Participation (25%): Because courses during January term are experiential in nature, participation is essential. You need to come to class prepared to discuss the readings for the day and willing to engage fully in class activities. This is not a spectator sport. Your grade will depend on coming to class prepared, involvement in class discussions, and the quality of your engagement in class activities.
Group field research project (25%): Small groups will conduct a field work study related to books. These may involve surveys, focus groups, interviews, or ethnographic observations. Groups will determine a research question, will design a methodology, will apply for IRB approval, will carry out the project, analyze the results, and present them in the last week of the term. The grade will be based on how interesting your research question is, how effectively you designed and carried out the research, and how much effort and thought you put into presenting the results in an interesting and informative manner.
Book reading / reviews (20%): Each student will choose three books to read during the month. Though you can pick any kind of book you want, the three books together should total 600 pages or more. (In other words, three Dr. Seuss books won’t qualify.) For each book, you will write a very brief review (150-250 words) that will be publicly posted on LibraryThing. These should offer a description of the book, a bit of information about its style, and an evaluation (i.e. whether you recommend it or not, and under what circumstances). Because books that aren’t available locally will have to be requested via interlibrary loan or purchased, you should decide which books you plan to read by the third day of class. (You can change your mind; this is just to ensure you aren’t stuck trying to get your hands on a book at the last possible minute.) Your grade will be based on how well you
Final project (30%): Each student will create a website, zine, broadside, comic, slideshow, chapbook, or altered book based on the free writing exercises and discussions held during the course that will be a personal reflection on books. By the end of the second week, you should have determined what kind of project you want to undertake. Your grade will be based on three factors: the creativity of your ideas and how they are expressed, the graphic design of the project, and the technical execution of it. If you use quotations in your project, the sources must be provided in references; if you use graphics other than your own artwork, you should use ones that don’t require copyright permission and provide source information. You will present your work on the final day of class. Those who wish may also join a joint submission of projects for the Celebration of Creative Inquiry to be held in the spring on the Friday before Honor’s Day.