¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 Below, you will find some general information about the Open Access Canterbury Tales project so that you’ll know what to expect. Following that, you’ll find some questions to think about as you consider the chapters.
THE SHAPE OF THE OPEN ACCESS CANTERBURY TALES
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 “Essay Chapters” examine one major tale in the Canterbury Tales in relation to a topic of broad general interest. The editors have asked all contributors to follow set guidelines for the form and layout of these chapters. Because each essay chapter pairs a tale with a focused topic, it will necessarily focus on certain aspects of the tale in more detail than others (future chapters will treat other topics). Each essay chapter contains three or four main parts:
After an optional (1) introduction, essay chapters begin with (2) tools, a section presenting concepts or context to help the reader approach the tale, (3) text, a section in which the writer performs an open-ended, illustrative analysis of the text at hand, and (4) transformation, a shorter section meant to engage the reader directly. The transformation section may contain discussion questions, ideas for projects, or suggestions for further reading, and could be used either in a classroom or as food for thought for individual readers or informal discussion groups.
¶ 8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 The volume also contains several “Reference Chapters,” which provide readers with important context and information. The authors of reference chapters do not follow a particular format, and they have made their own choices about how best to present their topic.
¶ 9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 In this Open Review, we clearly label each chapter either as an Essay Chapter or a Reference Chapter, and we encourage you to keep the different goals and structures of each type of chapter in mind as you read. In all cases, contributors have been asked to write in an accessible style while keeping a broad and diverse global readership in mind. They’ve also been asked to minimize the discussion of scholarly debates and maximize the opportunity for readers to use the chapters as a jumping-off point for their own engagement with the challenges and rewards of reading the Canterbury Tales.
GUIDELINES FOR REVIEWERS
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- We invite you to spend as much or as little time as you would like in this Review. You might wish to read one chapter, several, or all. There is no requirement for you to read a certain number of chapters if you wish to be involved in the process.
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- The Open Review website uses the CommentPress plugin, which allows for individual comments to be made on the posted text. There is a dialogue bubble symbol to the right of every paragraph in a chapter. Click on that symbol to leave a comment. Clicking on the symbol opens up a box for you to enter your information (screen name and email) and your comment. Your comments will be visible to all readers with a screen name indicating to all that you posted the comments. You will enter your email address for each comment but it will be visible only to the website’s administrators, not to all viewers. You can also click on the main title – the short title in the large font at the top of the page – to leave a comment on the chapter itself rather than on an individual paragraph. CommentPress has a flexible but intuitive interface for consulting previous comments. For more information, see this how to document by the creators of CommentPress.
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- Anyone interested in learning more about The Canterbury Tales is welcome to participate in this Open Review, although we are especially interested in hearing from university-level students, independent readers and enthusiasts, teachers at all levels, and scholars who work with literature, history, medieval studies, and related topics. You may wish to consider identifying your own position when commenting (“As a second-year university student, I find…” “As a teacher of Chaucer, I think…” “As a scholar whose work focuses on medieval manuscripts…”) but you are not required to do so.
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- Anonymous comments will not be permitted. All commenters will be required to leave a visible screen name with their comments, and will also be required to share an email address privately with the editorial collective who are administrating this website. This step is for security purposes and we will not use this information to contact you or share it in any way. We may, however, give reviewers the option of having their names included in the final project’s acknowledgments and credits. If you are employed in an academic position and would like a formal letter from the Editorial Collective recognizing your contributions to this review, we would be glad to provide one.
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- Readers should note that all chapters are accepted and will be included in the companion. The purpose of this Open Review is to provide comments that will guide optional revisions and expansions of the material. Readers are not expected to rate/rank chapters against each other or to decide which should be included.
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- Readers should note that their comments will help in (at least) two ways. The authors of individual chapters will benefit directly from comments on those chapters, while the project’s editors and other writers will also benefit from observing general trends, patterns, likes and dislikes in the comments as a whole.
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- Open Review participants who are students, teachers, or independent readers are especially asked to help the writers and editors understand the chapter’s usefulness to those encountering The Canterbury Tales for the first time. We are particularly interested in comments about:
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- Sections of chapters that are especially clear and helpful, and sections of chapters that could use more explanation and development.
- Any sentences, paragraphs, or claims that contain unfamiliar wording and could use more development, explanation, and clarity.
- Any ways that chapters could involve/engage the reader more and more fully inspire further questions, discussions, projects, and study.
- Readers are asked to please remember the collegial and collaborative nature of this project, and the editorial collective reserves the right to remove or moderate comments violating that spirit.
¶ 18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 All writers and all reviewers will be able to see all comments throughout the Open Review period (dates and deadlines forthcoming). At the end of the period, the commenting feature will close. The comments and posted chapters will remain indefinitely as the authors of chapters carefully consider the comments when revising their chapters. The Editorial Collective will also look carefully at the comments to observe general patterns that will help them make large-scale editorial decisions about The Open Access Companion to the Canterbury Tales.
QUESTIONS FOR READERS
¶ 19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 Here are some guidelines and questions for readers who identify as one or more of these: Students, Teachers, Scholars & Researchers. We recognize that these categories overlap.
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- Which parts (big or small) in a chapter intrigue, excite, inspire, or engage you? Let the writers know by leaving a comment. It doesn’t have to be detailed – even a smiley face, exclamation point, or small phrase like “nod” or “wow,” can help the writer see where you reacted. Positive feedback helps our writers know where to amplify or focus their approach.
- Which parts of the chapter were most helpful in developing your own interpretation of the Chaucerian tale and/or its time period? Where did you feel most empowered to begin your own further investigation of the text?
- Which parts of the chapter allowed you to connect your study of Chaucer with other disciplines, topics, and concerns? In what ways does the chapter connect Chaucer with other things that you find interesting or important to study?
- Where are moments in the chapter that left you feeling lost, confused, or in need of more explanation?
- Which parts of the chapter left you thinking that the writer could include more? Which parts of the chapter left you thinking that the writer could write more concisely (or use less detail) in order to leave room for other material?
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- Which parts of the chapter would you find most and least conducive to class discussion?
- Which parts of the chapter would you find helpful in developing writing prompts or activities for your students?
- Which parts of the chapter do you think students would find confusing, difficult, or challenging? How would you suggest clarifying them?
- If you have any ideas about how you’d go about teaching a particular section or paragraph of an essay, or how it might intersect with your own teaching of Chaucer, please let us know anything you’d be willing to share.
- If you would like to assign these draft chapters as reading in your class, we would be very grateful for any feedback you or your students have. Chapter drafts will remain online even after the Open Review period closes.
ScholARS & RESEARCHERS:
¶ 22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 We enthusiastically welcome scholarly comment that will help these chapters provide our readers with robust, accurate, and current scholarship that combines the strength of long-standing scholarly tradition with the energy and variety of recent approaches. Please remember that the chapters here are presented as material for revision. Following the usual standards of peer review, we’d be very grateful if you could collegially point out areas for revision, factual reconsideration, complication and development of ideas, and expansion of research. Please remember, however, that these chapters are meant to “wear scholarship lightly” and also to offer arguments and claims that may be intentionally tentative, provocative, and open-ended. For more information on the editorial principles of this project, please consult this link to our mission statement.