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Web Wednesday: Annotating Shakespeare [10/19]

Prewriting: List the steps of New Criticism in five of your own words: “look, look up, structures, unity” 
(I’ll also use this for attendance).

1) Literary Studies Part I:  Read Shakespeare’s Sonnet 65. Let’s use the first part of the New Critical method to analyze it: “Examine the text’s diction.” In comments, write a brief description of the denotation and connotation of three words in the poem.

Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea,
But sad mortality o’ersways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower ?
O how shall summer’s honey breath hold out,
Against the wrackful siege of batt’ring days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong but time decays ?
O fearful meditation, where alack,
Shall Time’s best jewel from Time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back,
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
O none, unless this miracle have might,
That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

2) Literary Studies Part II:  Let’s skip to step 4 of the New Critical method: “Examine and analyze the various structural patterns that appear.” In comments, note three structural patterns that are relevant (hint from the reading last time: “note how the poet manipulates metrical devices, grammatical constructions, tonal patterns, and syntactic patterns of words, phrases, clauses, or sentences”).

3) Hybrid Part:  Learn how to do a hover annotation, where additional text will appear when your cursor hovers over certain words. We will use this technology to annotate our poem. To do this in your own posts, you need to switch back and forth between the “visual” and “html” tabs. You can use the following html code to make a hover annotation, but you have to do so when you’re in “html” mode, otherwise you’ll just see the code!

The code pasted in Visual tab:

<a title=”the text that hovers goes here”>the word or phrase to be hovered goes here</a>

The code pasted in HTML tab:

the word or phrase to be hovered goes here

Select one line from Sonnet 65 and make a post on your own blog that demonstrates that you know how to make certain words or phrases “hover-able.” For more help, see:

Screenshot of Visual/HTML tabs (in upper right corner):

4) Writing Part: While you were doing the last part, I hover-annotated the Shakespeare sonnet based on your responses. Go back to the top and take a look! Use this research and post a substantial comment below offering a reading of Shakespeare’s sonnet from the point of view of New Criticism. Write for about 10-12 minutes, and then post. Begin your comment with the phrase “Since a New Critic would not look at _________________, it is important that we begin with ________________.” You may also make note of the fact that we only did the first steps very quickly, and so you should suggest what other things the New Critic would do to improve this reading.

5) Homework: 1) Figure the hover thing out. 2) Look at this site, which offers an interpretation of Sonnet 65: Edit the blog post you made in step 3 (on hover annotations) and discuss what parts of this interpretation a New Critic would be pleased by, and which parts he or she would disagree with.

Here’s what (part of) the HTML looks like for the hover annotation of the Shakespeare sonnet:

Posted in Web Wednesday.

Web Wednesday: Mad Lib Edition [10/12]

Prewriting: Complete and Tweet the following Mad Lib sentence: “The ____(adjective)____ value of literary theory is its ____(adjective)____    ____(noun)____.”
(I’ll also use this for attendance).

1) Hybrid Part:  You should have posted your Digital Humanities projects on your personal blogs (assignment #2). Using the blogroll, look at three of your peers’ projects and leave them a substantial comment (not just “groovy job”). Your comment should make reference to the debate we had last class about the value or use of Digital Humanities.

2) Literary Studies Part I:   Imagine you are talking to a 12-yr-old. Look at Barry’s “recurrent ideas in critical theory.” Select two of them: one that you think is most similar to how you already approach texts, and one that you would right now argue with most. Post a comment below using the following templates, but summarize Barry’s argument in your own words so that the 12-yr-old can make sense of what you’re saying:
Barry is totally right when he says reading (or language, etc.) ___________________.
Barry is way off if he wants me to think that reading (or language, etc.) ___________________.

3) Literary Studies Part II: Apply one of the two of Barry’s ideas you picked to Roethke’s poem “My Papa’s Waltz.” Make a comment that argues for why this idea is the most relevant one for understanding Roethke.

4) Writing Part: Consider the other reading for today. Would the idea of Digital Humanities fit on Richter’s map? Make a long one-paragraph post on your own blog that discusses new Digital Humanities techniques in the context of Richter’s map of literary theory. Create a new map that takes into account how new technology influences literary theory.

5) Homework: Respond to three of the comments on today’s Web Wednesday post having to do with Barry and Roethke’s poem. Finish Part 4 and update your personal blog post with a new map of critical theories (you can draw and scan something, upload a picture, or create it in a word processing program, etc.).

Posted in Web Wednesday.

Web Wednesday: Digital Humanities [10/5]

Prewriting: Tweet what you think are the three most important words in your chosen short story (I’ll also use this for attendance).

1) Hybrid Part: Create a “Wordle” of your chosen short story. Visit, paste the contents of your short story into the program, and play with the font, layout, colors, or size until you’re happy.  Save your Wordle (depending on your computer setup, you can try to take a screen grab or “print” as a pdf that you can save/convert to a jpg). Here’s a short help paragraph on that:

Upload your Wordle to your blog and tweet the link to everyone. Go ahead and upload it to the Digital Humanities page you’ve created for the next assignment. Check out and comment on your peers’ Wordles. If you have extra time, take a moment to read this Wiki article on tag clouds: .

