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Thanks for the message, Yang!
Cool article. Your writing is clear and you do a good job of avoiding sociological jargon. I think your page – U.S. Anti-Poverty Programs – is going to be an important one. It has the potential to serve as the entry point for Wikipedia users seeking brief information about Anti-Poverty Programs in the U.S. – particularly for TANF and AFDC - and maybe for a third category, “other programs” which may include things like WIC (this point on “other programs” is just a suggestion). Federal Anti-Poverty Programs in the U.S. are complicated, and people unaware of the acronyms “TANF” and “AFDC” will likely come across your page first (as they type “Anti-Poverty Programs” in the Wikipedia search bar). I see your page as a both an introduction to anti-poverty program issues and topics in the U.S. and a portal to the primary entries on TANF, AFDC, and other programs that already have their own Wikipedia pages. I have provided a few recommendations, mostly technical, below.
Can you provide a citation for the first sentence in the TANF subsection? – “Welfare reform was rooted in the national perception that the "Great Society” programs other 1960s like entitlement programs, food programs and public housing had not only failed to eradicate poverty in the United States, but that they have actually aided in the breakdown of family values that further perpetuate poverty.” – Since the claim here is “national perception,” I imagine there is some opinion research from the 90s that measured the public’s (and elected officials’) distain for welfare. Citing something like this will strengthen this first sentence. – While some of your other claims could also be improved with a citation or two, this particular sentence seems naked without a solid reference.
Also, with respect to citations more generally, see point 13 on page 4 of the syllabus. After you reference a piece once, you simply have to type “ref name= “xxxx’”. I believe this is important beyond simply the fact that it makes entering citations easier. I think it also prevents a lengthy citation list that replicates the same books/articles/chapters. As of right now, the only piece that you cite more than once is Haskins (2001), but it’s possible that you will frequently cite other articles/books/chapters multiple times as you progress on your page. (Truthfully, I didn’t realize this was standard practice until just now. I will have to go through my article to fix relevant errors, and I’m sure it’s going to be a pain in the ass).
I recommend adding some links to other Wikipedia articles. I’m sure you know that there already exists a general TANF page. I would definitely link the first mention of TANF on your page to that primary article. I recommend this for all the programs you highlight through out your page. Other terms (e.g. “Great Society”), organizations (e.g. “House Ways and Means Committee”), and people (e.g., Bill Clinton) you mention have Wikipedia articles as well. I recommend linking them. Also, just so you know, you can borrow some of the graphs/charts already posted on other Wikipedia pages (just simply provide a link back to the original page).
You should cite the Bane and Ellwood (1983) article, and ideally provide a hyperlink to it. (Also, at one point you type “Band” instead of Bane).
I’m curious about the pie chart you posted. Where is this information drawn from? What specific welfare programs are accounted for in the graph (e.g., food stamps, WIC, TANF, AFDC)? And, more importantly, what time in history does this data refer? The text of your article clearly demonstrates that the size and profile of the American welfare recipient have been transformed through the 90s. I imagine that this graph will look different at different points in time. Also, I have frequently heard the claim that most welfare recipients are on welfare for less than two years (even before the two-year cut off policy was implemented), and that this claim is consistent with the fact that a many people dip into poverty temporarily (e.g., at any given time, most of the poor are not persistently poor). I think Edin and Lein summarize this point in passing, but I may be wrong. To clarify my point: I’m having a difficult time accepting that 65% of welfare recipients have been dependent on welfare for 8 or more years and only 7% for 1 to 2 years. – To be fair, I don’t know much about these issues; I just figured I’d highlight my concern.
Lastly, I have a brief quasi-substantive review point. With respect to the Democrat vs. Republican debate in the 90s over welfare reform, I think it’s important to note that many Democrats were strong proponents of welfare to workfare. You do a good job of noting that Clinton proposed to “reform welfare as we know it,” but it may be wise to dedicate more blame (for lack of a better word) to center-left democrats more generally. (You may or may not find it useful to briefly note Bruce Reed, the speech writer who developed the soundbite “end welfare as we know it”). I recommend briefly looking at the book I noted in class on Wednesday – Jason DeParle’s “American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and A Nation’s Drive to End Welfare.” (2004). DeParle was the primary welfare reporter for the New York Times during the 90s. His book covers a lot of the complexities of mainstream political debates over 96’ welfare reform. Additionally, he does a good job of summarizing some of the social science debates on the topic (e.g., Murray, Piven and Cloward, Wilson, etc.)
I hope these points are clear and helpful. I’m truly looking forward to reading the finished product!
Your sandbox article (TANF)
Hey there! I just got your message. I'm not able to move your article right now, since I am off to the store. That said, I will be back within a couple of hours. Hopefully this will work for you. A quick glance leaves me quite impressed. The only thing I noticed is a lack of sufficient wikilinks and the section headings are in title case rather than sentence case. I'll be back! In the meantime, let me know if you're still online so we can work on transferring the work together. Best regards, Cind.amuse (Cindy) 02:36, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Got your message, Moving articles
So I see your sandbox article, and the destination article. You've done quite a bit of work! I also see Cind.amuse (Cindy) left you a message mentioning she can help you out and move the article over! Let me know if you have any other trouble. One important thing I noticed is I didn't find any message on the "Discussion" page for your destination article, letting other editors know you were working on a revision in your sandbox. Also, I didn't see any preliminary edits on the page itself. That's totally fine, don't worry you've done a lot of great work already. But it can be helpful to leave a comment on the discussion page and more incrementally add changes to a Wikipedia article because you can garner more feedback and make sure any issues with the article (imagine someone says they don't like one of your sources, they have a better one, etc) can be handled quickly and efficiently. But, no worries, good luck and let me know if there is any problem! Mattsenate (talk) 04:05, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
- Oh woops! Just noticed Cindy's message was Dec 14! Have you tried contacting her again? If not, let me know and we'll sort this out. Either way you should also comment on the destination article's discussion page to inform any editors that you are going to be adding new content, mentioning that this was part of an assignment also usually helps ;). Mattsenate (talk) 04:10, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
- Hey Matt, thanks for your prompt response! I contacted Cindy earlier but I did some reading afterwards and realized that I needed to put in a request for moving my page and got those two responses you see above. Is there a specific way to contact the editors of the page or do I just comment on the talk page and let them know that I will be gradually adding contents over the next few weeks? I initially thought about just cutting and pasting all that I have from my sandbox to the public page, but your suggestions about adding small pieces of my sandbox at a time makes a lot of sense. Ylor916 (talk) 07:14, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
- You're welcome! Just comment on the talk page. Gradually adding content over the next few weeks will be a great way to contribute. I added a banner to the top of the Discussion page to notify folks that a student is editing the article for an assignment, any comments you provide will hopefully garner feedback and prepare editors to see your work being added. Thanks for your contributions! Mattsenate (talk) 19:09, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
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