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Web Wednesday [12/7]: Revising Our Sites Edition

Prewriting: Create a new post on your own blog called “Revising My Site.” Later today, your fellow students will use this post to leave comments about your blog.

1) Literary Studies Part: Today we are going to work on your final projects: revising your blog into a website devoted to your short story. To do this, you will revise the projects you have already completed, and then add Pages that provide biographical information, historical context, analyses of the story from at least two literary theory perspectives, and other relevant information like maps or images.

Later, you will introduce your website with a cover letter (a “sticky” post) to me that explains the process you went through to create your digital portfolio, describes the strengths you have gained by producing the pieces of writing and the challenges you still face as a writer (you’ll do this step sometime next week).

Quickly look at some of these websites, devoted to the short story “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner:

Leave a comment below that identifies 2 or 3 aspects of these websites that you are think would be important to include in your own site. (Note: I don’t think any of these websites are particularly great as they are, and I am hoping that you all do something much more sophisticated for your final project.)

2) Hybrid Part: Using the list we have created, spend the next half hour working on your site. I especially want you to pay attention to the structure of your site: what various Pages of information do you have and do you need, and how do you have them organized? Go ahead and make Pages that will hold the content you need to include, and put those pages in a logical order.

3) Writing Part: Using the blogroll, look at three of your peers’ websites and leave a substantial comment about their sites on their “Revising My Site” post. You should offer specific comments that will help your fellow students revise.

4) Homework: Please fill out an evaluation form for this (and your other) courses:
These are very important to faculty in general for things like tenure, but they are also important to yours truly for thinking about how to revise this class.

Posted in Prof Ferguson, Web Wednesday.

18 Responses

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  1. clo120 says

    The main thing about the Sparknotes site that I like is the division between all the sections. Having one spot designated for context, another for plot summary, and so on keeps things neatly organized, and allows for a separation that prevents cross-contamination of thoughts and ideas.

    I also enjoy that some of the sites like enotes and Sparknotes have quiz sections to test your retention of the story. While simply knowing the details of the story isn’t enough, it is a helpful way to burn some of the information into your head.

  2. egallone24 says

    In the first website available to check, the creator had a part titled “Why Should I Care”. I believe having that in your project will be really intriguing because it shows the importance that story has on our everyday life. Also, in the link, there was a chart at the top of the page that organized the whole page into different portions. That organization would be very important to have. It would make it easier for the reader of the page to better understand what the writer is articulating.

  3. jtrezza says

    In the Sparknotes website, I really like the way they use the Table of Contents to organize the site. Instead of just a jumbled mass of words and ideas, a visitor can click specifically what they want to see first.
    In the wikipedia article the “quick hits” section on the right is very helpful, quickly outlining important aspects of the piece (author, country, language, genre, etc)
    The Cummings Guide site focuses on a variety of topics, which is interesting and resourceful. Everything from themes, structure to the question “Was Barron a Homosexual?” are discussed. The site seems complete, organized and informative.

  4. lindsayc says

    I like how doesn’t just do a boring summary and character list, etc. But it has a different section for the climax, central tensions, etc. I think it would make my website look a lot more in depth and sophisticated. But, hopefully I can make it look prettier and less boring than these websites

    • Kevin L. Ferguson says

      “look prettier and less boring”–Yes, although with some of them you guys are already miles ahead . . .

  5. seslami says

    I really liked the sparknotes site and how there was like a table of contents. It makes everything neater & organized and a lot easier to follow.
    I also like the first site and how it had sub heading on the top of the page, similar to the sparknotes page, but just a different variation.

  6. mikadroz says

    I like how some of the sites have a somewhat interactive section– for example, a quiz. I’m not saying I think we should all put quizzes on our blogs, but I like the idea of reaching out to the hypothetical audience.

    Organization is key as well– each section needs to be organized into its own page or no one will be able to figure out where it is!

