Education Program talk:University of Toronto Mississauga/CCT110: The Rhetoric of Digital and Interactive Media Environments (S2014)/Timeline

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Assignment[edit]

Students will work individually to make substantive edits to an article (or article "stub") of their choice. Students may find a list of stubs, organized by category, here. This is an exercise in writing for a particular genre (i.e. encyclopedic writing for Wikipedia) in order to demonstrate an understanding of the rhetorical approaches appropriate for the genre and medium (relevant to the themes of the course).

For our purposes, a "substantive edit" is defined as: writing or re-writing at least one section in the body of the chosen article or expanding upon a "stub". Students should plan to add about 500 words to the article or stub. In either case, students should introduce a new theme in the section they write, giving due regard for Wikipedia policies re: citation, notability, etc. How "rich" the content is will be considered heavily in evaluating assignments. This would ordinarily include text, links, references, etc. versus simply plain text, indicating a full appreciation for the dynamic character of writing for Wikipedia. Please DO NOT create a new Wikipedia article from scratch - instead, focus on improving an existing article (particularly a stub).

Each user must create an account and a user page, and will receive instruction in tutorials re: Wikipedia practices. All students will sign-up for their topic via our course page and note their chosen article using the "Enroll" link. Students should also create their own "Sandbox" (a public, individualized area outside the "mainspace" and "namespace", which is where students should work on their article before posting their revisions for review by the entire Wikipedia user community).

Students should consult the "Training & Resources" section above for useful information on Wikipedia policies/culture, editing and content creation practices, citation policies and styles, and other relevant topics. The "Getting help" section above provides information on the types of assistance available for this exercise.

Students will submit on the due date a hard copy package containing screenshots of the state of the chosen article "before" and "after" the edits, highlighted or otherwise annotated to clearly show the changes that were made, as well as a copy of their sandbox and any relevant talk pages (e.g. the article's talk page if the student had discussions with the Wikipedia user community about their proposed and/or completed revisions). A cover page should be attached that indicates: the student's name, student number, tutorial section, topic, and Wikipedia user name.

Students will receive a grade that takes into account: the quality of the research and writing re: their contributions, the mechanics re: their contributions (e.g. spelling, grammar, etc.), their writing process, and their level of understanding of the rhetorical approaches relevant to Wikipedia as demonstrated throughout the submission. Please see below for further information about assessment.

The hard copy submission is due to each student's TA as indicated in the course syllabus and as discussed in lecture/tutorial. For this assignment, both University and Wikipedia-specific policies regarding academic integrity apply. Please review the syllabus and the relevant handouts on the resources section of the course page for further information.

Weighting: 20% of your final course grade.