Wikipedia:School and university projects/ENTO 431

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Specific introduction for students is in the next section.

As a part of the ENTO 431, forensic entomology course at Texas A&M University students are assigned the task of writing several articles at Wikipedia pertaining to forensically important fly species.

There will be approximately 26 groups of 5 students each. Each student will have a separate Wikipedia account, and each group will propose, write, edit, and maintain a new article. They will be expected to expand their article to the level as close to Featured Article as they can.

Supervisors: I, Adrienne Brundage will take care of introducing students to Wiki and ensuring they and the project are working within the bounds of Wikipedia guidelines.

Important dates: The project will begin Friday, February 13, 2009, and end Friday, April 17, 2009.

Status: At the moment, this project has led to no editing other than that on the project pages. Please direct any comments to my user talk page or to the project talk page.

Frequently Asked Questions (by the community at large)[edit]

Since this project has gone live, I have receive a number of comments, questions, and suggestions regarding the writing and the students. I appreciate all comments from every user, and I will take each very seriously. However, to clear up some frequently asked questions:

1. Yes, the students have been introduced to and are aware of the guidelines for Wikipedia writing. Each group was individually counseled and taught the proper process, and they have all agreed to follow the guidelines to the letter.

2. Each group is required to make any suggested changes within reason, or argue as to why they will not make the changes. They are not allowed to say "this is a reasearch assignment, so just leave me alone."

3. Some people are very confused as to why I require certain formatting in my rubric--if you carefully read the instructions, you will realize the formatting and most of the rubric in general have nothing to do with Wikipedia or the article placed here. These are specific instructions for the students to follow when they turn in their hard copy report about this assignment at the end of the semester. As per university rules, I must include these instructions. Thank you for your concern.

4. The students know they are supposed to follow Wikipedia's directions first, and mine second. Don't let them tell you any different.

As I get more questions, I'll post more answers.

Introduction for students[edit]

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, is an encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone. It has over three million editors (Wikipedians) as of 2007, many of whom are students like you. The vast majority of them are volunteers who find editing this site to be an enjoyable experience, even a hobby. Therefore I hope you will enjoy this exercise! After all, there are not many exercises that tell you to do something that over a million people think is 'fun'. :)

Wikipedia:Tutorial is the best place to start your adventure with this wiki. Please familiarize yourself with Wikipedia:School and university projects - instructions for students and if you have any questions, check the Help:Contents and if you cannot find what you are looking for, ask the friendly people at Wikipedia:Help desk - or just contact me.

Before starting this assignment, you need to create an account (Wikipedia:Why create an account?). You definitely need to have an account before attempting to edit any page (otherwise I will be unable to confirm if you have completed the assignment). After you create an account, share your user name with your group members, and give me a list of all your user names during our proposal meeting.

Remember that Wikipedia is not a project limited only to Texas A&M. We are guests here and we should all behave accordingly. Please make sure you read Wikipedia:Wikiquette. Our ENTO 431 is the first one at our university to use Wikipedia to such an extent, so please try to think what impression you want other Wikipedians to have of our university—and of yourselves.

You should expect that Micah, other students, your friends, even (or especially) other Wikipedia editors (not affiliated with our course) or I will leave you various messages on your talk pages. When working on the exercises below, you should log in to Wikipedia and check your messages as often as you check your email (I strongly recommend you read 'as often' as 'at least daily'). Whenever you have a new message and are logged into Wikipedia, you will see a large orange message, 'You have new messages', on every Wikipedia page you access. To make this message disappear, you should click on it and read the message. Note that it is customary to leave new messages at the bottom of the talk/discussion pages, and to reply to somebody's messages on their talk pages. If you want to leave somebody a message, make sure you are editing their talk page, not their user page. Remember to sign your talk and discussion messages.

Some other useful tips: whenever you are done with an edit and want to save a page, fill out the edit summary box and view a preview of the page after your edit to make sure it looks as you actually want it to look. Only then click the "Save Page" button. You may find the page history tool and watchlist tools to be very useful when you want to check what changes by other editors have been made to the article(s) you are working on.

Please direct any questions to this page discussion page or Adrienne Brundage's talk page. You are welcome to send me emails, or drop by to see me during my office hours, and ask about Wikipedia how-to; but please try to find the answer first on the Help:Contents.

ENTO 431 Assignment[edit]

Now that you are familiar with the Wikipedia environment, it is time to jump into your assignment. I suggest doing some practice edits on various pages, just to get a feel for how things work, and setting up your user page for extra practice.

