Final project

Assignment description

Your final project will be a transformation of a literary work. Both the work to be transformed and the form of your own transformation will be up to you. You may choose one of the texts we have read as a class, but you may also choose an entirely different text that you find interesting or compelling. Similarly, you may model your transformation on some of the examples we analyze as a class, but you need not use one of those models if you have something different in mind. Several of our lab sections will be devoted to planning and executing your final project, and you will submit a project proposal and several other short assignments prior to submitting your final project.

Your transformation should be a substantial work, both in length and in form. Though you are not required to produce a transformation that involves new media (web site, blog, video, audio, etc.), you are certainly encouraged to do so, and the labs over the course of the term will help you develop the skills to produce a multimedia or digital transformation.


Getting started

Pick a text to transform

Choose a piece of literature that you want to transform. It can be something we read in class, though your transformation needs to be significantly different from any other transformations we read and discussed. Your text can also be one of the project possibilities listed on the course schedule. You may also transform something we didn't read as a class; if you go this route, though, you should consult with me about your proposed text beforehand.

Analyze the text

Just as you did in the close reading, use the questions in the close reading exercise to guide your analysis of the original text. Write down your answer to each question, and take lots of notes--aim to physically write down everything important you notice about the text.

React to the text

Now that you've analyzed the text, consider other ways of engaging with it. How does it make you feel? What do you like about it? What don't you like about it? What are the non-analytic reasons you want to transform this text? Which of your interests, enthusiasms or fandoms does this text relate to or remind you of? How would you convince a friend to read the text?

Take some notes about your reactions, and don't limit yourself as you respond. What does the text remind you of? What other kinds of media does it bring to mind? Songs? Movies? TV shows? Let your mind wander.

Brainstorm

Think about both your analysis of the text and your other reactions to it. Using whatever brainstorming method you prefer (listing, mind-mapping, freewriting and doodling are all good options, but you don't have to stop there), explore your ideas and options. What are all the different ways you might transform your text? Aim to get as many ideas onto paper as you can.

Experiment

Now that you've generated some ideas, try out a few of the most promising ones. Make a few prototypes or preliminary sketches. Write down the steps you would need to take to produce your idea. See what a few of your ideas would look like by experimenting with the techniques, technologies and forms you're considering.

Make some choices

Use the results of your experiments to decide on one or two ideas. What worked best? What seemed most promising? What seemed most doable? Make some decisions about what your transformation will look like.

Experiment some more

Take a few more steps toward creating your transformation. Try out any technologies you want to use. Investigate websites or platforms. See what works and what doesn't.

Make something

Make your transformation (or at least, a first draft of your transformation). Don't worry if it isn't perfect--you can always fix, change and revise later. Focus on making something you're proud of and that represents your interests in and interpretations of your source text.


Final project proposal

At some point in the process described above, you will pause and write a final project proposal. No matter where you are in the project process, you will write your project proposal at the end of Week Three. You may have already begun making your final project by then, or you may still be in the brainstorming phase. The one thing you must do for the final project proposal is choose a literary text that you plan to transform.

Your project proposal should be a formal document describing what you plan to do in your final project and how you plan to execute your vision. You do not need to have settled on a final option for your transformation, but you should have narrowed the field sufficiently that you are able to write in specific detail about your plans.

Your proposal should include the following sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Introduce the literary text you plan to transform and the reasons you chose that text. You might draw from your reactions to the text as part of your introduction.

  3. Discussion of literary text
  4. Discuss your analysis of the literary text. Explain what you see as noteworthy about the way the text works, and highlight some of the textual features that are important to your own close reading of the text.

  5. Discussion of transformation
  6. Discuss the form or forms you expect your transformation to take. You do not have to have decided on a final form for your transformation, but if you have more than one idea, you should discuss each one in this section. Aim to describe your proposed transformation(s) in as much detail as possible.

