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Henderson ENG 252 Digital Research Project

Overview

You will complete a digital research project using Microsoft Sway, a free program available to you through your O365 account with Jefferson State. You will complete a cohesive project comprised of a research paper and a multimedia gallery for your topic The goal of this assignment is to create a detailed understanding of your topic that allows you to think deeply about the significance of a theme as seen through the literature we have read this semester, as well as through cultural events/media today and how these works influence American society. Through your research and creative output, you will take on the roles of critics and authors and engage with the literature we have been studying and apply it to pop culture and events around and important to you.

For the project, you will choose a text from our reading list and identify and trace a specific theme through that text, as well as through a popular culture text from your lifetime and a current issue or event in society today. In addition to the written analysis of your primary sources, you will curate at least four secondary sources and include 9 different pieces of media to enhance your discussion.

 Types of “Texts”

  • Literary Text: You will choose any single piece of literature from our course reading list as the central text you will analyze.
  • Pop Culture Text: You will choose a song, TV show or episode, movie, web series, video game, book, comic, advertisement, radio, or podcasts that has been produced in your lifetime. (If you have an idea that is not listed here, please ask about using it.)
  • Current Event/Issue: Your current event can be a news story, trending topic, phenomenon, or person, to name a few. It should be something from recent history that you find is still relevant.

Types of Media

  • You will need at least nine diverse multimedia pieces with appropriate citations for your project.
  • Examples include images, videos, graphics, music files, etc.
  • Use at least two different types of media (not all images or not all videos)
  • At least six of the media pieces will include an original detailed caption. (See explanation below.)
  • When using videos from YouTube, please embed them instead of linking them. (Instructions are in Module 4.)

Types of Sources

Because this is a research project, you will include both primary and secondary sources.

  • Primary sources: the actual literary text and the pop culture text.
  • Secondary sources: scholarly and credible articles written about the literary text, pop culture text, and current event/issue.
  • You must use proper methods (MLA) for including quotations and citations from both types of texts, including Works Cited entries.
  • There will be a library orientation video provided for you that demonstrates how to research for this project. You will also be provided a Lesson Module that takes you through each step of the project.

Suggested Outline

  1. Unique, original, and meaningful title and image
  2. Abstract or introduction paragraph (300-400 words)
    1. Introduces thematic topic
    2. Gives overview of its significance to American Culture
    3. Introduces the texts
    4. Ends with the thesis statement
  3. Literary text Section
    1. At least two multimedia pieces each followed by appropriate citations and your original, unique, detailed caption (150-200 words each) that explains the item’s significance to the topic.
      1. In each of the captions, you will discuss the importance of the work to the legacy of your theme and use a mixture of your own interpretation of the work and critical sources. You should use quotations from a critical secondary source in each caption; however, the caption should contain your ideas and explanation as well, not just a quote.
    2. Analysis paragraph (400-500 words) that analyzes the text and includes supporting examples, quotations from the primary source, and explanations not shown in the multimedia or captions. Think of these as the body paragraphs of an essay, where you discuss your ideas in depth. Remember, you don’t want to repeat information that appears in the captions.
  4. Pop Culture Text Section
    1. At least two multimedia pieces each followed by appropriate citations and your original, unique, detailed caption (150-200 words each) that explains the item’s significance to the topic.
      1. In each of the captions, you will discuss the importance of the work to the legacy of your theme and use a mixture of your own interpretation of the work and critical sources. You should use quotations from a critical secondary source in each caption; however, the caption should contain your ideas and explanation as well, not just a quote.
    2. Analysis paragraph (400-500 words) that analyzes the text and includes supporting examples, quotations from the primary source, and explanations not shown in the multimedia or captions. Think of these as the body paragraphs of an essay, where you discuss your ideas in depth. Remember, you don’t want to repeat information that appears in the captions.
  5. Current Event/Issue Section
    1. At least two multimedia pieces each followed by appropriate citations and your original, unique, detailed caption (150-200 words each) that explains the item’s significance to the topic.
      1. In each of the captions, you will discuss the importance of the work to the legacy of your theme and use a mixture of your own interpretation of the work and critical sources. You should use quotations from a critical secondary source in each caption; however, the caption should contain your ideas and explanation as well, not just a quote.
    2. Analysis paragraph (400-500 words) that analyzes the text and includes supporting examples, quotations from the primary source, and explanations not shown in the multimedia or captions. Think of these as the body paragraphs of an essay, where you discuss your ideas in depth. Remember, you don’t want to repeat information that appears in the captions.
  6. Closing Remarks or Conclusion
  7. Works Cited
    1. Alphabetized listing in MLA format (except hanging indent) of all primary and secondary sources.
    2. Media pieces can be cited in the text with the media.

Assignment Parts

Proposal (25 points)

The proposal will detail the choices you are making with the project: the thematic focus, the literary text, the pop culture text, the current event, and the larger connection to the theme among the pieces, etc. In popular culture terms, this is the “blurb” that describes your project for your reader/audience. This stage of the project provides you instructor feedback and assistance before you start curating digital media.  You will receive feedback on the appropriateness of your topic, whether the scale of the project is workable, and other practical matters. Please see the Digital Research Project Module for specific instructions for writing and submitting the proposal.

Source List and Summary (25 points)

You will submit summary of the two secondary sources that relate to the literary source, along with their proper MLA citation. The two sources relating to the literature from our class must come from the JSCC online library. You will be given a research guide created by our librarian with links to databases of articles for each of our reading assignments.

Digital Project (150 points)

One way to think of this project is that it’s a traditional research paper that you are combining with multimedia to create a detailed webpage. Sway is an interactive, cloud based, digital-storytelling and presentation app. It works great for self-guided presentations (which is what this is). I know it’s a different product than what most people have used, but it’s been around for about 5 years, and it’s gaining in popularity. Maybe it will surpass PowerPoint!

Microsoft Sway is available for free with your O365 account from Jefferson State. No other software or program is acceptable for this assignment.

Helpful Hints

  • Do research thoroughly and include that research in your captions. Make sure you integrate your sources fully and include citations. Keep in mind that the research backs your ideas up; you do not back up the research. Therefore, I should see a healthy amount of your own interpretation with the research.
  • Do write analysis paragraphs that are original to you and your reading of the text. Don’t use first person or say “In my opinion,” but make your claim and support that claim with evidence from the primary source.
  • Do think about the overall design of your project. This project will have a grade component on design. It should be professional looking, but it should also be creative. It should not look basic. Think about your colors, fonts, the accessibility of your media, etc. Document design is important to this project.
  • Do be creative!
  • Do ask questions. If you have any questions about the software, research topics, etc., ASK!!!! If you find something that works well for you, please share with your classmates on the blog. I will be available to meet with you if you need help with the software.
  • Do start early. Please don’t wait until the last minute to complete this project. The design and research elements will suffer if you choose to wait. Start early and ask questions if you come across a difficult element to this project.

Thematic Topics

  • African American Experience
  • Feminist Ideology
  • Social Class