1 – 2 pages, vertical page format, double-spaced, submitted in a way that the grader can make comments, etc.
Consider touching upon the following points:
1. How did her early experiences affect her art?
2. Compare her to your own musical likes/dislikes.
3. Does she remind you of some modern day tragic figure?
4. Was she a victim?
5. What of her choices in life?
6. What of some of the contradictions in her lifestyle?
7. How did her own understanding of her music affect her performances?
8. What is it about her singing that makes her such an important figure in this art form?
9. What of those in the film that were close to her and commented?
10. What of societal practices/attitudes at the time and their affect on her?
11. Why is she important in the continuum of Jazz History?
Or, anything else you might feel relevant. What’s important is an honest, cogent, concise response/discussion of what in the film resonated with you.
Have at it!!!
Also, here are some of the guidelines set down by Steve Hashimoto (my grader) and myself:
You are, of course, expected to address the assignment correctly in terms of the factual material and your understanding of it (that is, if dates are cited they must be correct, etc.). Some of the assignmentsâ€ parameters call for you to comment on things that arenâ€t exactly jazz-related (Billie Holiday or Charlie Parkerâ€s drug use, racism in society, etc.), but you must still put this in the context of JAZZ HISTORY; when talking about racismâ€s effect on Holidays life and career, for example, it would be good for you to mention the specific bands that she was singing with when those specific instances occurred. Several previous students have written wonderful papers dealing with the sociological and psychological issues that these musicians have endured, but received grades lower than they expected because they did not place such discussion within the context of the history of jazz. But even though this is a Jazz History course, you will also be graded on your grammar and writing skills. Your thought processes and the construction of the paper should be logical, and your spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax must be correct. Please try to avoid using slang or colloquial expressions (LOL, amazing, awesome, etc.) unless they are required within the context of the assignment (i.e., â€œCharlie Parker was often wasted on heroinâ€). This is a college-level course, and you are expected to be able to communicate professionally. The grading assistant tries to make very effort to take into allowance difficulties with the English language; if English is NOT your native language, please inform Professor Williams so that the grader can be aware of it. The grader welcomes communication from students if they feel that a grade is unfair; Professor Williams will make the final decision in such cases.
Plagiarism is a serious infraction of academic rules. Not only do we use software that detects it, but the grading assistant is well-acquainted with much of the reference materials. You are allowed to quote passages from reference materials AS LONG as you enclose the material in quotation marks and PROPERLY CITE the sources! Copying from other studentsâ€ papers is detectable by the software and will be penalized.
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billie holiday documentary essay .