English 330: New Approaches to Renaissance Studies

Professor Rebecca Bushnell

Web Search Exercise

Due: Feb. 13.

The World Wide Web is a vast reservoir of texts, images, and information: some for selling and self-promotion, some for study, and much for entertainment. This exercise is intended to give you experience in searching the Web for information relevant to your scholarly research, and to press you to evaluate the quality of the information you find.

1. Each student will be assigned a topic, text, or author central to this course: Philip Sidney, George Herbert, John Donne, Thomas Wyatt, Thomas Hariot; The Duchess of Malfi , Bartholomew Fair , King Lear , Twelfth Night , Doctor Faustus ; topics of Elizabeth I, James I. Student may pick their own topics with the instructor's approval.

2. Using Netscape or a comparable Web browser, you will search the Web for sites that offer texts/information on your assigned topic. You should experiment with different search services to see what they generate: in particular, try Yahoo, Lycos, and a new one HotBot.

3. Once you have found significant information/text on your subject, record the URL for these sites, and write up a description of what is included in each site. You will need to judge for yourself what is a significant site.

4. Write up an evaluation of the quality of the site: if your have found a text, what kind of text is it? Is it annotated? What is the source of the text? How does it compare with the printed texts used in class? What is the general usefulness of the information you have found?

5. Your report should be written up as a proper short essay (and should include the URL's for all sites you discuss). All reports will be then put on the English 330 Home Page, with the links to the relevant sites included.