An oral history – a spoken account of _______________ – is a document that begins with a narrator (the person speaking) and the interviewer.
And it's pretty simple to create – if you have an experienced interviewer to help the narrator speak freely and truly about themselves and their life.
An oral history
The best oral history documents are the result of trust, _______ and ____ –
. . . personal essays, critical essays, book reviews, feature articles and news stories
. . . on arts, travel, education, sports, food, government, books, business,
. . . in The Boston Globe, Boston Globe Magazine, Reader's Digest, and other magazines and newspapers
in DFM's words
"We all hear and speak 'oral histories' in our lives, because we all tell stories about something that happened to us.
"My first paid published work, when I was 22, was a humorous essay on baseball that appeared in Ford Times magazine – "Ford" as in the car. But it was when I had an (also-humorous) op-ed piece in the Boston Sunday Globe – a paper I had read many times, and seen in other people's hands, and that on one glorious Sunday had transformed something 'clack-clacked' out on my portable typewriter to something read by strangers around New England – that I felt that, 'Hey, maybe I am a writer?'
"I began working full-time at newspapers. I also wrote fiction – short stories and a novel – none of which were published. This experience taught me about creativity in writing. It also taught me to stick to nonfiction writing. And working full-time at newspapers taught me about discipline and deadlines, but also that I was not a reporter who writes; I'm a writer who reports.
"When I returned to my alma mater to study for my graduate degree, I again took every writing course I could, and also squeezed in an Independent Study. I had just begun teaching, and a serendipitous combination – teaching writing, studying writing itself and the teaching of writing, and actually writing –
helped me become a better writer. I had gone back to school to get a credential to teach others to write better; the unexpected bonus was that it taught me what I planned to teach others.
"I feel fortunate that I was able to become a writer, and if I had a tattoo, it might say Born To Write. I will never have a tattoo. But, if I do . . . "