Final Project

For your final project, you are invited to explore some aspect of our course – any of the artworks or topics we discussed in class, or that were offered as suggestions for webposts or anything related to any of that – in a format that is suitable for online, digital consumption. You are encouraged to be as creative as possible; the project should be an expression of your own voice, your own passion, and your own interests (as they connect to our course, of course!). You are also warmly welcome to collaborate with one or two other students on your project. This is especially encouraged if your project requires multiple types of skills and/or an unusual amount of labor (eg researching a topic, writing a script, and performing it as a skit, for example). Your final project is worth 25% of your overall course grade.

I strongly recommend that you reach out to Josh Finnell ( for assistance in turning your preliminary ideas into a coherent project, and/or to Christine Moskell ( for all matters related to the technological side. You are also, of course, strongly encouraged to meet with me to discuss and develop your ideas as well!

Digital formats: You are welcome to create a podcast, Ted Talk, timeline (and here’s another nice one), StoryMap (and here’s another great one), short story, flipbook, map, art work, museum exhibition, game, video, website, poll, performance, Choose your Own Adventure (click on “present” in the upper right corner to make this one work), or any other format that can be shared digitally. (Please note that all the links in the previous sentence are to excellent examples of those media from last semester’s Core 151 students.) It should be dynamic or interactive in some way that actively engages the visitor; most important, it should make an argument or have a point that is better expressed in your chosen medium than it would be in a straightforward written essay. You are also, of course, welcome to do something not mentioned in either of these guides or anywhere on this prompt. It would be wise to share your idea with me and/or Josh or Christine ahead of time.

Instructions for Posting Your Final Project: You will add your final project to the website as a “post,” just as you have done for the past two web essay assignments. Christine Moskell will send instructions. Be sure to select “Final Project” as the Category for your post, otherwise it disappears into the void.

Due: Posted on our course website by 2 pm, on Thursday, May 6. Please note that extensions must be requested in writing (email) at least 24 hours before the due date, and must include an attachment with all work on the project completed so far (this can be notes). The likelihood of my granting the extension depends very much on your ability to demonstrate that you have not waited until the last minute to get started on the project. Late submissions, or last-minute requests for an extension, will be penalized by a deduction of points on the final project grade.

Assessment criteria: Please note that these are very similar to the criteria that have guided my assessment of your independent work all semester long, with added focus on the match between your topic/argument and your chosen medium.

1. Creativity: This project should be something only you (or you and your team) could have designed, written, and put together. It should show off your unique personality and imagination. Your keen interest in, and excitement about, the topic should be evident to your audience. Be bold! Surprise and delight us! Here is an inspiring example of a very creative final project.  20 points  
2. Complexity: The project should demonstrate that you have spent many hours thinking deeply about the topic, researching and examining it from multiple perspectives. It should also reflect a semester’s worth of deep engagement with, and mastery of, our course themes and issues.  Here is a project that demonstrates very impressive complexity.   20 points  
3. Coherence: Your project conveys information and your interpretation of it in a way that is clear and easily comprehensible to the user. There is no extraneous, unrelated, or confusing material.  Here is a very coherent final project. 20 points  
4. Match between form and content: The medium, format, organization, layout, visuals, and interface should make it easier for your reader to follow – and be persuaded and even moved by – your argument than a regular written essay would. Your audience’s experience interacting with what you create should enhance the message you are trying to communicate; by making it experiential, you are bringing it to life.  Here is a project where the match between form and context is excellent. 12 points  
5. Strong Prose: Even in a digital project that is not an essay, good writing is still essential!  Word choices are accurate, descriptive and straightforward. Syntax is smooth, not distracting. Rules of standard written English grammar (including apostrophes) are followed.  Here is a wonderfully written final project. 12 points  
6. Sources cited: YOU MUST CITE YOUR SOURCES, but I leave it up to you to determine the most appropriate way to do so in the context of your chosen medium. Hyperlinks, endnotes, some equivalent of “page” at the end that lists them, verbally reading them out if you are doing a podcast, Ted Talk or performance of some kind or some other method – any of these are fine. But you may not skip this step. You should cite at least five good quality sources.      8 points  
7. Proofreading and attention to detail. Be sure to use spellcheck! And make sure everything works!   8 points  
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