CLAS224 Word Elements
Each student will prepare a project on a carefully researched etymology topic which demonstrates significant use of the electronic versions of the American Heritage Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary. The central product of this project can consist of a term paper, a detailed lesson plan, a webpage, or any other appropriate format. The project should be the result of careful analysis of a variety of resources, including dictionaries, scholarly books and articles on words, and internet resources. The project should also reflect the student's own interpretation and point of view (originality).
Students are encouraged to choose topics based on their own backgrounds and interests. For example, an English major may wish to trace the history of an English word from its origins to the present. A Spanish student may choose to study the influence of Spanish on English (or vice versa). It is highly recommended that you discuss your written report topic with the instructor at an early stage in the process.
The project consists of EIGHT (8) parts. Seven of these are required and one is optional (extra credit).
1.) An analysis and comparison of electronic entries from American Heritage Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary. For this assignment you should choose a word related to the general topic you plan to work on. For example, if you think you may want to work on an economics topic, you might look up the word "economics" in both electronic dictionaries, copy the entries from both, analyze each entry, and then compare them. A worksheet is provided to complete this assignment. Completion of this step earns up to five points towards the project grade.
2.) A survey of three dictionaries in the Hewes Library which may be useful to your project. For further information, see Dictionary Survey and Comparison. Completion of this step earns up to ten points towards the project grade.
3.) A Prospectus. The prospectus consists of the following: a.) a description of the proposed topic; b.) a plan of action (i.e., how do you intend to develop this project, in terms of research); c.) a discussion of possible formats for the final product (paper, lesson plan, etc.); d.) an annotated bibliography of at least five resources (print or electronic). "Annotated" means that you provide a brief description of the resource and an explanation of how it could be used in the project. Completion of this step earns up to five points towards the project grade.
4.) An electronic word search related to the topic you plan to pursue. For example, a search of the word "economics" will produce a list of several hundred items. Analyze this list and group the words in categories which help you to organize the material for your project. Submit the original list and analysis along with 250-word precis describing how you could use this material in your etymology project. Completion of this step earns up to ten points towards the project grade.
5.) Progress report. This OPTIONAL report can be a detailed outline, description, or rough draft of the project. It must include an annotated bibliography of at least FIVE (5) resources consulted so far for the project (five in addition to American Heritage Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary; "annotated" means that you provide a brief description of the resource and an explanation of how it was used in the project). This progress report will provide you with some significant feedback from the instructor at an early stage in the process. Completion of this step earns up to five extra credit points towards the project grade.
6.) The actual project. Up to fifty points towards total project grade.
7.) A project overview (to be submitted along with the final project). This consists of a written statement (c.600 words) which contains the following information: a.) a summary of the project; b.) a description of its preparation; and c.) an explanation of the original aspects of this project. Up to ten points towards the total project grade.
8.) an annotated bibliography containing at least ten works in addition to American Heritage Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary ("annotated" means that you provide a brief description of the resource and an explanation of how it was used in the project). NOTE: Course texts like Ayers or Lederer cannot count as one of these ten, although they should be cited if you use them. You should cite a variety of sources, including books, dictionaries, and websites. Be sure to use consistent and standard bibliographic format. Up to ten points towards the total project grade.
ALL projects submitted after the due date will receive a late penalty of one letter grade.
You need 100 point to earn full credit for this assignment. With the extra credit progress report, 105 points are available. The maximum number of points you can earn is 100.
The grade for this project will be 25% of the final grade.