2) Literary Studies Part: Look at your Wordle and consider the largest words that appeared. In the comments box below, write a few sentences reflecting on what your Wordle shows you. Did any of the words match the ones you tweeted earlier? Were you surprised by any of the words that appeared? What is the difference between “most important” and “most prominent”?

Consider the connotations and denotations of the words that came from your Wordle tag cloud. Start making a list (in your notes) of synonyms and other related words for the Wordle words you found. You’re gathering data for the next part.

3) Hybrid Part II: Go to Google’s Ngram Viewer and run searches on the data there using the word list you just created: You can narrow your search to the time period around your story’s publication (maybe a few decades on either side?).

4) Writing Park:  In the comments below, write a few sentences reflecting on any surprising, interesting, or unique results you found in your Ngram Search.

5) Homework: Post a one paragraph reflection of today’s Web Wednesday on your blog arguing whether or not Wordle and Ngram are useful Digital Humanities tools. Are they just new ways of doing old things? Or new things entirely? Consider this freewriting/brainstorming for your upcoming second assignment.

Posted in Web Wednesday.

This is a Wordle

Can you guess what it’s a Wordle of?

This link offers a definition of a “tag cloud,” of which Wordle is an example.

Posted in Prof Ferguson.

What’s Your Digital Humanities project idea?

Post it in the comments box below . . .

Posted in Prof Ferguson.

Ordering Your Blog’s Pages

We’re going to slowly learn more and more of the features of WordPress through the semester. One thing to learn is how to order your pages. When you created Pages for all of the assignments, they appeared on your home page’s header in the order you created them. But what if you want to put them in a different order?

Go to your Dashboard, and click on the Pages tab so you see the Pages you’ve created. When you hover over each Page, you can click on “Quick Edit” to make quick changes to the Page without actually opening the Page up. On the right you’ll see “Order,” and that’s where you can put in a number to specify the order of your pages.

I’d like everyone to order their Pages in the order the assignments are due. So, put “Glossary of Terms” first.

A hint: you might try starting your numbering with “2” to give you room in case you want to go back and add a “1” later. Here’s a picture. Ask questions in the comments section:

Posted in Prof Ferguson.

Web Wednesday [9/21]

1) “Literary Studies” part: Select any three words from Yeats’s poem “When You Are Old.” For each word, write one sentence about the word’s denotation (D) and one about it’s connotation (C) in the context of this poem. Do this as a comment to this post. I’ll post an example first. . . .

2) “Hybrid” part: Quickly read one of these articles:

In the comments section below, write a paragraph arguing whether or not Second Life should be a required (or at least a strongly suggested) component of an English major’s curriculum. Give at least one reason from the article.

3) “Writing” part: On your own personal blog, write a one paragraph reflection on our last two Web Wednesdays. Make specific reference to one of the course learning goals.


1) Make sure the comments settings on your personal blog are correct. In the next few days I am going to click through your blogs and approve your short stories (last week’s homework was to write 3 ¶ about an author, genre, or short story you are interested in pursuing). I want to comment on your blogs to approve your story, but if comments are disabled I can’t do that!
Go to Dashboard / Settings / Discussion and make sure the first three boxes are checked. Uncheck the two boxes under “Before a comment appears” so you don’t have to moderate comments.
If you have already made a post, you need to manually change the comment settings for it. Go to Posts, Hover over the post and choose “Quick Edit” and tick the “allow comments” box.

2) Leave a reply on two of your peers’s blogs regarding what they wrote for Part 3.

3) Last, this big assignment should be posted to your blog:
Glossary of Terms: Select seven of the rhetorical devices defined on this webpage: (you might use other sites to help clarify your understanding of the terms). Track a topic related to your chosen story on Twitter, and find examples of each of the rhetorical devices (take a screen shot or copy the text to record the tweets), giving a short explanation of how the rhetorical device is used. In an accompanying essay, use this evidence to describe the “rhetorical sophistication” of Twitter conversations about your topic. Post the terms, tweets, and essay on your blog.

Posted in Web Wednesday.

Wireless [Web?] Wednesday 9/14

Since this is our first day, here’s a bit of an agenda for today’s Wireless Web Wednesday:

I. Review from last class. We’ll do this in the Comments section below. I’ll update this section with specific instructions right when class starts, and then after we do the first part:

a) Imitating Queneau, rewrite Millay’s sonnet. Give your entry a title. Post it in the Comments section. [EDIT: to clarify, don’t imitate a specific one of Queneau’s exercises, but do to Millay what he did to that little story about the bus.]

b) Examine 2 peers’ “Style Exercises.” Say something about either their use of connotation/denotation or story/plot. Try to use the “threaded comments” to reply underneath their entry (that is, try to reply to the comment, not the main post).