  7. Transformation plans
  8. Outline how you will create your transformation. What media, tools, techniques, and/or technologies will you use? What are the steps you will take to creat your transformation? Once again, if you are considering more than one transformation idea, you should discuss each one in this section.

  9. Obstacles and challenges
  10. Outline the primary obstacles and challenges you foresee encountering as you work on your transformation. What assistance do you need from your instructor and classmates in order to address these challenges? What other resources do you need to seek out?

Submission and evaluation

Your project proposal is worth 3 points and is due by 5 PM on Friday, 5/11. ou should save your proposal as a Word file and upload it to the final project proposal folder on Sakai.


Final project analysis

In addition to producing a transformative work of your own, you will also analyze your work to show how your transformation makes an argument about the original work. Your analysis will follow the format of the comparative analysis from earlier in the term, and will draw on evidence from both the original work and your transformation to support your analytic claims.

To write your analysis, you should go through the exact same steps you went through in writing your comparative analysis. Your goals in this analysis are identical to those in the earlier analysis: to compare an original text and a transformative work to show how the transformation analyzes the original work and to make an argument about the way a transformative work makes an argument.

The only difference between your analysis of your final project and the comparative analysis is that your analysis of your final project should be more substantial than the comparative analysis: it should analyze the original text in even greater depth and should therefore be longer than the comparative analysis.


Final project FAQs

What should my final project look like?

What your project looks like is up to you! It can look like one of the transformations we've studied in class, or it can look completely different. It should reflect the effort and time you've put into the project--you want your audience to see that you've worked hard on your transformation.

Who is the audience for my final project?

The audience for your final project is up to you. You should spend some time thinking about who you want to appeal to with your transformation. Is your audience fans of a particular book, TV show, movie, etc.? Is it people who love the author of your source text, or the source text itself? Is it people drawn together by some other characteristic or interest?

Who is the audience for my analysis of my final project?

Your audience for your analysis should be a hypothetical classmate who has attended class, done the reading, and read your source text, but has not been overly studious or attentive. This classmate will definitely notice if you make an obvious claim, but there is also room to teach her something new about the readings and concepts from class. Your classmate does not need full, detailed summaries of the text, because she has already read it, but she does need concise reminders to help locate herself in the text and to remind her of what the important points were.


Important dates

Thursday, 5/10 Project planning workshop
Friday, 5/11 Project proposal due
Wednesday, 5/16 Final project workshop
Thursday, 5/17 Final project analysis workshop
Sunday, 5/20 Final project due

Evaluation and submission instructions

What your final project should do

  • Engage with a single literary text of your choosing
  • Transform that text in some fashion
  • Represent a substantive investment of time and effort on your part
  • Demonstrate thoughtfulness about the literary text, what it means and how it works
  • Demostrate the characteristics of literary transformation we identified in class

What your final project analysis should do

  • Analyze your transformation alongside the source text
  • Make an argument about about your transformation's interpretation of the primary text and the way the transformation presents that interpretation
  • Support your claims with evidence in the form of short quotations and description from the text and transformation, and provide analysis of those quotations to explain the significance of the quotation and show how it fits into your argument
  • Have a brief introduction that introduces the text and transformation, what you’ll be arguing, and why that argument is important
  • Have a brief conclusion that reminds your reader what your argument and most important points were, and how and why that argument is important
  • Be 1000-1500 words long and contain a bibliography and in-text citations

Submission instructions

Both your transformation and your analysis of your transformation are due by 5 PM on Sunday, 5/20.

How you submit your transformation will depend on what form that transformation takes. If your transformation is available on the Internet, you can email me a link. If it is in a physical format, you should place it in the box by the door to my office. If those two options don't work for your transformation, consult with me and we'll work out an alternate submission plan.

You should save your analysis as a Word file and upload it to the final project analysis folder on Sakai.

Evaluation

Your final project is worth 35 points. Those points are allocated as follows:

Final project proposal 3 points
Final project 16 points
Final project analysis 16 points

Your final project analysis will be evaluated according to the grading scale.