Book Wikis and Blogs - Term 2

Each group has been assigned a wiki or blog.  In this space, you will want to teach your audience (me) about the book you are reading.  The following is a list of ideas for the kinds of information that I will look at in your wiki.  Make sure that you always give credit to your sources.  These wikis should be complete by the end of the day Wednesday 1/9/2008.

Author page: This could have a biography, pictures and links to the authors’ official sites.
Plot Summary/Key Events: Your group could write your won plot summary or create a list of links to summaries written by others.
Setting: You may want to record the setting of the book, including pictures and/or maps that would provide visual information to your readers.
Character List: Your list could be collected and written by your group members, or you could find a character list collected by another source.
Vocabulary page: This could be a collective list of words you and your group members didn’t know at the time of reading, with the definitions.  You might also collect a list of links to other sites’ vocabulary lists.
Study Guide: You may make up your own questions and answers from your book.
Reading Calendar: Your group may want to have a reading schedule to keep each other on task.  What is a reasonable amount of reading each day to help you complete your book?

Book Review: Do not summarize the book here.  You must review the book.  What about the book has value for the reader? 

Research Links: Find links to research by other scholars in journals and on the web.

Other Ideas: If you find it necessary or convenient or interesting, you can have other pages on your wiki.

Individual Pages: Each group member should have his or her own page to record reactions and reflections to the text.  You could post these thoughts like blogging, where you write them by date or post.  You should have five “paragraphs” or postings in all by the time I ask for your work.

In addition, each group member will be responsible for writing a MLA-formatted research paper about the book, the author, or some element of the text.  I will meet with each group individually to discuss paper topics and ideas.  The paper idea should be ready and approved on Wednesday 1/9/2007.  The papers will be due on 1/16/2008.  Scroll down for paper details.


Book Group Literary Analysis (<- Click this link to download these instructions in Microsoft Word.)

For this assignment, you will need to write a five to seven-page (over 1,500 words) literary analysis of the book that your group has chosen for the outside reading project. To choose a topic, review your group’s wiki for anything interesting from your personal reflection page and/or any of the other pages you compiled to teach me about your book.  This is an academic paper, so you must use at least five outside sources (that’s six works on your Works Cited page, including your book).  Please write this paper in MLA format.  

The Owl at Purdue ( has some suggestions for paper topics: “The best topics are ones that originate out of your own reading of a work of literature, but here are some common approaches to consider:
•    A discussion of a work's characters: are they realistic, symbolic, historically-based?
•    A comparison/contrast of the choices different authors or characters make in a work
•    A reading of a work based on an outside philosophical perspective (Ex. how would a Freudian read Hamlet?)
•    A study of the sources or historical events that occasioned a particular work (Ex. comparing G.B. Shaw's Pygmalion with the original Greek myth of Pygmalion)
•    An analysis of a specific image occurring in several works (Ex. the use of moon imagery in certain plays, poems, novels)
•    A "deconstruction" of a particular work (Ex. unfolding an underlying racist worldview in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness)
•    A reading from a political perspective (Ex. how would a Marxist read William Blake's "London"?)
•    A study of the social, political, or economic context in which a work was written — how does the context influence the work?”

From this topic, you will need to develop a thesis. Look in Write for College through the index for pages that will help you. You can look online as well—The Owl at Purdue has some good examples: (

You will need to write about your book and/or your author, but make sure you are not just writing a summary of other people’s information.  You want to write your own thoughts on your topic and thesis, using other’s people’s ideas as support for those ideas. 

    A.    Attention-getter, which makes the reader interested in the topic.   
    B.    Always make sure you identify the book you have chosen and its author in your introduction.
    C.    You need to have a clear and specific thesis.
II.    BODY:                
    A.    Use transitions, but try to stay away from the simple “first, next, last” kinds of transitions.  Try to weave your     deas together and let them flow from idea to idea through these transitions.
    B.    Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence.
    C.    Include events from your book (or the author’s life) with quotes or paraphrases properly cited in MLA format.
    D.    Your own commentary that connects ideas, quotes and events from the novel.
    E.    You should also have additional research to support your argument.   
    A.    Final ideas or summary statements tying your final ideas together and restating thesis.
    B.    A clincher: Example, story or quote that really drives the idea home.

Grading: This paper is worth a significant part of your course grade. It will be graded holistically, meaning I will assess the paper as a whole--with emphasis given to content, then organization, then style, formatting, and grammar and usage conventions. Quality essays will:
•    Will make a claim (your thesis) based on your interpretation of the plot, theme, characters, etc. and explain its significance.
•    Support the thesis with evidence that is selected and presented in a manner that your audience will find persuasive.
•    Anticipate and respond to any important counter-arguments to the claim.
•    Incorporate relevant references to the text and to ideas of peers and published authors.
•    Present ideas in a clear, cohesive, and logical manner that supports the purpose of the paper as well as communication with the intended audience.
•    Cite the text—use actual quotes from your book.
•    Cite your research from other authors.  You will need at least five other authors.