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Your research should include 3-5 sources, including at least one scholarly biography and one
primary source. The primary source is a book, memoir, letters, or other writing by the woman
After you have done your research, write a biographical essay of approximately 1,000 to 1,500
words (4-6 pp.) (plus notes and bibliography). The key question you want to answer is:
Why should we know more about this woman’s historical accomplishments?
Relate the woman’s life to key issue(s), actions, or themes associated with her life and times as
well as the early influences on her life, significant event or events in her life, her values or goals,
major challenges, outcome, influence, or contributions of her life. As much as possible, the essay
should be analytical rather than descriptive (that is, it places the woman in her times and
considers her impact rather than simply giving facts about her). Some questions you may want
to consider include:
1) What were the expectations for women of her nationality and class in this time period?
2) Did she meet these expectations or break them?
3) What were the formative experiences or individuals in her life?
4) What were her values and philosophy?
5) Did she overcome personal or societal odds in order to accomplish what she did?
6) Did she generalize from her life experiences to consider the condition of all women?
7) What was her legacy or impact on society, politics, or culture and/or on women’s
Citations and bibliography
Cite all quotations and specific arguments or original research about your subject in footnotes.
You may use the format of your choice (Chicago, MLA, or APA), but use it consistently. Here
are some online guides for citation formats:
At the end of your essay, include a bibliography, in three sections with these titles:
1) Writings by [your subject]
2) Scholarly books and articles
3) Online resources