Wikipedia:United States Education Program/Courses/Politics of Developing Nations (Martha Johnson)

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Course description[edit]

This course focuses on politics in developing countries, paying particular attention to the theory and practice of development as a policy priority. The course presupposes knowledge of the major concepts and ideas of political science and is recommended for students who have already completed one or two courses in the Government Department.

The course begins with a critical examination of the term development and the concept of developing countries. It then moves on to examine major social and economic cleavages and inequalities in developing countries and how they impact people’s participation and influence in politics. The third part of the course focuses on efforts from above, by governments and international actors, to encourage development and address inequalities. Finally, the fourth part of the course focuses on efforts from below to encourage development and address inequalities.

Instructor and Ambassadors[edit]

Martha Johnson Prof M Johnson (talk)
Campus Ambassadors
Maja Sidzinska Msidzinska (talk) - office hours: Mondays, 4 - 6 pm at the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE)
Online Ambassadors
Lynch7, Arsonal, Neelix

Timeline & Calendar of Tasks and Related Links[edit]

Tues. Aug. 30

Tues. Sept. 6

Thurs. Sept. 8

Tues. Sept. 13

  • Practice editing and communicating on Wikipedia.
  • Leave a message for the Professor and one of our online ambassadors on their talk pages.
  • Read Advice for Choosing Articles

Thurs. Sept. 15

  • Browse the available article entries for this class. The list is available on this page. Which ones are you interested in improving? Is there one you really want to do that isn’t on the list?
  • Come to class with a list of your 4 top choices. We will divvy them up and find partners in class today.

Tues. Sept. 20

Thurs. Sept. 29

  • Add 1-2 sentences of new information, backed up with a citation to an appropriate source, to your Wikipedia article.
  • If you are creating a new Wikipedia article, add 1-2 sentences of new information, backed up with a citation to an appropriate source in your sandbox.
  • Watch Sandbox Tutorial video

Thurs. Oct. 6

  • Compile a bibliography of relevant research and post it to the talk page of the article you are working on. Be sure to see guidelines about the types of sources the professor expects you to use. Begin reading the sources.
  • If you are creating a new entry, post your bibliography to your sandbox.
  • When you actually cite your references in text, you will use the automatic template available via the wikipedia edit page. This inserts a footnote, which then leads to fuller citation which is in the Harvard citation style.
  • For now, a good citation style to use for your bibliographies is the Chicago Author-Date style. Be sure you click the author-date tab halfway down the page!

Tues. Oct. 18

  • If you are starting a new article, write a 3-4 paragraph summary version of your article (with citations) in your Wikipedia sandbox.
  • If you are improving an existing article, add 3-4 paragraphs to the existing article. Also, add a short message in the talk/discussion page to explain what you added and why.
  • Begin working with Online Ambassador to polish your short starter article and fix any major transgressions of Wikipedia norms. In order to do this, leave a message in your online ambassadors talk page asking him/her to take a look at your article. If yours is in your sandbox, be sure to tell the ambassador that.
  • You can also contact our campus ambassador for feedback.
  • Continue research in preparation for expanding your article.
  • Read Moving into Main Space , and Submitting Articles to Did You Know

Tues. Nov. 1

Thurs. Nov. 3

  • Expand your article into an initial draft of a comprehensive treatment of the topic. We will edit the draft over the next few weeks.
  • In class, we will pair up for peer review and copy-editing (You don't need to start reviewing yet)

Thurs. Nov. 10

  • Peer review you classmates' article. Leave suggestions on the article talk pages.
  • Copy-edit the reviewed article, making changes directly to the text.

Thurs. Nov. 17

  • Make edits to you article based on peers' feedback.
  • Nominate your article for Good Article status.

Tues. Nov. 22

  • Compose a 3 page (TNR, double-spaced) reflective essay on your experience expanding and editing a Wikipedia entry. This should be done individually, not in pairs.

Tues. Nov. 28

  • Add final touches to you Wikipedia article. Try to address issues from Good Article reviews.


Once you and your partner have selected a topic, please edit this wiki and insert your user names next to your topic.

User Article 1st reviewer 2nd reviewer
Sasia and Chelsea Create Population and Community Development Association Kit Sam
Cara Improve Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper Duci
Miriam and Michelle Add section to Mouride entry on Mouride brotherhood in Senegalese politics Annie Pernian
Duci and Sam Improve Assembly of the Poor Tianyi Meg
Kriti and Wendy Improve Reservation in India Cara Sasia
Meg and Tianyi Improve Caste politics in India Kriti Michelle
Annie Improve Green Revolution in India Wendy
Kit and Pernian Improve Feminism in India Chelsea Miriam

Article banners

To mark each article the subject of a student project, add the following code at the top of the talk page for each article: {{ WAP assignment | course = Wikipedia:United States Education Program/Courses/Politics of Developing Nations (Martha Johnson) | university = Mills College | term = 2011 Q3 | project = WikiProject Politics }} That will result in the following banner (and make the articles easy to track):


Points of specific assignments are available on the course syllabus.

The project will be evaluated on the basis of:


Does the article provide thorough coverage of the topic without going off on tangents or getting into unnecessary debates or topics? Does the student build on an existing article adding significant new information? As a guideline for what qualifies as through, see the Featured Articles on the Wikipedia homepage.

Quality of References[edit]

Does the student use numerous academic or reputable online citations (for example from institutions like the World Bank, the UN, well-known think tanks, etc.)? When in doubt, please consult with the professor about your citations. Are the citations an acceptable Wikipedia format, for example MLA or Harvard author-date?

Quality of Written Language[edit]

Is the article free of grammar mistakes? Is it written in the simplest, most straightforward language possible? Is it free of extra or superfluous words? Is it free of spelling errors?

Tone and Neutrality[edit]

Is the article written in an objective way? Are all sides represented? Is the tone professional yet accessible and inoffensive?


Did the student work with the campus ambassadors and on-line ambassadors? Did she interact with other Wikipedia editors interested in her topic? Did she complete the various stages of the project? Did she work well with her partner?


Add your username to the list here using the format for Example User below: