Summary-Analysis Papers

Due Dates

Short Papers: 1/30, 2/6, 2/13
Extended Paper: 2/24

S-A papers due prior to the beginning of class, submitted to your Dropbox folders.

As we read Hayles' Electronic Literature, we will be learning new theoretical concepts that help us make sense of works of electronic literature. In an attempt to apply those concepts, we will write three short Summary Analysis (S-A) papers. In addition, we will revise and expand one of those shorter papers. You will choose which paper you'd like to revise.

Paper Assignments

Paper 1 (1/30)
Define Hayles' concept of "intermediation," and use it to conduct an analysis of Stuart Moulthrop's Reagan Library.

Paper 2 (2/6)
Define Hayles' discussion of "hyper attention" and "deep attention," and use these twin concepts to conduct an analysis of Kate Pullinger and babel's Inanimate Alice, Episode 1: China.

Paper 3 (2/13)
Hayles says that electronic literature "revalues computational practice." Summarize what she means by this phrase and use this idea to analyze Wardrip-Fruin, Durand, Moss, and Froehlich's Regime Change.

Keep the following things in mind as you write your S-A papers:

The summary section can be no longer than 250 words in the three short papers. Fairly and adequately summarizing a theoretical concept is a difficult task, especially when space is limited. The summary section of S-A papers should very concisely and carefully provide a summary of Hayles' theoretical concept. Please note that you are providing a summary of a particular concept and not the entire chapter. Because your summaries are limited to 250 words, you won't be able to mention every single point the author makes. Your job is to decide what's important and to provide a reader with a clear, readable, fair summary of the concept. While you may decide to provide direct quotations of the author, you will need to focus on summarizing the author's argument in your own words.

The analysis section can be no longer than 500 words in the three short papers. In the analysis sections of these papers, you will focus on applying the theoretical concept described in the summary section. You will use the concept you've summarized to explain how a piece of electronic literature works, and you will explain how one of Hayles' concepts allows us to make sense of this piece of literature. Just as Hayles does throughout the book, you will provide a close reading of a piece of literature (we will study examples in class).

In the extended analysis paper, you will expand your summary and your analysis. In the extended paper, your summary should be expanded to about 500 words and your analysis should be about 1000 words. Your summary should still be of one concept, but that summary can now be presented in the context of the entire text (rather than just the context of one chapter). The analysis should still be of one work of electronic literature, and your goal will be to expand and revise that analysis with more examples and a more detailed interpretation of the piece's meaning and mechanism. This paper will also be accompanied by a brief cover letter that explains how you've revised the paper.

Grade Criteria

While I will not be grading your papers, I will be providing feedback. Here is what I will be looking for:

* Is your paper formatted correctly (double-spaced, observes the word limit, name in upper-left-hand corner)?

* Does your summary fairly and concisely summarize Hayles' theoretical concept?

* Have you used your own words to summarize the concept?

* Does your analysis use Hayles' theoretical concept to explain and interpret the assigned work of electronic literature?

* Have you devoted the appropriate amount of space to the two sections of the paper? Remember that the word counts I provide are just guides (not strict word limits), but also remember that both summary and analysis have to be adequately addressed in the paper.

* Is your paper written effectively and coherently with very few grammatical errors?

* Was the paper turned in on time? (Reminder: I do not accept late work.)

For the extended S-A paper, you will be revising one of the three short papers. In that assignment, I will be looking for all of the above. In addition, I will be asking:

* Have you included a cover letter that explains your revisions?

* Does the paper expand upon the analysis you conducted in the first version of the paper?

* Have you significantly revised the first version (or versions) of this paper? Have you expanded, cut, added, reworked, or reordered your ideas?

Remember that revision is about more than punctuation and grammar. I am looking for evidence that you've spent time reworking the paper.

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