II. Work on your own personal blog. [around 2:00]

You’ve signed up for a blog, but now it’s time to personalize it (remember that this will eventually be about a short story you choose . . .). Set up your blog by doing the following:

  • Change your theme and add widgets. You might also be able to change your blog header.
  • Edit your “About” Page to describe yourself.
  • Add a blogroll.
  • Check your comments settings to make sure you can receive comments.
  • Add placeholder Pages for the class assignments you will do: Glossary of Terms, Digital Humanities, Annotated Paragraph, Annotated Bibliography, Conference Presentation (you will also add 4 or so other Pages, but not yet)
  • Make your first post: 3 ¶ about an author, genre, or short story you are interested in pursuing. Remember that you need the digital text. Here’s one place to start: Tweet about other online story collections?

Check out and tweet about your peer’s blogs. [EDIT: look specifically at the 2-3 people below you on the bloglist to the right. Valini and Xiomara start back over at the top].

I’ll be posting general comments and further instructions on Twitter.

III. Homework [reply as a comment to this post]:
Sometime in the next few days, reread the comments and tweets from today’s class. If you didn’t get to comment on two people’s Queneau/Millay mashups, do so. Post a ¶ comment (as a reply to this post) about today’s class that reflects on the Queneau/Millay mashup.

Also, finish setting up your blog–follow the checklist above.

Posted in Prof Ferguson, Web Wednesday.

Expectations for Ourselves

The results of our class quiz are in. The short version is this:
Most people are on Twitter but aren’t ready to blog yet. Most students expect to check Twitter multiple times a day (or at daily), and yet most only plan on posting to Twitter multiple times a week (so what are they checking for?). People widely vary on how often to check the class blog. We seem to agree that in-class participation is very important. Most people are concerned about the hybrid part of the course. Most people seem ready but have a few lingering questions. (Oh, and at least 5 people didn’t respond, so I’m not sure what that means).

Here are the complete results:

Questions Response
Do you have both a Twitter and Qwriting account?
Yes 90%
No 10%
Have you introduced yourself by making a comment on our shared class blog?
Yes 60
No 40
Have you added the URL of your Qwriting blog to our shared Class Blogroll?
Yes 65
No 35
How often should students be expected to check their Twitter accounts?
Multiple times a day 50
Once a day 30
Multiple times a week 20
All the time 0
Once a week 0
How often should students be expected to check the shared class blog?
Multiple times a day 35
Once a day 30
Multiple times a week 30
All the time 5
Once a week 0
How often should students be expected to send Twitter Messages to @ENG170W?
Multiple times a week 65
Once a day 15
Multiple times a day 10
Once a week 10
How often should students be expected to participate in face-to-face class discussions?
Multiple times a class meeting 90
Once a class meeting 10
Once every other week 0
Only when they have something to say 0
How many hours a week should students expect to spend on this class (not counting class time)?
2-4 65
5-7 30
7-9 5
10 or more hours 0
1 hour or less 0
What do you expect the hardest part of this class to be?
Hybrid part 65
W part 20
170 part 15
After our first meeting how ready do you feel for this class?
As ready as anyone can be after one day. 45
Still have a few questions/concerns before we really get going. 40
Totally overwhelmed. 15
The semester should be a piece of cake. 0

Actually, there was only one question with a right answer: “How many hours a week should students expect to spend on this class (not counting class time)?” The right answer for any of your college classes is: two to three times the number of contact hours. So, since this is a 3-credit course, you should plan on spending 6-9 hours outside of class on reading, homework, assignments, study, etc. each week. If you don’t believe me: google “college students should spend two to three times as many credit hours studying.” Or check out this Wikipedia article on credit hours.

That may sound like a lot, but consider that reading a tweet about this blog post, clicking the link, reading the post, reflecting on it with a comment, and then remembering and thinking about your comment later would take up about an hour. On the other hand, according to this source, a hybrid class would require more time than a traditional class, so maybe even 6-9 hours is too little!

I want us to talk about these expectations in class tomorrow. You should all have a realistic idea of the expectations of the class, and we need to agree on those, otherwise the class can’t “work.”

Posted in Prof Ferguson.

Our Twitter Handles

Trying to make a list of our Twitter handles. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Xiomara @xcapera
Jericho @
Joe @JT_jacoby8
Michelle D. @mikadroz
Valini  @ValiniRohit
Extraaaa @signedExtraaaa
Ernesto @egallone24
Kevin @KevinHiralal
Michelle C. @MC170w
Chris @CrisLo120
Breana @breanakamilah
Arlene @APMimz
Sasha @sashafierce103
Cindy @itscindy27
Lindsay @LindsayCurtis17
Andy @SoAndycrazn1
Krissie @Kristine_La
Morgan @MorganLevine
Henna @dubHW
Jana @JanaKauffman
Eldis/Eko @ eldisakaeko
Femi @FemiJones1
Ariana Politis @ariana_politis
Jerry @PA_Endless
Me @ProfFerguson

?? @sof2ia   Sofia Fullam (is this a real person? or did I get suckered by spam?)
?? @Jay_Joyas

Posted in Prof Ferguson.