Skip Nav

Pat McNees

Legal Writing Center

❶The Art and Craft of Interviewing.

Main navigation

About Regent Prep
Writing Center Appointments
Still experiencing an issue?

All meetings are free and open to the public. At the sessions, writers read from works in progress and offer critiques for every stage of the writing process, from nurturing an idea into gestation to achieving its publication. To broaden and enhance the writing experience, the group also hosts guest professionals such as editors, instructors, and published authors. Bring eight copies of up to five, double-spaced pages any genre for constructive feedback, or just come to listen and get writing support and inspiration.

Gelia Dolcimascolo , writing tutor at Perimeter College, Dunwoody Campus, serves as group facilitator. The ability to write well is a communication skill highly valued in education, in the workplace and in the community. Thomas McNair Scott, pediatrician Obituaries and obit writing.

Shortly before Connie Dunlap died in October, she sat in front of a camera focused in a tight close-up and talked about her faith and how it shaped her battle against cancer Ken Kurita of Videon Productions teared up as he showed a video taken of his father, Dr. Kenji Kurita, who died in January. A daughter whose mother is 94 cares for the generations before and after her, living their lives and preserving their memories.

Can a memoirist write with total honesty if she is worried about what her son might think? How will you be remembered after you die? So you want to pay some attention to it while something can still be done. Bess Lovejoy, Mental Floss and here photos matter! But is anyone listening to Mormor? John took my life writing course, and his stories were excellent even then! How one woman chronicled her life in a series of sketches Sabine Durrant, Daily Mail, It was about honoring what we all overcome every day to be where we are Great story; amazing photographs.

Son and grandson ended up flipping through the pages for over an hour, and story after story rushed out. His grandson made a documentary of them. Then the stories about survival were often embroidered with lies and fabrication. The war was over, but we were different from other young people, quieter, more careful whom we talk to, feeling still unsafe. Many years passed, and now unexpectedly I found that there are others with similar pasts, and hidden memories.

The Art of Personal History , ed. How reliable are our memories how close to the truth? The story, with photos. Pieced together from Movietone News footage made available by the Moving Image Research Collections at the University of South Carolina, this short film features interviews with elderly people across the US shot in Mike Shatzkin, who blogs about publishing and digital change, posted this entry between engagements; it is a fascinating example of history made vivid through personal history.

Both finally have the time to explore and try to overcome memories of bad times in their relationship, and both realize the time remaining to mend their ways is short. Hagerty, Wall Street Journal, Workshops on writing your own obituary are helpful if you worry that your survivors will leave out facts and details about your life that they often may not even know about -- or that they will fail to capture the essence of your life.

You can probably find a workshop or a writer near you, to help you write yours. We can touch their surface, feel their weight. They do things that shape lives and events. Those aluminum cups that we always pulled out for outdoor picnics The mixing bowls in the kitchen, the colored blocks we stacked as toddlers, the funnies from the Detroit Free Press. The other was a victim. How their grandsons now create art together.

He was the son of Russian Jewish musicians who fled persecution during the Bolshevik Revolution, then moved around the world as Adolf Hitler began his rise — from Germany to France and, in , to Japan, where Shapiro was born.

Young speaks with Shapiro about his life and experiences during the war. Memoirs used to be the territory of the famous, the intrepid, or the afflicted.

Narrating, Navigating Adversity , about how we change our stories as life changes us. The tales we tell hold powerful sway over our memories, behaviors and even identities, according to research from the burgeoning field of narrative psychology. Do check out these photos, and read about the project: Then one man got him talking.

David Montero, Los Angeles Times, Sometimes memories are so painful that it takes patience and time to get the storyteller to let them unfold.

Can someone provide publishing details? A trove of s report cards and the stories they tell Paul Lukas, Slate, a series that starts and continues in July How I found the report cards, and how they changed my life. Searching for Marie Garaventa 3. Lucille Fasanalla saved the romper she made as a student at Manhattan Trade her whole life. Making stuffed animals for John and Caroline Kennedy.

Rose Vrana is She went to trade school in the s. I found her report card. Then I found her 7. The saddest story in the report cards I found—and how it came to have a happy ending.

