Blogs 40%
Seminar Essay 20%
Final Project 20%
Participation 20%

For the duration of the semester, you will keep a blog—responding to course readings and sharing informal writing with classmates. Each student will post two entries per week (see Calendar for assignments) and a minimum of two comments on others’ entries per week. (Feel free post more!) The blogs are intended to give you a place to write informally, communicate with an audience in mind, experiment with ideas and styles of writing, and digest ideas we explore in the course. Experiment. Have fun. When I evaluate your blogs, I will be looking for sincere effort and critical engagement, not polish, structure, or mechanics.

Attendance and participation are necessary in order for us to form a productive classroom community, where we all learn from each other. I understand that life will make an occasional absence necessary. Whenever possible, please inform me in advance if you will be absent. In general, plan to attend every class meeting and to arrive on time. Keep in mind also that attendance and participation will comprise a significant portion of your course grade.

You will devise your own research project, on a topic that grows out of or is relevant to course readings and discussions. You’ll complete the essay in a series of stages (mostly on your blog, as indicated on the Course Calendar): Project proposal, annotated bibliography, annotated paragraphs, analysis of passages (both literary and critical), draft, revised essay, and final project (see below).

Final Project: For your final project, revise the materials from seminar to create a section of our course web page on your research topic. In addition to the above assignments, you might also add Pages with historical context, analyses of your subject from other perspectives, visual information like graphs or images, and links to relevant materials on the web. Introduce your website with an “about” explaining the process you went through to create your digital portfolio, describing the strengths you have gained by producing this project and the challenges you still face as a writer.

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