1. Write a biographical sketch of a famous person who is no longer living, using at least three separate sources that are reliable and relevant. Since the length of this paper does not allow you to cover his or her entire life, focus on a specific event, a worthy characteristic, or an outstanding achievement that you can discuss in detail. Make sure that you follow MLA
guidelines for in-text citations and the Works Cited page
. 2. Write a biographical sketch of someone who is not famous and who is no longer living, but who has had a direct or indirect impact on your life. As in topic #1, focus on a specific event, a worthy characteristic, or an outstanding achievement that you can discuss in detail. For this topic, you may use your own memories as one of your “sources,” but you must include at least two other sources (such as letters, interviews with friends or family members, or newspaper articles). Make sure you follow MLA guidelines for in-text citations and the Works Cited page.
3. Watch the documentary What I Want My Words to Do to You that is available in the HCCdatabase Films on Demand. As you watch the film, choose one of the women as the topic of your essay. Discuss the details of her crime and your thoughts about it. What questions and/or opinions do you have about her trial and punishment? What ideas do you have about our criminal justice system based on her case? Is “justice being served”? For this section of your essay, you may want to research a brief “follow up” on her story. What has happened regarding her case since the documentary was made. Discuss the value of her writing as an exercise in communication for her, her fellow inmates, and the viewing audience. In other words, how effective is her writing? What does she seem to gain by it? What do others gain by it? Does the documentary succeed in illustrating the importance of such educational programs in prison?For examples of a brief biographical sketch, check out one of the following articles: http://www.npr.org/2010/12/06/131812500/israel-kamakawiwo-ole-the-voice-of-hawaiihttp://www.history.com/topics/black-history/jackie-robinsonhttp://www.biography.com/people/rosalind-franklin-9301344
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