The collected wisdom of Uni High students about popular and not-so-popular utopian and dystopian fiction.

Assignment: Create an exhaustive wiki entry for the utopian or dystopian novel you have chosen to read and research. Your wiki entry should contain, at a minimum, the elements listed under Step 2. You may, however, add much more to your entry. If you are reading the same novel as a classmate, you may collaborate on a page, but with two or more authors the wiki entry should be proportionally more in-depth. Please document and share with me ahead of time which sections each collaborator will be responsible for.

Step 1 | Step 2 | Step 3 | Step 4 | Due Dates

Step 1: Become familiar with the scholarly and popular conversation surrounding the novel (also known as "research").

You will need to find a minimum of 10 sources, which will be submitted in two batches of 5 annotations. These sources should represent a balance of the scholarly and popular writing about your novel. The annotations should briefly summarize the content of the sources and include a sentence or two about the usefulness of the sources for your writing. I am looking for more than "this will be useful" or "this will not be useful." Take the time to include why and how the source will be useful.

I would recommend that you use Noodlebib to keep track of your sources and write your annotations. When you have finished your annotations, please share them with class name: Linder Kong. Sharing your annotations via noodlebib will allow me to give you feedback electronically, rather than submitting them on paper.

Due Dates: First 5 annotations due Friday, March 6. Second 5 annotations due Friday, March 20.

Step 2: Draft the content of your wiki entry. It will need to contain the following elements:

  • Author background--you do not need to write an exhaustive history of the author, instead focus on any background relevant to the novel you are writing about. Author interviews about the work will be a more interesting source of information than an encyclopedia style biography.
  • Plot summary--again, you will need to think about what plot information someone interested in reading or learning about the novel might want. You do not need to summarize all events in the novel and please do not include any unneccessary spoilers.
  • Summary of important thematic ideas / issues addressed / symbolism employed.
  • Summary of any debates about the message / importance / efficacy of the novel that you found in the scholarly and popular conversation around the novel.
  • Any historical information important for understanding and analyzing the novel.
  • Your own analysis / conclusions / evaluation of the novel. The writing in this section will be the most like a traditional research paper and I expect to see you drawing on the above information (ideas, themes, and arguments in the conversation surrounding the novel) in your anlysis. This is also the section that should contain the most original thought.

There are a few other elements that you may choose to include:
  • Information about any movie adaptations of the novel and your review of those adaptations.
  • Any connections to other utopian or dystopian novels included in the wiki (please link to your classmates' work).
  • Any other interesting information you discover in your research.

Due Dates: You should have the majority of the content written and a rough layout by the end of class Friday, April 17.

Step 3: Edit your content, layout your wiki if you haven't already and pretty things up.

Along with the content expectations, I will expect your wiki entry to:

  • Conform to standard spelling, grammar, usage and punctuation.
  • Include internal links to any sources used as well as a list of references in MLA format at the end of the entry.
  • Correctly attribute, paraphrase and punctuate writing that is not original. This will be particular important for the collaborative nature of this project. I do not want you to simply cut and paste text from other websites, change a few words and call the work your own.
  • Include meaningful images.
  • Have an attractive and logical layout.
  • Include top level navigation and a logical hierarchy of information. You are not required to present information in the categories or order I suggest in my explanation of step 2.

Due Dates: You should have a complete draft of your wiki entry by the end of class Thursday, April 23. Peer editing will take place on Thursday, April 30th and you will have Friday, May 1 to put the finishing touches on your wiki. The final draft of your wiki entry is due by the end of the day on Monday, May 4.

Step 4: You will be giving an extended book talk about your novel and the content of your wiki in class the week of May 4-8.

Summary of Due Dates & Computer Work Days:
Computer lab work day Thursday 2/26 and Friday 2/27

Computer lab work day Friday 3/6
first 5 annotations due
Computer lab work day Friday 3/20
5 more annotations due
Computer lab work day Friday 4/10

Computer lab work day Thursday 4/16 and 4/17
content and rough layout due end of class Friday 4/17
Computer lab work day Thursday 4/23
complete draft due at end of class
Computer lab work day Thursday 4/30
peer editing
Computer lab work day Friday 5/1
final editing
End of day Monday 5/4
final draft due