


Double space. Single side only, please.

Include a cover page with a title, your name and student number.


This assignment has 3 parts. Include all Parts, in the following order.


Part 1: 10% (Your grade will be based on the inclusion of  1a), 1b) and 1c)


1a) Interview Outline or guide to use in your interview: 

In preparation for your interview, identify a list of topics (with subtopics) you would like to address with your ‘narrator’/interviewee. Topics will be based on your research for your Contextual Background in Assignment #1 and as discussed in class. Include your own questions as well as those in the handout “Oral History Interview Questions.



  • 1a) Hand in your questions (1 page)


1b) Conduct the Interview: (one to two hours long):


Expectation: (No grade assigned. 2 marks deleted if not handed in)

  • 1b) Hand in a copy of the first 4 pages of your notes (these can be single spaced if typed, or photocopied if hand-written)
  • 1b) Hand in the consent form.


1c) Develop an outline of issues and ideas that you plan on discussing in your Oral History Report (1 page).  You will probably take notes and/or record a wealth of information. Identify 3-key issues or themes of interest that you will discuss in your report.  Include 1-2 sentences explaining why they are of interest to your topic.



  • 1c) Hand in the outline (1 page)






Part 2:

2) Oral History Report (in formal essay format) (20%) (5 pages)

Write an analytical report of your interview, integrating aspects of the narrator’s story (the micro level) with what you know about the social, political, economic and historical context of her experiences (at the macro level). Remember that a ‘life history’ or ‘personal narrative’ is limited to one person’s perspective. Her story is a fragment of a larger, collective story. Your analysis should include a balance of the details of her story situated within the larger context.


You are expected to incorporate and draw upon your research that you prepared in Assignment #1.

Citations and references are expected. Include a Bibliography at the end of references used.



  • Include an introduction describing the person and the theme/topic of the oral history.
  • Choose three key themes or issues that the narrator highlighted in her interview. Analyze and compare her experiences (the micro level) to the larger social, political, and economic context (macro level). (Note: You should draw from the research conducted about the topic in Assignment #1) Conduct further research if needed.
  • Write a conclusion including your interpretation of her story in relation to the larger social context. (For example: Is it similar/dissimilar? Why or why not.)
  • Be sure to include issues related to your narrator’s gender, race, culture, social status, education level, etc.



Part 3

3) Self-Reflections: (5%) (1-2 pages)

Reflect on aspects of your own ‘subject position’ in the interview process and your learning process overall.  Go beyond mere description: think of connections.


  • Discuss how your own personal characteristics (race, gender, age, level of education) and your relationship to the narrator/interviewee may have influenced your approach to the interview and the content of your analysis.
  • Note your own interests, personal reactions and editing process that may have affected your interpretation of the narrator’s story.
  • Describe your learning experience in relation to the interview process and analysis or interpretation of the narrator’s story.




Grading criteria for assignment #1 apply to this assignment.


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