Final Project and Twine


For my final project, I wanted to focus on pedagogy and as I said during my presentation on Thursday, I wanted to develop a unit plan for something that I hope to actually incorporate into my Freshman Composition (Eng 101/202) in the future.

My final project is an expansion of last week’s pedagogical intervention. I will be using Twine again, but will be adding to the brainstorming/mind-mapping type activity that I created to help students create questions and organize the answers to those questions.

This Unit is for the Observational Essay and it would begin with students coming to class having sat in the Oak Grove or some busy part of campus for at least 15-30 minutes and having observed what happened around them. They would then have to bring in notes from their observations. I expect that some may be organized, but many will just be random notes, which I will tell them is okay. I don’t want them bringing in anything typed or edited.

Once they are in class, we will discuss this “project” and what they found in their observations. I will want them to read from their notes. Once we discuss the differences between simply observing something and actually putting that information together into a narrative, I will introduce them to the Observational Essay, what it means, etc. For the next class, students will come to class with an idea of what type of event/activity they would like to observe on or near campus.

During the next class, students will be grouped based what type of event they would like to observe (Sports, Art, Entertainment, Music, Talk/Speech, etc.). Ideally, there will be 6 groups of 4, but if many of the students want to all observeĀ the same type of event, then I will just group them myself. They will then go onto the class webpage/wiki, where I will have created Twine “stories”, which will be deconstructed articles (real-life published articles) that have been broken up out of order. The students, as a group will go to Twine and read through the story. They will then try to figure out the “proper” order. I will also print out the Proof copy for the students so they can more easily read how I broke up the article and re-arranged it. There’s an example of this on my website here. It’s entitled Article Example. While I have done this before by cutting out the paragraphs or articles and having students rearrange them on a table, I think that incorporating Twine so that they can read it out of order, but presented as if it’s in a proper order can make students consider how they prioritize their organization and their writing.

I imagine this would take most of the class. I would give them a brief Twine tutorial, so they could go home and students would (hopefully) be able to recreate the story using Twine (I would have to show them and they could just copy/paste from my story). The next class, they would present their new stories and explain how they reorganized the story to make sense. Finally, I would show them how the story was originally published. Hopefully, we would have time to explain how the original differed from theirs and if they think that changed the meaning of the story.

The next part would be the brainstorming/Q & A activity I discussed last week.

After that (which should only take a day and could be done for homework), students would come to class after having attended their chosen event. After completing the Q & A brainstorming, I would have them work on organizing the events and the quotes they gathered into some sort of order that makes sense. They would create their own Twine that would be a sort of rough draft. They would work on this for 2 classes and at home.

They would complete the Twine as best as they could and then on the day of the peer review, they would exchange Twine stories with the person peer editing and the peer editor would read through their Twine story/article to see if it followed an order that made sense, if the quotes were in the proper areas supporting the information in that section, and if there were any organizational problems with the Twine.

These comments would then be given back to the author/student and he/she would use those comments to take their story out of Twine and recompile it into a traditional article that we would publish on the class webpage/blog. If they wanted, I would allow extra points if they also edited their Twine story and presented their Twine to the class.

Finally, the point of using Twine versus a non-digital/analog mode is to help students visually see (yes, I know this is redundant!!) that organization is extremely important to their articles, essays, and other types of writing. I believe that by incorporating Twine, students can easily see how and if they have a proper organizational set-up.

I am really excited to try this out in class to see how well students would respond to this integration of DH tools that are more than just how to use a blog.

Lesson Plan in less narrative form:

Day 1 — Come to class having made observations; Intro to Observational Essay

Day 2 — Come to class with idea of area of Observation; Article example

Day 3 — Come to class with Twine of reorganized Article — how does organization change meaning?

Day 4 — Brainstorming/Q&A

Day 5 — After attending event, fill out Answer part of Brainstorming

Day 6 — Work on Twine of Student articles

Day 7 — Peer Review of Student Articles

Day 8 — Publication of Article (on class blog, like an online article) — Extra credit: Also publish as Twine



Voyant and Castle of Otranto


So, I tried to play around with Voyant and I think the difficult part is figuring out what you might possibly want to look for. It’s fun to just plug something in and see what happens, but then, it begs the questions…what am I looking at? what does this all mean? why do these lines and patterns matter?


For my project, I looked Horace Walpole’sĀ Castle of Otranto and was just trying to see if there were any patterns. Since the text relates to young women and knights, I figured looking at young, lady, and knight might yield something interesting. There seems to be some sort of increase of those words around the same parts of the novel, with a large increase in the use of knight in the middle. I’m sure I could find other patterns, but given that I didn’t really have a hypothesis prior to starting my search, I didn’t know what I wanted to look for.

I did try to compare a number of different novels to each other, but it seemed to be easier to just look at one.