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Team Project Team Project

Students will group into teams of 3 to 4 each. Each team will design a project exploring one of the alternative paradigms of literary interpretation discussed in the course (e.g., text analysis, data mining, graphing, mapping, modeling, simulating, gaming, deformance, etc.). Teams will be formed up in Class 3. [Note: Students wishing to create a project in direct support of their dissertation may choose to work solo.] Grading: 50% of the final grade of each student will be based on the team-wide grade for the project.


Preparatory Tasks

Projects are due at the end of the quarter, but they require preliminary tasks on the following schedule (team assignments can be adapted into solo assignments if a student chooses to work alone):


  1. Class 3: Teams to be formed in class on this date.
  2. Class 4: By this date, teams must meet at least once outside class to brainstorm face-to-face.
  3. Class 5: By this date, choose a literary work (or part of a work) that your team will focus on. Teams will present their candidate work to the class along with the reasons for its selection. For the presentation, prepare summaries, excerpts, citations, and/or screenshots of the work as appropriate on the team project page (so that people who don't know the work can get a sense of it and follow your presentation). In addition, teams should present at least two ideas for a team project based on the chosen literary work. Be prepared to answer the question "why?" That is, have at least an initial hypothesis about what a project-idea might accomplish for our understanding, appreciation, of use of the literary work (or of literature in general).


Final Tasks (Class 10)

Due to the shortness of development time during a 10-week quarter, teams are not necessarily expected to finish with a fully-realized, working product (though, of course, the closer to that goal the better). Instead, the goal is to finish with a publicly presentable "prototype," "demo," "model," "maquette," "draft," or whatever similar term fits the nature of the project. During the last week of the course (Class 10), teams will make formal presentations of their prototypes. By the formal presentation date, teams must have ready the following:


  1. A cohesive, well-designed project page on the course wiki that presents (or links to) the prototype and explains it. (If you were to pitch the project to a funding agency or venture capital firm, this is the make-or-break page.)
  2. The prototype itself, existing in some combination of specifications, sketches, images, videos, web sites, demos, etc. (Projects requiring high storage capacity may need to be put online on student UWeb or other sites outside this wiki.)
  3. An annotated bibliography of books, essays, software, other projects, etc., related to the project (created by linking to, or consolidating individual "Annotated Bibliography" assignments; see below). Teams will present their projects formally to the class in Class 10. Presentations should be tightly scripted, and should be timed to last no longer than 20 minutes.


Solo Assignments Solo Tasks

Besides team work, each student has individual assignments that contribute to the class as a whole or to their team project but that are individually graded.  A total of 50% of the final grade for each student derives from these solo assignments.


Student Bio

  • Class 2: By this date, each student will create a bio for the course wiki, including their intellectual interests. (To create your bio page, follow the instructions on the Class Members page.)


Annotated Bibliography

  • Class 6: Create an annotated bibliography of 5 research resources related to your team's project. An item, for example, might be an essay, book, online or software tool, web site, related project, suggestive paradigm, etc. (See definition and examples of annotated bibliographies.)  At least one of the items must be a description with screenshot of an online or downloadable tool (usable by non-programmers on a free, low-cost, or trial basis) that is a candidate to be added to the Toy Chest.  (Also acceptable in this regard: deeper or alternative descriptions of tools already included in the Toy Chest.) For ideas of tools to research for the Toy Chest, see Toy Chest Candidates). (10% of final grade) 


    An annotated bibliography entry for an item consists of the following:  

    • A bibliographical citation (choose a citation style suited to your discipline or project).  [For MLA style, see MLA Handbook.]

    • A 200-600 word objective description or abstract, including quotations, links, or screenshots as necessary (aim for one double-spaced page as the average for each entry).  Descriptions should be tightly and carefully written.


Note: It is fine for more than one student on a team to include some items that are the same in their bibliography, so long as each student's annotations/descriptions of the items is different. (Post your annotated bibliography on the wiki by following the instructions on the Annotated Bibliographies page.)


Research Report

  • Class 7: Choosing one of the items in your individual annotated bibliography, write a 4-page research report on it that includes the following sections (15% of final grade):
    • Abstract (100 words or less). [An abstract is an efficient thumbnail summary of the item being reported on--a so-called "executive summary."
    • Description. The description is a fuller objective explanation of the item being reported on (basically: who, what, when, how, and/or why). It may include portions of the annotation you previously wrote for your annotated bibliography as well as quotations from the item in question (if properly cited). Please include screenshots or other images where appropriate. The goal is to give your reader a good idea of what the item is.
    • Commentary. Your commentary should include an evaluation of the opportunities/limitations of the item as applied to your team's project. (What possibilities does this item suggest for your project and its general idea? What problems or limitations does it also suggest?)
    • Resources for Further Study. This section of the report should be a brief set of follow-up citations or links (including the citation/link to the item under discussion).


(Post your research report on the wiki by following the instructions on the Research Reports page.)



  • Due the Monday after classes are over: June 11th: 8-page essay. Choose one of the following two options:
    1. An essay in the mode of "philosophy of this project" that focuses on the methodology or theory of your project's technology.  In such an essay, the project would be the main topic, and the literary work on which the project is based would serve as the example or proof of concept.
    2. An essay about the literary work that is the basis of your team's project. The goal of such an essay would be to provide an understanding of the literary work--analytical, contextual, ethical, aesthetic, and/or technical--that benefits from (and may include discussion of) the team project. In such an essay, discussion of the project technology, methodology, or theory would be subservient to discussion of the primary object of study.

      Important: Your intended audience is a general scholarly audience, not the insiders in our class. Take care to provide the necessary context (i.e., explain the work and your project as if you were writing for another professor). Also, speak of your project in the objective third-person (not "our project makes me think that . . ." but "the X project at UCSB shows that..."). (25% of final grade)

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