Your semester group project will be the design of web pages for a novel of your choice, one that we will read this semester. (See the syllabus for choice deadline.) Your web pages--or website--may become part of my website on a page dedicated to student projects about the English novel. (See the Students Projects menu)
WHY THIS PROJECT?
In addition to writing a collaborative course research paper (which you will submit separately), your group will also design web pages to complement this essay. These pages will include a summary of the novel you choose. a scholarly bibliography, and web links of both scholarly and general interest. An online format opens up greater potential for an audience. Your web pages, then, present readers with a more comprehensive and creative way to experience your novel. Designing these web pages will 1.) give you a potentially large, real audience who can access and read your essay and pages any time, 2.) make you aware of the growing interest in online formats for the humanties, 3.) allow you to combine your essay with other information about your novel to enhance the reader's knowledge and understanding of the novel, author, and historical and social context of the novel, and 4.) give you knowledge about and practice designing web pages, which may very well be helpful with your career choice.
Assessment Criteria: 1.) Appropriate Context: Defined Below 2.) Evidence of Effective Design Principles: Consistent Menu, Appropriate layout of text/use of space, Use of pictures, Readability, Creativity
When you design your web pages, you need to consider your readers.
Who will want to read your pages? For what purpose? What
expectations will they have in terms of how to navigate your pages and their
What types of websites are they familiar with/used to reading? You can consider a popular audience with a general interest in literature, but you should also consider an academic audience as readers of your pages. Each of these groups will have some different expectations about navigation, readability, content, and aesthetics.
Of course, accommodating readers does not mean you cannot challenge readers and "bad" design habits. We'll talk more about these issues throughout the semester.
Content of your web pages will include three pages: a(n) 1.) two-paragraph summary of your novel--your home page, 2.) annotated scholarly bibliography, and 3.) interesting, current, relevant links about your novel, its author, its historical and social context, and the history of the English novel. These items should complement each other as they complement your essay.
Summary of the novel (This will be your home page)
- Two-paragraph summary of your novel
Annotated Bibliography (page two)
- Minimum three sources (use MLA Handbook, 8th edition)
- Sources will most likely be journal articles, but you can include essay collections or perhaps a book--if you have time to read these. No websites here.
- Consider credibility and currency of sources
- Sources here cannot be sources you use for your essay. These sources should focus on aspects of the novel you are not writing about in your essay but relevant for the novel.
- Annotations should be two-three sentences, capturing the article's thesis.
Relevant, interesting websites (page three)
- These websites can give historical/social content and background for your novel, information about the author, and help contextualize your novel within history of the English novel. Consider the relationship of these website to your essay and bibliography.
- Links can be scholarly but also fun, perhaps related to travel or cultural events (e.g., a museum). Avoid common or general websites, such as online encyclopedias. See the Students Projects menu on the course website for examples--but don't copy these.
- Minumum four website links required. Include a brief one-to-two sentence description of the website's contents for readers
Throughout the semester, we will spend some time as a class learning principles of web design and how to use WordPress. The first half of the semester you will become familiar with WordPress as well as some basic principles of web page design. Then by the second half you will begin designing specific web pages for your project based on the specific content you develop--based on the novel you choose to work with.
Christina Streiff, Library Web Content Manager, will be helping you with web page design principles and with using WordPress. She will conduct several sessions for you and be available throughout the semester for consultation.
Christina's email: Christina.firstname.lastname@example.org
For help with WordPress, go to
The go to the Support menu, then Basic Usage. Then explore: First Steps with WordPress, Writing Posts, and Pages
The due date for your web pages will be posted on the syllabus--most likely due during finals week.