Electronic Edition

Project Due: December 11, 10:00 PM December 15, 10:00 PM

  • Submission: via Scalar

General Assignment

For this assignment, you will work with other students to use Scalar to create an edition of a text that other students like you can use to study the text. For this project, you should choose from one of the following texts:

As a whole, your group Electronic Edition Project will have the following sections, each of which are defined below:

  • A Splash page,
  • An Introduction to the text,
  • An Edition of the text,
  • The Annotations of the text,
  • The Textual Interventions for the text,
  • The Critical Essays for the text, and
  • A list of Suggested Resources for further study

You should use Scalar’s ability to create internal links and to create Paths to link all of your group’s various elements together. For example, your group project might have be structured like this:

A Splash page with introduction that gives an overview of the various elements of your project and has a path that takes your readers through your project in the following order:

  1. the sections of your edition (which has linked annotations),
  2. an annotation splash page that has its own embedded path that leads to each annotation in the order they appear in the text,
  3. a textual interventions splash page that gives a brief description of each textual intervention and has its own embedded path that leads to each textual intervention,
  4. a critical essays splash page that gives a brief description of each essay and has its own embedded path that leads to each critical essay, and
  5. a suggested resources page.

Because this is a hypertextual environment, you can provide multiple ways of navigating through your group’s section. (For instance, in addition to paths, you might link to specific textual interventions and essays in any narrative description, or you might link to an essay or a textual intervention from an annotation if that essay or textual intervention is relevant. How you establish navigation within your section is up to your group. However, there must be at least one path that allows your reader to explore your whole project.)

Splash Page

Your group’s Splash page should be linked to from the project’s front page, and it should do the following:

  • identify your project (a title and perhaps short narrative description of the project as a whole – remember, since Scalar is a hypertextual environment, this narrative could include links to your group’s various sections),
  • provide a table of contents for your project with links to those sections (the introduction (if different than the Splash page), the edition itself, the accompanying textual interventions and critical essays, and the list of suggested resources),
  • identify the contributors (your Scalar pseudonyms are fine), and
  • provide a starting point for navigation (this might be a Scalar path you expect most readers to follow).

You might want to include on your Splash page a relevant piece of artwork or other relevant image. (For example, if your group is working with Hamlet, you might include a photo from a performance, a poster for a production of the play, the title page of an early edition of the play, or even an image of Shakespeare.) Please make sure you properly attribute all images and other included media.


Your Introduction should provide a headnote to your text, much like you might find in a Norton anthology or similar anthology. The introduction might be on your Splash page or it might be its own page. As a headnote it should briefly address some or all of the following topics:

  • relevant biographical information about the author, including any literary school or movement, etc.;
  • genre (pastoral poem, sonnet, ballad, history play, post-cyberpunk, comedy of manners, etc.);
  • historical context if appropriate;
  • publication/performance context;
  • other contextual information you wish to foreground; and
  • a brief overview of the textual interventions and critical essays accompanying your edition.

As your Edition, you will want to include the text of poem, short story, or section of the play your group is working with. You will almost certainly want to divide it into one or more Scalar pages that are linked together by a Scalar path. Whether or not you divide your text into one or more Scalar pages will depend upon the size of your text.

Rather than type in your text, you can and paste it from the link provided above. You will want to edit your text to make sure the layout and formatting are appropriate (that is, it maintains proper line and sections breaks, includes appropriate text formatting, and other issues as appropriate. If you get weird formatting issues that carry over when you copy and paste, you can strip out any formatting using this tool. If you do so, however, you will need to go back through and make sure you reformat your text as needed.


Throughout your edition should be a number of Annotations, with each member of your team will responsible for providing a minimum of 10 annotations. While some annotations will be quite brief, others may need to be more extensive. Some annotations will come from research and others will be based on your own understanding of the text. Annotations might include:

  • definitions of difficult words (using the Oxford English Dictionary to define the meaning of a word at the time the text was written is particularly useful),
  • brief historical or biographical introductions to an event, person/people, place, or object mentioned in the text,
  • brief explications of intracies of your text (essentially, anything that might need explaining), and
  • any poetical and literary devices you wish to foreground (the use of assonance, enjambment, or repetition; the use of allusion, metaphor, imagery, or irony; and specific strategies used to establish a setting, character, or tone).

Each annotation should be its own Scalar page that is linked to a word or phrase that it annotates. By doing this, readers of your edition will be able to mouse over a word or phrase to read the annotation as they read your text and be able to read the annotation as a stand-alone page. Each annotation page should:

  • be given a descriptive title,
  • include the relevant section in context (you might include one or more sentences and bold or otherwise highlight the word or words being annotated),
  • provide the annotation along with any necessary citations, and
  • indicate the author of the annotation.

Example of a Scalar annotationTo the right is a screen shot of a potential annotation made in Scalar. The title of the page is “King of Men,” which you can see in bold at the top. Inset beneath the title is the first line of Thomas Gray’s poem “The Decent of Odin,” and in that line you can see focus of the annotation (“King of Men”) in context. (“King of Men” is not just the title of the annotation, but is also the phrase in the edition of the poem to which this annotation is attached.) Below the line from the poem is the annotation itself. Note that the annotation includes a link to an outside resource (“poetic names for Odin” in the first paragraph). Whether or not you include such links or include media with your textual annotation will depend upon the specific needs of each annotation. Finally, below the text of the annotation is the name of the author of the annotation. While there are no works cited in this annotation, it does include an in-text reference to a source for further reading. If you cite sources, your annotation should include a works cited section.

As a group, you might find it easiest divide your text into sections, with each member assigned to annotate a different part of the text. Depending upon the size of your text and the size of your group (especially for “The Girl Who Was Plugged In”), it might make sense to only focus your annotations on specific passages. Regardless, you will need to create an edition of the entire text even if you do not annotate all of it.

For examples of annotations, see the student examples listed below.

Textual Interventions

Each member of the class will create two Textual Interventions to accompany your electronic edition. See the Textual Intervention assignment guidelines for more information.

As a group, you should create a Textual Intervention page which links to each of your group’s textual intervention projects

Critical Essays

Each member of the class will write a Critical Essay to accompany your edition in the form of a short (5-6 page) literary analysis of your text that is supported by research. While the subject of your analysis is up to each of you, it should be focused in nature and written to explicate the text in some way or to provide historical or cultural context.

As a group, you should create a Critical Essays page which links to each of your group’s essays.

Suggested Resources

The Suggested Resources you group provides should be chosen for their use to students who may wish to further explore your text. They might include links to information about the author or the text, particularly helpful readings you found during your research, videos or audio recordings (“The Girl Who Was Plugged In” has been adapted both for television and as a musical, for instance), etc. What you include and how much you include is up to your group.


For examples of electronic editions, see not only the archives and projects you were asked to look at during Week 10, but see also the following student annotated editions:

Adapted from

This assignment draws from both Dr. Sarah Spring’s “Electronic Edition of a Text” assignment used with past WRIT 502 courses and from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Literature Program’s “The Hypertext Annotation Project” assignment (http://loki.stockton.edu/~kinsellt/projects/popupintro/popupintro.html).

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