Category Archives: Distance Learning

Collaborative Feminist Manifesto and Final Research Project

Prof. Megan Behrent

Below are two assignments that I use when teaching ENG 2150: introduction to Women Writers. While they were created for a particular course they can be adapted for other literature courses, particularly the final research project. 

Collaborative Feminist Manifesto for the 21st Century Project

In preparation for this project, we read a selection of political writing by women to introduce students to the “waves” of feminism, while also interrogating the genre of women’s manifestoes, open letters and statements of principles as a genre worthy of study and analysis.

Below are some of the texts I included in the syllabus:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “Declaration of  Sentiments and Resolutions,” from the Seneca Falls Convention (1848)

Sojourner Truth, “Ain’t I a Woman?” (1851). Note: for this text, we read the speech attributed to Truth, while also reading alternative versions of the speech to explore its historical accuracy, and discuss the political implications of these renditions of Truth’s speech.

Redstockings Manifesto (1969)

The Combahee River Collective Statement (1977)

Rebecca Walker, “Becoming the Third Wave”

Open Letter from the Allianza Nacional de Campesinas to Hollywood actors & other performers speaking out against sexual assault

After reading examples from the 19th century to today, students were asked to work in groups to come up with their own manifesto, statement of principles or open letter using any form they wanted. Students were asked to determine priorities and principles collaboratively before coming up with a plan to complete the rest of the activity digitally to create a group document. Students posted their work to the class to receive comments and revised their documents on this basis.

See assignment here.

Download (DOCX, 132KB)

Final Research Paper of Project 

For this assignment, in addition to the option to write a more traditional literary research paper, students have the option of creating their own syllabus for a gender studies class, or engaging in a creative project (a play, a memoir, a short story, etc.) which engages with texts and themes of the course. While some of the options here are specific to the class, I adapt this assignment for most literature classes.

See assignment here.

Download (DOCX, 20KB)

Narrative Analysis Presentation

Prof. Lucas Kwong

In this ENG 2001 assignment, students were asked to create a Powerpoint presentation guiding viewers through a narrative of their choice (story, novel, film, or TV episode). The presentations integrated the terms of analysis we have used in class so far (setting, characterization, symbolism, etc) and secondary sources that shed light on the text’s cultural context. This gave students a fun way to practice applying the elements of fiction to narratives with which they were already familiar. A detailed assignment description is available here.

To help students conceptualize their own presentations, I created a sample narrative analysis presentation based on the 2019 film Us. 

Video Tutorial on Using Quotations Effectively

I made this video on Screencast-O-Matic, using Google Slides for my visuals.  I usually spend an entire 75 minute face-to-face session on this IQIAA method, asking students to work on their own IQIAA paragraphs with quotations they want to use in their papers.  Now, this tutorial will be embedded in a class blog post, with an optional discussion question asking students to reply to the blog post with their own IQIAA paragraphs. (For the section that covered IQIAA before the switch to distance learning, this tutorial is posted just as a reminder.)

Here is the handout that corresponds with the video.

Download (PDF, 84KB)

ENG 2180 “Virtual Textbook”

Prof. Laura Westengard

I am sharing a course site that I developed as a  “virtual textbook” for an Open Educational Resources version of the class ENG 2180: Studies in Identity and Orientation. Feel free to visit the site to see how it is designed for all-electronic, zero cost access to literature course materials. Also, it is open and available for anyone to use as a textbook for ENG 2180!

Click on the icon below to visit the site…

Poetry Video Response Assignment

Prof. Leigh Gold

The following low stakes assignment was shared by Leigh Gold and designed for ENG 2003: Introduction to Literature, Poetry

Watch the following two videos posted by The Morgan Library and Museum:

Walt Whitman: Bard of Democracy

After you watch each video, please write down one idea or piece of information that you found most crucial or interesting to know or learn about the poet. (Please be sure to do this with each video)

Choose one quote (lines or line) from ONE Whitman poem and ONE Dickinson poem that we read. Explain what you believe the meaning is of the line or lines that you selected.

Please describe how the idea or biographical information that you learned from the videos helps you to understand the quotations by Dickinson and Whitman. Are there connections that you can make between the videos and poems? How?

Please then explain how discovering more information about each poet helped you to interpret the line or lines that you chose.

Letter Writing Assignment for Character Analysis and Close Reading

Prof. Ruth Garcia


You will need 30-40 minutes to complete this assignment. You will also need the novel. I recommend you type in a document and then copy and paste to OpenLab so that you do not lose your work. I also recommend you use a timer. Also, remember to categorize your post with the category “Tuesday 3/24” or I will not see it.  Finally, please let me know if you have any questions.

  1. Part I—Write for 15-20 minutes: The Color Purple is written a series of letters—this is known as an epistolary novel. You will choose a character in the novel who does not write a letter. Then pretend you are this character and writing a letter addressed to God from their perspective. In your letter, discuss and explain one of this character’s choices or actions in the novel. Use the following format for your post so that I have all the necessary information:

Character Name:

Choice or Action:

The letter:

  1. Part II—Write for 15-20 minutes: Once you are done with your letter, provide some notes to explain your choices. Your notes should point to a few moments the novel that establish the character’s qualities and ways of thinking and behaving. Then explain how these details influenced your choices in the letter. In your notes, quote or paraphrase from the text and include a parenthetical citation/page reference for each.

Theme and Quotation Assignment

Prof. Ruth Garcia


Last time we met in person, we brainstormed a list of themes for Walker’s The Color Purple—these are listed below. For this assignment, review the list of themes and then follow the directions, which are also below. Spend about 20-30 minutes doing this work. And, remember to categorize your work using the category Thursday, 3/26.

Themes from our class:

  • Voice, Racism and Sexism
  • Resistance, Colonization
  • Physical and Mental Abuse
  • Sexual and Domestic Abuse
  • Women’s Friendships (platonic and sexual)
  • Knowledge /Education and Power
  • Relationships and Women’s Spaces


  • Pick a passage from the novel that deals with one of the themes from our list.
  • Then, type out the quotation, give a parenthetical citation/page reference, and respond to these three questions:
  1. What happens? (summarize/paraphrase the quote—here you should give any context that is necessary to help the reader understand why this moment is happening)
  2. What message is Walker conveying? (this is your interpretation of the quote—meaning what you think it is saying about your theme.)
  3. Explain how the passage conveys the message you see there. Point to words, actions, images, tone, etc. (here you are explaining your thinking—how are you reading the word and actions, etc in the passage? And why are you reading it this way.)

Format for your post—please organize your post this way:

  1. Theme:
  2. Quote:
  3. What happens?
  4. What message is Walker conveying?
  5. Explain how the passage conveys the message you see there. Point to words, actions, images, tone, etc.