Narrative Script for Pullman Research Paper

Step 6: Write a First Draft

Write an introduction that includes your thesis statement.

Kiran drafted an opening paragraph that she felt would appeal to her classmates because it described what they all had in common.

Most students in my grade probably love their grandparents if they're lucky enough to have grandparents, but that doesn't mean we like to visit their homes all the time. Most kids would prefer to stay in their own neighborhoods and hang out with their friends instead of going with their parents on a Sunday to visit their parents' parents. Of course, I can't say any of this to my parents, but it is the way I think. So you can imagine my surprise when I found myself actually interested in learning about the area where my father's mother lived. I was surprised to learn that in the 1960s, my grandmother stopped Chicago from knocking down the Pullman district (her neighborhood), so I wondered why she thought the neighborhood was worth saving and what has happened in the neighborhood since that time.

In her final paper, Kiran revised the introductory paragraph to eliminate the generalization most students; she elected to stick with first-person pronouns and to use nouns in place of pronouns that didn't point back to anything.

Insert your bibliography source card number and the page number (if available) after the ideas or quotations that need to be acknowledged.

Kiran used both primary and secondary sources to collect information for her I-Search paper. For her secondary sources, she was usually able to identify in parentheses the source and the page number where she found the information.

The people who worked for the Pullman Company and lived in Pullman Town described the town in negative terms: They called it feudal and paternalistic (4:35). By feudal, they meant that Mr. Pullman's relationship with his workers was like the unequal relationship between a lord in the Middle Ages and the peasants who worked on his land—the workers had little power and depended on Pullman for their livelihood. By paternalistic, they meant that Mr. Pullman acted like a father who expected them to obey him and never question him.

For her primary sources, Kiran identified only the number of the source—whom she interviewed or anyone else who helped her. She could not give page numbers for her primary sources.

My grandmother told me that she got involved with the Beman Committee in 1968. She explained that the committee was formed "to preserve the original character of Pullman" (1).

Later, Kiran would replace the number of the source with a person's name or the title of a book or another source.

If you are discussing events in a work of literature, write in the present tense. Use the past tense only to refer to historical events.

Kiran used both present-tense verbs (underlined once) and past-tense verbs (underlined twice) in her draft. The present-tense verbs refer to the draft Kiran is writing and to general truths. The past-tense verbs refer to events that took place in the past and are now over.

As I mention in the last paragraph, I began my research by interviewing my 74-year-old grandmother. Her name is Leila Nejaime. Her husband, my grandfather, passed away in 1998. She has only one child, my father. My teacher told us that when we interview one person, it may lead us to other people or places for more information.

Each paragraph in the body should include a stated or implied topic sentence that presents a main idea. The rest of the sentences should provide supporting details. Here, the first sentence is the topic sentence.

Edolphus opened my eyes to the architecture of Pullman. He made it very clear that even with a couple of areas ruined by fires, Pullman is "a top example of a preserved 19th century U.S. neighborhood" (Thompson). He helped me see that in a block of residences that look identical, the architects actually altered details from house to house so that people on the street would not get bored when looking at the houses. He pointed out that repainted trim on windows and doors now matches the red and two shades of green that were used by the Pullman Company in the 1880s.

Write a conclusion.

I said in my introduction that after my grandmother told me what she meant by "I helped save this neighborhood from the wrecking ball," I wondered if the neighborhood had been worth saving. I also wondered whether the neighborhood has been cared for sufficiently in the years since the 1960 threats to its existence. Now that I've talked with my grandmother, walked around the neighborhood with Edolphus, skimmed several books, read parts of two books and one article closely, and spent time on a reliable Web site, I can appreciate why Leila Nejaime wants to stay in Pullman rather than move to Evanston and why each year 100,000 tourists visit Pullman, according to the HPF. This neighborhood has lots of history and many reasons for people to feel attached to it. I've asked my father if we can buy tickets next fall to the annual Pullman house tour and party. I hope we can.

Follow the conventions for using direct quotations. Make sure that you clearly identify the source of the quotation.

Remember that speech tags, such as they said, must always be set off from the quotation. Note that in the first example, Kiran correctly separated the speech tag from the quotation by placing a comma before the words she said, and she followed convention by placing the comma inside the end quotation mark. However, if no speech tag is present and the quotation flows as a continuation of the rest of the sentence, as in the second example, no comma is required. In both sentences, Kiran correctly placed the parenthetical citation before the period.

"It's a neighborly kind of place," she said (1).
In Grandma's words, the purpose of the committee was "to preserve the original character of the Pullman district" (1).

Think about how you might use graphics to present information.

Kiran had several ideas for including graphics.

  • map of the Pullman district in Chicago
  • photos of homes in Pullman as they looked a long time ago
  • the Hotel Florence or the Clock Tower
  • drawing and audio clip about the Pullman Strike (1894)