Assignment Descriptions

————————————————Together your assignments make of 75% of your overall grade.  There are four individual assignments and one group project for this course.———————————————–

Individual Assignments (50%):

Four online entries (2 posts and 2 comment on someone else’s post)   (15%)

Three field trip write ups [2 pages each] (10 %)

a 5-6 page close reading analysis paper  (15%)

Creative Assignment (Graphic Narrative) (10 %)

Group Final Project (50%):  “Book About a Book Project” (BAB)  (50%)

50%  the  book  itself (based on how well it accomplishes the assignment objectives and the quality and cogency of the book in and of itself.)

25 % presentation

25% group/individual participation evaluation assessments


By the end of the semester, every student will be responsible for having completed two posts and two comments on someone else’s post.  The purpose of the posts are 1) to practice the strategies for close reading based textual analysis used in the study of literature and other forms of rhetoric 2) to help facilitate our in-class discussion of the text and 3) to get you thinking about  the way other texts may speak to the text you’re working on for your final project.  All posts should be published on the class site 24 hours before the class day your Group is listed to do a post.  (ex. If you are in group A and there is an A listed for March, 1st, then you should have your post up by Tuesday, February 28th  at 4pm).  You should check all appropriate category boxes for each post you publish.  Usually that will be the box indicating the novel you’re focusing on and the box indicating which post assignment you’re publishing.   You are encouraged to include at least one tag of your own making to the post.  The specific instructions for each post assignments are below. 

POSTS: You must make two posts on the shorter readings which we will all read in the class.  I encourage you to make one of these on a reading that seems related to the book your group is working on for the final project.  Your post should use at least one of the close reading methods discussed in class and posted on the site.  In general, you should identify a specific passage or a very small recurring detail that you want to analyze.  Your post should  properly identify the text and author you’re focusing on and provide context about the portion of the text you’re going to focus on that your reader can follow you. Using one of the close reading methods,  you should analyze the way many formal elements are working together in a small passage or the way one specific element works across a longer passage.   You should posit a claim about how your analysis affects the way we understand one of the larger themes, ideas, or characters in the novel.
COMMENTS:  Comments should be substantive.  It’s not enough to say that you agree or disagree with  a post.  If you agree, you should say why, and then you should build onto the claim in the post maybe with another example or another point of consideration.  If you disagree, you should say why and provide a textual evidence for either or both a problem in the author’s reasoning and/or an alternative reading.

NOTE:  The purpose of these posts is to push you attend to the details of a text even as you work to understand how the details speak to the text as a whole.  These posts should be 150-350



You will write a five-page close reading analysis paper on some specific aspect of either the  book you are working with for the final project or one of the smaller texts that relates to your final  project book. You must submit a close reading based thesis and introduction before the paper is due.  Each paper should use at least one of the close reading methods discussed in class and posted online.

Formatting: This paper should be 5 -6  (at least 4.5 and no more than 6) pages, double spaced, 1-inch margins and 12 point Times New Roman font with page numbers and your whole name listed in the footer.



Each student is responsible for attending at least three  events from the list of book arts events happening in the NYC area (posted on the site).  I will add events too the list as I become aware of them. If you are aware of an event that you think might fit well, please forward me the details.  If I approve the event, I will  add it to the list, and it may count as one of  the field trip options.

For each field trip, you must submit a two page double spaced, 1 inch margins (12 point, Times New Roman font) write up.  The first 1/4- 1/3 of the write up should describe the event (place, time, content, purpose, etc.).  The remainder of the write up should focus on a specific aspect of the event that illuminated for you something about the various labors that go into the book.  You may in the very last part of the paper contemplate how what you gleaned from this event might influence your book project.



In this project you will in groups of three or four create a book that is about and/or inspired by one of the “great” works on the syllabus.

The form and length and tone and layout of your book are up to your group, however the choices you make should be intentional and in line with the concept and content of your book.

Each group must make a book that meets the following requirements:

1) is about one of the great works from our great works:  the group book should  ultimately tackle the question why is this text great?

2) provide some glimpse into the history of how the book in content, layout and material form came into existence.  What are the various labor or work that went into this great work.

3) an overview of the work’s reception and preservation over time

4) clear and cogent close reading analysis of salient parts of the book

5) some analysis of how a part or parts of this work are in conversation with the authors other writing and with literary/art by other authors/artists.

6) a creative response to some specific part of the book (eg. a graphic adaptation of part of the text; a fan fiction alternative ending or back story to some particular part of the story;  a poem based on some small but evocative phrasing in the book).

7) an introduction in which the group provides an overview of some of the ways works have come to be considered great and a claim about what constitutes a great work for your group; how you see your text engaging with that theory of great works; and how your content, layout, medium, and form work to underscore these ideas.

8) a mla formatted bibliography with accurate citation all information for all the sources you consulted including the specific edition(s) of the text you examine.

9) the book must be be circulatable among at least ten people at the same time.

10) is influenced by, reflects on, or responds to something one or more of your group members learned from the book art field trips.

As part of and preparation for the book each group will present on their work at various points of the semester.

The presentation should meet the following requirements:

1) Give an overview of the plot and key characters

2) Provide a history of the books author, creation, publication, reception, and preservation

3) Think about how this book and your research relates to and or affects the way we read the shorter texts on the syllabi

4) Include and audio/visual component

5) Incorporate everyone in the group