Competency Documentation

Research Paper: "Writing for Literature"
Fall semester, 2000


In the fall of 2000, I attended classes via the Internet and through the local community college in order to get my teaching certificate current. One of the classes I took was "Writing for Literature," for which we had to write a 10 page research paper. I chose to research and write about Athol Fugard, a South African playwright who spoke out against apartheid through the stories he told in his plays. My instructor asked me if she could publish the finished paper in the college newspaper. This is the only form of the paper I have available, and no "Works Cited" page was included.

Because I live in a very small town with a limited library, finding sources for this paper was difficult. The librarians had never heard of my chosen playwright, but they were very helpful in securing any books I needed through inter-library loan. Between the small local library's help and the information I was able to secure at a larger library in Spokane (70 miles away), I was able to compile ample information for this paper. By the time I had submitted my rough draft to my instructor, all the inter-library loan books were returned, leaving me with no resources to answer the one question my instructor had on my rough draft. I had quoted Fugard as saying that his mother, though an Afrikaner, was "color-blind," but that his father, an Englishman, was "an unabashed bigot." The instructor wanted to know more about this statement, and I had no way of retrieving the needed books in time to research further and still get the paper completed in time. So ...I did a little sleuthing and was able to find someone who was willing to forward on an email to Mr. Fugard himself. Within 24 hours, I had an emailed answer back - from the playwright himself!