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ENGL 1102 - Abbott (Online) - Spring 2018: Historical Context

Timeline Assignment

Timeline Assignment

In the Historical Context Essay, you will be writing about the time period in which a literary work is written and possibly about the work's author. This assignment will be the first step in researching your topic. It will acquaint you with the time period and other aspects of the historical context surrounding the work you've chosen. It will also help you locate possible sources for your essay.

Step 1

Choose the literary work you will write about:

Step 2

Using overviews from Artemis Literary Sources, major events from the timelines in Modern History Online or American History Online, and author biographies from Bloom's Literary Reference Online, build a timeline that covers up to 50 years before the publication of your literary work and up to 25 years after it. Include 6-8 entries in your timeline. The only format restriction is to ensure readability. Each entry should include:

  • Title (i.e. The Treaty of Versailles, Donne's Wife Dies)
  • Brief description (3 sentences max)
  • Statement theorizing the effect on the author/literary work (i.e. Wilde's legal battles and eventual conviction causes the play to close despite it being very popular at first.)
  • Works Cited list entry for each entry, and in-text citations for sources with page numbers

Step 3

Using what you learned in creating your Timeline, determine whether you want to write about the intersection of the literary work with the author's life, or about how the work portrays the time period it is written in or set in. List your choice, then follow it with a Works Cited style list of 3 specialized encyclopedia articles that you could use for that topic. Hint: The easiest place to find these items is in the lists of Useful Databases to the right.

Step 4

Submit your completed timeline, including your potential sources list, to the D2L assignment folder

Useful History Resources

Historical Context Assignment

Historical Context 

Topic: This essay will explore the historical context of the literary work you used to complete the Timeline assignment. You cannot adequately discuss all aspects of historical context in one short essay, so you will need to narrow your topic. Do this by focusing on the historical context that relates to the theme of the work, or to one of its major motifs. 

Format: MLA format, Times New Roman, size 12, no cover page

Length: 3-4 pages

Use of Outside Sources: You must make appropriate use of at least four reliable, college-level sources. All of your sources should be credible, scholarly preferred, and at least three must be from a database within Galileo or be scholarly books checked out from a USG library. NO ordinary dot com sites (i.e. or Wikipedia pages should be used. General encyclopedias such as Encyclopedia Britannica and Funk and Wagnalls World Book, are not college-level sources despite being in GALILEO, and should not be used in this assignment. Specialized encyclopedias, such as The Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature, are fine.

Useful Literary Resources

Floyd Library - 706.295.6318 | Heritage Hall - 706.295.6321 | Cartersville Library - 678.872.8400 | Marietta - 678.915.5010 | Paulding Library - 678.946.1007 | Douglasville Library - 678.872.4237
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