Important note: make sure you are logged into your account before uploading any work relating to this assignment. If you are not logged in, we cannot verify who has done the edits, thus we will be unable to recognize your work and grade you on it. In other words, if you do any work while not logged in, we will not count that work toward your grade in this course.

There are many places you may want to check if you want to improve your Wikipedia-editing skills by editing Wikipedia. Feel free to check the following pages:

Paper Requirements

Project Overview:

Your assignment is to choose one of the forensically important insects listed below to research. You will perform a literature search on that insect, and work with an assigned group to create a new article, following any and all Wikipedia standards first and foremost, on that insect for Wikipedia. During the active project phase, you will monitor and respond to feedback on your article, and assist other groups by reading and commenting on their work.

Project Details:

This assignment is worth 200 points.

During lecture, you were assigned to a group and given a group number. This is your Wikipedia assignment group, and will be the people you work with for the duration of the semester. You were given time during lecture to meet with your group and discuss options and schedules. You and your group will choose one of the forensically important insects at the bottom of this page, and write a comprehensive article about that insect. Once you have chosen your insect, write up a one page proposal, outlining important information about your insect, what points you will cover in your article, and a short list of resources. You then need to make an appointment to meet with me in my office and discuss your proposal as a group. The deadlines for this assignment are listed below.

Once you have gotten my approval, work together to create an interesting, in depth article about your chosen insect. Make sure you familiarize yourself with encyclopedia-type writing before you begin. Writing for Wikipedia is very different from writing an essay or scientific paper, and you need to fit in with the proper format. Please read the following guidelines to get a handle on how you should write your article BEFORE you start writing:

  1. Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not, which summarizes what Wikipedia is, and what it is not;
  2. Wikipedia:Neutral point of view, which describes Wikipedia's core approach to neutral, unbiased article-writing;
  3. Wikipedia:No original research, which explains what is, and is not, valid encyclopedic information;
  4. Wikipedia:Verifiability, which explains what counts as a verifiable source and how a source can be verified;
  5. Wikipedia:Citing sources, which describes what kinds of sources should be cited and the manner of doing so; and
  6. Wikipedia:Manual of Style, which offers a style guide.

Wikipedia maintains a high standard of writing, and has taken great pains to elucidate these standards. You need to follow their directions to the letter, since deviating from these standards will invite article deletion.

The article must be at least 10 paragraphs in length, and go into detail about your chosen insect. Feel free to include photos, but remember that not all pictures on the web are free for the taking. Familiarize yourself with Wikipedia's Copyright Policy to ensure you are not doing anything wrong. Remember that any violation will be caught and dealt with by the plethora of editors on the site.

You must include at least 3 primary and 3 secondary references in the paper (see below for information on primary vs. secondary resources), and correctly cite your article. However, keep in mind that this is a minimum requirement. You won't be able to write a good article only using 6 references.

You should also include a list of external links giving the reader more information on your subject, and link to your page from other Wikipedia pages, so your page is not an orphan. To answer that question in your head: yes, you can go on someone else's article and link to your own. That's the beauty of Wiki!

You are welcome to use Wikipedia:Peer Review and related tools and seek creative comments on your article. If you manage to make your article a Wikipedia:Featured Article, you will receive 50 additional points. However, please refrain from voting for each other's articles during this process (note also that anonymous and new user votes are commonly disregarded during FA voting process to prevent any abuses.) In addition, please note that any attempt to cheat on Wikipedia will be regarded as seriously as academic plagiarism.

Once you upload your new article, you are required to respond to any comments on your paper and act accordingly (make proper changes, defend your choices, etc). These comments will give you substantial feedback on your work, and allow you to make your final product better. (Besides, I'm going to spend the semester reading your work and commenting on it--if you listen to my feedback, you'll end up with a much better grade. It's like I'm pre-grading it for you! Who's the greatest? Yep, me.)

Finally, you will read and evaluate/comment on 3 of your classmates' articles. Please make your comments constructive and useful. You will not get credit for such comments as "good article!" or "I liked it!" Also refrain from any abusive or inappropriate language. Remember, you are the face of Texas A&M Entomology for the semester--make us proud.

At the end of the semester, you will turn into me a final project folder containing the following:

  1. Your original proposal which I approved
  2. A printed copy of the article your group uploaded to Wikipedia on the first due date
  3. A printed copy of the final article, which is a result of peer review, comment from users, and comment from me or Micah
  4. A print out of constructive comments you made to your classmates, so I can give you the points for reviewing other articles. Please highlight your user name for clarity.
  5. Each member of the groups should fill out the group percentages form to grade the other members of the group. Fill out the form (anonymously) and either place it in the folder, or hand it to me personally. Make sure you have your groups number on the form!

