Mosaic and Netscape are the two most widely used browsers. Since the English Department and, it seems, most of UVA, currently favors Netscape, I'll assume that's what your using.
The organizations that developed these browsers each maintain a home page offering a variety of services, including tours of their particular spaces, answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), search tools, and guides to html authoring. Visit The Netscape Home Page and familiarize yourself with it. I think I'd start with the Handbook, then go on to explore the various buttons, Back,Open,Netsearch, Bookmarks,etc.When you feel comfortable with the various resources and utilities that are present on the Netscape HomePage, use their Search utility -- or go to one of the other Search Engines and begin search for resources in one or more of these categories. You're looking for resources -- e.g., Anthropology, Popular Culture, American History -- that might be useful to students of American Studies
When you find something of interest, add it to your bookmark file on your floppy. Later, I'll ask you to place this on your home page. After you've done this, its time to get on to the task of learning how to create documents for the web.
Here are two documents you should read; you'll need to be patient as these are
This next document is much easier to access and can be used as an alternative introductory text--or as a supplement.
After reading through one of these documents, create your own HomePage including on it a link it to the class page and links to additonal pages of your own..
I suspect that, even after you've been through one of these documents with great care, you'll still have many questions; I'll probably won't be able to answer any of them, but bring them to class anyway.