In your groups, you will conduct research over a particular topic pertaining to a Framed Tale. You will choose one of the tales listed below, then create a question over your topic that will allow you to explore how it is presented in the tale as well as its importance in the culture.
You should explore the historical context of your topic and describe the way this context manifests in either A Thousand and One Nights or The Canterbury Tales. You should use this as a background for a discussion on the importance of your chosen topic and not just what it reveals about the text but about the society as well.
Tales to choose from: (No more than 2 groups per portion of the text - first come, first serve)
Consider the historical/cultural, sociological, or gender perspectives as you create your question and begin your research: science; the humours (significance of colors); political and religious climates; roles of men/women; class systems; feudalism; literacy and education; characteristics and events of the time period (Medieval time period aka the Dark Ages); impact on the future (literature and historically); the poet’s/author’s background, etc.
Possible Topics (You are not limited to this list.)
In conjunction with your topic, you can explore the setting of the story, the characters, type of story they tell, theme, conflict, symbolism, allusions, literary devices, satire, and any variety of literary elements that appear in the stories. Consider formal, psychological, archetypal, and/or reader's response perspectives.
Sample Research Question & Thesis
How does the Mesopatamian people’s view of death and the afterlife manifest in Gilgamesh?
Thesis: Gilgamesh’s quest for immortality highlights the Mesopatamian people’s belief of an afterlife where people exist as powerless ghosts in order to emphasize the lack of hope prevalent in their religion.
With this question, the writer would need to research the Mesopatmians religious belief, particularly in connection with death and the afterlife, then look at the poem. So, the fact that Mesopatamians believed in an afterlife where the deceased are powerless ghosts, it could have spurred Gilgamesh’s quest for immortality.
Step 1: Annotated Bibliography (1 Major Grade)
Each member of your group will look for three sources (minimum) related to your chosen topic. You cannot repeat sources. You will include your group's thesis statement, and for each source, the MLA citation and a brief summary of the work and brief explanation of how you can use this source in your presentation.
See MLA citation and paragraph example in Canvas.
Step 2: Visual Essay & Script (1 Major Grade)
You will bring your findings together to present this project to the class in the form of a visual essay that may either be recorded or presented live. A visual essay uses minimal words in the visual part of the assignment, but you will elaborate on the essay in your spoken presentation. You will also be required to write a script of your presentation that will be submitted on the same day your project is due to Turnitin on Canvas.
You may use the following tools: Infographic, GoogleSlides, Prezi, AdobeSpark, or any other tool to create and present your project.
Though the visual part of your assignment will provide minimal words, you will still need to structure your presentation like an essay with an introduction that introduces your topic, a thesis statement, and a conclusion that summarizes the main points in your visual essay.
Verify all due dates in Canvas.
These are just examples and do not adhere to our requirements. Their purpose is to give you some idea of what you can do.
Below are video tutorials to help you navigate some of the library resources.
The following resource will provide you some resources for background information. Doing background research will not only help you narrow your focus, but will also help you identify keywords to use when searching the databases for scholarly articles.
Below are video tutorials to show you tools for searching in the databases.
Using Boolean operators in a database is highly recommended, as this approach usually generates the most useful results. Databases are not "intuitive" like search engines (e.g., Google) - they must be "told" how to process a search query. Boolean operators let you "tell" the database what you want to see in your results.
Use AND to connect KEYWORDS - Retrieves sources with both/all terms [refines search]
Example: diabetes AND adult AND self-management
Use OR to connect SYNONYMS & LIKE CONCEPTS - Retrieves sources with either/any term(s) [broadens search]
Example: heart attack AND (female OR women) AND symptoms
Use NOT to EXCLUDE word(s) - Eliminates sources with the word(s) following NOT
Example: Omega-3 fatty acids NOT fish oils
When you are conducting your background research on your topic, consider the who, what, when, where and why of what you are reading, and highlight or write the main points down. You can use those as keywords in the databases!