Phase 2: Finding Helpful Resources

Updated 7 years 9 months ago

In Phase 1, I developed questions about my topic. This is Phase 2 where I will be reaching out to experts and sources in the village.

While researching for Phase 3, I used many keywords to find the information I needed to expand my knowledge on my topic. I order to gain a better understanding of what led up to Liberation, I used keywords like "Chinese Civil War" to learn more about the conflict between the two political parties, the CCP and the KMT. In order to learn more about these parties, I used words like "Chinese Communist Party" and "Kuomintang/Chinese Nationalists", along with researching people like Mao Zedong, Sun Yat-Sen, and Chiang Kai-shek. I found that Liberation was also called "Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949" so I used that term to do further research on the actual event. I also researched the new laws made at the time using key words like "Land Reform Law", "Marriage Reform/New Marriage Law". I also used general terms like "Chinese Reforms 1950s" and "Chinese Campaigns." After finding specific laws and campaigns I was able to learn more about the changes the country was going through at the time.

I think most of the sources I have used to learn more about my topic were quite reliable. I used sources, like Crash Course, that my humanities teacher has used in class. I cross referenced information from different sources to try to find more accurate information. I tried to pick sites that seemed more reliable and did my best to find publishing information along with cited sources, which was shown at the bottom of the articles. I used Wikipedia as a way to gain a basic understanding of different events, but always checked other sources and researched further.

For my expert, I chose to email Martin K. Whyte, a professor at Harvard whom I found on Google Scholar.

Dear Mr. Whyte,

My name is Eirean and I'm an eighth grade student at Shanghai American School. I'm currently participating in a program called Microcampus and will soon be leaving for the village of Xizhou in Yunnan. I would be honored to receive feedback on my project at To guide me as I research I have created a list of questions:
1. How did new laws and campaigns affect Xizhou? Which one had the most significant effect?
2. Did China's involvement in the Korean War affect the people living in Xizhou?
3. How did the majority of Xizhou view Chairman Mao and the Communist Party?
4. How did the majority of Xizhou view Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalists?
5. How did the aftermath of Liberation affect trade in Xizhou?
6. How did life in Xizhou before Liberation compare to life afterwards?
7. Did the quality of life improve after Liberation?
8. How did Liberation leave a lasting effect?
9. Did Liberation improve Xizhou's standard of living?
10. How did Liberation change women's rights and role?
Thank you for taking the time to look at this email.
Student of Shanghai American School, Middle School, Pudong Campus
My expert has not responded as of January 29th.
Next, I will be finding sources in Xizhou. These sources are also known as "Three to Fives" since we will be talking to 3-5 adults for 3-5 minutes.
I have talked to Mr. T, Mrs. Mai, and Mr. Craig for my 3 to 5s. I talked to Mr. T, not only because I was required to, but because he has been to Xizhou many times in the past and knows a lot about Xizhou's people and its history. Also, Mr. T has experience when it comes to helping students wth their inquiry projects. I chose to interview Mrs. Mai because I thought she would be familiar with Xizhou and the people living here. Lastly, I talked to Mr. Craig, the general manager of the Linden Centre. He has been living in Xizhou for quite some time now and he seems to know the village well.
Possible Resources/Connections/Notes from 3 to 5's:
  • elderly guard at Yangzhouran (already have his phone number, name written down in Chinese)
  • Mr. Duan, former government official and soldier
  • Mr. Linden, owner of the Linden Centre
  • Mr. Yang, former lawyer
  • visit Mr. Yang's barber shop and listen to what the elderly men say when they talk about that time
  • talk to elderly women to learn whether Liberation dramatically changed their lives or if their lives just stayed the same
  • What was Liberation? What were the people liberated from?
  • maybe focus on how daily life changed, not so much politics
  • Mr. Yang, the barber
  • meet people, ask about parents and grandparents
  • person must be at least 80 to remember that time period clearly
  • there is a place where elders congregate uphill
  • spend some time in mosque maybe, there might be older people there
  • Was the experience of Liberation different for the muslim community in Xizhou compared to the Bai people?
  • a video that Mr. T has that is about China's history
Another place where I could get more information about my topic is the Linden Centre library. I haven't looked through the books there yet, but I would look for books that were about the Liberation and how it might have changed a person's day to day life. I will now be moving on to Phase 3, where I will be keeping track of information that will hopefully help me answer my Big Questions (which can be found in my Phase 1).
Hey, I'm Marie! I was so lucky to live in Xizhou, even if it was only for a month. It was a lovely place with spectacular scenery and wonderful people. I don't think I could ever forget the things I experienced or the people I met while living in there. I honestly hope that I left a positive impact on Xizhou, because Xizhou definitely left a positive impact on me.