Cook, Philadelphia Inquirer, philly. The result is a moving portrait of him. That is how I get through things. Roode, Modern Heirloom Books, We all take pictures of the milestones, big and little: But what of the everyday moments? The in-between that, really, is the essence of our lives? Louis Post-Dispatch, May Then the whole episode became an exhibit.

A New York Times investigation uncovers some of their stories and the failings of the system that put them there. She finds typing to be easier than holding a pen to write, but still saw her blog as private diary. How reminiscing and remembering the past helps seniors. Bohanek for Journal of Family Life Children benefit from knowing about their relatives.

Parents, Not Snapshots, Are the Way for Kids to Capture and Benefit From Memories" "Early memories have a higher likelihood of surviving when children are encouraged to talk about them soon after the event. Leiken, for her mother to answer each week. It then emails the questions to Ms. Mills, and when she replies, her answers go to her family and are stored on a website where they can read them privately. It is one of a handful of new companies focused on enabling people to collect their family histories.

He died at age 56 some 40 years ago, but the sculptures still live. Their Significance for Scholars by Jane F. Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. State folklorist Claude Stephenson trimmed oral portraits down to words timed at 1.

Very helpful for beginning personal historians and their clients. See how she reacts. My Life Films combine music, photos, clips and interviews to celebrate the lives of those with dementia — and help carers build better patient relationships.

This might explain why when one member of an older couple experiences a drop in cognitive function, the other soon follows. Our memory systems are more of a shared resource than we realise.

They can barely remember their pre-hospital lives and find it hard to imagine what might happen next. On a good day, storycare helps them to reclaim their sense of wonder and suspense--and, surprisingly, laughter--even in the midst of their suffering. Here are answers to frequently asked questions. I am mentioned in this piece, and colleagues Cheryl Svensson and Bill Erwin are quoted at length.

They fell in love. But as Newton-Small leafed through the lengthy form, she had a hunch that it was not the best approach.

The experience was so powerful that Newton-Small began compiling stories for others, first as a favour to friends and then as a start-up business that provides memory care facilities with online profiles Her vision was to create a personal oral history of each of the 10 elders, capturing their reflections on the past and the changes they had seen in their lives.

All were deported upon arrival in New York. For families and family advisors, we must at least attempt to address these story objects to avoid contentious issues later and perhaps build a more positive outcome for our families. And in doing so, we give these objects new purpose, and we give our family a shared story.

Story about the lovely book Terminal Island: Translating from speech to prose. Should also be read by all transcribers and personal historians. It may not have started out as my story, but when I chose to bring it into my life, it became part of it. We all write our own history, and our stuff is often the only thing left to tell that story.

On other topics, watch her after a short ad talk about What Others Will Think. Click on subheads and see what she says about Structure, Direction, and Details--all previews for her book, Thinking About Memoir. Stop tweeting, texting and multitasking for a minute. Instead, tell your story. Michael McQueen, Ode magazine , October I was struck by the things that were important to him but had gone unspoken, and by how much we had in common His mother was from Ireland but in his Italian family Ireland got short shrift.

Finally, he went there. Friedman NY Times, About the accuracy of nostalgia and how the brain records memories. More than have now been collected. Each year a prize is offered with the promise of publication, to persuade diarists to entrust their writing to the archive. Margot Friedlander hid for 13 months before being discovered in April and sent to Theresienstadt Concentration Camp in what is now the Czech Republic.

I had all these stories in my head. Everything started coming back to me, many things that I pushed aside for years. The group "focuses on the day-to-day lives and experiences of women and encourages them to write stories ranging from difficult subjects such as rape, abuse and terminal illness to the seemingly mundane and hilarious. Now comes the task of making amends. Passing it along to family members is probably the greatest thing you can do in your life. Offers no-cost seminars and workshops for members of the armed forces, active and reserve, who want to learn about writing in order to tell their stories.

Written by a veteran for veterans, it details the elements of craft involved in writing both fiction and non-fiction.

