Information Studies 289 -- Interpreting Documents

Fall 2005

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Document discussion assignment.

During the middle portion of each class meeting (weeks 2 through 10), we will analyze documents that students have brought in. We will determine the time available for discussion simply by dividing the total discussion time across the nine weeks by the number of students who sign up for the class. Please consult the course readings to guess which weeks would be best for discussing your particular documents, based on the types of topics that are likely to apply to them. Although it would be ideal for your documents to relate directly to the previous week's readings, it is not crucial. You do not need to bring in the original documents; photocopies are fine. Bring in enough photocopies that everyone in the class can refer to a copy during the discussion. It does not matter if the documents are in English. If they are in English then everyone can read them, but documents that are not in English might bring a greater diversity of issues into the discussion.

Documents for our purposes include any sort of written words, including letters, manuscripts, pamphlets, and books. If the document has more than a few pages, bring only a few well-chosen pages to class. In choosing documents to bring in, there are two important issues. First, you should choose documents that you believe are interesting and important. The second issue is your access to information about the documents and the settings in which they were made and used. Please spend the first ten minutes of the discussion time outlining this information as a basis for discussion. Important types of information about the documents include: