Website (Web pages) Project Guidelines

The main project for the course will be a group website. Early in the semester, you will form two-person groups. Each group will then create a small website that will include a critical essay. You will use Expression Web to create the website, which is easy to use, but you will receive help learning how to design and create your website.

Why create a website as opposed to writing a course essay? A website allows you to go beyond an essay in exploring a topic. Information related to your topic and of interest to your readers that would not be relevant for a focused essay can be included in a website in other forms, such as a bibliography, web links, illustrations, and audio files. How that information is presented is also relevant, and a website connects various information in an interactive, flexible, and helpful way. Designing a website is also a creative way of presenting scholarly information, allowing you to express your aesthetic and imaginative ideas. Finally, a knowledge of computer technology is certainly necessary and helpful for all students, and even in the humanities, websites are an contemporary way of sharing information.

As for audience, I hope to link websites you create to my website. As opposed to a paper that only I might read, a website opens your work to many more readers. See the student websites link on my website.

Preliminary Steps
  1. Choose group members. Committing to your group and the project as well as conscientiously completing the website is important.
  2. Begin playing around with Expression Web to learn how to use it. Don't hesitate to ask me or friends for help.
  3. Begin thinking about paper topics. See below for more information.
  4. Begin preliminary research for your bibliography and your essay.
Website Content

1. Critical Essay--You are no doubt familiar with writing a critical essay that analyzes a literary work. The essay for your web pages should compare and contrast either OT or GE and an adaptation of one of those novels, either another novel or a movie. This essay does not have to be a research paper, although you may want to use secondary sources and/or cite from the Penguin edition introductions. In any event, include a work(s) cited "page" with your essay, even if you only cite the novel and/or movie you quote from. Your paper should address some of the issues we investigate this semester about adaptation.

The essay should be four, single-spaced pages, formatted for the website. This will be explained.

Be sure you have a topic that is narrow enough for the paper's length and that has a clear focus.

Finding a thesis: The single most important thing to remember about a critical literary essay is that it must make a point. What is the main point you are claiming in your paper? The statement that the paper's argument centers on is its thesis, which is not a personal reaction but instead should be supported by textual analysis. The thesis is different from its subject and topic:

Developing a thesis: Develop your thesis through clearly organized paragraphs (or blocks of argument). Be attentive to your readers; present your argument so that its logic and forward movement are clear. Be sure to back up your claims from the text: characters, incidents, dialogue, key lines or words. Give your readers enough material so that they can share your experience of the work and your conclusions. Remember, your paper should do more than simply paraphrase plot details and repeat class discussions.

Direct quotations emphasize key ideas or actions that would be lost by paraphrasing or summarizing. They also let the text "speak for itself" and allow readers to get a clearer understanding of the text. Use direct quotations to illustrate and to support your ideas, not as a substitute for your own thinking. Use them carefully, choosing those that reflect or reveal key ideas and actions with special emphasis or insight. If you can paraphrase or summarize a phrase or a passage without losing any effect or meaning, then you should probably not directly quote it.

Cite quotations using parenthetical documentation (MLA).

2. Bibliography--five to seven items--a balance of books and articles--with brief annotations. Use the MLA International Bibliography, EBSCO, JStor, and other library databases for articles. For books, use the UWSP electronic book catalogue. Sources can support your critical essay or focus on other issues concerning your novel/film. As for placement on your web pages, the bibliography should be listed as a separate link and put on a web page.

The following books are on reserve in the library. You can check them out for three days or use them in the library. Go to the circulation desk. The reserve section is behind the circulation desk.

Cartmell, Deorah, and Imelda Whelehan, eds. Adaptations : From Text to Screen, Screen to Text
Naremore, James, ed. Film Adaptation
Wagner, Geoffrey Atheling. The Novel and the Cinema

3. Links to other websites--These allow you to connect readers to information about your novels and movies. Again, think about how the specific information on the websites compliments your critical essay. Just as with the bibliography, you should provide a brief one-two sentence summary about the contents of each site. Assess websites carefully for credibility; avoid commercial sites that are not helpful or sites that offer only basic information, e.g., Wikipedia??

Audience: Consider who might read your website (student? faculty member?) and what a reader would want to learn (about literature? adaptation? history?).

Be sure to consult me throughout the semester whenever you need help or have questions.

Bibliography/Works Cited Page Information

See the MLA Information page, located under the "Resources" section.