Individualized Project

Each student will pursue a semester-long project which focuses on some special aspect of the course topic. Preparation for this project must include the following:

library research
primary (ancient) and secondary (scholarly) material
analysis of material
original work

prospectus for this project is due around mid-semester.  See individualized project guidelines for additional suggestions about choosing a topic and completing this assignment.

An individualized project includes:
1.) the original prospectus (due at mid-term) Note: This prospectus (with professor's comments) must be resubmitted with the final project.)
the central product. This can take the form of a research paper, creative writing, artwork, website or any other work which deals with material covered in course readings or discussions. See notes on product length and use of Powerpoints below.
an abstract of the product (c.100-150 words). This abstract (executive summary) describes and summarizes the product so that the audience can obtain a general idea of the paper, artwork, or other product before viewing or reading it. Be sure to state your thesis clearly in this abstract.
4.) a
project overview and self-evaluation (c.800 words) which contains the following information:
a.) a summary of how the project was conceived and prepared;
b.) the goals of the project;
c.) an explanation of how you used and analyzed sources (originality);
and d.) your evaluation of the ways your project meet the project goals (self-assessment).
5.) an annotated bibliography
of works consulted
, listed alphabetically by last name of author. Annotations summarize the resources and explain how they were used in the project. A typical annotation will be at least 100- words (not including bibliographic information and should contain a summary of the source and the way that this source was used in the project. A minimum of ten sources, including one article from J-Stor. are required for a B-range grade; a minimum of twenty sources, including two articles from J-Stor, are required for a project worthy of an A-range grade. Course books, encyclopedias, dictionaries, Wikipedia articles and websites evaluated by the class can be cited in the bibliography but only as complements to the minimum number required works (i.e., they do not count in your total for a grade). The quality of the material consulted will significantly affect the grade. It is highly recommended that a variety of resources be consulted, including books, journals, and websites. Heavy reliance on a single kind of resource like websites  is not advised. Wherever possible, make significant use of primary as well as secondary sources in your project. For format of bibliographic references, see Writing Guidelines.
6.) citations for images:
Sources for all images used in the project must be fully cited in a list separate from the annotated bibliography. These citations, which do not have to be annotated, should be listed alphabetically by last name of artist and include the following information: artist, title, medium, date of creation, present location (museum), and url.

Some observations about length:
No specific length is mentioned in the guidelines because the central product of your individualized can take the form of a research paper, creative writing, artwork, website or any other work which deals with material covered in course readings or discussions. So the length will vary according to the kind of product you choose. What is most important is that you show in your project that you
a.) pursued significant research in quality sources;
b.) analyzed this material for yourself  (i.e., not just express someone else’s opinion).

Some observations about Powerpoint presentations:
A Powerpoint should not be considered a product in itself but rather as a visual enhancement of the product (i.e. paper) in which you present your project. Therefore, the Notes section for every slide will contain substantial text. Powerpoint presentations which only present written information on the screen are generally of poor quality. Filling a Powerpoint screen with lots of text in small fonts is distracting and difficult to read. Powerpoint presentations in which people simply read exactly what is on the slide is somewhat insulting to an audience which can read for itself. Rather the Powerpoint should complement what the speaker has to say. So, the Powerpoint, should provide illustrations and perhaps occasional bullets which help a person understand your product more fully. The script intended to accompany a Powerpoint presentation MUST be included in the notes area and must contain detailed information about the slide.

Here are two samples of good individualized project. Many thanks to the authors for allowing me to share them. Durante / Sullivan

This Evaluation Form for Individualized Projects will be used to grade your work. It is highly advised that you use this form as a guide during your preparations.

This material has been published on the web by Prof. Tom Sienkewicz for his students at Monmouth College. If you have any questions, you can contact him at

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