Primary vs. Secondary Sources[edit]

For this assignment, you will need to include AT LEAST three (3) primary and three (3) secondary articles. Keep in mind that you will more than likely use many, many more to get the information you need.

For the purposes of this class, a primary article is:

  • An article describing original research, presenting old data in a new way, or presenting a new case study

  • Written by the scientists who ran the study

  • Published in a peer reviewed journal

A secondary article is :

  • Any article that violates the above guidelines

Examples include books, unless they are bound copies of primary journal articles, as well as personal interviews.

If you are unsure if a resource is primary or secondary, you can ask me.

Important Dates[edit]

  • Friday, February 13, 2009--Wikipedia assignment given during lecture
  • Wednesday, February 18--Topic chosen by group and claimed on Wikipedia assignment page
  • Friday, February 20--Make appointment for proposal approval
  • Monday, February 23 - Friday, February 27, 2009--Appointments for proposal approval
  • Monday, March 23, 2009--Article due on Wikipedia site
  • Friday, April 17, 2009--Final project folder due to me at the beginning of class

Please keep track of these dates!

If you do not get the materials to me, do not choose your topic by the assigned date, or do not upload your article by the due date, you will lose 10 points per day (yes, including weekend days and holidays). If you and your group have an issue, please come to me as soon as possible to resolve it. If you come to me for help one day before the assignment is due, I may not be able to work something out. Come see me!


The project is worth 200 points total, and will be graded in parts:

  • Part 1: Proposal--20 points

As long as you get to me during the first two weeks of February, you will receive the points. If you do not get your subject approved, you will not get credit for any of the assignment.

  • Part 2: Written Article--150 points

I will grade your article according to a rubric. I will grade the final, peer reviewed article unless you tell me differently. (If, as a result of review, the Wikipedia community decides your article is not unique, or should not be a stand alone piece, just let me know and I'll grade your initial article.)

  • Part 3: Peer Review--30 points

Print out the pages showing your comments on other articles (these must be articles written by students in Ento 431) and include them in your final project folder. You will receive 10 points per adequate comment, for a maximum of 30 points. If you are worried that a comment is not "adequate," make sure you comment on multiple articles, just to cover your bases.

  • Group Percentages: Since you are working in groups, I need a way to know how well you worked together, and if you all contributed equally to the project. When you turn in your final folder, you will each hand into me a "group percentage" paper, telling me the percentage of work each group member lent to the project.

Ways to Lose Points

As mentioned above, if you are late turning in any portion of the assignment, you will lose 10 points per day (including weekend and holidays) late. I will try and remind you of due dates, but turning things in on time is ultimately up to you and your group.

Writing Assignment Rubric[edit]

Note: This is the rubric I will use to grade the final, hard copy version of the assignment you turn in. This will not be used by any independent editors or evaluators when looking at your uploaded article.

Grading Rubric Wikipedia Writing Assignment 200 Points

Format (30 pts):

______ Paper is on one of the assigned insects and was approved (5 pts)

______ Paper is at least 10 paragraphs in length of actual writing (5 pts)

______ Paper includes title, intro summary, at least 8 body paragraphs, conclusion, and bibliography (5 pts)

______There are no grammatical/spelling errors throughout the paper (15 pts)

Content (120 pts):

______ Introduction summarizes the subject according to Wikipedia standards (10 pts)

______Conclusion sums up the paper without ending abruptly (5 pts)

______In-paper citations are present and used correctly according to Wikipedia format see Wikipedia:Citing sources(15 pts)

______ Bibliography includes at least 3 primary and 3 secondary resources, and is formatted correctly according to Wikipedia format (10 pts)

______ Body of the paper encompasses all reasonably researched information on the subject. Paper should conform to Wikipedia writing standards (Wikipedia:Neutral point of view) and explore chosen subject in adequate detail. (Note: “adequate detail” means I shouldn’t be able to do a quick literature search and find information not included in the paper. I want you to search current and past literature, books, newspapers, websites, etc. and summarize all the information you find into an easy-to-read and understand paper. If you are missing major bits of information, or have included incorrect information without citations to back up your findings, you will lose points here). (50 pts)

______ Body includes a section on “current” or “future” research that touches on any on-going investigations in chosen area which may not be published yet, or are in the process of being published. (10 pts)

______ All attempts were made to address and fix any and all comments/suggestions given by the Wikipedia community. If the change was not made, adequate explanation was given (which did not include "this is for an research assignment, so leave us alone) (20 pts)

Ways to Lose Points

______ Minus 10 points per day late (-10 pts)

______ Evidence of plagiarism found (Please see TAMU's [Academic Integrity Policy for more information][1])(-90 pts)

______ More than 2 direct quotes in the paper, minus 10 points per extra quote (-10 pts)

Extra Credit

______ If your article is chosen as a Featured Article, you will receive 50 extra credit points (I've got an idea--get that!)(+50 pts)

Project Topics and Links[edit]

Group and topic
1. Please put your group number by the insect of your choice. If there is already a link to your insect, that just means someone has written a very short article which needs to be updated. Use the same page, just make it much, much better.

