Glossary Project

Individual Assignments
Glossary Project Description

Individual Assignments

9/29 Creative Non-fiction: Tricia Zephyr
Personal Essay: Zhara Jaffrey

10/6 Self-portrait: Jenny Lee
Blog: Julius Battonado
Religious Autobiography: Lisa Heron
Life-writing: Maivish Khan

10/13 Testimony: Sidoney McLean

10/20 Confession: Faselis Mena
Confessional Poetry: Diana Sanchez

11/3 Addiction memoir: Stephanie Hachbaum
Trauma memoir: Justine Sieburh
Celebrity tell-all: Komal Panday

11/10 Autobiographical comics: Roobina Balkees

11/17 Slave Narrative: Jessica McKinnie
Travelogue: Heather Werblow

Project Description

Assignment goals:
With this mini-research project, you begin your journey to becoming a critic in your own right, as you will contribute to dialogues surrounding multiple definitions of autobiographical forms. This project will enable you to teach one another about various terms in autobiography while giving you practice incorporating and using research. You should think of your research for this project as self-education for the purpose of sharing your knowledge with your peers.

Due Date:
Regardless of the date of your oral presentation, a final draft of your page must be posted by 10/15 at the latest. You are strongly encouraged to post an earlier draft and receive feedback/questions from me, as well as from your classmates. To do so, please post your draft by 10/10 and let us know that you are looking for feedback.

Choosing Terms:
Each student will choose one of the following terms. You will then write a page on your blog defining, describing, and discussing the multiple meanings of the term. Each individual page will be linked to from the course blog: in effect, we will, as a group, create a Web glossary.

Oral Presentation:
You will give a brief, 3-5-minute oral presentation on the following dates. Oral presentations should the same information that would be in the glossary entry, though you can focus less on the critical debates and history of the term, and spend more time linking it to that day’s reading.

Glossary entries should include the following:

  • Basic definition of the term WRITTEN IN YOUR OWN WORDS. This means that you cannot simply quote a dictionary definition, though if you want to include such a quotation you are allowed. However, any quotation must be accompanied by your own paraphrased explanation.
  • History of the term. This should consider different critics and authors’ interpretations of this term. You may quote from different critics, authors, but be sure to connect these different quotations together using your own voice.
  • Notable examples
  • Its contribution to the genre of autobiography
  • Useful/relevant image(s)
  • Citations of your research in MLA format.


Your grade for this project will be based on the following:

Quality of research: this will be reflected in how detailed, accurate, and nuanced your definition is.
Quality of the page presentation:
I am looking for clear, organized, and eloquent pages that give easy-to-follow definitions as well as clearly expressed insight into what this term means to the genre.
Quality of your oral presentation:
Again, I am looking for oral presentations that are clear and organized. This presentation should give your audience a good sense of what this word means, what people have said about it, and how we can apply it to our own interpretation of autobiography as a genre. You are encouraged to use visual aids in your oral presentation.
You will also be assessed on correct usage of MLA citation format.

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