The Internet TESL Journal

Who Wrote That?

Shiao-Chuan Kung
sckung [at]
Wenzao Ursuline College of Languages (Taiwan, Republic of China)


Project Gutenberg has compiled a huge selection of literary works in the English language. All the texts are in electronic form. Since these works are now in the public domain, they can be read online or downloaded for later reading. This library of e-texts contains works by Plato, Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Beatrix Potter, Jane Austin, and Joseph Conrad as well as scripts of inaugural speeches of all the presidents of the United States. The web site is a great resource for both teachers and students. This lesson seeks to introduce students to this repository of authentic texts, to practice Internet searching skills, and to familiarize students with major authors and important works in English and American literature.


The number of questions can be changed according to the length of the lesson and the students’ computer skills. The teacher can also consider giving two or more versions of the assignment with different but similar questions such as:


The lesson can be followed up by the teacher compiling all the student-made questions into a homework assignment. If more than one version of the assignment were given, students can exchange information orally with classmates or groups who got a different set of questions. The teacher can also give a writing assignment by asking students to select a short story such as a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson and write a summary in the form of a paragraph of 150-200 words.

The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. VII, No. 6, June 2001