Module 1

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Module 1 introduces the fundamentals of HTML and CSS. You will first make a static document using HTML and CSS, and then you will make a portal to a DuckDuckGo search. This module is worth 50 points.


The following articles on the online class wiki textbook contain information that will help you complete the assignment.


Write a Birthday Card

Write a birthday card to a friend or family member using HTML and CSS. Use HTML to define the content of the card (like the headings and the paragraphs), and use CSS to define the appearance. Some ideas:

  • Make the background-color of the page baby blue and use purple ink to write a card to a little boy
  • Make the text big and include pictures of hearts
  • Use a font with text shadows (more advanced)

Use this opportunity to experiment with the plethora of CSS properties. Remember that you're in a computer science class (not an art class), so we don't care if your card looks ugly. The main thing is that you learn HTML and CSS and use them appropriately.

How to Edit Your File

Throughout this course we highly recommend using VS Code, and have included tips for each module specific to VS Code. Visit the wiki page VS Code and check out the Module 1 section

Important Note: Writing your web page in a word processor like Microsoft Word or even WordPad or TextEdit will not work. You need a plain text editor.

How to View Your HTML Document

Once you have birthday.html, you can open it using your favorite web browser (like Firefox). For the purposes of this exercise, it suffices to right-click the file and tell it to "open with" Firefox. When the file opens, it should be under the file:/// protocol.

In Module 2, we will install a web server that serves up pages on the http:// and https:// protocols.


Your birthday card and search portal pages must pass the W3C Validators for both HTML and CSS with no errors or warnings. You can upload your HTML to the HTML validator and your CSS to the CSS validator.

For more information on validation, see the HTML and CSS guide: HTML and CSS#Validation

Make a Portal to a DuckDuckGo Search

Write an HTML document containing a form that searches DuckDuckGo's web site. You should be able to type in a search term and have your form load the DuckDuckGo search page. In this HTML document you must also include this course's regrade policy to ensure that you have read it and understand it. Regrade Policy

  1. Visit Search for something easy to spot in the URL, like "QUERY".
  2. Look at the URL of the search page. What is the query variable?
  3. Make an HTML document containing a text field and a submit button. Typing a search query into the text field and pressing the submit button should load the DuckDuckGo search page.

- Additionally, we want you to copy/paste this course's regrade policy somewhere into this html document to ensure your familiarity.


We will be grading the following aspects of your work. There are 50 points total.

Assignments (including code) must be committed to GitHub by the end of class on the due date. Commit early and often. Failing to commit by the end of class on the due date will result in a 0.

  1. Birthday Card (30 Points):
    • Correct usage of HTML and CSS in your birthday card (10 points).
      Make sure that you use HTML for "content" and CSS for "appearance." Don't write inline styles: use a separate stylesheet and link your HTML file to it.
    • Experimenting with at least 5 different CSS properties in your birthday card (10 points).
    • Birthday card and search portal pages pass the W3C validation for HTML 5 and CSS. (10 points).
  2. Search Portal (10 Points):
    • DuckDuckGo search portal is functional (9 points).
    • Your search portal page includes the text of this course's regrade policy (1 point).
  3. Account Creation and Version Control (10 Points):
    • GitHub account created (2 Points)
    • Module 1 repo created using the link provided on Piazza (2 Points)
    • Account created on Amazon Web Services and an image file containing a screenshot of your account page pushed to GitHub. (4 Points)
    • Files pushed to repo on GitHub using Git (2 Points)