2. When you get your article uploaded, please link to your article from your topic below

  1. Compsomyiops callipes (used to be known as Paraluclia wheelri)(Group 11)
  2. Pollenia rudis (Group 10)
  3. Lucilia sericata (Group 7)
  4. Lucilia mexicana(Group 30)
  5. Lucilia cuprina (Group 6)
  6. Calliphora latifrons (Group 2)
  7. Lucilia silvarum
  8. Calliphora livida (Group 9)
  9. Cyanus eloganta
  10. Cynomya mortuorum (group 26)
  11. Lucilia silvarum (group 32)
  12. Protophormia terraenovae (group 22)
  13. Lucilia coeruleiviridis (Group 17)
  14. Lucilia thatuna (group 19)
  15. Cynomya cadaverina (Group 4)
  16. Calliphora aldrichia
  17. Sarcophaga haemorrhoidalis (Group 3)
  18. Calliphora loewi (group 24)
  19. Silphidae (Group 20)
  20. Chrysomya megacephala (GROUP 29)
  21. Histeridae (GROUP 18)
  22. Cleridae (Group 15)
  23. Creophilus maxillosus (Group 5)
  24. Nicrophorus tomentosus (Group 31)
  25. Nicrophorus orbicollis(Group 8)
  26. Oiceoptoma noveboracense (Group 28)
  27. Chrysomya (Group 13)
  28. Chrysomya bezziana (Group 12)
  29. Hydrotaea sp. (group 21)
  30. Muscina sp. (Group 27)
  31. Synthesiomyia nudiseta (Group 25)
  32. Aglossa cuprina (Group 16)
  33. Ophyra sp. (Group 23)
  34. Sarcophaga bullata (Group 14)
  35. Fannia scalaris (group 1)

Meeting Date Sign up[edit]

Please choose a date and time that your whole group can come and meet with me in my office to have your project proposal approved. Put your group's number by the date chosen. Bring an outline of what you will be writing about, who will do what, and some references you will be using. The meeting will take 20-30 minutes, so plan accordingly.

Meeting times:

Monday 2/23

10:30 AM:(GROUP 18)
11:30 AM: (Group 28)
2:00 PM: (group 26)
2:30 PM:(Group 23)
3:00 PM: (Group 7)
3:30 PM: (group 27)
4:00 PM: (group 24)
4:30 PM:(Group 4)

Tuesday 2/24

10:30 AM:
11:00 AM:
11:30 AM:
1:30 PM:
2:00 PM:
2:30 PM:
3:00 PM:
3:30 PM:(Group 21)
4:00 PM: (Group 15)
4:30 PM: (GROUP 29)

Wednesday 2/25
10:30 AM:Group 3
11:00 AM: Group 5
11:30 AM: (group30)
2:00 PM: (GROUP 14)
2:30 PM: (Group 20)
3:00 PM: (group 19)
3:30 PM: (Group 25)
4:00 PM:
4:30 PM:

Thursday 2/26
12:00 PM: (group 1)
12:30 PM:
1:00 PM: (GROUP 31)
1:30 PM: (group 22)
2:00 PM: (Group 16)

Monday 3/2

2:00 PM:
2:30 PM:
3:00 PM:(Group 6)
3:30 PM:<Group 2>
4:00 PM:(Group 12)
4:30 PM:(Group 11)

Tuesday 3/3

10:30 AM:
11:00 AM:
11:30 AM:(Group 13)

Wednesday 3/4

10:30 AM:
11:00 AM:
11:30 AM: (Group 8)
2:00 PM: (group 17)
2:30 PM:
3:00 PM: (Group 32)
3:30 PM:
4:00 PM:
4:30 PM: (group 9)

Thursday 3/5

12:00 PM: (Group 10)
12:30 PM:
1:00 PM:
1:30 PM:
2:00 PM:

Contact Information[edit]

Please leave questions or comments on my user talk page or for a little more information about me feel free to visit my user page. My email is