Welcome to the library research guide for ENG 380
This guide provides an overview of research resources and tools for ENG 380.
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Colloquium Project Assignment Guidelines
This project will consist of an in-depth preface, a substantial research project and a professional website which will provide a link to the project. The project is designed to help you present yourself professionally, specifically highlighting your academic journey, your honed research interests, your writing and research skills, your career goals, and your additional unique skills as they relate to what you would like to do when you graduate.
As you begin this project, think about the fact that you will be able to say to anyone who views your website and reads your project... “This is who I am,” “This is what I have done and what I like to do,” “This is why and how I got here,” “Here are my skills and interests,” “This is my post-graduation goal,” “Here is what I have to offer.”
This project takes the place of the two separate projects in past senior seminar classes: the portfolio and the colloquium project. You should see this project as not something to just get done or stress over, but rather as something that will help you get a handle on your academic journey and professional goals so that you can present yourself in the best possible light to graduate schools or employers in order to achieve your post-graduation goal.
Because this newly designed semester-long project will allow you to present yourself professionally, you will not be anonymous to the readers, as has been the case in the past. Two members of the department will read each project (along with the website) and give it a pass or fail (based on a rubric which will be provided to them). If both grades are “pass,” you are done with the assignment. If one grade is “pass” and one grade is “fail,” your project will go to a third reader, who will cast a tie-breaking vote. if your project fails the first round, you have only one opportunity to revise. If you cannot pass the second round, you will need to repeat the class next semester.
**No one should fail this project. This project is designed as a forward-thinking exercise - you should do this with an end goal in mind: to get into graduate school or find meaningful employment. If you treat this project as such, come to every class, meet every deadline, and put all your effort and ability into it, you will succeed (and you will have a professional website and a substantial writing sample to share with the world). I will help you every step of the way if you fully participate in the process.
I will also grade the project as part of your overall course grade. I will be grading the first phase of the website and the project separately, but both are due at the same time. Your website will be in a work in progress when I give it to the outside readers (only the first phase will be due at that
point - I will be grading this phase on the rubric for the entire website). Your final revised website will be due at the end of the course.
The Written Project Portion: Part I: Preface
This is the introduction to your research project. The preface and the research project need to be linked. The preface gets you and your readers to the research (it introduces the project by showing how you got to the point of wanting to do the research - and why). This preface is the readers way into your research. The research must flow naturally from the preface.
Think about the preface as containing an academic and personal (with a professional emphasis) timeline which shows your growth as an English major: what drew you to the major, what courses and projects interested you and why, how you honed your interests within the major, and what you want to research now that you have reached this point in your academic career and look to your post-graduation goals. In addition to thinking about the preface as providing this timeline, think about it as a career reflection also. Everything you have done here at KU (and related to KU) has brought you to this point. Where are you? What do you want to do now? How can this final research project help you get to that goal and show readers what you can offer? Yes, you should choose a research topic that interests and excites you, but it must be a topic that has organically grown out of everything you have done to this point. Also, the topic (and what you learn through your research) should be helpful to you in terms of securing a graduate school acceptance or job offer.
Your preface should include not just specific English courses, readings, projects, writers, etc. that have led you to where you are now. It should also include other courses and projects you did at KU (in a minor or just as electives). In addition, it should include any past volunteer or paid work experiences and any campus activities or hobbies that, along with your academic work, have led you to where you are now and to the research you decided to do.
Possible guiding questions :
• Which books and authors have been most important to you and why? • What courses were most interesting to you and why? How did these books and courses lead you to other books and courses and your narrowed academic focus? • Why did you choose a particular cluster/ concentration and/or minor? • How did all of the above influence your choices of courses outside of your major? • How did all of the above influence your choices of summer jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, campus activities, or hobbies? • How have any jobs, internships, volunteer experiences, activities, and/or hobbies also helped you hone your academic interests, and how have all of these led to your current post graduation goal?
• Finally, how did all of the above led you to decide on this specific research project, and how do you hope the research will help you reach your post-graduation goal?
This preface should be about 5-10 pages in order to provide the depth necessary to introduce your research project. This should show your disciplinary knowledge and your writing skills. It should follow the the written conventions of the major and formal writing.
** Do not include irrelevant information, do not overwhelm the readers with personal information, and do not stray off topic. Keep this personal but very professional. It is all about showing how you came to your current research interest and your professional goals.
** Because this entire project will be accessible online, do not include names of professors in this preface or on the website.
Part II: Original Research project
This portion should be about 15-20 pages and demonstrate significant depth and breadth relative to a very specific topic (which also connects to what you said in your preface). The paper should follow current MLA citation practices and include at least 15 outside sources.
Because this research project flows out of the academic path you have taken and gestures toward what you want to do after graduation, you can take an interdisciplinary approach. We will brainstorm in class and visit the library. You are also encouraged to speak with your advisors or any other faculty members who have expertise in your topic (within or outside of the English Department).
Your research should make a unique contribution to scholarship on your chosen topic and not simply summarize what others have written. You need to to articulate and defend an original thesis.
The Website Portion (First Phase)
I will be showing you sample websites. Some of your website must be done by the time your colloquium project goes to the outside readers. They will be reading your colloquium project via your website, so you will need to think about how your website will represent you professionally. You will need to think about the visual appeal of the website, the professional quality of the website, and the website’s design and content in relationship to the content of your colloquium project. Your website will include a working link to your research project incorporated into a professional design. I will be providing the outside readers the link to your website. They will be asked to consider the quality of the website as part of their overall evaluation.
What is due on the website at this stage:
1. Website must be set up.
2. Home page must be complete (with personal photo, design / additional photos, introduction and links to all other pages (these pages must be set up but do not need to be finished).
3. Resume (separate link / page for this).
4. Any additional colloquium project related pages should be complete.