HSTY 120 Final Reflection

This semester has not gone as any of us had planned, not least because our work has been interrupted in an unprecedented way (world-historical calamities are like that). So in lieu of a formal assignment, you should write a reflection on autobiographies as historical sources and the themes we’ve discussed in the course. You can therefore take this as an opportunity to consider what was most meaningful to you from the course. You may want to write using one or more of the following questions as prompts:

  • What can we learn about a person’s life by reading an autobiographical account?
  • How can an autobiography help us to understand historical events?
  • Which analytical tools did you find most helpful in reading autobiographies? Which did you find least useful?
  • What readings did you find most meaningful this semester? Why?
  • What were the most important things you learned this semester?

This list is not meant to be exhaustive but merely a set of starting points for you. The idea is to be reflective and engage with the course material in a meaningful way.


This is a relatively informal assignment, but you should still write it in paragraphs as an essay. In terms of grading I am most interested in what you have to say rather than the technicalities. That said, here are some guidelines:

  • The essay is due by the end of the exam period assigned to the course by the Registrar’s office.
  • Aim for at least 1,000 words.
  • Refer to course readings when appropriate. When you do, be sure to cite them in an appropriate and consistent format.
  • You should only need to use course readings. The assignment is about reflecting on what we’ve done rather than researching something new.
  • The essay should reflect your own thinking and work. This is important: we still abide by the standards of the university’s academic honesty policy.