On Wrote by Rote. Semmes, Greenwich Citizen, What would you have done with such a discovery? Listen to 40 stories on Cowbird. Olive Lowe, Life Stories by Liv, "It is not what we experience, but the way we experience it, that makes our stories unique First and foremost, the goal of writing should be selfish—it is a therapeutic process, helping you reflect on, make sense of, and even find closure to events in your life.

Secondly, good stories deserve to be told, not necessarily on a loudspeaker broadcast to the entire world, but in meaningful ways to those close to you. Quite a Bit, Research Shows John Tierney, NY Times, Nostalgia, long considered a disorder, is now recognized to counteract loneliness, boredom and anxiety — making life seem more meaningful and death less frightening.

Tell stories about the memories those photos represent. Newman, Greater Good, If your life were a movie, where would the plot be headed right now?

Newman discusses three common life themes: We have to find our own ways to tell them. Similarly, see her previous book: Thoughts from a Queen-Sized Bed about what it means to be married for almost forty years.

Green, already adept at distilling, took Jack Daniel under his wing and, after the Civil War and the end of slavery, went to work for him in his fledgling whiskey operation. See examples on her website. Part 1 by Mary Patricia Voell Legacies, A Partial List Legacies, Practical tips for sharing the "release" of catch and release.

Are they yours to tell? By the third week of writing together, the girls -- mostly abandoned by their mothers who favored drugs or abusive boyfriends instead of their daughters -- were sitting in the laps of the older women, reading their new poems aloud. What is the engine that keeps you up late at night or gets you going in the morning? Where is your happy place? What stands between you and your ultimate dream?

One researcher believes that writing down the answers can be decisive for students. The concept is based on the idea that we all have a personal narrative that shapes our view of the world and ourselves. Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health Buster might actually remember some of the moments depicted in this film; some he might remember because of this film.

I will remember them all, having now engraved them in memory with crayon, paint and pencil. I expect all kids in the family to be responsible for it. After making two documentaries about families, Alan Berliner decided to make a film about his father and their family tree.

Did that make his father happy? And yet when my dad died in — same thing While capturing sound is now so easy, make sure you record the voices you will want to hear again. The sound alone will say everything someday. The Pop-Up Radio Archive, will support long-term online archiving of multimedia materials; a sensible, accessible, standardized system of organization, labeling, and tagging the metadata system ; and optional online publishing to make the resources available to the world.

With notebooks, tape recorders, and video cameras, families are coaxing a lifetime of memories from beloved relatives. No longer active but you can listen to stories from the archives. See its list of focused initiatives , such as the National Teachers Initiative , the StoryCorps Griot preserving the voices, experiences, and life stories of African Americans , and the Memory Loss Initiative. Storycorps recording equipment is available for interviews done at home see Rent a Storykit , but there is a waiting list.

The latest luxury for the fraction of the 1 percent who can afford their own planes, art collections and multiple homes is a personal keepsake that provides a lasting impression of those homes — one that requires putting down a serious amount of money. Marc, editor of Telling Lives: Marc, who is profiled here , has spent his career curating and creating intimate portraits of the lives of others.

Everyone, in their lives, is waiting for someone to ask them questions, so they can be truthful, he says, in explaining the blunt question he asked one famous person. Grimm polled colleagues about the best way to take notes during interviews and shares their advice. Top 10 Oddball Interview Questions for Glassdoor. Some of these may be useful in interviews geared to life stories. For those of us who want a life story to be a narrative, with a narrative arc of its own, and with lots of smaller stories within that framework, open-ended questions may be more helpful than fact-finding questions which you can fill in with later.

Questions for which there is only one answer, especially "yes" or "no," are not going to encourage the person interviewed to open up. What you want is something that will open the floodgates for storytelling, and, when you become more skilled, that can open targeted floodgates, so what you end up with is more coherent from the start.

It can be organized later. What you want is to get the stories and information flowing in ways that mean something to the storytellers, and that capture their ways of expressing themselves, their voice, their style, their take on the world. Below these links to questions are links to articles about how to interview successfully. You can download two PDF files: Give one piece of advice. Questions to ask at the dinner table.

