Phase 3 Instructions

In Phase 3 you will write an extended blog post, between 1500 and 2500 words. This final post is your opportunity to reflect on wider issues than we have addressed in English 203, but also to reflect on what you have learned since the course began. Worth 30%, it is officially due on the last day of classes (April 13th), but I am giving you a twelve-day extension to midnight on Wednesday, April 25th.

Your post will have two main purposes:

  1. To make an argument about the tools and techniques that the digital humanities offers when you analyze literary texts like Hamlet. You could consider questions like whether they offer ways to generate or to test your hypotheses about texts, or how human readers can strike a balance between a machine’s quantitative evidence and our qualitative interpretations. In other words, you are putting the lessons of English 203 in the larger context of current digital humanities research and debates.
  2. To reflect on what you have learned in English 203, what questions you still have, and how you might now investigate them. Part of your argument should focus on the tools that you and your team(s) used in Phases 1 and/or 2 (and link to your and their previous posts).

The structure of your post is up to you, but I would suggest that you divide your argument into at least three sections, and use headings before each one.

Let’s examine those purposes in reverse order:

Beyond Hamlet, and the Humanities Lab too

As I say, you must include links to at least two of the blog posts you have written already in the course. You should focus part, but not all, of your attention on the five tools and one text that we have studied in English 203. Your post should quote Shakespeare’s Hamlet at least twice — while remembering that your primary focus is on digital research methods and the legacy of this course.

Be honest and rigorous in your assessment. If after this course, you’ve learned that digital tools are aberrations from ‘real’ scholarship, so long as you make a compelling argument with evidence you’ll get full credit. But be nuanced. I’ll be just as demanding of evidence if you argue for the opposite extreme, that digital tools mean all expert readers will soon be replaced by algorithms.

You can also discuss how you might use the digital humanities to study other literary texts. Use examples from any other literary text you have studied in any English course at the university level.

Digital Humanities Now

For #1, above, you must also engage substantively with any one of the posts in the Digital Humanities Now Editors’ Choice category. By “engage substantively” I mean that you have read its argument carefully and thought about how it affects the argument you are making; to show this engagement, you then quote from it more than once. The writer of that post may well engage with you directly as you write your Phase 3 post; consider writing him or her brief questions as you develop your argument. You are free to quote in your post any e-mail correspondance or reply messages s/he writes.

Each of you will engage with a different post in the Editors’ Choice category. So between now and April 13th, you must ‘claim’ a post for yourself by writing this message in its comments field:

My name is _____, and I am a student in a digital humanities seminar called “Hamlet in the Humanities Lab” at the University of Calgary: <>.

In my final paper for the course, I would like to base my argument on your blog post. You can read my paper after April 25th on the course blog: <>

Replace that last link, if you like, with your own author archives. Simply click on your userid below the title of any post you’ve written, like in the example below; then you’ll get a unique URL for all of your own posts.

Then by Wednesday, April 18th, send me an e-mail with a link to your DH Now post and 2-3 sentences on how you will use it in your argument.

Final Checklist

In your Phase 3 post, have you:

  1. linked to at least two blogs posts you wrote in Phases 1 and 2?
  2. discussed at least one of the five tools we used in English 203?
  3. quoted Shakespeare’s Hamlet at least twice?
  4. linked to, shown that you have engaged substantively with, your chosen DH Now blog post? (and quoted any e-mails or other communications with the author of that post?)
  5. included at least three screenshots or images that help make your argument?
  6. divided your post into sections (using headings), each with a distinct purpose?
  7. formatting the text (e.g. with bold and italic text, numbered or unnumbered lists, block quotations, etc.) to help you make your argument?
  8. included an MLA-formatted Works Cited list at the end for any non-digital resources you have consulted or quoted?

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