Written Assignment–Surviving Disasters & Community Trauma
By this point in the class, you will have learned about different disasters that have affected communities around the world. Though we have had some time to hear the voices of those who have survived some of these events, we don’t have the time to thoroughly investigate a wide array of possible kinds of disasters and the stories of those who have survived them. This assignment presents an opportunity to learn more about the experiences of Survivors and to consider what variables may have impacted that experience.
Step one: Decide on a particular disaster event (through research, experience, or something you’ve heard about in class or through the media)
Step two: Gain some understanding through some nominal research about this precise event. You might delve a little further into how events like this one impact people more generally (e.g. is it an Earthquake? A Tsunami? A terrorist incident? A plane crash?). Each type of event can have different repercussions. Keep in mind that every event is unique and every individual experience is unique, though some patterns do exist when looked at the population-level.
Step three: Utilize web and scholarly research to identify articles, videos, radio broadcasts, interviews, etc, to learn about the event and hear Survivor stories.
Step four: Think about how you might personally have been impacted by such an event. Think about the story the Survivor is telling, and drawing from lectures on Common Reactions to Trauma . try to identify the expressed needs and/or outcomes of individual stories. You may zero in on one or two stories, as it might not be easy to find Survivor stories or interviews. But you need to listen to or watch at least one. Take notes.
Step five: Write a synopsis of the disaster incident. Write about the survivor story and 1) what makes those experiences & reactions generalizable (as commonly seen reactions), and 2) and also unique (based on that person’s own history, risk factors, or whatever you can actually glean from the story).
Step six: Look through your notes and/or listen to the story again. Take note of emergent themes that are raised in the conversation, i.e., the emotional reactions given the nature of the event (positive? Negative?); coping styles or strategies; emotional changes over time; access to resources; financial burdens; bereavement or loss; etc. and take note of how and when these themes come up.
Step seven: Write your narrative paper with a clear introduction, background section, methodology section, and discussion section and write a concluding statement.
What can you bring to this situation and analysis? What have you learned so far in the course to inform your view of this individual’s narrative?
Writing Style: Remember to keep your writing clear and concise. Eliminate anything that is superfluous to the story you are focusing on.
Format: This paper must be written in Times New Roman, 12 point font, single spaced, and can be no more than three pages, not including any references you might have. Use APA Style to write references. (See APA Style Guide).
References: Include each and every reference you used, including YouTube videos and media clips. Be sure to include at LEAST 3-5 references and sources.
Rubric: Total of 15 points possible
5pts – Content / Material used –richness of research and content.
5pts – Analysis/Discussion –What can you bring to the table? What have you learned? What observations can you make based on your knowledge, experience or intution?
2 pts – Format/Structure/Organization — Is this paper clear, concise and carefully organized?
2 pts – Grammatical construction – Grammar is very important for your writing! If you are unsure, make sure you have others review and edit your writing.
1 pts – Citations/References – This includes citations & references and whether they are cited properly (APA style)
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