The basic project assignment is straightforward: create a web site on some aspect of eighteenth-century British literary, cultural, or social history that has some relevance to the readings for your course. You might browse the Student Project Showcase for examples of past topics or the list of suggested topics for other possibilities, including the top ten most-wanted projects. You are encouraged to find a topic that has not yet been covered extensively by more than one existing project on this site. If you choose a topic that has been covered before, you will be expected to offer a substantially different perspective on the topic, to present at least eight new sources in your bibliography, and to avoid any significant overlap in site content.

The formal requirements for the project are laid out below. Sites will be graded on their adherence to these guidelines and on the quality of their content and design. Please see the extensive list of web design principles elsewhere on this site for additional suggestions on creating a successful web project.

While the main focus of your project will be some aspect of eighteenth-century cultural history rather than a particular text, it should include interpretive content that suggests explicit connections between your topic and the assigned readings for the course. You might choose, for instance, to draw on textual examples to illustrate a phenomenon you discuss in your site, or demonstrate how an idea explained in your site might be applied in the interpretation of a scene or passage from an assigned text. See the Case Studies page of A Trip to an Eighteenth-Century Hospital for a good example.

  1. Projects should be conceived and designed to take full advantage of the web medium. Simply transposing a traditional research paper onto a web page is not acceptable; the unique multi-media and cross-referencing capabilities of web-based communication should be incorporated into the basic design of the project from the very outset. The ECE project Make Your Way As A Woman in Eighteenth-Century England is a good example.

  2. Projects should contain a significant component of original research, interpretation, and analysis. It is fine to include factual material, web site links, scanned images, and quotations, but the intellectual heart of the project should reside in your own treatment and "readings" of these materials. Although readers are interested in historical facts, they are equally interested in your critical and imaginative responses to and interpretations of those facts. Why are they interesting or important? What questions do they raise for you? What bearing do they have on the literature of the period? The ECE project Perspectives on Children: Children's Literature in the Eighteenth Century is a good example of original analysis.

  3. Although fancy, hi-tech bells and whistles (video, sound, animation, Java applets) are neither required nor expected, developers should give attention to basic design issues, such as providing an attractive, user-friendly interface that displays properly on both of the most commonly used browsers, Netscape and Explorer. Carefully review the ECE page on principles of web design as you begin planning and building your project. The ECE project The World Upside Down is an excellent example of appealing site design.

  4. The usual standards of academic integrity will apply, and all quoted, scanned, or paraphrased material should be linked, by means of a clickable note number within the same paragraph, to complete citation information on a separate notes page. Plagiarism will result in a failing grade for the project and possibly for the course. See the page about citing sources for more details.

  5. The overall format and structure of project sites is entirely up to the developers. The following pages, however, are required:

    • Site home page. Your site's "front door" should include a descriptive project title, a brief introduction to the project explaining the scope and purpose of the site, and links to the bibliography, notes, and credit pages (see below) as well as to the ECE home page. This home page must have the file name "index.html" and be located in your main project folder.
    • Works cited page. Your site should include an annotated bibliography of all sources consulted. The bibliography should contain at least eight entries, including at least one journal article and at least one primary (pre-1800) source. It should be properly formatted according to the example provided here.
    • Notes page. This is a separate page of numbered endnotes, providing citation information for all quotations and paraphrases in the main body of the site. Clicking on a note number within the site should take the user directly to the relevant entry on the endnotes page. Full citation information for a given source should be included the first time the source is cited in the notes. Subsequent citations may use an abbreviated form. See the Citing Sources page for details.
    • Credits page. Include the names of all contributors, the date of completion, and the course in which the project was assigned (course number, title, semester, and instructor's name).

  6. In building the site, study and carefully adhere to the important technical tips and guidelines outlined elsewhere on this site. They will not only save you many hours of frustration in developing your project, but will also help to ensure the proper functioning of your pages on the ECE site in the long term.

  7. Thoroughly proofread, spell-check, and link-check your project prior to final submission. The ECE site is accessible to thousands of potential users, and every component of it is expected to demonstrate a high level of professionalism.

  8. Five preparatory assignments are to be submitted by the dates listed on the syllabus. The first of these, a critique of two existing student projects on the ECE site, is due during the third week of term. Click on the link above for complete details about these assignments.

  9. The completed project is to be submitted by uploading it to your group's folder on the ECE site (click here for instructions). Once the upload has been completed and thoroughly tested, send an email (one per group) to the course instructor saying the upload has been completed and providing the following information:

    • The final title of your project.
    • The names of all members of your group.
    • A brief (three- to five-sentence) synopsis of your site to be included in the ECE project catalog.

  10. Within 48 hours of completing the final submission, each member of the group is required to submit a two-page project evaluation consisting of answers to the following questions:

    • How useful was this project as a learning experience for you?
    • How would you suggest modifying the project assignment in future courses?
    • How did your group divide up the work for the project? Did each member contribute his or her fair share?

Go on to Preparatory Assignments


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