Final project: bite-by-bite

Don’t forget to check the resources page!
How do you eat an elephant? Bite by bite!*

* A similar strategy can be found in Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, which also includes the very useful concept of “sh•tty first drafts” and a lot of wisdom for writers of fiction and non-fiction alike.

This joke won’t win any competitions but the strategy will get your major projects done. Remember that all printed material we’ve used in this course has gone through multiple rounds of revisions before being printed on the page in front of you. And before that, there were many rounds of brainstorming, try-outs, and adjustments to refine the basic ideas. The following assignments will help you divide the elephant of the final project in more manageable hunks, chunks and bites to get you to a successful conclusion of the course, and the semester.

For the final project, you will create an “open education resource” for an equivalent of approximately 1200 words. The topic has to be connected to Korean history, but this can be interpreted in many different, and creative ways. If in doubt, check with me how we can make it fit.

Please complete these assignments by the due date. This helps me to spread the workload of providing feedback evenly, and ensures you have sufficient time between all the different steps. If you run into difficulties or need more time, communicate with me. Remember I am a resource, too, and I am here to help you get this project completed. Above all, do not wait until something is perfect to share. Show me your garbage!

  1. Due: Tuesday March 24: Plan to submit the first step for the final project: pitch the basic idea, and give reasons why you are interested in this particular topic.
    • Dig a bit deeper than “the Korean War” (it is important, we agree)
    • What in the course so far has guided you to this topic?
    • What in the readings or the textbook, or your personal explorations has sparked your curiosity?
    • Length: 300-500 words
    • Post on your site as a blog post, category HST259
    • Note: you are not yet locked in, but this indicates a general direction
  2. Due: Friday March 27: List of sources (articles, books, sites) you have identified as potentially useful so far:
    • Includes “I haven’t looked through this yet but I think it might be useful”, “based on the title,…”, or “I saw a reference to this in another text but I’m waiting on the Interlibrary Loan.”
    • Indicate what makes you think this is possibly useful or how it connects to your project idea.
    • Aim for at least 3 potential sources.
    • Share as google doc, and allow me editing access: this gives us a space to build a collective bibliography for your project.
  3. Due Wednesday April 1: A description of your chapter/section’s contents.
    • Topic: now firmly settled
    • Main ideas you want to highlight: argument, thesis, or research question, or other reasons why this is useful
    • What you hope the reader will learn from the chapter
    • Length: 200-400 words
    • Post on your site as a blog post, category HST259
  4. Due Wednesday April 8: “Annotated bibliography”: List of sources you have read and assessed useful for further use.
    • Use Chicago Notes and Bibliography style- use the Bibliography formatting for this exercise.
    • Strive for at least three good quality, preferably scholarly, sources (chapters, articles, or full-length books). If you cannot find three reputable sources, provide an overview of your search process: where did you search, which terms etc. This will help me to guide you towards more/other materials. Remember for Korean terms there may be an alternative transcription (McCune Reischauer vs. Revized Romanization).
    • Each annotation should include:
            • A brief (3 sentence) summary of the contents of each.
            • A brief explanation of how you intend to use this information.
            • Shortcomings you noticed in the source (doesn’t answer a particular question, reasons why you think it is not sufficiently scholarly to use, etc.)
            • Here are some concrete examples from the OWL at Purdue.
    • Share as google doc, and allow me editing access: this gives us a space to build a collective bibliography for your project (this may be the same google doc as in step 2)
  5. An outline of your project Due Friday April 17
    • Include an introduction (or other section) worked out in full prose
          • Why? This helps me to find out where your strengths are as a writer, and which areas have room for improvement.
          • If your project does not have a lot of written text, please work out another small segment as an example so I can provide useful feedback.
    • Note that you may have to rewrite your introduction as your writing and research progresses, and as you discover new ideas and insights.
    • Post on your site as a blog post, category HST259
  6. Due Friday April 24: A first full draft/early testing version
    • Include references in Chicago Style (notes and bibliography) where applicable
    • Indicate where you want to make further changes, or need some assistance
    • Add to our Pressbooks book as a chapter.
      • Training on Pressbooks will follow, but it’s very similar to your blog.
  7. Due Thursday April 30: A revised, second draft
    • This is more or less your final draft for the writing process. Any changes after this will be largely cosmetic (e.g. spelling, formatting of references, and correcting factual mistakes that slipped in)
    • Edit your existing draft from step 6
  8. Due Monday May 4: The fully edited, final version availabable online for sharing with the wider world.