The material is an extensive source of information about literary criticism/literary theory. The material was created in association with a 300-level course taught by the site author. It includes many pages of information on literary criticism created by the site author in addition to a few outside links, a course syllabus, and some information about assignments and papers that were used in the course.
The site provides general overviews of various areas of literary criticism as well as links to information about specific genres and schools of thought. There are podcasts of lectures related to various areas of literary criticism. Students who have little to no prior knowledge of literary criticism may find the site helpful for self-study, but a student with some background in this area will find the site more useful since an extensive amount of information is covered on the site.
Type of Material:
This site can be used for individual assignments, homework, projects, class lectures. It may also be used for research purposes.
The site is fully accessible on the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer on Windows 7. Speakers are required for the podcasts, but no external program is needed to play podcasts.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Students will develop an understanding of the major areas of literary theory in relation to both specific literary theorists and specific genres of literature. Students will be able to apply the principles demonstrated in the material to their own academic research in literary theory.
Target Student Population:
Upper-level undergraduates studying literature, philosophy, and/or literary criticism and theory
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic computer/internet skills are needed to navigate the site, but no prerequisite academic knowledge is required.
The material provides an excellent overview of the basics of literary theory and provides that information in the form of both written explanations and audio podcasts. The material overviews all major areas of literary theory and provides some external links to additional useful resources.
The site is associated with a specific course and syllabus. Students not enrolled in that course may not immediately perceive the value of the site.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This site is an excellent source of materials for any student taking a course in literary criticism/literary theory. The materials provided help students understand the concept of literary/rhetorical criticism and learn how to write effective literary/rhetorical essays. Material on the site begins with more general information and then moves toward more specific concepts to demonstrate how ideas relate to each other. The site includes information about assignments.
The sheer amount of material on the site may make it difficult for students to keep track of what they are learning without the structure of a course helping to organize the information.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The topics in the site are organized by category and progress from general to more specific information.
Background colors used on some of the pages may make them difficult to read, particularly since a variety of colors are used and the background of the opening page is a vivid yellow. In addition, decorative moving images on the first page of the site could cause problems for some viewers. A few links are not working.
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