The bibliography will have two parts:
1. The bibliography proper
This will comprise about fifteen entries, three of which should be hyperannotated. Here is some guidance on the process:
The three annotated entries should
a) include at least one full-length book,
b) include no more than one entry that is already included in Ashplant's bibliography, and
c) all be unique in the context of the class; that is, nobody else should be hyperannotating the
same work. (Having common entries in the rest of the bibliography is fine.)
Each hyperannotation will consist of five parts:
- The citation, in MLA style
- The annotation
- Textmarks: notes within the annotation of lines or episodes of Ulysses that are especially
important to the author's argument
- References: citations of primary or secondary sources that are especially important to the author's argument
- Obsessions and themes: categories of analysis, especially but not only ones we have used in class,
that connect to the author's argument
Further remarks on the bibliography:
- When you search for sources, some projects will offer you a wealth of obvious possibilities.
Such projects will require you to develop criteria for selection right away. Others will have fewer
narrowly relevant sources; in those cases, look for related material by checking the sources of recent
critical writing or by thinking yourself about relatively theoretical elements of your project (nationalism,
authorship, orality, gender, etc.).
"Reading" sources for your bibliography may be different from reading them for your final paper.
This assignment does not ask you to read your sources, especially books, the way you read class assignments. That would
require far more time than you have at your disposal. Instead, it requires you to write short, accurate
summaries of what each work does. Writers' introductions should give straightforward, useful information
about the content and approach of full-length books. Looking at the introduction, chapter structure, and
sampled sections of a book should give you a good idea of how it works. When looking at articles, be
sure to check the opening, closing, and transitions of each article, looking for the information that
the writer claims to add to existing criticism. When you find works that will be especially important
to your own writing, you will, of course, go back and read them more thoroughly, whether before or after
the bibliography is due.
- In general, emphasize more recent work,
but also look for older sources that get cited frequently.
- Do the entries themselves in MLA style.
- Put the entries in order by date of first publication, oldest first. A Works Cited list
will, of course, usually arrange entries by author's last name, but ordering the bibliography by
date can help you see chronological progression in your sources.
- When writing the annotations, think of your audience as
your classmates: readers who are interested in related topics and
who might want to use your bibliography to find useful material
for their own writing. (This audience is literal: I will
compile and distribute a combined bibliography to the class.)
Write a number of pithy sentences on each of your annotated sources,
paying attention to how the source works on its own terms rather than
your plans for using it.
2. The cover essay
The other part of the assignment is a 2-3 page cover essay
whose primary purpose is to explain your rationale
for selecting the three works you have chosen to annotate in the context of your full list. This reasoning is important:
the ease of finding criticism on Ulysses puts unusual pressure on the process
of selecting important works. In establishing the centrality of your annotated works,
you should describe the kinds of searches you have performed and how you gathered
the specific information that led you to choose some works rather than others.
To give your reader a sense of why your three sources stood out as those most
worthy of your closest attention, you may which to consider factors such as these
in your cover essay:
- Keystones and best enemy--describe one or two works that seem to
be the most relevant sources for your essay, the ones against which you need
to define your project most carefully. Then describe the source that you
think does the best job of saying something with which you fundamentally
disagree: that's your best enemy.
- Chronology--describe the way critics' approaches to your
readings have changed over the years and how that progression might
influence your own approach.
- Elimination criteria--if you looked at sources and chose not
to include (or to annotate) them, explain your rationale, especially if your
reasons go beyond simple lack of relevance to your specific project.
- Models of approach or style--describe what you learned from
one or two sources about their approach to crafting critical arguments: how
a writer quotes others, makes a certain kind of point, uses strategic footnotes,
manufactures friendly disagreements, or does anything else that strikes you as
useful in ways that go beyond the "content" of that writer's text.
- Theoretical context--comment on writers who address general
issues that your project will engage without necessarily (but possibly)
touching on the specific text you want to analyze.