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The OED task requires students to use the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary to research the history of a word.  Designed to get students thinking about processes of repurposing and amplification—making existing stuff (in this case, dictionary definitions) their own by way of selecting, structuring and re-contextualizing that material—the task requires that OED findings comprise at least three-fourths of their response.

The piece featured here consisted of a prototype/mock-up for a children's book entitled Poke the Pony, two letters (one from the author of to an editor and one from the editor to the author) and the composer's 27 page statement of goals and choices. In the latter, the composer articulates the goals she set for the piece and accounts, as well, for the rhetorical and material choices she made in service of those goals. I recommend experiencing the piece's various components in the following order:

1. letter to editor (click here)

2. Poke the Pony (click here)

3. letter to author from editor (click here)

4. composer's statement of goals and choices (click here)