    • Kevin L. Ferguson says

      “reaching out to the hypothetical audience”: great point–you should definitely be considering how a general audience would be able to navigate your site.

  7. Jerry says

    I like how each website makes it clear as soon as you view them what is being discussed and a summary about it. It makes it easier for someone to just stumble upon one of the following websites and want to go pick up this particular book because they read a great overview provided by the author of the website. Also the way that you can navigate through each website and multiple categories provided on the websites makes getting around the website manageable and easy.

  8. xiomara capera says

    I think have sparknotes whole “themes, motifs, and symbols” category is a good idea to have the webpage. Also, i like how all of the pages are organized into categories, making sure to include description of characters, summary and so. In this case of my webpage I find it important to include some background information about the author.

  9. eldisakaeko88 says

    I liked The Cummings Guide site because it had a summary section, a character section, etc . . . it separated different themes of the book in like a display of an outline and that made it a lot organized and easier to read.

  10. Henna says

    A summary of my short story would be necessary for my reader’s to fully appreciate the other information I’ve provided on my blog. Next, for those sticklers of textual literalism, and my own curiosity/enjoyment, I too would like to create an area for the details that just don’t quite fit, a reincarnation of’s “unanswered questions section. This area would include irking questions like, if the swamp adder is deaf, how could it have been summoned by Dr. Roylott’s whistle? Too, I would include a listicle of rhetorical devices and other literary elements as they apply to my short story.

  11. morgan92 says

    In the website Cumming’s Study Guide I liked the way they created a list of the characters. It is very important in creating a character list because the viewer can understand who each person is and what role they play. Also I liked the idea of having a table of contents so that the viewer can be directed to the part of the website that they are interested in.

  12. P O says

    I like that some pages include info on how the author and other people viewed the strory. I also like how they include the themes with many details that relate to the specific themes throughout the story. The character list and title explanations are also interesting details to provide.

  13. Jessica Danielle Powell says

    Shmoop: What’s really great about this site is the short synopsis because not everyone would want to read the whole short story in order to grasp the idea. For your audience you should b able to present a short, concise yet detailed synopsis of your short story. So make your short story even shorter. (shrugs shoulders)

    enotes: The first thing that I recognized here was the history behind the book in a couple of sentences which is also good to focus on, and then to narrow in on your short story. I don’t think it’s necessary to compare your short story with other works by the same author but it may be helpful for those who want to get a feel of what the Author is about in reference to their writing. State the purpose of the piece based on it’s history…Answering the question whhat your short story addresses whether it be historical issues like mines or social tensions. An analysis of character’s through the course of the story, their roles and which ones contribute the most to the theme of the story are important to discuss. Questions that arise kind of like FAQ for your short story would be fun to post. Whoever may be reading it may have the same questions as you so that a tool to help those who don’t know the story as well to be able to grasp its main idea.

    Analysis of Characters
    History of Short story which relates to the author
    The Type of Work it is, Publication, Setting [cummingsstudy]

  14. mchan says

    I think our websites should have a detailed description of the story, interactive material (Q&A or Discussion or Polls), and references to the story through quoting it.

  15. femi says

    One aspect that I found interesting to add to my project is a characterization of the author. The quote that was added about the autor perspective of his writing had an expressive theoretical approach. It also gave insight on the author personality that added a nice touch.

    When reading the webpage enotes, I noticed that the writer took a more rhetorical approach by exploring how the audience reacted to A Rose For Emily. It gives a greater understanding of the story’s versatility being as how it “inspire[d] critics” and “casual readers find it one of Faulkners most accessible works”. The writer also explored that connection of A Rose For Emily, with Faulkner’s other works.

  16. APMimz says

    I think that the websites is good for categorizing. It allows the reader to link itself to parts that are specific and that can be incorporated into my blog. The blogs have specific pages for specific things, which allow for easier access to find the things someone wants to search for. Functions and links are very organized in some of these. (It helps that they look nice, with the exception of sparknotes; they have too many ads)

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