Frank Goss (b. 1896): Researching Writing Lives

Contributing to the Writing Lives website has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience, writing about certain aspects of Frank Goss’s life each week has been very thought-provoking and quite fascinating. I was delighted to be given the opportunity to write about his life and share it with others through a certain number of blogs each focusing on a different topic. Over the course of the module I found myself becoming more and more interested in Goss’s life and I found it to be a very fascinating read. I enjoyed reading about his relationship with his family and I found it particularly significant that despite their dire poverty they still remained close and united. I also looked at the different housing they lived in and did some further research on the working-class. By doing this research, it allowed me to gain a clear idea of working-class communities and see how close-knit they were compared to the middle-class.

I feel that I have contributed to public history a detailed author blog with lots of interesting topics to read about. Goss’s memoir is filled with beautiful quotations and very descriptive pieces of writing. I picked out certain quotations to use in my writing as well as secondary sources that I felt were relevant to the topics I looked at. This module has taught me a lot when it comes to research such as using images and secondary sources. For each theme I spent a lot of time trying to find the right image and a particular quote that would fit with my blog. I found myself becoming more and more selective with the material I used as I wanted to make sure that it was relevant to the topic. I mainly wanted to find images that were around the same date and location as Goss’s memoir. That way my blog post would be more accurate in representing what Goss is describing in his memoir.

I have gained valuable experience and skills in blogging. Prior to this module, I had no experience of blogging and was hesitant to start this module because of this. However, I found it to be a very enjoyable experience and found that my writing improved with the more blogs I wrote. I also thought that the layout of my blogs improved as I began to consider where I wanted the images. For example, if I used three images I placed them in the relevant paragraphs so my readers could look at the image as they read about it. I found that I was also able to quickly pick out quotations from secondary sources and this will benefit me greatly in the future.

This module has taught me valuable skills in how to use Twitter to address certain audiences. I had previous experience of social media such as Twitter but I had never used it to promote any of my work or other people’s work. I was surprised by how many people actually used Twitter for promotional purposes and I would definitely use it again in the future for this purpose. By using the hashtag and tagging the Writing Lives Twitter account in my tweet, it enabled me to promote my work further to a wider audience. From this module I will take away a number of skills that will benefit me greatly when it comes to my career and I am certainly interested in looking at blogging again in the future.

Bibliography:

Goss, Frank. ‘My Boyhood At the Turn of the Century’. Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiography, University of Brunel Library, Special Collection, Volume Number: 0.313194444 http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/handle/2438/10909

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