Slave Narrative Assignment

Audience: The class and instructors of college-level English and history

Purpose: To display your knowledge about the slave narratives chosen, and to communicate that knowledge in an interesting way.


There are three parts to this project: a prospectus with annotated bibliography, a presentation, and a paper.  The prospectus with annotated bibliography, the presentation, and the paper will all be graded separately.  Each has its own grading rubric.

Although the presentation is a group project, each person is responsible for writing their own annotated bibliography and research paper.

  1. Select Narrative: Each group member will select a slave narrative. Please choose an narrative that is not “famous.”  Our goal is to highlight unknown narratives.
  2. Write Prospectus with Annotated Bibliography: Each group member must write a one paragraph prospectus with research question and create an annotated bibliography with ten sources.  Sources and images may relate thematically and/or specifically to the narrative you have chosen, and must be cited in MLA Style both in-text and on your Works Cited page. Sources must include:
    1. at least one reference source (encyclopedia, dictionary, etc.),
    2. at least two tertiary sources (academic journals or reviews),
    3. at least three secondary sources (books, magazines, newspapers)
    4. the primary source (the narrative website),
    5. at least three photos, illustrations, or tables.  Please make sure these are directly relevant to your presentation, and not generic images about slavery.
  3. Groups Decide on Presentation: Once groups are formed, the groups will look at each member’s annotated bibliography and decide upon a unifying theme and a creative way in which to present the material.
  4. Film Presentation: The presentation must be filmed in a digital format so it can be uploaded to your blog.  You may film with a digital video camera, a graphics camera on your computer, or with the video feature on your phone.  I am most interested in the information presented, not the quality of the film.  Therefore, I should be able to clearly hear the information presented and see any graphics provided.  Each group should present the findings in a creative manner.  Digital presentations will be played in class during assigned presentation time.
  5. Participation and Credits: Each group member MUST actively participate in the presentation. A credits list must be included in the final copy of the presentation.
  6. Upload Presentation: Each group member is responsible for uploading a copy of the presentation to their WordPress e-Portfolio.
  7. Write Research Paper: Using your annotated bibliography, write a 3-5 page research paper about the slave narrative you have chosen.  Make sure the paper is in MLA style, including at least five sources from your annotated bibliography in your in-text citations and included on your Works Cited Page.  The paper must be turned in via InSite.



Each presentation/paper must include the following information:

  • Who was the narrative about?
  • Was the narrative written by a slave or by another author?
  • What was the purpose of writing down this narrative? (How was the author intending to use this narrative?)
  • Who is the intended audience?  (Keep the historical date of publication in mind)
  • How does the author appeal to the audience?
  • Was this narrative endorsed?  If so, by whom?  What is the history between the endorser and the endorsee?
  • Why do you think you have never heard of this narrative before?

How long does this presentation have to be?

Each group will have 10-15 minutes to present. Decide on the creative aspect of your group and make the presentations lively, entertaining, and most of all informative. The audience should learn something from your group’s findings, so be creative. You may perform a skit, report the news, create a reality show, use clips, music, etc. The sky’s the limit.

%d bloggers like this: