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Introduction

A COLLECTION OF IDEAS

This year you are on a mission… to gather, read, and present written works in different formats that all share a common theme: in other words, you will be searching for and analyzing literature that addresses or relates to your chosen topic.

The works you collect will have to meet certain requirements as follows:

  • representative of different times periods (minimum 5),
  • representative of different cultural perspectives (minimum 5),
  • written by both male and female writers (neither gender may be more than 70% of your total number),
  • reflecting different– and opposing– perspectives on the topics addressed in your book.

For each piece that you select, you will need to annotate and critically analyze it. The process will go like this:

  1. While reading, take notes either in the margins of the text or in a notebook. The purpose of the notes is to help you EITHER  fill out an analysis worksheet, OR to write a thoughtful journal entry pertaining to the piece.
  2. Use your notes to fill out the analysis worksheet or to write your journal entry, and eventually, for some selected pieces,
  3. Write an annotated bibliographical entry for each piece that you decide is worthy of becoming a part of your collection.

As a minimum, you must include the following in your collection (in addition to the other requirements noted above):

  • 1 novel,
  • 1 nonfiction book,
  • 5 short stories (to include 3 genres)
  • 5 poems,
  • 10 essays, articles, or news stories,
  • 5 speeches,
  • 7 “OTHER” works that do not fit into any of the categories listed above- ie song lyrics, graphic novels, monologues, photography, artwork, editorial cartoons, statues, monuments, architecture, Internet-only resources (can be entire websites, or blogs, podcasts, e-journals, etc.) etc. Think about it: what does the Taj Mahal say about love or death? The Mona Lisa? The Ka’aba? How might these be included in your collection?

IMPORTANT: The list above represents  the number of items that you will read and analyze. The 20 items that you include in your final product– an annotated bibliography- will be determined later. In the end you will select only those that you believe are worthy of your collection. It is up to you to define what “worthy of your collection” means.

Keep your eyes and ears open for ideas. Think of this class as an opportunity to open your mind to new formats that you had never before considered.

Each class period will consist of seminars in which you will learn about topics such as:

  • the language of literary analysis,
  • the rules of annotation,
  • the correct way to cite your sources, and
  • effective search strategies for locating the best of the best.

These are the tools you need to succeed. It is up to you to apply these tools and skills to your final product. Class time will be given for reading, writing, note-taking, peer and teacher-conferencing, and searching. There will be daily and weekly goals, and I will check your progress regularly.

So… where are we going with all of this?

At the end of the semester, you will have a record of what you read and what you thought about it. You will create an annotated bibliography with a list of recommended readings and visuals for others who wish to know more about your core book. You will also write essays to sum up what you noticed through your reading. Plan to share your findings along the way. We are a community of learners, not just a group of individuals working side-by-side. Together, we will build our collections and then benefit from both our journey as well as the arrival at this final goal.

Please click here to view a summary and some further details about the assignment requirements.

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