Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
During the course of your school career you have read many pieces of literature. Some were more interesting to you than others. However, each literary work has at least one idea in common - the fact that it reflects the cultural, political, economic, and social concerns of the time period during which it was written. An author is not secluded from the world in which he lives. It is this connection that creates an interesting commentary on the world as it was and is.
Choose a literary work that you have found interesing and then choose an social, political, economical or cultural issues that figures prominently in the literary work. You can find some suggestions here, but with the approval of your teaher and librarian, you make choose another work that has caught your interest. You will examine the work and the issue and present your findings by inviting the author or character from the literary work to dinner along with an expert on the issue in today's time. You will need to include in your project information on
its historical and cultural context of the issue within the piece of literature
present day context of the issue
a discussion of the issue between a character or author of the book and a present day authority on the issue
your opinion on the issue and how it affects your life
Your findings will be presented as a script, , a documentary, or another product approved by your teacher and librarian. All projects will have a properly documented citation according to your school's chosen style.
|Choose your literary work and theme. Make sure that it is one in which you have interest.|
|Begin to research your case in a specialized encyclopedia if one is available in your school's library.|
|As you review the literary work, list some key words and ideas that will help you formulate your search strategy. Use this form to help focus your ideas. You may want to check out some hints for this step.|
|After you have formulated your search strategy, you can start gathering information.|
|Decided what sources will be best for your research.|
|Check your school's OPAC for books that will give you background on the issue that you have chosen. Start your working bibliography|
|Do you need more books? Search the catalogs of other libraries using IcePAC and CIDER|
|Now it's time to start looking for periodical articles. You probably want to start with ProQuest. Test your search strategy and and gather at least 3 articles that are going to be useful. Mark your articles and print out the citations.|
|Don't forget the eBooks. The American Decades and Novels for Students series will help here.|
On to some Internet sites now. Use the search strategy that you have found successful when you search in your search engine. You will need to evaluate the sites' authority, accuracy, currency, and objectivity. When you have found the ones you will use, fill out the How Does this site Measure Up form.
|As you take your notes, remember to record the source information you will need for the paper. You will need to give credit for all your quotations and included information that is not common knowledge|
|Time to the write your paper. Make sure you have enough information so that you cover all the items in the task. Do you need more information? If so go back and repeat some of your searches. Remember RESEARCH meant to search again. Check the evaluation rubric to see how you are doing.|
|You are almost there. Put the final touches on your Works Cited page. You can use some of the online citation makers like NoodleTools, CitationMachine, BibMe, or Easy Bib.|
Your work will be evaluated according to the rubric.
You have now seen how the a piece of literature can serve as a window through which a reader can observe a writer's world. You will have concluded that even though issues are presented in a literary work they can give us an historical basis on which we can formulate our opinion on those same issues that plague our world. In addition, you have now completed a research project that can serves as a model for searching, accessing, and using information whether you go on to college or the work place.
Good work and Congratulations