READ THIS FIRST: "Guidelines, Links and Useful Information".

Come here to join in a structured study of Tolkien's Works. Please read the guidelines before posting. New and veteran readers welcome.

READ THIS FIRST: "Guidelines, Links and Useful Informat

Postby Barad-dur » Fri Dec 20, 2002 4:10 am

Note: The following words were compiled and composed through the joint efforts of the posters in this Forum and placed here at their request. They are in accordance and in full compliance with the rules as set forth by the Administration and Moderators of Tolkien Online.

WELCOME to the Virtual Tolkien Study Group (VTSG).

This forum was created to allow people to systematically explore the books from beginning to end. Thoughtful discussion is encouraged and we suggest participants read the relevant chapter or text portion of Tolkien's work before posting. Light-hearted posts are welcomed yet we do take our Tolkien seriously, so please read our guidelines to familiarize yourself with how to get the most out of this forum.
Please don't commence new threads unless you have familiarized yourself with how this forum works.

Everyone is welcome, both the experienced Tolkien scholars and the newest of newbies!

Three threads which will make it easier for you to navigate through this forum are:

1. The INDEX of all discussion threads in VTGS. The Index provides direct links to every single thread, listed in the chronological order in which the threads were created.

2. The OOC (Out Of Context) thread, for all off-topic questions and chat to do with the VTSG forum. This thread is how we communicate with each other, and the second post in the thread offers the VTSG timetable of discussion topics. You are encouraged to keep up with the OOC posts, as it is the only means of finding out about changes to the timetable and other plans or issues being discussed by VTSG participants.

3. The Virtual Resource Library provides links to just about anything you may wish to know about Tolkien and his works. It is a rich resource--check it out!


Guidelines reflect consensus views expressed by members; your feedback is invited in the OOC thread.

  • The study group encourages in-depth exploration and serious discussion in a more structured framework than the 'Tolkien Books' Forum. If you would like to participate we encourage you to read the text portion first and, if you wish, some of the optional/additional material.
  • Please be respectful of the opinions of others. Anyone is welcome to read along and to contribute when they feel ready.
  • Tolkien's works will be studied in chronological order: The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings. A timetable is provided in the second post of the OOC. Other material which may help our understanding of the works may be brought into the discussion. If you bring in additional material, keep in mind that others may not have read it and try not to alienate them from the discussion. If you would like to suggest further (optional) reference material, please post suggestions to the Virtual Resource Library thread.
  • Aim to keep language clear and accessible; there are participants whose first language is not English. Posting learned essays and jargon is best avoided.
  • Please sign-up in the OOC, let us know you are lurking and provide your opinion and/or suggestions in the OOC thread. Tell us a little about yourself but DO NOT GIVE YOUR AGE if you are under 18, as this violates the TORC Terms of Service.
  • Each text portion is allocated a given time period (see TIMETABLE in the second post of the OOC thread).
  • Thread leaders volunteer from within the study group to keep discussion on track and untangled (see Role of Thread Discussion Leaders below).<BR><BR>We welcome new volunteers at any time (newbies too!)
  • We commence with one main discussion thread on the first of each month (which may be split into Thread A, Thread B, Thread C etc. if it gets too long).
  • Each new discussion thread begins with a brief summary of the text portion, then the thread is open for free discussion. You can volunteer to write an opening summary at any time.
  • Everyone is free to commence supplementary threads to the main discussion but please exercise self-restraint to minimise the number of live threads so we don't dilute and disperse the discussion.
  • If you commence a supplementary thread on a particular issue, please indicate clearly which study portion it discusses.
  • Common sense should indicate what is on-topic but discussion is fairly fluid within and between the threads to allow cross fertilization of ideas.
  • Threads remain open for posterity and additional comments even after we go on to another study portion. So please post if a sudden insight strikes!


Each thread has a discussion leader, the thread originator who posts<BR>the opening summary. Any VTSG participant can volunteer to be a thread leader. Just let us know which blank spot you'd like to fill in (see TIMETABLE in the second post of the OOC).

However, the thread leader is not an autocrat.

  • We are all responsible for policing ourselves to stay on topic and to respect our guidelines. The thread leaders' task is to help us keep the discussion on track and untangled.
  • Thread leaders may suggest that an issue needs a supplementary thread.
  • Thread leaders may point out when the discussion is getting confusing for others and needs clarification.
  • Thread leaders decide when it's time to split the main discussion thread.
  • The thread originator can also undertake to prepare the AT A GLANCE summaries (links in the INDEX thread) at the close of the discussion.

We hope you enjoy this forum and, hopefully, extend your understanding and knowledge of Tolkien's works through your participation in and contributions to our discussions.
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Re: READ THIS FIRST: "Guidelines, Links and Useful Informati

Postby Notta Hobbit » Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:04 pm

In starting to revive this forum, I would agree with most of the above points. Personally, though, I don't see the need for people to sign up ahead of time in a special thread just to lurk or reply. It seems to me that it's fine to just jump right in, just as you would on any other thread or forum.

I would like to try to do a chapter every two weeks. We could plan to post them on the 1st and 16th of every month (although I'll post Chapter 4 of TTT a bit early). I encourage people to volunteer to do the summaries, but to avoid confusion it might be best to do the volunteering in the LOTR OOC thread. I do have a number of chapters already done for TTT, but if somebody else wants to do one, I have no problem at all letting them go ahead. Let's have fun!
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Re: READ THIS FIRST: "Guidelines, Links and Useful Informati

Postby Notta Hobbit » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:38 pm

I'm going to post a new chapter tonight. It seems like even two weeks is a long time to wait in between, so let's try one a week.
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