Coming up is an “Annotated Paragraph” assignment. The point of that assignment is to teach you some basic HTML while also having you practice a bit of close reading. I’m sure you all are dying to do some of the close reading you’re used to, but are dreading the HTML part.
But I’m starting to think we might want to do a different assignment to help us get a better grip on all the terminology and concepts we’ve been discussing. So, an alternate assignment I want to present is a “DLA Dictionary” where students identify central terms from the readings so far and for each one provide 1) one quotation where an author defines the term and 2) a 2-3 sentence definition in your own words of the term. I think as a class we could probably collaboratively get 40 or so terms, from the obvious big ones like “distant reading” and “macroanalysis” to the smaller ones like “stop words” and “KWIC.”
We’ll talk about this tomorrow, but would like to have a consensus before changing the syllabus.
Below is a sample of the annotated assignment, and here is a link to a post from another class where I showed them how to do this: http://eng170w.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu/2011/10/19/web-wednesday-annotating-shakespeare-1019/
I am a rather elderly man. The nature of my avocations for the last thirty years has brought me into more than ordinary contact with what would seem an interesting and somewhat singular set of men, of whom as yet nothing that I know of has ever been written:—I mean the law-copyists or scriveners. I have known very many of them, professionally and privately, and if I pleased, could relate divers histories, at which good-natured gentlemen might smile, and sentimental souls might weep. But I waive the biographies of all other scriveners for a few passages in the life of Bartleby, who was a scrivener the strangest I ever saw or heard of. While of other law-copyists I might write the complete life, of Bartleby nothing of that sort can be done. I believe that no materials exist for a full and satisfactory biography of this man. It is an irreparable loss to literature. Bartleby was one of those beings of whom nothing is ascertainable, except from the original sources, and in his case those are very small. What my own astonished eyes saw of Bartleby, that is all I know of him, except, indeed, one vague report which will appear in the sequel.