Sarah Drury
Dr. Morgan
18, February, 2009


Project Proposal


Title

The World According to Will
-All Things Shakespeare from a Student's Perspective-

Executive description

My project will consist of creating a blog about selected works of Shakespeare, and involve posting regularly about the historical and cultural contexts of his literature, my impressions of the works studied, class notes on those works, and any other information I deem relevant. I am doing this project on a blog so that I may synthesize all the information I need to help me gain a more comprehensive understanding of Shakespeare's works, especially the dramas.

Narrative

In my project, I hope to develop a more complete understanding of the Shakespeare dramas that I am currently studying (or have studied) in my college-level Shakespeare courses. I will do this by synthesizing all the information I currently have learned about those works, and the cultural and historic contexts in which they were written, as well as researching and integrating new information with the old. In addition to enhancing my own comprehension of Shakespeare's works, I hope to offer others a chance to help complete their understanding of Shakespeare's words. As organization will be important to the success of this project, I also hope to achieve effective organization skills and create a well-organized blog of useful information made readily available to myself and others.
For my project, I will post various types of material. I will use notes from my Shakespeare classes (past and present), research findings of interest, my own interpretations of Shakespeare, and any other related information. I will also link to other bloggers' posted articles when appropriate. I plan on organizing my posts according to what work they relate to. For example, I might post an article on my class notes for the Merchant of Venice, an article on my interpretation of what the three caskets in that play may represent, an article on the treatment of Jews in Elizabethan English society, and a summary of the play. Then, these four posts would be categorized under Merchant of Venice.
This easy categorization is one reason I believe a blog will be the best choice for my project. The layout of a blog is very condusive to easy, quick access to posted information because it displays the posts according to category as well as the chronological order. Also, the idea of individual postings combined to make up a whole blog is well-suited to my purpose of organizing incomplete pieces of information about a text into a comprehensive view of that text. One other reason that a blog will be best for my project is that I will be able to gain access to the blogging world and so view and exchange helpful information about Shakespeare.
Through this project, I hope specifically to learn how to effectively process and organize information, both for my benefit and others'. I also desire to gain a more complete grasp of Shakespeare's works through forming my own ideas and interpretations, and blogging about them, in addition to relating various literary authorities' ideas and interpretations of those works. By actively engaging with the texts and pursuing relevant information, I hope to learn and develop critical thinking skills which will contribute to my overall understanding of Shakespeare's writings.
I have not seen other blogs about Shakespeare that I am basing this project on. I am sure there are many blogs similar to what mine will be, but I have not come across any yet. However, the basic idea of a topic-driven blog which I am basing this project on can be found everywhere. One such blog is my family's blog,The Drury Report established for the purpose of staying in touch with each other and updating each other on family news and events. (It worked quite well, until everyone moved over to Facebook.)
The project blog design will be fairly plain becaue I see this more as a notebook than a showcase. I want a dark background with light-colored font. I also want a fairly modern design because I find Shakespeare to be completely relevant to all ages of history, and I want to fight the incorrect assumption that Shakespeare is "Old English" (especially since Shakespeare technically wrote "Modern English"). Space will be taken up with one column of text and one column of Widgets. So, the layout will consist of a header, containing the title and tagline; two columns and displayed Widgets of an About page, a Search box, Categories, Archives, Blogroll, and Meta. I plan on developing my Blogroll to include other blogs about Shakespeare or Elizabethan/Jacobean times.
I envision my progress report detailing how I have expanded my knowledge of Shakespeare as relates to his work, how the blog has enabled me to interact with the texts more, and how either my blog has contributed to others' perception and understanding of Shakespeare or how others' blogs have increased my perceptions and understanding of Shakespeare and his work.

Contract for grade

I am contracting for 1000 points. I will post at least five times per week, each post being around five hundred words or more. By the end of the project, I will also have posted at least three essays which will be at least one thousand words each.

Calendar

-By March 23rd-25th, I will have completed posting on at least five of Shakespeare's dramas. (This means that I will have done at least three posts on each drama, for a total of at least fifteen posts.) And I will have linked to at least five other websites.
-By April 15th, I will have completed posting on at least nine dramas. I will have a decent Blogroll developed, and I will have linked to at least five other blogs in my postings.
-By April 20th, through finals week, I will have my Project Report ready and have posted completely on at least ten dramas, a few miscellaneous Shakespeare works, and wrapped everything up so that all the information I need on those ten dramas is published to the blog.
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