See also his outstanding book: What Should I Ask? Major Life Events Susan A. Great advice from popular broadcasters about questioning strangers. Some interviewers offer tips and tricks on their craft, excerpted from articles at Transom and elsewhere.

When did you kill you wife? Includes a script of suggested questions. Excellent questions listed by categories: Duckles Thought-provoking social science type questions. Check out the questions to fill in the gaps in your family history.

Read how they do it -- how she gave them confidence with digital equipment and with talking to the public at events and on radio. Help elders bring history to life!

See also Lessons Learned: Handling Emotional Interviews, Part 2. This is for journalists, but some of the principles apply in personal history interviewing.

Daniel Jones, Modern Love, NY Times, , drawn from a study by psychologist Arthur Aron and others that "explores whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated by having them ask each other a specific series of personal questions. The 36 questions in the study are broken up into three sets, with each set intended to be more probing than the previous one. An Answer to Their Prayers? Books on interviewing those geared to journalists can also be helpful for personal history interviewers: Story and the Human Experience.

Herzig [Back to Top]. Getting to Know You: These are not in alphabetical order but mixed up to provide a variety of viewing experiences, with some of my favorites toward the top. Try to see the movie without knowing what the secrets are, beforehand. Listen to Polley on Fresh Air: When you do video captions,or subtitles for close-captioned videos, be sure that they are concise, appear on a contrasting background, and are large enough to be easily legible. Let them linger long enough to be easily read.

Advice from a pro. Social Documentary Network visual stories exploring global themes--investigating critical issues facing our world today Time Team Special 28 - Buried by the Blitz Shoreditch, London Video of an archaeological dig captures the stories of residents who lived near the area destroyed by the WWII blitz and survived it, to tell their tales Time Team Special 52 - Rediscovering Ancient Britain More Time Team specials Wikipedia links Hollywood life lessons Marie Rowe, TEDXLeamingtonSpa, One second every day Videomaker Cesar Kuriyama shoots one second of video every day of his life, and edits them together into a montage that prompts him to think how he approaches each day.

Capturing memories in video art Gabriel Barcia-Colombo. Using video mapping and projection, artist Gabriel Barcia-Colombo captures and shares his memories and friendships. At TED Fellow Talks, he shows his charming, thoughtful work -- which appears to preserve the people in his life in jars, suitcases, blenders Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper.

After the writer and theologian John Hull became completely blind in , he kept an audio diary of his experience. This film is a dramatization using those recordings. Street Photography Capturing the Essence of Childhood. In this short, powerful talk, the TED Fellow shares a deeply personal glimpse of an often-unseen world.

The subjects of the documentary series were 7 years old when it began; in the latest installment, 56 Up, they are well into middle age. The original idea behind the series was to examine the realities of the British class system at a time when the culture was experiencing extraordinary upheaval.

Available from third-party sellers on Amazon: Using photos, audio, and background music, the Breakstones created a slideshow with sound that really tugs at the heart. Better Said Than Done blog family storytelling videos. Documenting our American family heritage, one family at a time, and inspiring viewers to capture their own family stories - before those voices are gone.

Seeking families to add to the tapestry. Humans of New York a photoblog and book featuring street portraits and interviews collected in New York City. In this award-winning documentary, children in a fourth-grade class in a primary school in Kanazawa, northwest of Tokyo, learn lessons about compassion from their homeroom teacher, Toshiro Kanamori. He instructs each to write their true inner feelings happiness, irritation, gratitude, etc. By sharing their lives, the children begin to realize the importance of caring for each other.

Great idea, and a chance to see a teaching genius in action. Watch this moving sample part 1 of 5, here. And then part 2 , part 3 , part 4 , and part 5. Grandparents send awesome and awkward wedding toast this video gets franker and funnier toward the end, on Awkward Family Photos Point of Pride: On the same topic, eleven-part series by journalism students , chronicling the legacy of pollution left by industry.

Traces the life of Rosalie Wahl from her humble beginnings in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Kansas to her groundbreaking appointment to the Minnesota Supreme Court and explores the evolution of her social consciousness.

