Utah State University Library

Link to Utah State University Home Page.

THE COLLECTING PROJECT: Single Item


The single item collecting assignment requires you to collect a single item of folklore, such as a joke, folksong, folk saying, proverb, meme or custom. For clarification about topics, consult with your instructor.

Your grade will be based on the appropriateness of items you submit (that is, the extent to which they match the assignment), on the kinds of informant/Point of Discovery (from whom you received or where in the world you discovered the folklore), context (the where/when/with whom of the folklore), text (what, the folklore itself) and texture (how the folklore was presented or performed, the "feel" of it) comments you provide, and on how well you follow format guidelines. You must provide informant and contextual data that will make analysis of the item (text) possible for any potential archives user. Remember that different kinds of items (beliefs, legends, songs, jokes, etc.) will require different kinds of background data on both the informant and the item. Again, try to give information that will make the item as understandable and useful as possible to potential researchers--often someone outside the group they folklore was used and shared.

Use standard English in your own comments but do not "clean up" the statements or stories from your informants which contain poor grammar or lack proper sentence structure (we want their actual style as much as we want their content). Feel free to use sketches, photographs, or scanned images to clarify or illustrate an item or a custom.

Collecting folklore is fascinating--unless you wait until the night before the assignment is due before beginning. Please type assignments.