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Copy of Studies in Literary Perspectives: Performance Task


In the final five weeks of class, we will take part in a multi-part exercise that includes group and individual components.  

We will:

  • Brainstorm relevant themes
  • Develop guiding questions based on those themes.  For example, how does the fear of war shape a culture? Or how do social expectations influence individual identities?
  • Research and finalize a particular question in groups of 3-4 people

In groups you will:

  • Develop a proposal suggesting literary works that the members of the group will read and analyze individually
  • Create an MLA style annotated bibliography that examines your question from several angles, including a brief evaluation of how each source contributes to an understanding of the theme
  • Present to a larger audience that gives context to the question and demonstrates various literary perspectives that explore different angles
  • Write a final reflective essay commenting on the process as a whole (one essay per group member)


In groups of three to four you will:

  • Develop guiding questions and choose a variety of literary texts (short stories, poems, or short essays) exploring various angles on the theme
  • Conduct research considering the factors that contribute to the context of the works (time period, author’s biographical experience, etc.)  
  • Create a proposal for the project that incorporates the designated theme, the authors/works chosen, and how each work or author provides a different perspective on the theme.  

Each group member will contribute a paragraph that explains the general relationship between the work or works and the theme. Each group member will also contribute two worthy sources that explore the relevance of the theme to modern society.  


Individually, you will write a 3-4 page paper analyzing the texts that you have chosen to explore: How does the work address and present the theme? What is its perspective?

Students with shorter texts may wish to consult more than one poem or short story written by an author.  

Your paper must:

  • Consist of a close reading of the work as well as a consideration of external contextual information drawn from 2-3 outside sources.
  • Use parenthetical citations
  • Include an annotated bibliography in MLA format which describes each source’s content, relevance to the project, and credibility.  

Students will present their papers to the group so that the members of the group gain a more rounded perspective of the theme prior to creating the larger class presentation.


Finally, the groups will use each member's findings to create a presentation which will be presented to a panel of peers as well as the instructor and/or an outside assessor.  

Your presentation must:

  • Be 8-10 minutes long
  • Use appropriate media
  • Consider audience, context, and purpose
  • Draw conclusions and findings on how the theme is addressed from multiple perspectives
  • Reflect each individual’s research and analysis, as well as the collective’s conclusions Identify and address passages and resources that helped to enlighten your current position on the theme; cite passages directly

Following the presentation, each member of the team will respond to one question posed by peers from other groups and the instructor or guest evaluator.

Project Weights

Performance Task: 15% of semester grade

Project weights:

  • 25%  Group proposal, including relevant research and annotated bibliography, ‚Äčand rationale for individual literary texts
  • 50% Individual analysis of literary text, including annotated bibliography
  • 25% Presentation and reflection