This is a perfect model of a great personal history video. See how the picture of his friend and caregiver is shown when he is talking about her--beautifully done,and illustrations from his works become the piece of his life that they were.

In this gem of a documentary, an Israeli filmmaker gently dismantles the past, revealing a hidden link to layers and layers of heretofore unknown family history. Scroll down to watch the trailer. The Father Michael Lapsley Story inspiring YouTube video doc about the Anglican priest and social justice activist in Capetown, South Africa, who discovered the power of story to heal emotional wounds.

He wrote about this in Redeeming the Past: Creating a video biography for your family or a client? You may commission a score or you may want to use "buy-out" music: An example of not-royalty-free music: Frank Sinatra singing "My Way. Read Why use royalty-free music? Here are sites some personal historians in video use with thanks to members of the Association of Personal Historians for the recommendations: Jason explains the difference between public domain, royalty free, and Creative Commons music and types of Creative Commons licenses; understanding whether your work is commercial or noncommercial; how to give proper attribution for music; and lists 31 amazing sites with free Creative Commons music.

Can I use any song with a CC license on it? See pricing for SonicFire Pro 6 , used by one of my favorite documentary makers. Finding vintage music from a particular year or place The Web is wonderful for tracking down music from a certain place or period, and often you can listen to the music. Here are some good sites and CDs for finding vintage music play it as background music as you write your memoirs or scan old photos for that photohistory.

You must verify that you have the right to reproduce sounds or images you find on the Web. Read the section on File Formats--Compression, to learn how in compressing a file you somewhat damage it, which is why professional photographers prefer TIFF files to JPEG files which are more compressed, and lose some of the image quality in the process. Image quality is more than a number Epson, PDF. For printing purposes, to reproduce a photo in 1: If your image does not have enough pixels at the printing size you are trying to enlarge it to, the image will be blocky and pixilated instead of smooth.

You can use this simple formula for determining enlargement pixels needed: Given that the average 35mm image area is 0. Prepare your pictures so they provide comfort—not a burden—to your children: For one thing, technologies keep changing, so the content stored has to be "migrated" to new technologies. Whatever you do, save the original document or photo in its paper form. Storing love letters, photographs and other important papers "So remember: No tape it sticks.

No paper clips or staples they can rust. And absolutely no plastic bins that can fill up with water. First in a series. Good lists of specialist organizations. Conservators-Converse , plus many other resources. Use them to find a conservator to help repair or restore old letters, etc. The best media and methods for archiving your data Jon L. If you want your data to survive the decades, you need to use the right tools. Nobody knows how to portray archivists and librarians on-screen.

Photo albums, home movies, handwritten letters, an unused old computer with important family documents still stored on it: We explore high and low tech ways to protect and store family memorabilia, and the smartest way to migrate different materials to digital formats. Joseph Berger NYTimes on how a year-old non-techie Hasidic Jew who runs a record shop in Brooklyn, with advice from some experts, used advanced audio restoration programs on a regular computer to get rid of the crackles and hisses in old recordings of a "Jewish Caruso," a "Cantor for the Ages.

Learn about the distinguishing characteristics of various print processes. The stock offers over a century of dye stability when stored in recommended environments Burge, Picture Framing Magazine, The PAT is "currently the only method available for predicting reactions photographic activity between display materials and photographs over the long term.

Watch Maureen solve cases on Photo Detective. Sign up for her free e-mail newsletter, The Photo Detective with tips and articles. Caring for Your Heritage Clarke Historical Library in Michigan on how to care for, copy, and store letters, diaries, books, and other paper items; photographs; VCR tape, etc. An Overview of the Archives Profession. Digitizing media Digital technology is great for sharing, but not for preservation. See also information on film preservation and various tips on transfering film, caring for originals, find a film transfer facility.

One colleague uses their binder slip case sets to organize documents. Springfield, VA http: See the New York State Archives for a fuller list with addresses of these and other vendors of archival supplies.

Some also use Bindertek , especially for binders. Always save the original element. See also, Part 2. Family history research gets a little overhyped on this celebrity-focused show originally on NBC, now The Learning Channel but it does make people think about their heritage. Listen to delightful archived interviews and talks.

But some new tools could help. Could well apply to family stories, too: Each month group members study one or two chapters of Professional Genealogy: See also FAQ and lesson samples.

A Guide to Genealogy hat tip to Bailey; includes links to excellent resources. Listen and watch, for example, to: A Search for Ancestors , talks about how a search for family, a genealogy hunt that becomes addictive and compulsive, can be turned into a compelling narrative.

On the very strong advantages of a desktop program over a website. Stratton and Henry B. Leslie Wittman created this family tree chart with photographs using Microsoft Publisher. On her home page she shows the chart animated with narration running beneath. See also Parallel and cross cousins explained and Cousin calculator. Kind of hard to trust this stuff since Ancestry. Here are links to a few discussions and reviews: Our expert guide InsideHistory. The membership activities have ended, but there are important links here to archives of genealogy resources in various U.

Megadirectory to genealogy and family history records, well worth exploring. New tools and expansive digital archives, including many with images of original documents, are helping genealogy newbies do research.

Military service records, immigration records, naturalization records, passport applications, land records, bankruptcy records. Between these years about twenty thousand English men, women, and children crossed the Atlantic to settle New England. For a century and a half genealogists have been studying these families, and thousands of books and articles have been published as a result. Like me, you may listen partly to enjoy the Irish storytelling and Irish accents.

But at 95, she discovered relatives she never knew. They can help you get access to public records to which a records custodian is denying you access. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. There are many more, of course. McIntosh, Staten Island Advance, The long-ago abandoned search for a sibling, separated early in childhood, is successful once the Internet makes searches easier.

Joshua Taylor and Susan R. And Henry Louis Gates Jr. Gisele Grayson, Shots, Health Inc. But the ways the companies analyze the genes leave lots of room for interpretation. So, he says, these tests "would be most accurate at the level of continental origins, and as you go to higher and higher resolution, they would become less and less accurate.

The ancestry tests also have to take into account the fact that humans have been migrating for millennia, mixing DNA along the way. This guide will help. All five DNA services we tested involve compromises, and you should keep in mind that the TV ads for these companies suggest a level of certainty that is well beyond the science upon which current tests are based.

But DNA testing can also yield uncomfortable surprises including "extramarital affairs, out-of-wedlock births and decades-old secrets".

Read the comments, also. Thanks, Linda Coffin, for the lede. Some are licensed only to institutions, but may be accessible through a public or university library or a Family History Center.

Top ranking family history site in this review of top-ranking genealogy search sites. But make digital copies of your own and keep at least one print copy of everything. After you submit your search query: On the Refine Search results page, select one or more categories of products or services from the left sidebar.

Then for a category with search results, click Select to choose your product and release filters, and then click OK. How do I find the documentation for my product or service? If you do not know which category to pick, try the following features: Click the Find a product tab and search for your product or service. Version 6 Google Chrome: Version 29 and later Mozilla Firefox: Version 24 and later Microsoft Internet Explorer: Version 9 and later.

Regents Prep Exam Subjects and Lessons

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

The Writing Center in Butler Library offers an array of free services to assist students throughout all stages of the writing process. Tutors are available to help students with: brainstorming.

Privacy FAQs

Writing Help Central first came online more than a dozen years ago. From the very beginning, this site was designed to be your one-stop practical writing help portal offering tips, advice, pointers, information and templates for all types of personal, business, and educational writing.

About Our Ads

Still experiencing an issue? Sometimes problems are caused due to outages and they can manifest themselves in a variety of ways. Check out our status page to see if it's causing your issue. get help with writing The ability to write well is a communication skill highly valued in education, in the workplace and in the community. Visit Our Online Learning and Tutoring Center.

Cookie Info

The tutors in the Writing Center can help you develop strategies for planning, organizing, drafting, and revising papers, reports, or other documents. The Writing Center offers free help with writing at any stage of the writing process for any member of the university community. During our sessions, consultants can work with you on anything from research papers to lab reports, from dissertations to résumés, from proposals to application materials.