final project

There is no one template for your final projects for this course:

  • some will write traditional essays, and some digital projects
  • some will do individual projects, and some in pairs or groups
  • some will do extensions of the projects we’ve already done, and some will pioneer into new areas

But I want to give some sense of the bar you must clear and some sense of how I will evaluate your projects, so here goes:


  • if you write a research paper, it should be at least 3000 words (about 12 pp. with a normal font/margins) and consult at least 5-7 sources. You are free to choose the topic, and I strongly encourage you to consult with me on it via email or in office hours.
  • If you do a digital project, the project should require a comparable amount of work to this kind of essay. This amount will depend on whether you’re working alone on in a pair/group: obviously groups will produce something that requires x amount of work per member, with x being the equivalent of a 12-pager.


  • for research papers, consult my handy one-pager laying out expectations for excellent essays
  • for digital projects, criteria will vary according to the aims and demands of the particular project, but I will certainly consider the following:
    • design: is the object easy to navigate and clearly organized? Does it have mistakes in its text, broken links, or other infelicities? Does it use a platform or technology that is appropriate to the message it seeks to convey?
    • argumentation: does the object have a clear argument or narrative? Does it take users from point A to point B in a clearly articulated way?
    • audience: does the object communicate to a well-defined audience? Is it properly pitched to that audience?
    • reflectiveness: Is there some kind of reflective writing that contextualizes the object for its audience (or analyzes it for my benefit)? Do the authors (or author) show an awareness of how the object relates to other similar efforts in circulation, or to the long history of reading we’ve examined in the course?


  • proposal due 11/1 on blog:
    • max 1000 words
    • careful description of a topic with a clearly defined objective or research question
    • brief mention of a few relevant sources you’ve found, or, for some projects, relevant examples of other sites or digital objects
  • optional submission of draft or intro or piece due 12/6
  • final due 12/17 (the Friday after our last meeting together)

I’m jotting  a running list of topics as I think of them (or you suggest them in class); feel free to withdraw or deposit new ideas: here’s a doc I’ve started in our Commons group, which you can freely edit. And here’s a bibliography that might have helpful materials for your project, via the bibliographic interface Zotero. If you join it, you can contribute to it; if you don’t, you can still read and sort the cites. To join, click the JOIN or REGISTER buttons in the upper right, depending on whether you’ve got a Zotero account already.