Final Group Project Guidelines
Your second midterm project is a webpage essay, the equivalent of a four-page essay (1000-1100 words) on a contemporary women of color activist or organization. A central goal of the project is to make your learning more broadly available to the public. You will work in teams of three to write and post the essay in the form of a public webpage on the class blog, and then briefly present the page to the class. You may choose your own partners and topics based on your interest and work patterns. If you’re interested in global or postcolonial women, for example, you might choose Vandana Shiva or Wangari Maathai. The topic is wide open, as long as it relates to topics we’ve read or discussed this term. Be sure to search for existing pages on your proposed topic – if there are already twenty pages on that person or organization, you should probably choose something else.
Your assignment is to
1. Research your topic using library resources – as a team, you must find and read at least three sources (book, journal article, or encyclopedia entry) about your subject. One source may be an interview.
2. Write an essay as a group, discussing the goals, achievement, or work of the subject in the context of our class. You must write about this in a style that is interesting and engaging to a public audience (not just your professor and peers). This means that, in addition to writing generally about the activist, you must also explain why their work matters, why it is significant for women of color.
3. Post your essay to the class blog along with any relevant images, charts, or graphs.
4. Be ready to present your page to the class the week of Monday, May 5.
You must have at least three academic sources cited in your bibliography (books, academic journals), although 3-5 sources are recommended overall. Web sources are acceptable only after two academic journals/books. The idea here is to bring new academic content to the web, not just recirculate what is already there.
The initial research component to your project should happen in the group. I recommend assigning one source (one book chapter or article) to each member to read and outline; at the next meeting, report back to each other on your findings, exchange findings, and discuss how you will refine and focus your topic for presentation. Do not try to include everything! Plan and organize your topic; abandon sources that are less relevant, and re-assign new sources or articles. Based on this research, develop a thesis, and structure your page to support that thesis.
Be VERY careful about how you take notes during your research. Always write down notes from your source in your own words, and ALWAYS distinguish direct quotes with quotation marks—even in your personal notes and drafts. Your webpage must be an original scholarly work in your own words, supported by careful research.
Your project page must be published to the class website by Friday midnight, May 2. A few pictures, graphics, and/or section headings are highly recommended to make the page more readable and interesting. We’ll have an in-class demonstration of how to publish your page, and a sample page soon, but technical stuff should not take you more than 1-2 hours at most. Every team member must be involved in writing and working on the page; you may not designate only one student as “technical person.” These guidelines subject to modification as issues arise….be sure to let me know if you have any questions.