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Digital Curation Project for Henderson ENG 251

Assignment Overview

You will complete a digital curation project using either Microsoft PowerPoint or Microsoft Sway. Both programs are available free to you through your O365 account with Jefferson State. You will be tasked with compiling a multimedia gallery for the topic you choose from the class reading list. 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 and through cultural events/media today and how these works influence American society. Through your research and creative output, my hope is that you will take on the roles of critics and authors and engage in the literature we have been studying and apply it to pop culture around and important to you.

The approach to this project will be the Extended Cultural Legacy Approach: You will discuss the legacy of a theme as evidenced in a work of literature, popular media and current events. You will create an expansive set up that traces the development of a theme of your choice within American culture today. This theme will be applied to one work from our reading list, plus a song, movie, or TV show, and an event from current culture. You will need to define the qualities of the theme that creates its legacy and apply this standard to the examples illustrated.

Suggested Approach:

I would suggest organizing your project in the following manner:

  • Abstract or Introduction that introduces your thematic topic and gives an overview of its significance to American Culture
  • Theme seen in one work chosen from our reading list and its significance to American culture
  • Theme seen in a song, movie, or TV show and its significance to American culture
  • Theme seen in a current event/issue and its significance to American culture
  • Closing remarks and Complete Works Cited

Note that your look at this theme within the works/event is also looking at the overall significance these works/events have to American culture.

Adapted from Jamie King’s adaptation from: 

Page, Jennifer. “Digital Tools, New Media, and the Literature Survey.” Teaching the Literature Survey Course: New Strategies for College Faculty, edited by Gwynn Dujardin, James M. Lang, and John A. Staunton, West Virginia University Press, 2018, pp. 133-149.

Proposal and Annotated Bibliography


The proposal will detail the choices you are making with the project: the thematic focus, the literary piece, the song/movie/TV show, 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.

You may structure the proposal as a memo with headings and bullets. Be sure to include the following information:

  • Identify the theme and how it applies to your selections. Go beyond the title of the thematic unit in the class. For example, don’t just use American Woman as a theme; find a standard or quality that you can apply to each of the examples you have chosen, like Subversive Writing to Fight the Patriarchy. 
  • The title of the literary work you have chosen from the course reading list
  • The title and artist/director/author of the song/movie/TV show and a brief summary
  • The current event/issue and a brief description
  • A working thesis (main idea) for your project
  • The appeal of the topic to you: Why did you choose each of these? Why are they important.

Finding and Evaluating Sources

One way to think of this project is like a traditional research paper that will be presented in a multimedia format. Since this is a research project, you must conduct research on the texts you are using. You will be combining evidence from primary sources and secondary sources to support your ideas. The primary sources will be the text you choose from our readings, plus a pop culture song/movie/tv show, and a current event or issue. The secondary sources will be the articles or essays you find written about those primary sources.

To find secondary sources, you will look in the following places:

  • For the literary primary text you MUST use the JSCC library to find two secondary sources.
  • For the pop culture primary text and the current event/issue, you may use either the JSCC library or a general web search to find one reputable source related to each text. Please note that for websites you find, you must complete an evaluation of the source.
  • Annotated Bibliography
    • You will submit an annotated bibliography of the two secondary sources that relate to the literary source. 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.
  • CRAAP Evaluation
    • The sources for the song/movie/TV show and the current event may come from more popular news sources, but these sources should be credible and known. For example, don’t use someone’s blog post you find in a Google search; instead, look for well-known (and as unbiased as is possible) publications, like The New York Times (not opinion pieces), The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, NPR, or another similar site. If you aren’t sure, please check with me.
    • Complete the CRAAP evaluation of the secondary sources for your pop culture text and the current issue/event.
  • Grading
    • I will grade the proposal, annotated bibliography, and CRAAP evaluation using the rubric checklist method. While I may make comments on the proposal portion, there will not be commentary on the annotated bibliography portion. This part is a technical project, and I am assessing your abilities to follow directions and include the required material.

Digital Curation Project

  • Program to Use
    • Microsoft Sway is available for free with your O365 account from Jefferson State. (Sway is a presentation program for creating interactive presentations. It is a little tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you can make nice presentations.) No other software or program is acceptable for this assignment.
  • Required Components of Project
    • A brief abstract (350-400 words in paragraph format) of the project where you introduce your theme and connections to the literary work/song/movie/TV program/news event, highlight the main points of your project, and detail the importance of the theme in all of these versions of culture. Think of this section as the introductory paragraph of an essay.
    • Compilation of at least 9 diverse multimedia pieces (images, videos, graphic representation, music files, etc.) each followed by appropriate citations and your original, unique, detailed caption (150-200 words each) that explains the item’s significance to the topic.
      • 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 source in each caption; however, the caption should contain your ideas and explanation as well, not just a quote. You should be using two secondary sources for the literary work and at least one source each for the literary work, song/movie/TV show, and current event.
      • In terms of the multimedia you use, you should use a diverse array of images, videos, audio clips, etc. In other words, don’t use all images or all videos. Use at least two different types of media in your project. For videos, keep the audience in mind. Limit video clips to 4-5 minutes max, or include a note drawing attention to the specific clip you want your reader to see. You should designate the time if the video is longer than 4-5 minutes. For example, you would write, “In the following video clip, you will hear Professor X discussing the ideal use of family relationships in song. Please watch from 00.06.23-00.10.24.” This would let your viewers know to watch from the 6th minute to the 10th minute of a longer video. Think of the multimedia as examples or attention getters. Remember to cite the source for the multimedia.
    • Analysis paragraph (300-500 words)
      •  These paragraphs should go along with each section (literary work, song/movie/TV show, and current event) and should further analyze the work and include supporting examples, quotations, and explanations not shown in the multimedia. 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.
    • Complete works cited page
      • This will be a compiled works cited slide (or card in Sway) featuring the sources that you use in your captions and analysis. You must format it like a works cited page, but you do not have to worry about hanging indents for the presentation.

Helpful Hints

  • Do research thoroughly and include that research in your captions and analysis paragraphs. 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 think about the overall design of your project. This project will have a grade component on design. It should be profession 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. I am learning Sway now too, so together, I’m sure we can figure it out.
  • 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.

Submission Instructions

  • Click the Digital Research Project link on the left menu, then click Digital Research Paper Submission.
  • To submit your Sway, in the top right corner of the Sway, click Share, choose Get Visual Link,  and copy the link. Paste the link in the Write Submission box.
  • Click Submit.


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  • The American Dream
  • American Women
  • American Relationship to Nature